The British weather service issued an amber “Extreme Heat” warning for parts of England and Wales on Tuesday, with no relief in sight from the hot, dry weather that has started fires, broken temperature records, and taxed the nation’s infrastructure.

The amber warning, the second-most severe after red, will be in effect from Thursday to the end of Sunday, and it implies that persons who are susceptible to excessive heat may suffer health consequences, according to the UK Met Office.

Temperatures are forecast to reach 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) on Friday and may reach 36 degrees Celsius in certain areas on Saturday.

The warning comes after England experienced its driest July since 1935, when temperatures surpassed 40 degrees Celsius for the first time, drawing attention to the effects of climate change. 

Other European countries have also experienced a searing heatwave in recent weeks, with temperatures frequently topping 40 degrees Celsius.

Britain, which is not accustomed to such high temperatures, has failed to keep up. 

The heatwave in July caused power outages, damaged airport runways, cracked rail tracks, and sparked hundreds of fires in London, where the fire department had its busiest week since World War II.

Several water suppliers have since imposed usage limitations, while supermarkets have restricted sales of disposable BBQs, which firemen say can cause tinder-dry grass to catch fire. Hundreds of calls to ambulance services have been received from patients experiencing breathing difficulties, disorientation, and fainting. 

The amber warning, which comes on the heels of the country’s first-ever red “Extreme Heat” warning in July, includes majority of the southern half of England and parts of eastern Wales.

According to scientists, climate change has rendered the July heatwave at least ten times more likely.

Source: Reuters

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