Home / UK / Police issue UK hot weather warning after three die in 24 hours – The Guardian

Police issue UK hot weather warning after three die in 24 hours – The Guardian

Police are warning people not to swim in open water amid soaring temperatures across the UK following the deaths of three people in 24 hours.

A 12-year-old girl drowned in a river in Bury and two men died after being pulled from the sea off a beach in Torquay on Thursday.

With the the hottest day of the year so far expected this weekend, police issued a warning about the dangers of cooling off in water.

Greater Manchester police (GMP) said the girl had been found by underwater search teams after officers had been called to the River Irwell just before 8pm.

DI Andrew Naismith, of GMP’s Bury district, said: “This is an incredibly tragic incident in which a young girl has lost her life, and my thoughts are with her family at this devastating time. We have a team of detectives working on this, but there are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances at this time.

“With the warmer weather, it’s tempting to go into the water to cool off, but I’d like to remind everyone of the dangers of playing near or swimming in rivers, lakes and reservoirs and would strongly urge against this.”

Devon and Cornwall police said the bodies of two men, aged 25 and 26, were recovered from the sea close to Babbacombe Beach in Torquay at about 2pm on Thursday by a lifeboat crew.

The men, whose next of kin have been informed, were rushed to hospital but later pronounced dead.

Rescue teams were called to two other incidents in the area on Thursday.

Quick guide

What is causing the European heatwave?

Temperature records for this time of year have already been broken, or look likely to be broken imminently, across much of Europe including Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland and Austria.

Warm air is rising across Europe from north Africa, bringing high temperatures right across the continent. The UK has remained cooler, partly as a result of being further from the source of the warm air and partly because of the cooling effects of the North Sea, Met Office experts said.

It is not possible to pin the current heatwave definitively on climate change, because the weather varies so much naturally. Moreover, the likely effects of climate change are not simple. For example, heavy rain and cloudy weather across swathes of northern Europe, including the UK, are likely to become more common as a result of the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causing the jet stream weather system to become fixed in position.

However, this year’s weather is certainly in line with the predictions scientists have made of rising temperatures, more heatwaves and prolonged droughts interspersed with periods of heavy flooding in some areas.

The body’s ability to regulate its own temperature is crucial; babies are less well able to regulate their temperature and must be kept in well-ventilated conditions. Older people also lose their regulating abilities as they age and can quickly overheat. In the European heatwave of 2003, there were about 70,000 excess deaths attributed to the long hot spell. People with underlying illnesses can also have problems, and even those who are fit and healthy can experience difficulty sleeping and discomfort, so people are advised to stay hydrated and wear loose clothing at night.

There is also an impact on farmers. While warm weather at the right time is crucial for many crops during their growing periods, excessively high temperatures can inhibit growth, particularly if they are prolonged. Livestock can also suffer in the heat and need extra care.

Fiona Harvey Environment correspondent

This weekend, the weather will get hotter, mirroring the heatwave affecting much of Europe. According to the Met Office, the temperature could reach a maximum of 34C (93.2F) in London and the east of England on Saturday.

The hottest conditions recorded in 2019 so far were at Weybourne in Norfolk on 2 June, where the temperature reached 28.8C (84F). The highest temperature on record for June was 35.6C (96F) in 1976.

Across Europe, hot Saharan winds have brought scorching weather with temperatures in some parts exceeding 40C (104F). Meteorologists put more than half of France on alert for high temperatures, while in Germany rescue services urged people to look out for young children, elderly people and others at risk in hot conditions.

Summing up the UK weather for Friday, Greg Dewhurst, a Met Office meteorologist said: “It’s a bit of a cloudy start across some eastern parts of the country but this will soon clear and we’re looking at a sunny day for much of the UK.”

Dewhurst said there would be an “east-west split”, with the highest temperatures in the west and an easterly breeze cooling the other half of the country.

In Wales and the west country, including at the Glastonbury festival, temperatures could reach 31C on Friday.

In western Scotland, it could reach 28C and in Northern Ireland 25C, while in Aberdeen it will be a cooler 17C and in London and down the east coast 24C.

After a humid Friday night, Dewhurst said the highest temperatures on Saturday would be in the east, with a maximum of 34C possible in an area covering London and up towards Lincolnshire.

“We will see the hottest day of the year so far,” said Dewhurst.

He said the spike in UK temperatures was not a heatwave, which is typically considered to be a hot spell lasting three days or more.

Dewhurst said the outlook for next week was a mixture of sunny spells, scattered showers and lower temperatures.

Police issue UK hot weather warning after three die in 24 hours – The Guardian

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