Tourism chiefs and MPs have criticized ‘disturbing’ weather warnings issued by meteorologists amid predictions that the coming days could be the hottest of the year.
- Temperatures reached 29 degrees Celsius (84 Fahrenheit) in some parts and are expected to remain high
Tourism chiefs and MPs slammed the weather warnings yesterday as summer finally arrived.
Temperatures reached 29°C (84°F) in some parts and are expected to remain high and rise further, possibly surpassing this year’s high of 32.2°C (90°F) recorded in June.
This means that sun lovers, who flock to the beaches and parks, will enjoy better weather than Cuba, Athens and Ibiza this week.
But the UK’s Health Security Agency responded by issuing an amber health alert – used in situations that could put the entire population at risk.
It also warned of “significant impacts” on the NHS and increased death rates. She advised people to stay hydrated and stay cool.
But Conservative MP Peter Bone dismissed the “nanny-state” language, saying: “There will come a time when a real wake-up is needed because the temperatures are so high.” The danger is that if you issue it all the time, people ignore it. They should be careful about issuing alerts.
His colleague, Tory Giles Watling, MP for Clacton-on-Sea, added: “Obviously to those vulnerable people in society we have to say be careful, but personally I welcome the Indian summer.” Issuing a general warning to the entire population is an overstatement.
Read more: How hot is it where you live? The Met Office is forecasting it will be the ‘hottest September night on record’ tomorrow, as temperatures are set to reach 32C (90F) in the UK heatwave and Britain will be blanketed by a Saharan dust plume.
Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg described the warning as “ridiculously exaggerated”, adding: “The state has no right to ask you to apply sun cream or drink water.” Malcolm Bell, spokesperson and until recently CEO of Visit Cornwall, noted that “beautiful sea breezes” would make conditions more bearable along the coast.
“The danger is that people do the opposite when faced with a nanny state,” he said. Just give them the facts and let them decide.
Patricia Yates, chair of VisitEngland, said everyone should take “reasonable precautions” but urged them to take advantage of the “wonderful opportunity to get out and explore the wonderful tourism our country has to offer”.
The mini heatwave should see temperatures rise around 32°C today and tomorrow. It will also experience uncomfortably warm “tropical nights”, when temperatures remain above 20°C.
The UK has never recorded consecutive tropical nights in September.
Neil Armstrong, chief meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “The high pressure is in the south-east of the UK. The highest temperatures are expected in the south, and a heatwave is likely across England and Wales.
“Parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland are also likely to see some warm temperatures.”
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