Parts of the UK are bracing for another day of sizzling temperatures ahead of three days of yellow weather warnings for thunderstorms.
An amber weather warning for extreme heat is in place until 11.59pm on Sunday for large parts of the south, east, west, midlands and north of England as temperatures are predicted to rise to 32C.
The Met Office has put the warning in place saying that people could experience “adverse health effects”, such as sunburn or heat exhaustion, and delays to transport during the hot weather.
It came after a body was found in a Doncaster lake earlier that day following reports that a man in his 20s had got into difficulty in the water.
Meanwhile, over in Scotland and Northern Ireland, a yellow warning for thunderstorms is in place from 9am Sunday to 11.59pm Monday as the north experiences a sweep of heavy rain for the next two days.
The forecaster has warned of flash flooding and power cuts as showers beat down across the two regions.
The warning then spreads to England and Wales on Monday and Tuesday, with just the south west and south east of England facing a third day of yellow warnings on Wednesday until 11.59pm, as the rain eases off elsewhere.
Dan Stroud, a meteorologist at the Met Office, said the drastic change in weather is due to an alteration in the air pressure.
He told the PA news agency: “We’ve had a number of days now where we’ve had clear, strong, clear skies and strong sunshine which has heated up the ground.
“We’ve had high pressure dominating, now we’re having low pressure dominate, so the air is becoming more unstable. As we’ve had some very high ground temperatures, it doesn’t actually take too much for the air to become even more unstable and for thundery showers to develop quickly.”
The hot weather has already seen several wildfires erupt across England, with the latest blaze breaking out in the North York Moors National Park.
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said they were called to the blaze on Saturday evening shortly after 6pm in Sutton Bank and firefighters worked through the night to dampen down the grass to prevent further spread.
Met Office forecasters have warned there is a “significant risk” of further wildfires on Sunday as the ground has been “extremely dry for an extended period”.
Thunderstorms across Northern Ireland and Scotland today, with a few showers possible over western England and Wales ⛈️🌦️
Otherwise, plenty of hot sunshine once again ☀️🌡️#heatwave pic.twitter.com/ppye72oYOg
— Met Office (@metoffice) August 14, 2022
An official drought was declared in eight areas of England on Friday by the National Drought Group (NDG), which comprises representatives from the Government, water companies, the Environment Agency (EA) and others.
Three water companies – Welsh Water, Southern Water, and South East Water – have all imposed hosepipe bans, while Yorkshire Water has announced a ban will start on August 26 and Thames Water is planning one in the coming weeks.
Mr Stroud said that despite the forecast of intense showers over the next few days, it is unlikely to help the drought.
“It will help a little but to be honest really, it’s almost the wrong sort of rain,” he said. “What we’re likely to see is some heavy, intense downpours. With the ground baked so dry, it’s very difficult for the ground to actually absorb the water very quickly.
“So what tends to happen in these circumstances is the water runs off and we can potentially get some surface run-off issues, so some flash floods.”
On Saturday, residents in Surrey were without water on Saturday after issues hit the Netley Mill Water Treatment Works.
Water supplier Thames Water apologised and handed out bottled water to residents in Guilford, Surrey Hills, Dorking and Horsham while engineers worked to restore the supply.
By Sunday morning the problem had been fixed, with residents being told water was “gradually returning to the area”.
Councillor Liz Townsend from Surrey County Council criticised Thames Water for the supply issues during one of the hottest weekends of the year.
She told BBC Breakfast: “This is happening more and more now with warm weather.
“We had this problem last year as well here.
“And to be honest, the service is not fit for purpose now and residents are rightly getting very, very annoyed about what they’re having to put up with.”
She added that Thames Water “failed this time to meet the needs of the vulnerable as well in and around Cranleigh and Ewhurst” after she received messages from elderly people saying they had not been delivered any water.
A statement from Thames Water said: “Netley Mill Water Treatment Works is now back in service and supply is gradually being restored to the local network. This will continue over the remainder of the day.
“We are very sorry that customers have been impacted especially at a time of high temperatures.
“When supplies do begin to return, we are asking customers to try to use this just for essential use initially. This will help us return supplies to everyone quicker.
“We are supplying bottled water to customers who we know need additional help. If anyone is unable to travel to a bottled water site they should contact us on 0800 316 9800 and we will provide assistance.”