The last few weeks have been extremely hot in Britain and a drought has struck. But, unbelievably for those who thought it was too hot already, this week is about to get hotter. Temperatures will reach above 100 farenheit. The only time previously that temperatures of 100 farenheit or above have been recorded in Britain was the summer of 2003. In some parts of the country, it is warmer than Barbados and Madrid today.

Temperatures sizzling towards 100F
by SINEAD McINTYRE, Daily Mail

17th July 2006

People have fun in Trafalgar Square's fountains.

If you thought the weekend was unbearably hot, then make sure there is plenty of ice in the freezer. It's going to get steamier still.

Temperatures are expected to increase until Wednesday, by which time they could be approaching the 100F mark.

The Met Office issued a warning to the elderly, young children and the chronically ill, who are at risk from heat exhaustion and dehydration.

It advised staying indoors during the hottest part of the day and drinking regularly, preferably water or fruit juice rather than alcohol, tea or coffee which make dehydration worse.

The hottest recorded temperature in July was reached in 1911 with a high of 97f (36c).

A spokesman for the Met Office said the baking temperatures were a result of a warm plume blowing in from France and Spain.

'We are expecting scorching temperatures over the next few days. This is the hottest spell of weather we have had so far this year.

'Wednesday could be around 93F (34C) to 95F (35C) in the South East, making it the hottest day of the year.'

Today will see highs of 89F (32C) in the South East - warmer than Barbados and Madrid - while Wales, the Midlands and Yorkshire will also bask in scorching sunshine.

In Northern Ireland temperatures will be in the mid-twenties but Scotland will see lower temperatures and some cloud.

Tomorrow, highs in London should hit 91F (33C) while in the North West it will be 82F (30C).

The end of the heatwave is expected to be heralded by thunderstorms on Wednesday evening bringing cooler temperatures on Thursday, although they will still be around the 70F mark.

Yesterday beaches including Brighton and Bournemouth disappeared under a sea of trippers.

But sunbathers were warned to be careful if they went for a cooling dip because the warm weather has attracted bumper numbers of jellyfish to the coastline.

Peter Richardson, of the Marine Conservation Society, said: 'Already this year we have received reports of huge swarms of jellyfish at several UK and coastal sites and expect that the above-average temperatures will lead to more.'

In Essex, firemen had to put out dozens of blazes which broke out in tinder-dry fields, crops and meadows, including one which engulfed 100 acres of corn on a farm.

A spokesman for Essex fire service warned the public to be vigilant with cigarettes, barbecues and bonfires.

The Department of Health advised people suffering from symptoms of heat exhaustion, such as headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, to take a lukewarm bath or sponge themselves with cold water.

And the RSPCA said dogs should not be left in cars during the hot weather, even with the windows open.

The soaring temperatures are expected not to beat the British record set in August 2003 when Faversham in Kent reached 101.3F (38.5C in Napoleonic French code [[which sounds colder than 101]]).

Around 2,000 Britons died as a result of the heatwave that year.

Next weekend a mixture of sunshine and showers is forecast, with temperatures in the seventies.

Britain basked in glorious sunshine and high temperatures over the weekend. Here, children play in a fountain at Thames Barrier Park in east London

At Lordington lavender farm in West Sussex, a woman shelters from the sun during a 'pick your own day'

Scores of people took to the boats at Hyde Park, London to try and cool down
Jenny Goodall

Hyde Park was packed with sunworshippers as temperatures hit 30C
Jenny Goodall

On Brighton beach it was a weekend of stripping off and relaxing in your swimwear
John Connor Press Agency