Temperatures are set to hit 30C in parts of Derbyshire on Wednesday as a potentially deadly heatwave grips the county.
Multiple warnings have been issued on what is expected to be the hottest day of the year so far.
Parts of Derbyshire – such as Chesterfield – will be warmer than Rio de Janeiro thanks to roasting air from northern France and Spain.
Overnight temperatures in the next few days will be in the mid to high teens – making sleeping extremely difficult.
Councillor Dave Allen, Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for health and communities, said: “While many people enjoy the hot weather high temperatures can be dangerous, especially for residents who may be particularly vulnerable such as older people, young children and those with serious illnesses.
“During hot spells vulnerable groups feel the acute effects of heat more than others and it’s long been recognised that death rates among older people rise in the early stages of heatwaves.”
The county council’s public health team advises:
• staying out of direct sun and especially between 11am and 3pm
• drinking plenty of water and non-alcoholic drinks
• keeping bedrooms and living spaces cool by closing curtains on windows that face the sun and opening windows at cooler times of the day or overnight if safe to do so without posing a home security risk
• turning off non-essential lights and electrical items as these can generate heat
• wearing UV sunglasses to reduce UV exposure to the eyes, applying sunscreen of at least SPF15 with UVA protection and wearing a hat
• wearing light loose-fitting cotton clothes to minimise the risk of sunburn
• looking out for others especially vulnerable groups such as older people, young children and babies and those with serious illnesses
• not leaving anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially babies, young children or animals
Meanwhile, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service (DFRS) is urging residents to stay away from open water in the heatwave.
Paul Hawker, DFRS group manager, said: “When the sun is shining it is so tempting to cool off in rivers, canals and reservoirs, especially when being egged on by your friends.
“So often we hear of tragedies where people have lost their lives swimming in reservoirs and other outdoor waterways. Cold water shock happens so quickly, even the strongest swimmers can get into trouble in a matter of minutes.
“If you do want to go for a dip during the hot weather, I would urge people to use their local swimming pool, where a lifeguard is on duty, and not risk their lives in unknown and unsupervised water.”
Weather forecasters are warning of “very significant disruption” in Derbyshire because of thunderstorms triggered by the current heatwave.
The Met Office has issued a yellow ‘be aware’ alert of rain for Derbyshire between 4pm and 11.50pm on Wednesday.
A Met Office spokesman said: “By Wednesday, a hot and increasingly humid airmass is expected to be in situ across much of the UK.
“This airmass looks conducive to isolated thunderstorm development during the afternoon and into the evening.
“With large amounts of energy available in the atmosphere, storms could be severe, with torrential downpours and hail of up to 1cm in size.
“20 to 30mm of rain is possible in less than an hour, with as much as 60mm possible in three hours very locally.
“The public should be aware that there is a chance of some very localised significant disruption.”
Laura Paterson, deputy chief meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “Temperatures are expected to dip slightly on Thursday, before rising again from the south later Friday and Saturday. This could again result in thunderstorms breaking out, mainly in central and southeastern parts of Britain, though isolated storms can’t be ruled out elsewhere.
“It looks like warm and humid spells of weather could continue into next week.”