The Met Office has issued an extremely rare red heat warning for England between Monday (18 July) and Tuesday (19 July) next week.
This is the first time ever that a red heat warning has been issued and it carries a health risk to everyone affected, not just those who are normally more vulnerable to heat or have an existing medical condition.
The warning is alerting people that they face 'population-wide adverse health effects' and a 'high risk of failure of heat-sensitive systems and equipment', potentially meaning power cuts and loss of other vital services such as water.
A heatwave of this magnitude is going to require 'substantial changes in working practices and daily routines' to avoid exposing people to health risks in the hot weather.
It also means delays on the roads and possible cancellations to public transport and some flights, while the people making those journeys will have to endure incredibly tough conditions.
Large parts of England are going to be bombarded with 'exceptional heat' with temperatures in the high 30s and forecasts are warning it could get as hot as 40C in some places.
That would smash the existing record for the hottest day on record in the UK, where a temperature of 38.7C was recorded in Cambridge on 25 July, 2019.
Met Office chief meteorologist Paul Gundersen has raised the possibility of breaking current British heat records, while the chance of temperatures breaking the 40C barrier.
He said: "Exceptional, perhaps record-breaking temperatures are likely early next week, quite widely across the red warning area on Monday, and focussed a little more east and north on Tuesday.
"Currently there is a 50% chance we could see temperatures top 40C and 80% we will see a new maximum temperature reached."
He also warned that the nights would continue to be hot and people would have to plan with this in mind.
Luckily, after Tuesday temperatures are expected to start dropping again which will bring down the risk to life and health.
Official advice recommends keeping yourself hydrated and staying in the shade taking it easy as best you can, especially during peak hours of sunlight between 11am and 3pm.
If you have to go out, apply sunscreen and always make sure you've got some water with you.
People are advised to keep their curtains closed on windows that face the sun to avoid letting in unnecessary heat.
While the red warning for extreme heat means everyone's health is now at risk, checking in on those most vulnerable to hot weather is more important than ever before.
An amber heat warning had already been in place between 17 July and 19 July for much of England and Wales, the Met Office has since expanded the danger zone to cover Cornwall, the west of Wales and parts of southern Scotland.
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Topics: UK News