Tuesday, 16 July 2013


At last the UK seems to be having a summer. Long sunny spells day after day is pleasant and much needed. The flowers are looking very colourful, the grass is getting patchier and the animals are lethargic (as are some of the human beings.)

Smells of barbecues waft through the evening air as does the drifting 'fluff' from the plane trees. It is really good to see the butterflies abroad in the air and so many varieties, small and large.

However, there is always a down side and that's the vulnerable in our society who suffer from the heat. It's not often in the UK we talk about a heatwave. A couple of the tabloid national newspapers are obsessed with the weather and are always reporting extremes of weather that never actually arrive - you know who you are Daily Express (to name but one), but this time heatwave does have the necessary credentials to hit the headlines to protect people.

What is a heatwave? In the UK there are some thresholds for it to be declared a heatwave.  This is what the Met Office produce on their website

Threshold temperatures
RegionDay max (°C)Night min (°C)
North East England 2815
North West England 3015
Yorkshire & Humber2915
East Midlands 3015
West Midlands 3015
East of England 3015
South East England 3116
South West England 3015

These temperatures could have significant effect on health if reached on at least two consecutive days and the intervening night.

Here in Yorkshire and the Humber, we are fluctuating between a green and yellow alert.

A level one alert (green)  means

This is the minimum state of vigilance during the summer. During this time social and health care services will ensure that all awareness and background preparedness work is ongoing.

A level two alert (yellow) means

Triggered as soon as the risk is 60% or above for threshold temperatures being reached in one or more regions on at least two consecutive days and the intervening night. This is an important stage for social and health care services who will be working to ensure readiness and swift action to reduce harm from a potential heatwave.

A level three alert (amber) means

Triggered when the Met Office confirms threshold temperatures for one or more regions have been reached for one day and the following night, and the forecast for the next day is greater than 90% confidence that the day threshold will be met. This stage requires social and health care services to target specific actions at high-risk groups.

A level four alert (red) means

Reached when a heatwave is so severe and/or prolonged that its effects extend outside the health and social care system. At this level, illness and death may occur among the fit and healthy, and not just in high-risk groups

So take sensible precautions, stay well and if you can, enjoy the warmth

Chat soon



  1. I'm so glad our new home has lots of windows and doors. We can get the breeze straight off the Pacific Ocean and often it is cooler inside than out. I really don't think we are going to need the air conditioner unless it gets really, really humid. I suppose Britain's humidity must be pretty high. We never used to worry about things like that when I lived there. But here if the humidity get higher than the mid sixties -- which it does frequently, I am good for nothing!

  2. Hi ChrisJ
    Humidity not bad but will increase dramatically next week, Tuesday and Wednesday and storms predicted :(