Met Office issues new UK weather alert for scorching sun as August DROUGHT warning issued

UK Weather: Met Office forecast next ten days

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The forecaster has predicted UV levels of six – rated high – in the East of England, the East Midlands and the Southwest for today. Moderate UV levels, between four and five, have been forecast across the rest of the country. Writing on Twitter, the forecaster warned: “Although temperatures may be lower than last week, UV levels will still be moderate or high for many parts of the UK today.”

Meanwhile, officials could declare a drought in the UK next month if prolonged dry weather continues, experts warned yesterday.

The National Drought Group, made up of government, water companies and environmental groups, will meet tomorrow.

The meeting was set to take place in October to plan for 2023, but conditions have become so dry that it has been brought forward.

This comes as the UK is braced to see further warm weather at the end of this month and throughout August.

This week, weather forecaster WXCharts has predicted highs of 28C in the south on Friday, with temperatures of up to 22C in the north.

Next Tuesday, the UK will see highs of 30C in the south, 27C in the midlands and 21C in parts of Scotland.

Hosepipe bans for households could be brought in across the UK if the government implements a drought plan.

It follows months of below-average rainfall for much of the country, and unprecedented temperatures last week – reaching above 40C on Tuesday – putting heightened pressure on water supplies.

Martin Lines, chair of the Nature Friendly Farming Network, said: “This prolonged dry weather is having a serious impact on crops, especially spring planted crops that have had very little rain since planting.

“Many farm reservoirs are getting low and we’re relying on a wet winter to refill them. We’re seeing a huge impact on the new hedges and trees farmers have planted in the past few years for climate mitigation.

“Increasing periods of drought also mean outdoor-reared livestock are struggling for grass and farmers are having to use this year’s cut of hay which is eating into their winter feed stocks.”

Minette Batters, the president of the National Farmers’ Union, said: “We don’t have time to waste.

“The situation with water is very, very serious for growers – there are implications for costs and crop viability.”

Ms Batters added: “We have taken our water supply for granted in this country for so long.

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“We are not storing and moving water in the way that we should be.

“Water security and food security are inextricably linked and food security is incredibly important.

“We can’t see growers not having a viable crop.”

A spokeswoman for Water UK, which represents water companies, said: “Water companies are continuing to see extremely high demand and are urging everyone to carefully consider the amount of water they are using at this time.

“The ongoing dry, warm weather in much of the country follows the driest winter and spring since the 1970s, leading to reduced river flows that need to be protected.

“Water companies have plans in place to manage water resources and safeguard the environment and are doing everything they can, including working closely with government and regulators, to minimise the need for any restrictions.”

Last week’s high temperatures broke records, making Tuesday the warmest day the UK has ever seen.

Several fire services, including the London Fire Brigade, were forced to declare major incidents after a surge in fires.

London mayor Sadiq Khan said yesterday was the “busiest day for the fire service in London since the Second World War”.

A total of 41 properties were destroyed in London and 16 firefighters were injured.

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