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First amber weather warning for extreme heat issued as high temperatures set to hit Christchurch and New Forest

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HIGH temperatures are set to continue in Christchurch and the New Forest until Thursday, with the Met Office issuing its first ever amber extreme heat warning.

The baking-hot conditions, which which may reach 33C, are expected both by day and night, peaking Thursday before temperatures fall on Friday.

This brings a health warning from the national weather agency, with residents urged to beware sunburn or heat exhaustion – dehydration, nausea, fatigue – and other heat-related illnesses.

The amber heat warning covers a large part of the south-west
The amber heat warning covers a large part of the south-west

Heat-sensitive systems and equipment may fail, leading to power cuts and the loss of other services to homes and businesses.

There may also be delays to road, rail and air travel, with potential for health issues for those experiencing prolonged delays, and a high risk of wildfires.

Met Office chief operational meteorologist Steven Ramsdale said: “The high temperatures are going to continue through a large part of this week. Many areas will continue to reach heatwave thresholds but the amber extreme heat warning focuses on western areas where the most unusually high temperatures are likely to persist.

“There’s a continuing risk of isolated thundery downpours late in the afternoons but most areas will stay dry until later in the week. Temperatures should begin to fall for most areas heading into the weekend, with some more unsettled conditions looking to develop.”

The Met Office has also issued these heatwave guidelines:

  • Look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated. Older people, those with underlying conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk.
  • If you live alone, ask a relative or friend to phone to check that you are not having difficulties during periods of extreme heat.
  • Stay cool indoors: some of us will spend more time at home this summer so know how to keep your home cool.
  • Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors.
  • If going outdoors, use cool spaces considerately, keep your distance in line with social distancing guidelines.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol.
  • Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals.
  • Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm, when the UV rays are strongest.
  • Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat.
  • Avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day.
  • Make sure you take water with you, if you are travelling.
  • Check the latest weather forecast and temperature warnings – you can find these on TV, radio, mobile app or website.
  • During warm weather going for a swim can provide much welcomed relief, take care and follow local safety advice, if you are going into open water to cool down.

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