Heatwave to end next week as forecasters predict rain is on the way for summer …

As children across Wales break up from school to enjoy the sizzling weather today, forecasters have burst the bubble of excitement, predicting that much of the summer holidays could see rain.

After 12 days of unbroken sunshine and soaring temperatures, it now seems the longest heatwave seen in this country for seven years is coming to an end.

The Met Office has today said that after the middle of next week “confidence is low” about continued sunshine into August.

Forecaster Lindsay Mears said: “Towards the end of next week generally more unsettled weather is likely across Wales,  with thundery outbreaks increasingly affecting southern, western and central parts of the UK.

“It will however remain very warm in many places. Thereafter, confidence is currently low; however more unsettled weather is most likely with temperatures noticeably cooler than of late.”


View gallery

View gallery


 

Forecaster John Ejdowski from WeatherWeb said conditions were due to change by Thursday.

“There has been some disagreement on some of the models over the exact day when the weather is going to break, but it looks as though showers will develop across Wales on Wednesday.

“It is still going to remain quite hot on that day with temperatures still around 27- 29°C,  but then on Thursday, there will be more cloud and the risk of showers pretty much across most of Wales and England and temperatures will drop to around 19 to 21°C”

Mr Ejdowski said the unsettled period could last until the first week of August.

“It looks like the second half of August will be much better than the first, with cloud and rain more likely with temperatures settling to around 19°C.”

The news will be welcomed by firefighters across the country, who were today bracing themselves for an outbreak of wildfires as the country sweltered in its longest heatwave for seven years.

With rainfall at only around 15% of average monthly totals so far, the Met Office has warned that there is an “elevated risk” of fires in the countryside.

A spokesman said: “I can confirm that the advice given to our governmental partners is that there is an elevated risk of fires in the next couple of days.”

A helicopter dumps water on a fire in Wattsville
A helicopter dumps water on a fire in Wattsville

 

Firefighters in South Wales attended one such fire in Wattsville this morning having already dealt with a major grassfire incident earlier this week.

On Wednesday firefighters in Rhondda Cynon Taf, used a helicopter to drop a tonne of water at a time on a 30-acre grass and tree fire on Rhigos Mountain. The fire broke out in the Beili Glas plantation at around 9am on Wednesday and took several hours to bring under control.

Karl Kitchen, the Met Office scientist with responsibility for wildfires, said that soon-to-be harvested crops such as wheat and winter barley are looking particularly vulnerable to fire.

Firefighters in Mid and West Wales have already warned of the dangers posed by grass fires and said that many were caused deliberately.

Steve Davies, from the arson reduction team for Mid and West Wales Fire Rescue Service, said: “Many of the fires we attend are deliberately set which is very frustrating for us.

“These fires can have devastating effects on communities, posing a risk to life and property, not to mention the destructive effects to the wildlife and environment.”

On Thursday, a blaze burned through grass and gorse the equivalent of four football pitches in Mitcham, south London, before it was brought under control.

The country experienced the hottest day of the year so far on Wednesday, with the mercury hitting 32.2C (90F).

As Friday’s temperatures in Wales were expected to be slightly cooler – but still  at a balmy 27C, health officials advised people to stay cool, drink lots of cold fluids and keep an eye on those they know to be at risk.


View gallery

View gallery


 

Dr Angie Bone, heatwave plan leader for PHE, said: “In this continued hot weather, it’s important to remember that high temperatures can be dangerous, especially for people who may be vulnerable such as older people, young children and those with serious illnesses.

“During very hot weather, pregnant women and people who have chronic illnesses, including cardiovascular, respiratory, renal conditions, diabetes or Parkinson’s disease, may experience discomfort if indoor temperatures are particularly hot and in using public transport.”

A four-week-old baby was among 10 children admitted to one hospital in the South East with sunburn since the period of hot weather began.

Reports of dogs being left in cars with windows closed in the sweltering conditions have also prompted warnings from the police.

Police and fire chiefs have also reiterated warnings about escaping the heat by swimming in open water after a number of deaths in recent weeks.

Four people died in separate incidents on Tuesday in lakes, rivers and the sea in Norfolk, the Shropshire-north Wales border and Cornwall.

The sizzling temperatures are  also having an impact on roads in Wales and could affect traffic into one of wales’ most popular seaside resorts..

Pembrokeshire Council is having to carry out emergency repairs to one of the busiest roads into of Tenby after it deteriorated in the hot weather.

The surface of a section of the A4218 known as Broadwell Hayes – between Serpentine Road towards The Green  has begun breaking up in the last 48 hours and the Council is ‘concerned about its integrity’.

“In the interest of safety we need to carry out emergency repairs as quickly as possible and will begin work on resurfacing the road from 7am on Tuesday” said Councillor Rob Lewis, the Authority’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Planning.

“We anticipate the work will last three or four days.”

He said  the road will remain open and traffic management will be via Stop and Go boards. Pedestrian access will also be maintained at all times.

Article source: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/heatwave-end-next-week-forecasters-5151447