Yellow thunderstorms warning follows Shropshire's amber heat alert

As Shropshire and mid Wales sweltered in yet another day of sizzling sun, people were urged to keep an eye on the older and more vulnerable members of society.

Shropshire farrier Sam Woolham turns up the heat in Somerset
Shropshire farrier Sam Woolham turns up the heat in Somerset

With temperatures expected to nudge 30 degrees in the next two days, there were fears that heat stress and other heat-related health issues could lead to increased hospital admissions.

Warning have also been given about respecting open water as people head for lakes and rivers as well as the Welsh coast to cool down.

Shropshire is now officially on an amber weather warning for heat - and today the Met Office added a yellow warning for possible thunderstorms by the weekend, mainly affecting the south of the county.

As many revelled in the fine weather, Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin urged people to check on older neighbours who may not wish to go outside during the heatwave.

"Older people may require help with food shopping or collecting prescriptions, and ensuring they stay hydrated with cool drinks," said Heather Osborne, chief executive of Age UK STW.

"With temperatures staying high over the next few days we are aware that some older people are less likely to venture outdoors to do their shopping because of the heat. We are urging people to check on their older neighbours to ensure they have all they need and are keeping cool during this heatwave.”

But some people can't escape the heat. Sam Woolham, a 30-year old farrier from North Shropshire, travels around Britain shoe-ing horses. In Somerset this week, he said he was keeping himself cool by putting cold water on the inside of his hat.

"It is a hot job at the best of times but I think I have lost my body weight in sweat today," he said.

At the British Ironwork Centre near Oswestry those working on creating the knife banks that are springing up around the country as part of the centre's Knife Angel tour, were cooling off with plenty of cold drinks and the occasional ice cream.

"We sent many of our staff home early as the heat became unbearable," Clive Knowles from the centre said.

Experts say top ways to stay safe in the heat include drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding excess alcohol, keeping out of the sun from 11am to 3pm, walking in the shade, and applying sunscreen and wearing a wide-brimmed hat.

People are also urged to avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day.

Chloe Brimicombe, a PhD heatwaves researcher at the University of Reading, said: "We're likely to see increased hospital admissions over the next few days, due to heat stress - a build up of body heat as conditions prevent people from cooling down, even at night - and other heat-related health issues.

"Vulnerable people do die. Outdoor workers can get long-term kidney disease. We can also see a rise in air pollution, which affects people's lungs."

Dr Rob Thompson, a meteorologist at the University of Reading, said: "Heatwaves are one of the weather extremes that are most easily linked to climate change which is already affecting us here in the UK.

"British heatwaves are already hotter and last longer, compared to just a few decades ago.

"The hottest day of the year in the UK is on average nearly a degree warmer now than the average in the period of the 1960s to the 1980s, and extended spells of warm weather last more than double the length.

"We can expect that extreme summer heatwaves of the type that can kill people in the UK will become a regular occurrence, hitting us on average every other summer by the middle of the century, under current trends of increasing emissions and warming."

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