Heatwave warning UK: Health alert extended as new hosepipe ban announced

Aftermath of Dagenham wildfires shows devastation

A heat health warning has been extended as the UK braces itself for soaring temperatures in a fresh heatwave.

The UK Health Security Agency alert will now run for a day longer until Sunday evening due to the sweltering weather forecast across the weekend.

The heat-health alert serves as an early warning that high temperatures could affect public health.

An extreme heat warning has also been issued by the Met Office, which says hot temperatures are likely to impact vulnerable people’s health and the wider population could also be hit by heat-related illness.

Temperatures are expected soar this week and hit the mid-30s towards the end in a new heatwave that comes just weeks after a record-breaking one in July.

It also follows months of sparse rainfall, which has seen water companies announce hosepipe bans.

Thames Water has now joined other firms in announcing restrictions on hosepipes as dry weather persists.

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We are pausing our live updates for the evening.

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How the heat is affecting the natural environment

The UK has seen dry conditions which, combined with last month’s record-breaking heatwave, have depleted rivers, reservoirs and aquifers and dried up soils, hitting agriculture, water supplies and wildlife and raising the risk of wildfires.

Analysis from the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology warns river flows are set to remain exceptionally low in central, southern and eastern England until October.

Groundwater levels in southern England and South Wales will be below normal and exceptionally low in some areas for the next three months, it said.

Several inches of extra rain, in addition to what would normally be expected, is needed to overcome the dry conditions in parts of southern England.

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Temperatures to build throughout week, Met Office says

The Met Office has recapped its forecast for the week, saying temperatures are expected to increase and peak at the weekend.

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How to keep cool in the day

And here are some more tips on how to keep cool during the day:

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How to keep cool at night in a heatwave

Heatwaves can often lead to very warm nights that many may find very uncomfortable, especially without a fan or air-conditioning.

My colleagues Sarah Young and Kate Ng have taken a look about how to keep cool at night as temperatures swelter:

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Why is the UK underprepared for extreme heat?

Compared with other countries, the UK is underprepared for these heatwaves, experts say.

Jane Dalton takes a look at why and what can be done:

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Advice on how to keep cool – from councils

Councils are issuing advice on how to keep cool in the hot weather. See more here:

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What defines a heatwave?

With the UK experiencing another hot spell, here is a quick reminder about what sets a heatwave apart from hot weather:

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Met Office forecast for tonight

Here is the latest from the Met Office on what we can expect for tonight:

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Fire service ‘really busy’ fighting wildfires

Suffolk Fire Service says it has been really busy fighting wildfires in rural areas, as have other fire services across the country.

It comes as the scorching temperatures have triggered new fire warnings this week:

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