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Sunday 15th December 2019

UK weather: Sky 'could turn red' due to Saharan dust and wildfires

The red skies could persist for several days

Britain’s heatwave could be accompanied by red skies due to hot air sweeping from Africa and across Europe, according to weather experts.

Record temperatures have been forecast for this week, with some weather experts predicting scorching highs of 37C in parts of the country.

But it seems the swelteringly humid conditions could also be aggravated by Saharan dust and wildfires in Portugal.

Forecasters claim the African plume will arrive in the UK tomorrow, bringing sand and smoke with it.

Read more: UK weather: How hot heatwave temperatures have to get before you can leave work

The Met Office’s Alex Burkill is reported to have told The Sun the red skies could persist for several days.

He said: “We are expecting to get some Saharan dust coming up and there are also some wildfires across Portugal from which we could see some smoke also coming into the UK.

We are expecting to get some Saharan dust coming up.

"There will be a continued risk of Saharan dust through to the end of the week, so there will be some pretty sunsets."

He added: "There are signs of a cold front moving in on Friday which will bring temperatures down by around 10C so it will feel much fresher."

Read more: Brits to enjoy 'six-week heatwave' as temperatures soar in August

Health warnings have been issued to help people falling ill due to the roasting temperatures, with the elderly and those with health conditions advised to stay indoors when the weather is at is hottest.

The NHS has suggested people drink plenty of water and apply high-factor suntan cream to avoid suffering in the heat.

And those suffering from hay fever and asthma sufferers have also been told to be be aware the humidity could result in "deadly" attacks.

Dr Andy Whittamore of Asthma UK is reported to have said: "A toxic cocktail of hot humid weather and rising pollen levels this week could be extremely hazardous for the 5.4 million people in the UK with asthma, triggering deadly asthma attacks. 

"Hot air and hay fever can cause people's airways to narrow, leaving them struggling to breathe, with symptoms like coughing, wheezing, a tight chest and breathlessness.

"Hot weather can also increase the amount of pollutants, pollen and mould in the air which can trigger asthma symptoms."

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