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Fitness fanatics and vulnerable people are being urged to stay indoors because of thick clouds of pollution.
Surging 20C temperatures have sparked “high” levels of fine particulate pollution, known as PM2.5 – one of the most dangerous forms.
High pollution has been recorded from Kent to Sunderland as Britain basks in the sunshine, including in Leeds and Sheffield.
Parts of the South East are seeing “very high” levels, especially in Norfolk and Essex.
Government advice urges everyone to “reduce physical exertion, particularly when outdoors and especially if they experience symptoms such as a cough or sore throat” when there’s very high levels of pollution.
Older people, along with those with heart and lung problems, are urged to limit “strenuous physical exertion”.
It recommends anyone else suffering from “discomfort” should consider cutting down their activity.
The pollution is sitting above the country having been sucked over from Europe due to the early spring heatwave.
According to the Met Office, it partly comes from European farmers ploughing or spraying cops.
Sarah Kent, from the Met Office, said: “We’ve got high pressure across the country and across the south eastern corner of the UK that’s drawing in a south easterly breeze.
“The other issue with high pressure is that because the wind is so light, the pollution we produce in our cities is not being dispersed, it’s just sitting there.”
It comes as temperatures soar hot enough to fry an egg on a car bonnet over the next few days, according to a weather expert. In direct sunshine, 30C might be recorded.
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Jim Dale, a meteorologist for British Weather Services, said: “We expect general highs of 21C in the warmest spots over the next couple of days.
“But in direct sunshine, it might be possible to record temperatures of 30C, the sort of temperatures which can make it hot enough to fry an egg on a car bonnet.
“This can bring the risk of sunburn, so this is something for people to watch out for.”
Temperatures are set to dip from Monday.
London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, said motorists should take fewer journeys to avoid contributing to the pollution with exhaust fumes.
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- UK Weather
- Met Office
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