Hot weather


While many people enjoy the sunshine, for some hot weather can lead to serious health problems. When the Met Office issues a heatwave warning this triggers the borough’s heatwave action plan and teams across the council initiate protocols to support and protect vulnerable people across the borough.

Read more about signs of heatstroke and heat exhaustion.

Hot weather can particularly effect people with health conditions and the elderly. Please keep an eye on your vulnerable neighbours, friends and family.

The hot weather can also impact on travel around the area. TfL and Network Rail issue travel alerts as trains may be running a reduced speeds. Please check before you travel and try to carry a bottle of water with you. You can find free water at thousands of locations with Refill London.

The council is reminding residents to keep hydrated and stay out of the sun where possible.

Staying cool - some top tips:

  • keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm
  • if you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat and light scarf
  • avoid extreme physical exertion
  • eat cold foods, particularly salads and fruit with a high water content
  • take a cool shower, bath or body wash
  • sprinkle water over the skin or clothing, or keep a damp cloth on the back of your neck.
  • keeping your living space cool is especially important for infants, the elderly or those with chronic health conditions or who can’t look after themselves
  • keep windows that are exposed to the sun closed during the day, and open windows at night when the temperature has dropped
  • keep indoor plants and bowls of water in the house as evaporation helps cool the air
  • if possible, move into a cooler room, especially for sleeping
  • electric fans may provide some relief, if temperatures are below 35°

For more tips visit heatwave how to cope in hot weather.

Water warnings

Warnings are also in place for anyone trying to cool down by swimming in open water like the river or in docks. Going into the water might seem like a good idea in the hot weather but it is  incredibly dangerous as the water is a lot colder than you’d expect. Cold water can cause your body to go into shock no matter how fit you are, causing panic, anxiety, disorientation and loss of muscular control. These reactions can also cause you to gasp for air resulting in water being inhaled. Anything below 15°C is defined as cold water, and on average the UK and Ireland sea temperatures are just 12°C. Rivers such as the Thames are colder - even in the summer.

Our leisure centres are open for safe swimming and some of our parks have water features for children to play in and cool off. Visit the webpages for more details:

Page last updated: 25 July 2019