UK weather: Warning of highest-ever UV levels as Britain set for hottest day of the year

Britain could experience ‘highest UV levels ever recorded’ warns professor

UK weather: The latest Met Office forecast

The UK could experience the hottest day of the year so far, with temperatures potentially getting as high as 34C on Thursday.

The Met Office said the mercury could rise to 33C in London, while there is a small chance that parts of Wales could be one degree warmer than the capital.

If these predictions are accurate, Thursday will see the warmest temperatures in the UK this year, surpassing the previous peak of 32.6C which was reached at London’s Heathrow Airport on Wednesday afternoon.

However, thunderstorms are expected to form in the late afternoon in the south of England, Wales, western Scotland and Northern Ireland because of the heat and humidity.

As a result, the Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for those areas until Friday morning, which indicates possible disruption due to flooding, lightning strikes, hail and wind.

Alex Deakin, a meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “If we do see them [thunderstorms], they could drop a lot of rain in a short space of time. There could be some big hailstones and a lot of lightning.”

In some places, between 30mm and 40mm of rain could fall in the space of a few hours.

Storms are also likely from midday on Friday until early on Saturday morning, with another yellow alert in place for the whole of the UK.

Warnings have also been given about the sunny conditions that will be felt across much of the UK on Thursday.

Dr Michaela Hegglin, associate professor in atmospheric chemistry at the University of Reading's Department of Meteorology, said that Britain could experience some of the "highest UV levels ever recorded" throughout the day.

She added: "This is because of a combination of factors. We are at the summer solstice, when the sun is almost directly overhead at one o'clock.

"UV levels this high are rare in the UK, so people with light skin should be very careful to avoid getting burnt.”

Health authorities have warned the most vulnerable to protect themselves amid the “exceptionally hot weather forecast this week”, with people being advised to stay cool and stay hydrated where possible.

There are also concerns that the good weather might threaten public health, after images on Wednesday showed members of the public flocking to beaches across the UK despite the social-distancing guidelines.

These photos came a day after Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, warned that people returning to “normal behaviour" would bring an increase in Covid-19 infections.

“If people hear a distorted version of what’s being said, that says ‘this is all fine now, it’s gone away’ and start behaving in ways that they normally would have before this virus happened, yes, we will get an uptick for sure,” he said.

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