The red signal for a heatwave “should be taken as seriously as the forecast for a hurricane”

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People should treat the heatwave as seriously as they would any other extreme weather, according to a stern warning from a Met Office official.

In anticipation of temperatures reaching 40°C the next week, the nation is currently operating on an emergency basis.

The Met Office has issued its first-ever Level 4 red warning for high heat ahead of the heatwave.

The alert is in effect from Monday at midnight till Tuesday.

“A heatwave is so intense and/or sustained that its impacts reach outside the health and social care system,” according to the advisory.

At this level, disease and mortality can affect healthy individuals as well as high-risk groups.

One of the leading forecasters at the Met Office has cautioned that the impending weather offers a serious risk and that the heatwave is not an opportunity “to go and play in the sun.”

The severe heat anticipated, according to Met Office CEO Penny Endersby, is “totally unprecedented.”

We’ve observed that when climate change has caused previously unheard-of severe weather occurrences all around the world, it can be challenging for individuals to act wisely because nothing in their life experiences has prepared them for what to expect, the expert added.

‘In the UK, we’re used to taking a hot spell as an opportunity to go outside and enjoy the sun. This is not that kind of weather, and our infrastructure and way of life have not been prepared for what is coming.

“Please take these warnings as seriously as you would a red or amber for wind or snow from us.”

Climate change linked to human activity is to blame for the extreme temperatures (Picture: Met Office)

During the warning period, Ms. Enderson advised residents to remain out of the sun, keep their homes cool, and consider changing their plans.

If you must go outside, she advised wearing a hat and sunscreen, staying as much as you can in the shade, and carrying drink.

Don’t leave people or animals in hot cars, and keep an eye out for your loved ones and neighbors, especially the weaker members of the community.

“To ensure that we provide you with the best information possible, our forecasters will continue to work around the clock. I appreciate your good care.

According to the Met Office, the severe heat is a result of climate change.

Wildfires have taken hold during the heatwave in Dorset (Picture: VerwoodFireStation/BNPS)
The UK is drying out in the heatwave (Picture: PA)

Although extreme heat can occur naturally, the forecaster claimed that human activity is to blame for the UK’s increased frequency of hotter days and longer hot spells in recent years. Dr. Nikos Christidis, a climate attribution scientist at the Met Office, said, “We hoped we wouldn’t get to this situation, but for the first time ever we are projecting greater than 40°C in the UK.”

In a recent study, we discovered that the probability of extremely hot days in the UK has been rising and will do so for the rest of the century, with the southeast of England likely to experience the most extreme temperatures.

In the UK, the risk of temperature extremes has already been impacted by climate change.

“The risk of reaching 40°C anywhere in the UK in a given year has also been fast growing,” the study noted. “Such extremes might be occurring every 15 years in the climate of 2100, even with present targets on carbon reductions.”

According to the Met Office, the likelihood of 40°C days in the UK may be up to 10 times higher in the current climate than it would be in a naturally occurring climate free from human impact.

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