Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Temperatures down as heatwave ends

People soak up the sun on Clapham Common, south London, as the UK experiences a weekend of hot weather
Laura Graham and Katie Penman enjoy the hot weather on Portobello Beach near Edinburgh
An elephant cools off in the heat at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo near Dunstable, Bedfordshire

The mini-heatwave which has swept Britain looks set to end after forecasters predicted cooler temperatures and unsettled weather for the week ahead.

Sun worshippers have flocked to beaches and parks over the last few days as the country basked in unseasonably fine and hot weather, with the highest temperature reaching almost 28C (82.4F) in Bournemouth.

It has also led to a number of water-related tragedies. Fifteen-year-old Thomas Barton drowned on Sunday in a reservoir in Chorley, Lancashire, while a 32-year-old man died trying to rescue a young girl from the sea at West Wittering beach, in West Sussex, on Saturday.

MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said there will be gradual cooling during the week to come - culminating in a substantially cooler Jubilee bank holiday weekend. Showers are predicted for much of England and Wales by Thursday, with a chance of thunderstorms hitting central areas.

Forecaster Nick Prebble said: "Many places will see sun tomorrow, with temperatures peaking at 23C (73.4F) in London. But Scotland will feel much cooler and there is a chance of a few spots of rain. On Wednesday, northern areas of the UK will be cooler with patchy rain. Further south in Yorkshire there will be heavy rain with a few rumbles of thunder.

"Temperatures will drop off considerably during Thursday and Friday with heavy showers across England and Wales. The highest temperature will be around 19C (66.2F) in London. There is no indication that the recent fine temperatures will continue into the weekend unfortunately, with maximum temperatures of 15-16C."

Warnings were issued about the dangers of cooling off in the water after the recent hot spell.

Sussex Police said the man killed off West Wittering beach, near Chichester, had gone to the assistance of a five-year-old girl being carried away by the tide. The man, from Sutton, in Surrey, managed to safely pass the girl to another woman but was unable to reach the shore himself. His body was later recovered from the water.

The news came after the death of 23-year-old Nicholas Smith, who was pulled from the water in Linn Park near Simshill on the south side of Glasgow, and died later in hospital. In a further incident, a 22-year-old man died after getting into difficulty while swimming with friends at a disused quarry at Ballykelly, near Monasterevin, Co Kildare, Ireland. His body was recovered by the Garda Sub Aqua Unit on Sunday evening.

The tragedies followed the death of a 15-year-old boy who drowned when he jumped from a bridge into the River Thames in Oxford on Friday night. The body of Hussain Mohammed was not recovered for two hours after he was seen plunging into the water.

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