Another heat wave on its way

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The Independent Online
MORE hot and humid weather, with temperatures into the eighties, is expected over much of Britain this week, writes Glenda Cooper.

The current heat wave ended temporarily yesterday as a cold front finally broke the unpleasantly muggy spell across the country. But the London Weather Centre said that heat and humidity were likely to be back by Tuesday with temperatures once more reaching 26 to 27 Celsius (80F).

Temperatures today and tomorrow, however, will be much more the seasonal norm, at around 21-22C (70-72F) in the south, and 18-20C (64-68F) further north.

Last week temperatures as high as 30C (86F) were reported in Doncaster on Wednesday and 32C (90F) at Heathrow on Thursday, while high humidity levels made the warm weather barely tolerable at times. On Friday, the south remained stifling, and the weather centre reported temperatures of 29C (84F) on its roof in central London, 30C at Gatwick Airport and 31C (88F) at Southend - comparable to Athens, Istanbul and Hong Kong. But southern Spain provided the hottest spot in Europe, with Seville recording 44C (111F).

The recent high temperatures and humidity are thought to have killed more than 800 people in America's Mid West, while Shanghai is experiencing its worst heat wave in 50 years. Three fatal heart attacks in France and 12 in southern Spain have been blamed on the heat.

In Doncaster, an eight-year-old boy was found drowned in his bath on Thursday after playing out in the sun all day. It is thought he may have suffered heatstroke and passed out, although a post-mortem examination proved inconclusive. An inquest will be held next week.