British weather: Health alarm at heat wave outbreak brings record temperatures


Today, tourists and commuters baked all over the country in the blazing heat when temperatures in the London Underground reached 94 degrees Celsius.

In Manchester, the streets could not handle the heat and began to melt in the African heat wave. However, those fed up by the heat have still got sticky conditions to come as parts of the UK could beat 100F by Thursday.

Thousands of Britons today have been able to sunbathe on the beaches and enjoy the sun of summer vacation in the parks at the beginning of a three-day heat wave.

But forecasters and health experts have warned how a “poisonous” mixture of Sahara dust and smoke from continental forest fires will colour the sky red and endanger asthma.

Daytime temperatures are expected to reach 37°C by Thursday – and could exceed the July record of 36.7°C (98.1F) set in 2015 as boiling air from Africa will break through Spain, France and the UK.

And the Met Office said night temperatures tonight could also break records in some central and southern areas, possibly reaching 75F (24C), with many Britons struggling to sleep in the heat.

Meanwhile, forecasters have also issued a thunderstorm warning for most of Britain except in the southeast from 6 p.m. tonight to 9 a.m. tomorrow for fear of scattered storms that could cause flooding and blackouts.

In Manchester, bubbles appeared on the asphalt – and as the heat intensifies, Public Health England (PHE) is urging people to cover windows to keep rooms cool and not go out between 11am and 3pm if they are prone to the heat.

Those who commuted tonight struggled to cope with the heat, one saying it was “worse than Mexico”. Temperatures in the subway rose to more than 34 degrees today, desperately raising commuters and tourists.

The temperature on the Central Line today was 34.2 degrees, 4.2 degrees more than the legal limit for transporting cattle.

EU law states that cattle cannot be transported at temperatures above 30 degrees, but there are currently no laws that prevent people from being transported at such temperatures.

Guidance from Transport for London recommends that the maximum limit for overcrowding be “three people per square metre of standing space”, but also states that this may vary.

Under these circumstances, this would mean that the cows would actually be transported under better conditions and would have to be given at least 0.95 m2 each and even 1.60 m2 for larger cows.

A subway user, Kelly Cloughton from Essex, said: “It’s terrible to be honest because there are people who have to stand, it’s crowded on the train, so everyone is close by.

People smell their hygiene is not good. We don’t get refreshments or anything and they definitely have to put an air conditioner on it, especially on the Central Line. It’s just really warm and not nice to be there”.

While Lisa and Ian from Sydney, who travel through Europe with their two sons, said the Central Line was just too hot.

Talking to MailOnline, they said it was a little easier for them because they were used to the warm weather conditions.

It was still hot and stuffy. It was absolutely crowded, it was so busy and there were people who looked very sweaty and uncomfortable. There is simply no air circulating on it.

“The one we got this morning was air-conditioned, which made it much better, and there just had to be some kind of air circulation.

The rest of Europe is also swollen. France today had to shut down a nuclear power station if it overheated. Forecasters predict new maximum temperatures in a number of countries, including Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, where mercury will reach 104F (40C) for the first time on Thursday.

But Europeans are used to hotter temperatures, and one commuter, Miguel Almeidu, 20, who comes from Italy but now lives in Stockwell, said people know it’s summer and it’s going to be hot.

There’s no air conditioning, but that’s okay, you know it’s London, not London, it’s a crappy tube. It was built hundreds of years ago.

“I don’t expect air conditioning for something so old. This is while another European, Amris, 57, orally from France, but living in London, said it was just so bearable to catch the subway.

But getting out feels really good. The tube is fine and I think they do a good job. Very good, I can’t complain. I think it’s okay as long as it’s not too full.

Despite the heat, those from outside Britain and Europe joked that they wanted it to get hotter.

Security Officer Paulet Burry, about 60 years old, said: “I come from Jamaica, where it’s much hotter than here.

Mitzi Zeigner, 46, Professor of Human Development at Texas Tech University, said: “We’re really not used to these temperatures at home.

“I spent £1 on a fan today, I think it was the best pound I ever spent.

Mitzi’s student Madeline Wyatt, 20, from Lubbock, Texas, added: ‘At home we go everywhere and have air conditioning.


About Author

Mette Frederiksen is a The Washington Newsday correspondent. With her coverage of general science, NASA and the interface between technology and society, Frederiksen has been in the Science Desk's Technology Beat since joining Washington Newsday in 2018.

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