Extreme weather in the UK: heat and fires in the south, storms and floods in the north this weekend | UK News

More extreme heat and drought conditions, and the potential for wildfires, are expected in the southern half of the UK this weekend – while the northern half is expected to be hit by thunderstorms and flooding.

The Met Office has issued an orange heat warning covering most of England and Wales, where temperatures of up to 34C (93.2F) are forecast for Saturday and Sunday.

Wiggonholt in the Horsham district of West Sussex peaked at 34.5C (94.1F) on Friday.

With an amber alert, heat-related illnesses, including sunburn and heat exhaustion, are “likely” in the general population, and public transport delays are “possible”.

Meanwhile, a lower level yellow warning for thunderstorms is in place from noon Sunday to 6am Monday for most of Scotland and Northern Ireland.

This means there is a “small chance” of flooding in these countries and potential for power cuts.

Image:
A parched golf course is seen from a balloon at the annual Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

The highest predicted daytime temperature of 34C is forecast for the South East on Saturday, with 32C (89.6F) expected in London and 27C (80.6F) in Edinburgh.

Temperatures around 30°C (86°F) are expected further north in England, while much of Scotland and Northern Ireland can expect temperatures in the mid-twenties.

It comes after an official drought has been declared in eight regions of England Friday by the National Drought Group, which includes representatives from government, water companies, the Environment Agency (EA) and others.

Car tires are seen in an area exposed to low water levels at Baitings Reservoir in Yorkshire as record high temperatures are seen in the UK, Ripponden, England, Friday August 12, 2022. Low levels of water to the reservoir revealed, among other things, the remnants of the old road that flooded to build the reservoir in the 1950s. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
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Low water levels at Baitings Reservoir in Yorkshire have exposed long-hidden debris

Three water companies – Welsh Water, Southern Water and South East Water – have all imposed garden hose banswhile Yorkshire Water has announced a ban will start on August 26 and Thames Water is planning one in the coming weeks.

Residents of the areas shown on the map below can expect to see restrictions placed on domestic and commercial water use.

drought regions in England

Meanwhile, fire crews across Britain remain under pressure from the high risk of wildfires following the prolonged dry spell.

Derbyshire crews were still battling a massive blaze late Friday night, with four fire engines at the scene in Creswell, Worksop.

Footage shared online showed flames filling the horizon and large plumes of smoke in the sky above a residential area.

A person walks near a fire warning sign after a long spell of hot weather and little rainfall, in Richmond Park, London, Britain August 4, 2022. REUTERS/Toby Melville

The Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service also fought embankment fires next to a railway in Matlock and near Junction 26 of the M1.

The department said it was “expecting a busy weekend” of new fires and, echoing calls from fire departments across the country, asked people to refrain from lighting bonfires in garden or using portable barbecues.

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With parts of the UK currently in drought, Sky News brings you a special program exploring the impact and causes

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Some 35 firefighters were also deployed to tackle a two-hectare blaze at Leyton Flats Wildlife Reserve in Waltham Forest, east London.

London fire crews were captured battling flames at the scene.

The service said there were no ongoing fires in the capital as of 9 p.m. Friday.

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The drought in England could persist into next year, according to the EA.

John Curtin, executive director of local operations at EA, said after the driest summer in 50 years, it would take “weeks of rain” to replenish water sources.

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How the UK landscape changed during the summer heatwave

Read more: What happens during a drought and how can you help?

The announcement could lead to other measures such as a hosepipe ban, however, the EA has reassured that essential public water supplies are safe.

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