Whilst it’s generally agreed that getting out and about in the fresh air and sunshine is good for our health – the current heatwave is decidedly not. The Met Office issued an Amber Level 3 Health Alert on 23rd July as temperatures in some parts of the country rose to 33 degrees celsius. Here are some ways you can stay cool in the home and out and about. See below for the official Met Office stats for July 2018.
When you are outside stay out of the sun as much as possible and walk on the shady side of the street. Consider taking a break inside somewhere cool. Visiting public places, e.g. supermarkets, churches, galleries, libraries and cinemas will help you to cool down. When outside wear loose, cool clothing and always use sun protection, wear a hat and sunglasses. Don’t be in the sun during the hottest parts of the day between 11am and 3pm.
At home and outside, keep drinking fluids, and make sure you carry a bottle of water around with you. Avoid excess alcohol, caffeine (tea, coffee and cola) or drinks high in sugar.
Keep your home as cool as possible; it may seem extreme to close the curtains and pull down blinds, but this will help. There is a reason why wooden shutters and blinds are prevalent in Mediterranean countries, so take a tip from them. Also, don’t open your windows during the day, you will be letting in hot air. Wait until the evening when the temperature has gone down and the air will be cool. Move to a cooler part of the house if possible, one that is North facing perhaps.
Take cool baths and showers if you feel you are overheating and place cold flannels or towels on your body to cool it down.
If you develop any symptoms of heat exhaustion like severe sweating, paleness, muscle aches, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, headaches, nausea or vomiting and feeling faint then cool the body down using some of the tips above and monitor the situation. If the symptoms get worse then call for medical assistance.
Most of this advice is common sense and whilst it may seem a shame not to enjoy the sunshine, the extreme temperatures we are experiencing can be life-threatening if you don’t take sensible precautions.
MET OFFICE STATS JULY 2018
The Met Office reported that the first half of July was dominated by high pressure and the first week in particular was very warm or hot, dry and sunny over a large majority of the country. The second week was similar but not generally as hot or sunny. The weather was a little less settled in the second half of the month, particularly in the north and west, but rainfall amounts remained small in many parts of the country until the last few days. The hottest spell of the month was between the 23rd and 26th, followed by a thundery breakdown. The last few days were more changeable with rain at times and this ensured that while the month was dry overall, it was not exceptionally so.
The provisional UK mean temperature was 17.3 °C, which is 2.2 °C above the 1981-2010 long-term average, making it provisionally the joint second warmest July (alongside 1983, after 2006) in a series from 1910. Mean maximum temperatures were over 4 °C above average in many central and southern parts of England but less than 2 °C above in parts of western Scotland and Northern Ireland. Mean minimum temperatures were mostly about 1 °C above average. Rainfall was 71% of average, and it was locally a very dry July, most especially in parts of Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, but most places were not exceptionally dry. Sunshine was 138% of average and it was provisionally the sixth sunniest July in a series since 1929, and sunniest relative to normal in England where it was provisionally the second sunniest July after 2006.
The UK monthly extremes were as follows:
A maximum temperature of 35.3 °C was recorded at Faversham (Kent) on the 26th.
A minimum temperature of 0.9 °C was recorded at Tulloch Bridge (Inverness-shire) on the 7th.
In the 24 hours ending at 0900 GMT on the 29th, 89.8 mm of rain fell at Aldergrove (County Antrim).
A wind gust of 57 knots (66 mph) was recorded at Needles (Isle of Wight) on the 29th.
The Met Office informs us that warm, sunny conditions will make a comeback in last week of August. They predict higher than average temperatures over the next three months, meaning Britain could be set for an Indian summer during late August, September and October.