Hot spell to take a summer break

SUN WORSHIPPERS were advised yesterday to make the most of Britain's hot weather because experts say that it is likely to come to an abrupt end.

After a week when almost the entire country has been bathed in sunshine, forecasters at the Meteorological Office warned that, for the time being at least, temperatures will drop.

Yesterday the first hints of a turn were illustrated by flash floods in Wolverhampton up to five feet deep and closures on the M9 motroway in central Scotland following sudden downpours.

Last week, temperatures in many areas consistently exceeded 30C (almost 86F) for the first time this year, with Barbourne in Hereford and Worcester topping the heat league at 31.6C (the hottest recorded this year). Weather forecasters issued smog warnings, saying that asthma sufferers would notice "significant effects" from air pollution.

By the middle of this week temperatures in England and Wales should fall to below 25C and they are expected to stay at that level for the near future.

London will continue to be Britain's warmest big city with temperatures slightly over 25C, while cloudy Aberdeen will be the coolest of Britain's major centres with temperatures dipping to around 17C.

The Met Office spokesman reassured Britain's sun lovers that there could well be more hot snaps this year. "This is not the end of summer as there are likely to be more hot periods in the year," he said.

Asthma sufferers will not mind slightly lower temperatures. Soaring thermometers encourage motorists to head to the coast to lap up the sun, thus raising the level of pollutants in the atmosphere which in turn can lead to more attacks.

"Individual asthma sufferers will have different triggers, but many are affected by poor air quality," a spokeswoman for the National Asthma Campaign said. "We advise people who are particularly affected by poor air to call the Air Pollution Information Service regularly for information about their areas."

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