Heatwave in Worthing, Adur and Littlehampton: how long will it last; are these record temperatures; how can we stay cool and is this climate change in action?

Here’s all you need to know about how the UK heatwave is affecting Worthing, Adur and Littlehampton.

The Met Office has forecast that the mercury will reach highs of 29 degrees Celsius in Sussex on Tuesday (July 12) – 25 degrees in Worthing and 24 in Shoreham and Littlehampton.

Hot temperatures are forecast across the UK for the rest of the week and next week is predicted to be even hotter, with the Met Office forecasting temperatures of up to 35 degrees Celsius next Monday (July 18).

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The Met Office, along with the UK Health Security, has extended a Level 3 Heat Health Alert, with experts warning those in the South East to keep safe during the extreme weather.

A Met Office spokesperson said: “Temperatures will rise again later this week and over the coming weekend, likely peaking on Sunday and Monday, but may last into Tuesday in places.

"Some exceptionally high temperatures are possible and cumulative effects of warm nights and hot days are expected to bring widespread impacts to people and infrastructure.”

What to expect

Nice weather for an ice cream

In the rare amber weather warning, which covers the whole of Sussex, the Met Office said population-wide adverse health effects are likely to be experienced and not limited to those most vulnerable to extreme heat.

This could lead to ‘potential serious illness or danger to life’, the Met Office warned.

The Government advice is that 999 services should be used in emergencies only. Seek advice from 111 if you need non-emergency health advice.

The Met Office said substantial changes in working practices and daily routines are likely to be required, whilst significantly more people are likely to visit coastal areas, lakes and rivers leading to ‘increased risk of water safety incidents’.

There were still benches free on Worthing Pier

A spokesperson added: “Delays on roads and road closures are possible, along with delays and cancellations to rail and air travel, with potential for significant welfare issues for those who experience even moderate delays.”

Are these record temperatures and how long will the heatwave last?

The Met Office has warned of a possibility that temperatures in Britain may reach 40 degrees Celsius by mid-July.

There were a few people on the pebbles

The Met Office's extreme heat warning has only been issued twice before.

The highest ever temperature in the UK was recorded on July 25, 2019, when Cambridge Botanic Garden hit 38.7 degrees Celsius.

The Met Office’s Rebekah Sherwin added: “Weather forecast models are run hundreds of times to determine the most likely weather outcome.

"For late in next weekend and early next week, some runs of these models are allowing exceptionally high temperatures to develop, which is something we’ll be monitoring closely and adding details in the coming days.

“Some models have been producing maximum temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Celsius in parts of the UK over the coming weekend and beyond.

"At longer time scales temperature forecasts become less reliable, so whilst these figures can’t be ruled out, they are still only a low probability.

"A number of weather scenarios are still possible and at the current time, mid-or perhaps high-30s are looking more likely.”

How we can stay cool

During the heatwave, the Met Office is advising people to; look out for others; close curtains to keep rooms cooler; drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol and dress appropriately.

People are asked to stay indoors where possible and parents are also being encouraged to limit their children's exposure to the sun.

Dr Agostinho Sousa, head of extreme events and health protection at UKHSA, said: “Heat-health alerts have now been issued to the majority of the country, with temperatures set to remain consistently high throughout the duration of this week.

“Most of us can enjoy the hot weather when it arrives, but it is important to keep yourself hydrated and to find shade where possible when UV rays are strongest, between 11am and 3pm.

“If you have vulnerable family, friends and neighbours, make sure they are aware of how they can keep themselves protected from the warm weather.’’

Is this climate change in action?

The Met Office has said that whilst a 1°C background temperature increase ‘may not seem significant’, the resulting increase in the severity of extreme heat events is ‘already evident in the observed record’.

They said this has ‘widespread and significant impacts’.

A spokesperson added: “Extreme heat events do occur within natural climate variation due to changes in global weather patterns.

"However, the increase in the frequency, duration, and intensity of these events over recent decades is clearly linked to the observed warming of the planet and can be attributed to human activity.”

Dr Mark McCarthy is the head of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre.

He said: “The highest temperatures experienced in the UK tend to occur when our weather is influenced by air masses from continental Europe or North Africa – as it will be at the weekend – there is already a strongly-embedded warming due to climate change across the continent, that is increasing the likelihood of challenging the existing UK temperature record.”

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