West Midlands braced for sizzling record temperatures in July heatwave
Sweltering temperatures are forecast for the Black Country and Staffordshire this week as Britain roasts in a heatwave.
Just as schools break up for the summer holidays, the mercury is set to reach 30C (86F) by tomorrow (23) and England’s chief nurse urging people to check on their neighbours during the hot weather.
But forecasters have warned thunderstorms could pass across other parts of the country, which could bring disruption to people travelling on vacation.
Latest weather forecast
The mercury is set to peak tomorrow, with highs of 30C forecast for Walsall and Lichfield - however the temperature will remain hot throughout the week.
The heatwave comes as schools across the region were breaking up for the summer holiday on Monday.
Early morning on Tuesday will bring temperatures of 17/18C (63/64F) before rising into the 20s after 10am.
The mercury will continue rising up to 24/25C (75/77F) by 1pm before peaking at 29/30C (84/86F) at 4pm as rush hour begins.
The hot weather has been brought north from the African continent, where Saharan air has travelled up over Europe.
Met Office spokesman Emma Smith said: "On Thursday, there is a chance it could become even warmer. The current highest July temperature since records began in 1910 is 36.7C recorded at Heathrow on July 1, 2015.
"There is a possibility the record could be broken – although we are forecasting a more widespread maximum temperature of 33C (91.4F) that day. It depends on how quickly thunderstorms move in, bringing cooler air."
However with the schools now off, traffic should hopefully not be as bad, meaning drivers will face less time stuck in cars as the sun blazes down outside.
On Wednesday, the mercury is set to peak at 24 to 26C (75F to 79F) at around 4pm, while Thursday will bring more higher temperatures, reaching 29C (84F) in Walsall and Lichfield.
However on Friday, the temperature is set to be lower, peaking at 22C (72F) in the Black Country and 23C (73F) in Lichfield.
Looking ahead to next weekend, the Met Office expects temperatures to fall.
“It looks most likely that, at least by Saturday, most areas will see a bit of a drop in temperatures,” the forecaster said.
“There’s still a lot of sunshine around for the weekend and temperatures probably look to be not quite as hot, but with a summery feel staying for the weekend.”
Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England, said people should take care as temperatures rise, while Asthma UK urged sufferers to keep up their medication.
“It’s really important to take simple precautions like drinking plenty of water, using high-factor sunscreen and remembering to take allergy medication if you need it – as is making sure to check in on neighbours and loved ones who can suffer the most from heat and pollen," Ms May said.
People with minor illnesses are urged to check the NHS website or call 111 for help.
Meanwhile, with people seeking ways to cool down in the hot temperature, West Midlands Fire Service has warned against swimming in open water.
Carl Storer, aged 21, died at Chasewater reservoir last week after trying to save a nine-year-old girl who was struggling in the water.
The fire service has warned people not to swim in unsupervised lakes, quarries, reservoirs and rivers.
Advice against leaving pets in hot cars
Last year was a three-year high for the number of animals suffering with heat exhaustion.
Leaving animals in hot cars can prove fatal and an awareness campaign was launched this year called Dogs Die in Hot Cars.
The campaign, launched in May, is a joint initiative between a number of organisations including the RSPCA.
Holly Barber, campaign manager for the charity, said: "Last year was our busiest for three years with almost 8,300 emergency calls made to the RSPCA about this issue - that’s a 5 per cent increase from 2017 and a 15 per cent rise from 2016.
“It’s extremely concerning that despite all of our campaigning, dog owners are still ignoring our warnings and risking their pets’ lives by leaving them alone in cars on warm days. How many more dogs need to die before people realise that that split second decision - usually made due to convenience - could have life-changing consequences?”
In March, a man whose three dogs died in his hot car made an emotional plea so other dog owners would not make the same mistake.