Heatwave health alert: Level 3 warning issued – what does it mean?

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the Met Office have issued a series of heat-health alerts amid high rising temperatures across the UK this week. A level three heat-health alert is currently in place in London, the East and South East of England, while a level two alert remains in place for the East Midlands and South West.

While parts of Britain saw the hottest day of the year so far on Wednesday with temperature highs of 28C in some places, the warm conditions are only forecast to heighten as the week continues.

Dan Rudman, deputy chief meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “Temperatures will continue to rise as we go through the week, becoming well above-average by Friday, when many parts of the southern half of the UK are likely to exceed 30C or even reach 34C in some places.

“This is the first spell of hot weather this year and it is unusual for the temperature to exceed these values in June.

“Many areas will also see some warm nights with minimum temperatures expected to be in the high teens or even low 20s for some overnight.”

As nice as these temperatures sound after months of cold and unsettled weather, they do meet the threshold of what the Met Office would class as a heatwave, and this means extra caution should be taken when heading outside.

READ MORE: BBC Weather: Britons face ‘thundery breakdown’ after scorching heat

Dr Agostinho Sousa, head of extreme events and health protection at UKHSA, said: “We want everyone to enjoy the hot weather safely when it arrives and be aware of good health advice for coping with warmer conditions.

“During periods of hot weather, it is especially important to keep checking on those who are most vulnerable, such as older people and those with heart or lung conditions… and make sure to look out for signs of heat exhaustion.”

So, what do these heat-health alerts mean?

What is a heat-health alert?

The heat-health alert service is designed to help healthcare professionals manage better when facing periods of extreme temperatures.

The service forewarns periods of high temperatures, which may affect the health of the public.

The Met Office forecast reads: “Another warm night is expected in parts of central and southern England on Friday night before cooler and fresher conditions arrive during Saturday.

“There remains uncertainty in regards to the speed of progression of cooler conditions arriving from the north and west over the weekend.

“A slower outcome may allow for the very warm or hot conditions to persist across far southern areas on Saturday, before a more definitive return to more seasonable temperatures for all regions of England by Sunday.”

An update will be issued when the alert level changes in any region, and these are usually issued once a day by 9am BST if required.

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