Heatwave havoc in Britain as 'extreme' temperatures set to climb to 37C

Heatwave havoc in Britain as 'extreme' temperatures set to climb to 37C

On the roads, motorists were warned of lightning, flash flooding and large hailstones, with a thunderstorm warning in place for Friday afternoon until just before midnight.

Temperatures of 33.3C were recorded at Santon Downham in Suffolk on Monday, the first day of the school summer holidays. Maximum temperature 23 °C.

Several places have had 54 consecutive dry days since 30 May including a few that have had less than 1mm of rain in the entire 54-day period - the longest spell since 1969, when 70 days passed with no significant rainfall, according to the Met Office.

Richard Miles, also of the Met Office, said: "Enjoy the showers while you can and get ready for warmer temperatures again toward the end of next week".

There is the potential for thunderstorms to develop during Friday afternoon, lasting well into the evening and perhaps developing into larger areas of heavy rain.

Although temperatures continue to rise, this hot and humid weather is a trigger for heavy rain and thunderstorms, both of which are set to hit Sheffield this weekend. Temperatures should stay in the high teens or low 20s.

"Some trusts are reporting record numbers of people coming into A&E, with increased emergency admissions, often for respiratory problems and conditions made worse by dehydration", said Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers.

The RAC said it was expecting breakdowns to be about 15-20% higher than they would normally expect for late July, adding that breakdowns were already up 25% in London.

Fire brigades also called for a ban on BBQs in parks and drivers were urged not to throw rubbish following a string of grassland fires in recent weeks.

Hospitals, too, have been affected by the heat.

"This extra activity is leading to delays for patients requiring planned operations such as knee and hip replacements".

Blood supplies have dropped, health officials have said, saying some people have been too dehydrated to donate while others have chosen to stay in the sun.

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