More extreme heat and drought conditions, and the potential for wildfires, are expected in the southern half of the UK this weekend – while the northern half is set to be struck by thunderstorms and floods.
The Met Office has issued an amber heat warning covering most of England and Wales, where temperatures of up to 34C (93.2F) are predicted for Saturday and Sunday.
On Friday, Wiggonholt, in the Horsham District of West Sussex, peaked at 34.5C (94.1F).
With an amber alert, heat-related illnesses including sunburn and heat exhaustion are “likely” among the general population, and delays to public transport are “possible”.
Meanwhile, a lower-level yellow warning for thunderstorms is in place from noon on Sunday until 6am on Monday for most of Scotland and Northern Ireland.
This means there is a “small chance” of flooding in these nations and the potential for power cuts.
The highest predicted daytime temperature of 34C is forecast in the South East on Saturday, with 32C (89.6F) predicted in London and 27C (80.6F) in Edinburgh.
Temperatures around the 30C (86F) mark are expected further north in England, while much of Scotland and Northern Ireland can expect temperatures in the mid-twenties.
This comes after an official drought was declared in eight areas of England on Friday by the National Drought Group, 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 26 August and Thames Water is planning one in the coming weeks.
Residents in the areas indicated in the map below can expect to see restrictions placed on domestic and commercial water use.
Meanwhile, fire crews across Britain remain under pressure from the high risk of wildfires following the prolonged dry spell.
Crews in Derbyshire were still tackling a huge blaze late on Friday night, with four fire engines at the scene in Creswell, Worksop.
Footage shared online showed flames filling the horizon and large plumes of smoke in the sky above a residential area.
Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service also fought embankment blazes beside a railway in Matlock, and near Junction 26 of the M1.
The service said it was “planning for a busy weekend” of further fires, and echoing the pleas of fire services across the nation, asked people to refrain from starting garden bonfires or using portable barbecues.
Some 35 firefighters were also deployed to tackle a two-hectare blaze at the Leyton Flats wildlife reserve in Waltham Forest, east London.
London Fire Brigade crews were captured beating back the flames at the scene.
The service said there were no ongoing fires in the capital at 9pm on Friday.
England’s drought could persist into the next year, according to the EA.
John Curtin, executive director for local operations at the EA, said after the driest summer in 50 years, it would take “weeks’ worth of rain” to replenish water sources.
The announcement could lead to more measures such as hosepipe bans, however, the EA has reassured the public essential water supplies are safe.