Britain is braced for even more blistering sunshine and thunderstorms in the coming days as the heatwave continues.
The hot weather has seen wildfires erupt across the country with the Environment Agency (EA) warning they could persist into the new year.
Firefighters have tackled blazes in Derbyshire, London and Dorset in recent days, while the emergency services have recovered the bodies of several drowning victims.
The Met Office predicts it will continue to be dry across the south on Sunday as thunderstorms move into the north.
‘Across the south, there will be a continuation of the very dry and hot conditions,’ meteorologist Dan Stroud said.
‘As we move into Sunday, a slight change with low pressure starting to arrive from the south.
‘Most places still be generally dry and fine, with some strong August sunshine and temperatures rising rapidly during the course of Sunday morning and into the afternoon.’
An amber alert for extreme heat remains in place until Sunday evening, while a yellow warning for thunderstorms have been introduced in Scotland and Northern Ireland, with subsequent warnings in place for England and Wales on Tuesday.
‘The current hot weather will make way for a thundery breakdown from the west, which will spread south and east in the early part of next week. Ahead of this, isolated but intense thunderstorms are possible Sunday, Monday and Tuesday,’ Deputy Chief Meteorologist Jason Kelly said.
‘The warnings highlight the chance of some places seeing around 50mm of rain falling in a three-hour period in the north, with some areas further south possibly seeing around 30mm of rain in a three-hour period. Hail and frequent lightning are also possible as part of these downpours and represents an additional hazard.’
The warnings come as an official drought was declared in eight regions across England on Friday, and three water companies imposed hosepipe bans.
The EA warned that after the driest summer in 50 years, it would take ‘weeks’ worth of rain’ to replenish water sources.
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