Scotland could see record breaking temperatures next week after the Met Office extended an amber ”extreme heat” warning to parts of the country.
Dumfries and Galloway could see temperatures of more than 30C on Monday and Tuesday during the peak of the “extreme heat”.
Forecasters warned people could experience “adverse effects” including sunburn, heat exhaustion and other heat-related illnesses.
It means temperatures could go close to the Scottish record of 33C, which was set in 2003 in the village of Greycrook in the Borders.
A new heatwave warning system was first introduced in Scotland last year.
STV meteorologist Sean Batty warned the all-time temperature record “could be under threat” when the mercury hits its highest point at the start of the week.
“This is indeed Scotland’s first heatwave warning, but that’s because the heatwave warning system was only put in place last year,” he said.
“If it had been in place over the last 20 years, we’d have likely had one for the extreme heat in 2003 and 2018.
“Temperatures in Scotland will peak on Monday and Tuesday, reaching the high 20s and possibly the low 30s in some spots.
“The top hot spots on Monday will be the west Highlands, Lanarkshire, Glasgow, Renfrewshire, Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway.
“On Tuesday the top spots move a bit further east to the likes of Aviemore, Kingussie, Perthshire, west Fife, Midlothian, the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway.”
He added: “I reckon the hottest place will be somewhere like Hawick, Moffat, Lockerbie and Dumfries where 30-32C is possible. I would also say at this stage there’s a decent chance the Scottish all-time record may be threatened on Tuesday when the heat peaks in the south.”
The heat is likely to be less intense than the high 30s and low 40s predicted in parts of England around the same time.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has increased its heat health warning from level three to level four – ranking it as a “national emergency” – in affected areas.
The UK’s Cobra committee held a meeting earlier this week on how to plan for the oncoming conditions, while transport services in some areas may be affected.
ScotRail has also warned that rails are at risk of “buckling” with some up to 20C higher than the air temperature.
Meanwhile, Scottish Water has warned users to help maintain baseline supplies by limiting their uses to irrigate gardens.
Several areas are also now subject to water scarcity warnings, with some being raised to ‘alert’ and ‘‘moderate scarcity’ levels.
Sean added: “While heatwave conditions have always swept across the UK from time to time, they’re now becoming more frequent and more intense – that’s clear from the regularity that we’re now breaking the UK record.
“Also, what we define as a heatwave is hotter than it was in the 60s. A heatwave in south-east of England was defined by three consecutive days of 25C and above, but now it’s 28C. That’s because extreme heat is becoming more of an occurrence and this is pushing the average up, which means that the definition of a heatwave changes.
“Scotland’s heatwave threshold is set at 25C, so that’s why a warning has been issued for the south with temperatures in the mid to high 20s Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.”
However, those expecting tropical temperatures throughout next week may be dorely disappointed, with normal service set to be resumed by Wednesday.
“The heatwave will disappear as quickly as it arrives, with temperatures dropping back to the mid to high teens,” Sean said.
“There’s plenty of guidance on the NHS website on how to cope in heatwaves and remember, don’t leave dogs or children in the car – temperatures can exceed 50C.”