Brits are bracing for searing heat as an amber heat warning comes into effect today – before the first-ever red warning for extreme heat is implemented tomorrow

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Brits are bracing for searing heat as an amber heat warning comes into effect today – before the first-ever red warning for extreme heat is implemented tomorrow.

‘Furnace Britain’ will be hotter than Delhi and the Sahara Desert on Monday with experts predicting the mercury could reach 41C – double the UK summer average.

Yesterday, Ministers held a Cobra meeting to discuss the health effects of the heatwave after a national emergency was declared – but warned schools not to close.

It is the UK’s first red extreme heat warning as temperatures soar towards 40C for the first time on record.Meteorologists have given an 80 per cent chance of the mercury topping the UK’s record of 38.7C, set in Cambridge in 2019.

The same meteorologists are given a 50-50 chance of the 40C barrier being passed in Britain on Monday or Tuesday. 

There are fears thousands could die and the health service has put on extra ambulance capacity and more 111 call handlers.

A body was pulled from the water at Salford Quays last night as Brits turn to swimming to attempt to cool off during the heat.

Met Office Chief Executive Penny Endersby said: ‘Here in the UK we’re used to treating a hot spell as a chance to go and play in the sun. This is not that sort of weather.’

Pictured: Bournemouth beach was packed yesterday as the weather gets better by the day and the temperatures soar this weekend

Eight-year-old miniature schnauzer Ringo (left) cools off in his paddling pool in Emsworth, Hampshire as eight-month-old brother George considers whether to dip his paws in the water

Health Secretary Steve Barclay urged the public to look out for vulnerable relatives and neighbours and urged people to take ‘sensible steps in terms of water, shade and cover’.

After chairing the Cobra meeting, Cabinet Office Minister Kit Malthouse warned there would be significant disruption to transport at the start of the week and urged people not to travel unnecessarily.

He said: ‘The heat will affect rails, for example, so the trains have to run slower.There may be fewer services. People need to be on their guard for disruption.

‘If they don’t have to travel, this may be a moment to work from home.’

Research last week showed that people were attempting to make the most of the air-conditioning at work with offices running at 42 per cent capacity, the highest level since March 2020.

Some schools have started the summer holidays early as a result of the heat but contrary to the suggestion by teaching unions that some schools will need to shut, Government sources told The Mail on Sunday that the ‘consensus’ at yesterday’s Cobra meeting was that youngsters would be at risk if left unsupervised at home.

Meteorologists have warned there is a 50 per cent chance of temperatures reaching 40C or above on Tuesday, most likely along the A1 corridor, which runs from London to Scotland through counties including Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.

That would make the UK hotter than the 35C expected in Tamanrasset in the Sahara, and 37C in New Delhi, India.A steamy 30C – 15C above average – is due at 1am tomorrow night in London. The current record night-time temperature was 23.9C, set in August 1990 in Brighton.

Fire brigades have warned the public to be careful when throwing away disposable BBQs or charcoal and cigarettes, and not to burn garden waste.

Western Europe continues to see record temperatures with wildfires in western France and Spain.

France’s heatwave is expected to peak on Monday, with temperatures climbing above 40C (104F).

In Spain, health ministers say unusually high temperatures of 45C have resulted in 360 heat-related deaths.


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