East Anglia: Met Office issues weekend heatwave warning

Temperatures are set to soar in Suffolk. Isaac and Richard Plank making sand castles on Felixstowe

Temperatures are set to soar in Suffolk. Isaac and Richard Plank making sand castles on Felixstowe beach this week. - Credit: Archant

People across Suffolk and Essex have been warned to prepare for a stiflingly hot weekend after the Met Office issued heatwave warning.

The Level 2 heatwave alert applies to the East of England on Saturday and Sunday.

A Level 2 alert indicates a 60% or more probability of heatwave conditions on two or more consecutive days.

People have been encouraged to take precautions to stay cool over the weekend and look out for those at particular risk, including older people, babies and young children, and people with a serious chronic condition, particularly breathing or heart problems.

Dr Christopher Browning, a GP and chairman of the NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “In terms of advice to stay cool in the high temperatures, mostly it’s a matter of common sense.

“Listen to your local weather forecast, and plan ahead to reduce the risk of ill health from the heat. Also, keep out of the heat – avoid going out in the hottest part of the day (11am – 3pm) and if you must go out, stay in the shade.

“Wear a hat and light, loose fitting clothes, preferably cotton. And if you’ll be outside for some time, think ahead – and take plenty of water with you.”

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And David McCullough, chief executive of the Royal Voluntary Service, said that while most people can enjoy the sunshine, it was easy to forget that a heatwave can affect some older people “very badly”.

He said: “Royal Voluntary Service volunteers do everything possible to make sure that the older people who use our services have what they need to stay well, but we are calling on the public to make sure their older friends and neighbours are coping with such hot weather.

“Simple steps, such as sipping on cold drinks rather than a usual cup of tea, and staying inside during the hottest part of the day, can make a big difference to staying healthy and happy during the heatwave.”

Weatherquest forecaster Chris Bell said temperatures could reach as high as 29C over the weekend.

He said: “High pressure has been bringing us dry weather for the last week or so. The main concern is going to be on Saturday and there is a potential that we could get 27C or 28C, maybe even 29C and it is likely to be a bit more humid, which is what has brought this heatwave warning from the Met Office.

“And it will be a lot warmer on the coast than it has been because there will be much less wind around.”

Other tips for staying cool:

A loose, cotton, damp cloth or scarf on the back of the neck, or spraying or splashing your face and the back of your neck with cold water several times a day can help keep you cool.

Stay inside, in the coolest rooms in your home, as much as possible.

Reduce heat from sunlight coming through the windows. External shading, e.g. shutters, is best. Metal blinds and dark curtains may absorb heat and make the room warmer – it is best to use pale curtains or reflective material.

Keep windows closed while the room is cooler than it is outside. Open them when the temperature inside rises, and at night for ventilation.

If you are worried about security, at least open windows on the first floor and above.

Indoor and outdoor plants will help keep your home cool due to evaporation and the shading from trees and bushes.

Take cool showers or baths.

Drink regularly even if you do not feel thirsty – water or fruit juice are best.

Try to avoid alcohol, tea and coffee. They make dehydration worse.

Eat as you normally would. Try to eat more cold food, particularly salads and fruit, which contain water.

Seek advice if you have any concerns:

Contact your doctor, a pharmacist or NHS 111 if you are worried about your health during a heatwave, especially if you are taking medication, if you feel unwell or have any unusual symptoms.