A SEARING ‘heat plume’ from Morocco will hit Britain this week, sending temperatures soaring and sparking health warnings.
The mercury is forecast to hit 34C by Wednesday but stifling humidity will make it feel more like 44C.
Public Health England and the Met Office have issued a level-2 alert — warning of heatwave conditions which could have a ‘significant’ effect on the very young, elderly or infirm.
Malcolm Booth, chief executive of the National Federation of Occupational Pensioners, urged the elderly to ‘stay indoors’ and ‘keep curtains closed’.
He added: ‘With very high humidity this can affect elderly people and those with breathing problems more severely. If you live close to people who might be struggling in the heat take a minute to check if they are alright.’
The moisture-laden Moroccan plume is sweeping up through Spain and France. Paris could reach 40C on Wednesday, with much of Spain in the high-30s
It is due to hit south-east England first. But the whole of the UK is likely to experience scorching weather by the middle of the week.
Parts of the country could see some of the hottest July temperatures for almost 120 years.
James Madden, from Exacta Weather, said: ‘By the middle of the week, we will see maximum temperatures rising to the mid-30s across the south of the country. Further north, we could see temperatures peaking in the high-20s.
‘Some local or national heat records cannot be ruled out for this period.’
But the heatwave is not expected to last — and much of the UK will be at risk of thunderstorms by the end of the week, Mr Madden said.