Experts are now warning of 72 hours of extreme heat hitting Northamptonshire from Sunday (July 17) bringing “widespread impact on people and infrastructure.”
The Met Office amber alert initially covering Sunday has now extended twice to include Monday AND until midnight on Tuesday (July 19).
Local forecasters @NNweather confirmed some forecasters are still predicting thermometers hitting 39°C or even 40°C in the county.
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They said: “Models are still toying with the highest possible temps but 39°C would be record-breaking.”
The Met Office is saying that temperatures will most likely peak on Monday or Tuesday before dropping back to nearer seasonal norms, adding that “substantial” changes to working practices and daily routines will be needed to keep people safe.
A spokesman added: “Some exceptionally high temperatures are possible both by day and by night.
“The cumulative effects of very warm nights, particularly in urbanised areas, and hot days are likely to bring widespread impacts to people and infrastructure.
“Population-wide adverse health effects are likely to be experienced, not limited to those most vulnerable to extreme heat, leading to potential serious illness or danger to life.”
Northants Highways has its winter gritters on stand-by to spread sand on roads made sticky by the extreme heat, rail companies are warning of likely disruption as trains are forced to run at lower speeds, while a number of events planned for Sunday are being postponed or cancelled.
They include a Northampton Town FC Open Day at Sixfields.
The club’s chief executive James Whiting said: “We felt this was the most sensible decision with the health and safety of all concerned in mind.
“We are moving some of stalls and activities forward a day, in the build up to our friendly with Luton Town which kicks-off at 1pm.
“Also, from a player welfare point of view, it was felt not appropriate to stage an open training session in the forecast heat on Sunday having played the Luton game the day before.
“The session will be re-arranged for a day in the school summer holidays and fans will still have a chance to get autographs and selfies with players after Saturday’s game.”
Temperatures could beat the UK’s hottest ever day 38.7°C (102°F) set in Cambridge three years ago — and the highest temperature recorded at the Met Office Northamptonshire weather station at Pistford, 36.1°C on July 31, 2020.
Met Office forecaster Clare Nasir said: “We will lose the intensity of the heat over the next couple of days, even though it’s still very warm.
“But then the heat builds again through Saturday and into Sunday when that amber warning kicks in.”
A Level 3 UK Health Security Agency Heat Health Alert is also in force for the East Midlands while councils are operating severe weather plans usually reserved for below-freezing temperatures in winter to help rough sleepers.
Dr Agostinho Sousa, UKHSA head of extreme events and health protection, said: “Most of us can enjoy the hot weather 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.’’