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Too hot to handle: Heatwave warning for Sussex
The Met Office yesterday upgraded its heatwave warning in Sussex as temperatures look set to reach 30C today.
The heatwave warning went up to amber, requiring healthcare services to help high-risk groups.
A Level 3 amber warning is triggered when the Met Office confirms there is a 90 per cent chance of heatwave conditions, when temperatures are high enough over threshold levels to have a significant effect on health on at least two consecutive days.
Following this latest Met Office alert, Public Health England is continuing to remind people to be aware of the health risks of hot weather.
The Met Office has forecast that the fine weather we have been experiencing UK is part of a prolonged spell of very warm conditions, which look likely to remain until the middle of next month.
Tempertures yesterday reached 30C in Pyecombe. A Level 3 warning was issued last week, and before that the last one was on August 19 and 20 last year.
Emergency calls last weekend were up by nearly a third compared to last year as temperatures neared 30C.
Emergency crews issued warnings after the hot weather went to some sunseekers’ heads.
In Brighton, paramedics condemned youngsters who jumped from a groyne into the sea in front of cheering onlookers.
So-called ‘tombstoners’ were also spotted at Splash Point near Seaford. A spokesman for South East Coast Ambulance said: “We would strongly advise anyone thinking of tombstoning not to do it.
“It’s an activity that puts lives in danger.”
Superintendent Simon Nelson, of Sussex Police, wrote on Twitter: “Please talk to your children about tombstoning. Many young people die or become permanently disabled after jumping onto hidden rocks.”
The hot weather caused problems on dry land too, as ambulances were called out to 2,716 incidents, nearly 30% more than on the same weekend last year.
Roads into Brighton and Hove were at a standstill for much of the weekend as sunseekers flocked to the beach while Brighton station was heaving as visitors crammed into the city.
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is urging the public to be extra vigilant during the current hot spell, following two gorse fires within 24 hours.
The first happened at Castle Hill in Newhaven on Sunday.
The second was at Peacehaven Golf Club the next day. The cause is believed to be accidental, involving a camp fire.
On both occasions areas of gorse approximately 150 square meters were burning.
Lewes Borough Commander Garry Collins said: “Both these fires needed a large number of resources. We were faced with difficult conditions and limited access.
“The fire at Peacehaven demonstrates how quickly a camp fire – or barbecues – can cause a serious problem.
“We have a simple message to people out and about in Sussex – avoid any naked flames, smoking, barbecues or open fires in the countryside."
Dan Ross, Community Ranger, said: “Castle Hill Local nature reserve and Bollens Bush in Newhaven where recent fires have taken place, are both managed as Nature Reserves by Lewes District Council.
"These sites are relatively small and fires can have a significant impact on the wildlife, which is already under pressure from expanding towns and intensive agriculture.
“Additionally, the close proximity of these sites to people’s homes mean the fires could endanger lives and property.”
As temperatures continue to soar last minute foreign holiday bookings have slumped but experts predict the heatwave won’t mean a boost in the number of holiday-makers from other countries choosing England as their last minute summer resort.
Our reputation for bad summer weather remains, so the sudden heatwave won’t mean a sudden influx of hotel bookings.
A spokesman for the Association of British Travel Agents said: “We won’t see an increase in people coming to England for the simple reason the weather’s the last reason that people will come to the UK. They’ll come for the culture, cities and stately homes.
“They expect it to be not that good – it’s a bonus if the weather is.”
One holiday company reported a 25% drop in bookings as it seems people are ditching the chance of a trip abroad and instead choosing to soak up the rays on home shores.
The spokesman explained; “The weather’s very good at the moment so people may be less inclined to go abroad.
“However the majority of people who will be going overseas this summer will have booked their holidays long before this heatwave started as our customers are really aware of the unpredictable nature of weather in the UK.”
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