No 'official' heatwave warnings in Scotland
- 19 July 2013
- From the section Scotland
Heatwave warnings will not be issued for Scotland by the Met Office even if temperatures continue to soar as there is no official warning system in place.
In parts of England the warning has been raised to "level three" but Scotland is not covered by the same procedures.
However, walkers and climbers have been urged to consider the dangers of heatstroke and wildfires.
Scotland's biggest health board has encouraged people to "be sensible".
Many parts of the country are experiencing some of the best summer weather seen in recent years.
On Friday temperatures reached 29.3C in Prestwick in Ayrshire and 27C in Glasgow and Aviemore in the Highlands.
In England, the Met Office operates a heat health warning system and issues alerts in association with the Department of Health.
There are four levels of response based upon threshold maximum daytime and minimum night-time temperatures. These thresholds vary by region, but an average threshold temperature is 30C by day and 15C overnight.
Even if the temperatures in Scotland soar to those similar in England over the weekend - heatwave warnings will not be issued by the Met Office.
Fraser Ralston from the Met Office in Scotland said: "The heatwave alert out for England is based on an average temperature of 30C for two successive days with a very warm night in between.
"We don't actually have that service. It is just the English part of the NHS that takes it. Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland have opted out of that.
"These sort of temperatures, around 30C, are fairly rare for Scotland. It is more common across England and if we do get it, it tends to just be for a day or two, whereas across England it might last for a week or so and there can be a big rise in hospital admissions for the elderly etc."
A Scottish government spokesman said: "NHS England pay for this commercial service given the higher temperatures down south.
"Year round, quality assured, health and care advice is provided by NHS Inform for the people of Scotland - this includes information on summer and heat related health issues."
NHS 24 medical director, Prof George Crooks, added: "We haven't seen any significant increase in call volumes this week due to the warmer weather, but would advise people to ensure they drink plenty of water and stay well hydrated during this hot spell.
"Make sure you use sun cream of at least SP factor 15 or above if you or your family are going to be outside and during the hottest parts of the day try to stay in the shade, especially if you have young children or care for elderly relatives."
In the Glasgow area, health chiefs called on people to "take precautions" while enjoying the warm weather, and warned of the risks of sunburn, dehydration and hay fever.
Alastair Ireland, clinical director of emergency care and medical services at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, said: "This weekend is expected to one of the warmest we have had for a number of years.
"We want everyone to enjoy their time in the sun but people need to be sensible and take precautions which will ensure they stay healthy while enjoying the weather."
"People should try to avoid being in direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day between 12:00 and 15:00. Replenishing fluids is really important as everyone runs the risk of becoming relatively dehydrated in this heat and everyone should be particularly careful to take extra liquids - cold tap water is ideal - at regular intervals."
The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCoS) has already urged climbers and walkers to be careful on the hills during the warm weather this weekend.