Amber weather warning UK: what does Met Office extreme heat warning mean, how hot will it get, alert explained

 It’s expected that temperatures will rise even further this week

People across the UK are experiencing another heatwave right now, with temperatures expected to rise further in the coming days.

Experts have predicted that temperatures could reach the mid thirties by the weekend, and that has led the Met Office to issuing an amber weather warning for extreme heat.

But, just what exactly does the alert mean, what parts of the UK does it cover and just how hot could it get?

Here’s everything you need to know.

The Met Office has issued an amber weather warning for extreme heat in August 2022.The Met Office has issued an amber weather warning for extreme heat in August 2022.
The Met Office has issued an amber weather warning for extreme heat in August 2022.

What is an amber weather warning?

The Met Office issues three different weather warnings; yellow, amber and red. The colour coded system indicates the likelihood of the weather type, with red being the highest.

When a  warning is given depends on two things; the impact the weather may have and the likelihood of that impact occurring.

An amber warning is issued when there is an increased likelihood of impacts from severe weather, which could potentially disrupt your plans.

This means there is the possibility of travel delays, road and rail closures, power cuts and the potential risk to life and property.

Met Office deputy chief meteorologist Dan Rudman said: “Thanks to persistent high pressure over the UK, temperatures will be rising day-on-day through this week and an extreme heat warning has been issued.”

You can view weather warnings for today and the following six days on the Met Office website. The map also shows what areas of the UK any warnings cover so you can prepare if it impacts your area.

Where in the UK does the amber warning cover?

The amber warning covers much of the southern half of England as well as parts of eastern Wales.

It also reaches as far north as Manchester.

How hot will it get?

The heat will continue and get more intense throughout the week and is likely to peak on Friday 12 August and Saturday 13 August, due to the influence of high pressure, the Met Office said.

Temperatures are likely to rise into the low-to-mid 30s for central and southern areas of the UK.

Temperatures are not expected to be as high as those experienced during the July heatwave when historic temperatures of 40c were reached.

The Met Office said: “Away from the highest temperatures expected in central and southern areas, much of England and Wales, as well as the south-east of Scotland, could still see temperatures widely into the high 20s, with a chance of a few spots seeing temperatures into the low 30s.”

Temperatures are not expected to drop below the low 20s for some areas in the south, even at night.

Met Office deputy chief meteorologist Tony Wardle added: “Heatwave criteria look likely to be met for large areas of the UK later this week, with the hottest areas expected in central and southern England and Wales on Friday and Saturday.

“Temperatures could peak at 35ºC, or even an isolated 36ºC on Saturday.”

How long will the amber warning be in place?

The amber warning for extreme heat is currently in place between midnight on Wednesday 10 August and Sunday 14 August.

It is advisable to keep checking the Met Office website for updated information, however, as the Met Office reviews their warnings regularly, and this is subject to change if there are any changes to the weather forecast.

What will be the impact of the amber warning?

According to the Met Office, areas under the warning should expect the following:

  • Adverse health effects are likely to be experienced by those vulnerable to extreme heat
  • The wider population is likely to experience some adverse health effects including sunburn or heat exhaustion (dehydration, nausea, fatigue) and other heat-related illnesses
  • Some changes in working practices and daily routines- are likely to be required
  • An increased chance that some heat-sensitive systems and equipment may fail
  • More people are likely to visit coastal areas, lakes, rivers and other beauty spots leading to an increased risk of water safety and fire-related incidents
  • Some delays to road, rail and air travel are possible, with potential welfare issues for those who experience prolonged delays

How long will the heatwave last?

There is a chance that thunderstorms may occur next week, but the temperature is expected to remain very hot.

The Met Office’s longer-term outlook for Saturday 13 August to Monday 22 August reads: “The start of this period will see dry and sunny spells for most with temperatures very warm or hot. Meanwhile, far north and north-west regions may see cloud, patchy rain, and coastal mist and fog in places, with near normal temperatures.

“Heavier showers may develop in the south-west and spread through the week, with some possible thundery showers in the south. Temperatures remaining above average but trending downward.

“More changeable weather prevails through this period, with heavier showers or thunderstorms with clear spells possible across many areas.

“The north may see generally more rainy conditions. Temperatures remain warm or very warm, potentially locally hot in southern areas. Towards the end of this period, we may see a return to more settled conditions, bringing dry and sunny weather.”