03/07/2018 07:28 BST | Updated 03/07/2018 11:04 BST

UK Weather Forecast: Heatwave To Continue But Hosepipe Bans And Health Concerns Raised

Odds that thermometers will see 35C this week have been slashed.

The heatwave that made June one of the hottest and driest on record in the UK is set to continue for another two weeks.

Bookies’ odds that thermometers will see 35C this week have been slashed to 4/6 but while this is great news for sun-seekers and staycationers, there are a number of negatives to the hot weather.

Utility companies have been pumping billions of extra litres of water to try and keep pace with demand, which has risen by as much as 30%, Water UK said.

There is currently no risk of drought, as above-average rainfall in the Spring means water levels are in a healthy position, but many suppliers are warning their customers to use water sparingly.

Some households in Berkshire, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire may see low-pressure hit their water supplies during peak hours.

Currently only Northern Ireland is subject to a hosepipe ban but it cannot be ruled out across the rest of the UK just yet.

PA Wire/PA Images
Tourists enjoy the sun whilst they sit on the steps near the Tower of London, as a heatwave which could produce the hottest temperatures this year is sweeping across the UK.

The heat is an example of “extra volatility” facing food producers, with some arable farmers seeing no recordable rainfall in a key month for their crops, the National Farmers’ Union said.

Across the country, council staff and social workers are making extra calls and visits on the vulnerable and elderly, who are more likely to struggle in the heat, the Local Government Association (LGA) said.

It is part of an “annual heatwave plan”, developed after more than 2,000 people died in England owing to extreme temperatures in 2003, it added.

A level three heatwave health alert was issued by the Met Office for the South West and South East, which is set to last until 9pm on Tuesday.

Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “The hundreds of deaths caused by high temperatures each year are avoidable.

“Councils are determined to reduce the toll as much as possible, but they cannot do it alone.

And the absence of rain on the horizon continues to be of concern to authorities tackling moor fires across Lancashire.

Fire chiefs have described the “apocalyptic” fires as unprecedented in their scale, with the Saddleworth Moor fire now stretching into a second week as fire engines are drafted in from across the country.

A 22-year-old man arrested on suspicion of starting a fire has been released under investigation.

On Monday morning, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) said it has 12 fire crews plus specialist appliances on the Tameside fires and 10 at Winter Hill, where Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service has a further 14 fire engines on the scene, along with two from Tyne and Wear.

It was the driest June on record in south-east and central southern England, with just 6% of expected rainfall across counties like Essex and Dorset, the Met Office said.

Scotland also enjoyed its highest ever temperature, with 33.2C recorded in Motherwell on June 28.

The sweltering spell has continued into July, with many parts enjoying temperatures around the mid-to-high 20s.

Tennis lovers looked set for plenty of action as Wimbledon began on Monday, with stars kicking the tournament off on sun-drenched courts.