First Health Warning in 2023 issued

by Alasdair English
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA)  has issued a yellow health warning for West Suffolk as temperatures are set to rise over the weekend. The warning is targeted at health and social care professionals aiming to reduce the harm extended period of hot weather can have on health.
This is the first heat warning of the year and covers six regions including the East of England. The alert is currently in place from 9am on Friday June 9th to 9am on Monday June 12th, if current forecasts are accurate then there could be impacts across the health sector. Dr. Agostinho Sousa, Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection at UKHSA, has said “forecasted temperatures this week will primarily impact those over 65”.
The UK Health Security Agency has introduced a new Heat-Health Alerts (HHA) system which will focus on the health impacts that high temperatures could have on the health of the population. Dr. Sousa said the system “plays a vital role in notifying professionals and the public of forecasted high temperatures”.
The HHA details what is causing the first heat wave of the summer. There is a low pressure area currently developing to the east of the Azores, this system is slowly moving north towards the southwest of Ireland. This low this low pressure will shift the winds causing a more continental feel in England over the next few days. The HHA can go up to a red alert, however, there are no red alerts yet, all warnings are placed in the yellow section.
The UKHSA has issued advice for what to do to help vulnerable people stay safe. They have said people should check on family, friends and neighbours who may be at higher risk of becoming unwell due to the higher temperatures. Understand the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke; keep out of the sun at the hottest time of the day. Dr. Sousa said “if you have friends, family or neighbours who you know are more vulnerable to the effects of hot weather, it is important you check on them and ensure the are aware of the forecasts and are following the necessary advice.”
The Met Office has said temperatures in West Suffolk will rise with a wave of hot air from the South raising temperatures and introducing thundery showers towards the end of this week Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office, Dan Harris, said “Temperatures over the weekend could peak around 30 degrees”.
Reports say that the transitioning from a Northerly wind to a Southerly wind will begin late on Friday for those in the Southwest, with warm weather increasing the chances of thundery showers. Outbreaks of thundery weather increases and spreads North and East as the weekend continues with the possibility of hail and gusty winds in some areas.
Dan Harris said “with the rise in temperatures is an increase in the likelihood of some potentially heavy and thundery showers, which could bring some localised disruption… temperatures over the weekend could peak around 30 degrees in some parts of England and remain well above average during night-times.”