Temperatures to rise to 35C amid drought, wildfires with thunderstorms to come

It comes as the southern half of the UK has been beset by drought conditions this weekend, while the northern half braces for thunderstorms on Sunday.

Summer weather
Summer weather

The UK could see temperatures as high as 35C this weekend, amid wildfires, drought, and thunderstorms.

It comes as the southern half of the UK has been beset by drought conditions this weekend, while the northern half braces for thunderstorms on Sunday.

An amber heat warning has been issued by the Met Office.

This means heat-related illnesses including sunburn and heat exhaustion are “likely” among the general population, and delays to public transport are “possible”.

Meanwhile, yellow thunderstorm warnings are in place from noon on Sunday until 6am on Monday for most of Scotland and Northern Ireland, and from 10am until midnight for Wales and England.

(PA Graphics)

Met Office meteorologist Dan Stroud said that the weather will continue to be dry across the south.

“For the rest of the weekend, across the south, there will be a continuation of the very dry and hot conditions,” he said.

“We’re looking at temperatures, for the remainder of Saturday, of up to 34C or 35C across the south, feeling a little bit fresher across the north, but temperatures up there still well above where they should be for the time of year.

“As we move into, into Sunday, a slight change with low pressure starting to arrive from the south.

“There is an increasing risk of some isolated showers across Devon and Cornwall, very early on Sunday.

“Most places still generally dry and fine, with some strong August sunshine, with those temperatures rising rapidly during the course of Sunday morning and into the afternoon.”

He added that there was still a risk of more wildfires.

“It has been extremely dry for an extended period and the ground and vegetation has been baked dry, so there is a significant risk.”

Summer weather Aug 13th 2022
People sit on the dry grass of Primrose Hill, north London (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

An official drought was declared in eight areas of England on Friday by the National Drought Group (NDG), which comprises representatives from the Government, water companies, the Environment Agency (EA) and others.

England’s drought could persist into the next year, according to the EA.

John Curtin, executive director for local operations at the EA, said that after the driest summer in 50 years, it would take “weeks’ worth of rain” to replenish water sources.

Three water companies, Welsh Water, Southern Water, and South East Water, have all imposed hosepipe bans, while Yorkshire Water has announced a ban will start on August 26 and Thames Water is planning one in the coming weeks.

On Friday night, fire crews in Derbyshire tackled a huge blaze, with four fire engines at the scene in Creswell, Worksop.

Footage shared online showed flames filling the horizon and large plumes of smoke in the sky above a residential area.

In Dorset, a team of firefighters worked through the night to bring a wildfire at Studland under control, which was believed to have been sparked by a disposable barbecue.

Dorset Police said on Saturday firefighters had discovered an unexploded piece of ammunition believed to date to the Second World War on the scorched heathland.

The force said a bomb disposal unit would be attending and warned the public in the surrounding area they may hear a loud bang as they dispose of the device.

It comes as Dorset Police appealed for anyone with any information about the cause of a large heath fire in Poole on August 4 to come forward.

Witnesses saw three young boys on bicycles making off from the scene at Upton Heath at about 2.30pm.

The fire had a “significant” impact on the community, and took firefighters several hours to put out.

(PA Graphics)

Elsewhere, Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service is currently battling a large wildfire in the town of Camborne.

At just after 3pm, the service said eight fire appliances were trying to control the blaze on Kerrier Way.

At 4.20pm, it asked the public to stay away from the scene, which is close to a residential area, due to the potential of live electric wires falling, and to allow further fire engine to reach the fire.

While a body was found in a Doncaster lake after emergency services responded to reports that a man in his 20s had got into difficulty.

Emergency services attended the scene at Lakeside lake at around 4.10pm on Saturday, South Yorkshire Police said.

The sweltering temperatures also affected the Bristol Balloon Fiesta, where a planned mass take-off at 6pm had to be cancelled.

The event’s organisers said that, in very hot weather, the hot air balloons rise so high they can get caught in currents of air high up in the atmosphere, which is dangerous for the pilots and crew.

The Nightglow event, where balloons perform a light show, is due to take place at 9pm as planned.

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