Heatwave returns to UK: what are the best sunburn remedies?

Jul 9, 2015

After a chilly night, Temperatures will 'soar' again over the weekend as Britain experiences a new heatwave

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UK temperatures are "set to soar again" over the weekend, according to the tabloids, with parts of Britain expected to see highs of 29C, but in true British fashion the heatwave will be preceded by a cool night tonight, particularly in rural areas.

Cold winds from northern countries including Iceland are expected to push temperatures down to 6C tonight, but warm air from the continent will see the return of "sizzling temperatures" on Friday, predicts the Daily Mail.

Temperatures are expected to peak at around 29C in the South and 25C in the North on Friday. Saturday will once again be warm in the South with the mercury reaching 27C.

While temperatures in the 20s are unlikely to trigger health alerts from officials concerned for the lives of elderly people, pregnant women and young children, fire brigades are warning that after several weeks of heat and relatively little rain, areas of woodland, commons and farmers' fields are now potentially prone to fire.

How long will the heatwave last?
Earlier in the week, some forecasters were suggesting that Britain's second heatwave of the summer could set a new record temperature of more than 38.5C, and could last up to a week. But most forecasters are now being more circumspect, predicting that temperatures are unlikely to get above 30C and will probably be back to normal by the beginning of next week.

What is causing temperatures to rise?

Gareth Harvey, a forecaster at Meteogroup, said: "The chillier spell that we're under at the moment is caused by a northerly wind that's dragging cooler, chillier air in from the north of the UK.

"But that moves away and then we start to see higher pressure begin to build from tomorrow, the northerly winds get cut off and things start to warm up again.

"It looks like the wind then starts to come in off the continent on Friday so more of a southerly flow which will bring warmer conditions."

Are heatwaves really dangerous?

"Bake Britain" may be a pleasant place to be for sun-lovers, said Sky News said during last week's warm snap, but heatwaves can be dangerous for the very young or very old and those with chronic disease.

Sky weather presenter Nazaneen Ghaffa said: "Although many of us like to enjoy the hot and sunny weather, it is advisable to do so safely and also remember that some people are more vulnerable than others to the heat... The extreme heat also comes at a time where some are fasting as part of Ramadan. It is important for those fasting to keep cool during the day and well hydrated after sunset and before sunrise."

Last month, the Sydney Morning Herald seemed amused at the "state of alarm" caused by "Britain's (sort of) heatwave", noting that some cities in Australia had 18 days of consecutive high temperatures, with the mercury hitting 40C on several days.

But health officials in England say that their warnings should not be taken lightly, noting that 300 people died in a four-day heatwave of July 2009 and more than 2,000 died in the ten-day heatwave of August 2003, when temperatures reached 38.5C.

What is the best remedy for sunburn?

Sunburn occurs when skin is damaged by ultraviolet light, usually brought about by overexposure to the sun. According to the NHS, if you do find yourself sunburnt, the best way to relieve the symptoms, which can include feelings of pain, itchiness and warmth, are to:

  • Cool the skin by sponging it with cold water or by having a cold bath or shower. it can also help to apply a cold flannel to affected area.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to cool you down and prevent dehydration.
  • Keep your skin cool and moist by applying a water-based emollient or petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline).
  • Take painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol to relieve any pain.
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