Government health warning: it may be sunny this weekend

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The Independent Online

High temperatures were accompanied by a government health warning yesterday.

High temperatures were accompanied by a government health warning yesterday.

As temperatures peaked at 26C in the Midlands and Cotswolds, asthma and hay fever sufferers were urged to take precautions against exposure to high levels of ozone, produced when sunlight reacts with polluting gases.

Scientists from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said the threat to anyone with respiratory problems would persist until tomorrow, when temperatures should fall. Saturday was predicted to be noticeably cooler with some brisk winds across the southern half of the country. Spells of rain are forecast for Easter Day with spells of heavy rain forecast for Monday, a bank holiday.

Alun Michael, the minister responsible for air quality, said asthmatics should avoid exercise in the afternoon and carry inhalers. He asked people to help them by cutting down on car journeys. "By walking, cycling or making use of public transport, we can all help to improve air quality," he said.

Worcester and Cheltenham recorded the top temperatures yesterday – higher than Greece, Italy and coastal Spain.

As the weather breaks, forecasters predicted the sunniest place on Sunday and Monday would be the west coast of Scotland.

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