Heat wave set to rock region

A MEDITERRANEAN heat wave is set to hit the region this week, with temperatures set to exceed those in Tenerife, Lisbon and Majorca.

Naomi Cassidy

A MEDITERRANEAN heat wave is set to hit the region this week, with temperatures set to exceed those in Tenerife, Lisbon and Majorca.

Already Suffolk and Essex has experienced soaring temperatures, prompting health officials to issue strong advice about what measures to take to avoid conditions like heat stroke and dehydration.

Yesterday was the hottest day in Suffolk for ten months, reaching a hot 26C (78F) and the rest of this week will be pushing 28C (82F). There be some respite on Thursday night and Friday, with heavy rain and thunderstorms predicted.

The cause of the extreme heat is a hot and humid airstream coming from Italy and the south of France, according to weather experts.

A spokesman for Weatherquest said: “Suffolk, particularly the western part, and west Essex will see temperatures of 26/27/28 Celsius this week. It will feel very humid and very warm. There will be a bit of cloud closer to the coast but it will still feel hot.

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“On Thursday night and Friday we will start to see heavy showers moving in from the west.

“There will be no respite at night, as it will be a very warm 13C (55F).”

Ipswich weather expert Ken Blowers said: “The 60-year average for June is 19C (66F). The British Isles is bathed in hot air, with very warm to hot, humid weather due over the coming few days.

“It's unusual to get this far into the year without reaching 80F (26C).”

Last week the Department of Health issued advice about what precautions to take during a heat wave, including keeping windows shaded and staying inside for the hottest part of the day.

The Met Office has triggered the Heat wave Plan alert level two, which means there is a 60 per cent risk that high temperatures will be reached in one or more regions in the UK on at least two consecutive days.

For those that are taking care in the heat, tourism bosses in Suffolk and Essex claim there is plenty to keep you occupied.

As East Anglia is set to be hotter than many popular holiday destinations, they claim this is the best time to explore the local area.

Alex Paul, tourism manager for Choose Suffolk, said: “Suffolk has got wonderful things to offer in the hot and cold weather. Get out there and enjoy it. There is so much to do on your doorstep.”

Among his suggestions to enjoy a sunny Suffolk were to head to the coast and explore the beaches, including Aldeburgh and Southwold.

Karen Turnbull, tourism and enterprise officer at Colchester Borough Council, said: “There has never been a better opportunity for people to discover what is on their doorstep, especially with the Euro being so high.

“If the weather gets too much there are also some cooler indoor attractions to escape the heat, like Colchester Castle.”

Ladbrokes, the bookmaker, has reduced the odds of the mercury rising above the highest temperature ever recorded in the UK from 8/1 to 7/1.

Advice on staying cool:-

- If you can't avoid strenuous outdoor activity, like sport, DIY, or gardening, keep it for cooler parts of the day, like early morning or evening

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

- Watch for cramp in your arms, legs or stomach, feelings of mild confusion, weakness or problems sleeping

- If you have these symptoms, rest for several hours, keep cool and drink water or fruit juice. Seek medical advice if they get worse or don't go away