UK weather today heatwave forecast: Ministers to hold emergency Cobra meeting as deadly heatwave looms

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Hot weather in the UK: how to stay cool during a heat wave

Ministers will hold another emergency Cobra meeting on the UK heat wave as life-threatening temperatures loom.

The Met Office says 40C could be on the cards next week for the first time in UK history, with temperatures set to soar on Monday and Tuesday.

It has issued its first red extreme heat warning for many parts of England, meaning extreme weather could lead to ‘serious illness or life threatening’.

A national emergency is also declared over a heat wave for the first time in the country’s history, bringing warning and healthy people could get sick and even die from the heat.

The threshold is reached when a heat wave is “so severe” or “prolonged” that its impacts extend beyond the health sector – which has faced intense pressure due to soaring temperatures.

Temperatures are expected to soar on Monday and Tuesday, with Transport for London telling the public to only take essential journeys to stay safe.

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‘Only travel is essential’ at start of next week, says TfL

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Another Cobra meeting during the heatwave

There will be another Cobra meeting this afternoon.

A government spokesman said Kit Malthouse, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, would chair it.

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TfL urges Londoners to avoid travel early next week

Expected extreme temperatures prompted Londoners to refrain from traveling on Monday and Tuesday.

Transport for London (TfL) is advising passengers to only travel on ‘essential journeys’ due to ‘unusually hot weather’.

Andy Lord, its chief operating officer, said the network expected the temporary speed restrictions to affect services, so those needing to travel should check before you go.

“It is also vital that customers always have water with them when travelling,” he added.

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Firefighters say don’t swim in open water

Firefighters are warning people to stay away from open water during the heat:

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Saturday’s forecast

What does the Met Office say about the weather today? Let’s take a look:

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What is a National Heatwave Emergency?

The UK has declared its first national Level 4 heatwave emergency as forecasters warn temperatures could reach 40C next week.

Government officials met regularly to assess the impact of the heat wave that hit Britain and announced a Level 4 warning on Friday.

It comes as the Met Office has issued a rare red warning for many parts of England meaning extreme weather conditions could lead to “serious illness or life threatening”.

This means that “exceptional temperatures, possibly record high”, are likely on Monday, then again on Tuesday.

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‘A few showers’ forecast for parts of Northern Ireland and Scotland

Parts of Northern Ireland and Scotland could get some respite with “a few showers” forecast by the Met Office for Saturday.

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Police brace for rise in UK crime linked to heatwave

Police are preparing for a rise in crime across Britain linked to the ongoing heatwave and the cost of living crisis.

Police and Crime Commissioners (CCPs) have urged forces to be prepared for the expected increase in vandalism, fighting, theft, shoplifting and anti-social behavior.

Calls to 999 and 101 are already said to be “going through the roof” across the country, with no clear cause.

Festus Akinbusoye, the Bedfordshire PCC, told a press conference in London: ‘I think this summer will pose challenges for the police as it is the first real summer in three years without any sort of lockdown.

“If it continues to be this hot, that’s another challenge and the trifecta on top of that is the cost of living. Having this combination could potentially create a difficult and demanding time for law enforcement.

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‘It’s not that kind of weather’: Met Office chief urges people to stay safe

Met Office chief executive Penny Endersby has issued an urgent plea for Britons not to take next week’s extreme heat lightly.

Calling the forecast “absolutely unprecedented”, she said: “We’ve seen when climate change has led to unprecedented severe weather events around the world, it can be difficult for people to make the best decisions in these situations because that nothing in their life experience has led them to know what to expect.

“Here in the UK we tend to treat a hot spell as a chance to go play in the sun. It’s not that kind of weather. Our ways of life and our infrastructures are not adapted to what is to come.

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Government ‘asleep at the wheel’ in face of extreme weather, says Labor Party

Labor has accused ministers of being ‘asleep at the wheel’, calling for advice on ‘safe indoor working temperatures’, my colleague Simon Murphy reports.

Deputy Chief Angela Rayner said: ‘Ministers are missing in action when we need a real, properly communicated plan on how essential services will be delivered and how people will be protected.

Cabinet Minister Kit Malthouse chaired a Cobra Emergency Committee meeting on Thursday to discuss the heat wave and will hold another Cobra Ministerial on Saturday.

Downing Street said officials would continue to meet over the weekend and that “the Prime Minister is being kept up to date with all the latest information”.

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