A BLAST of hot and sticky Mediterranean weather is heading towards Hampshire.
Temperatures are set to rocket past 30°C (86°F) tomorrow as a weather phenomenon called the Spanish Plume drifts up from the continent before hovering above the county.
With the excessive temperatures on the horizon for tomorrow and Friday, the Met Office last night issued a level two weather alert and health bosses urged extra care for vulnerable people.
Although thermometers may clock the hottest day of the year, the Met Office said it will feel different from the 17 days of sizzling sunshine the county has experienced during the last heatwave.
Spokesman Lindsay Mears said: “It will be making temperatures very hot but it is going to be muggy and unpleasant, not like the dry heat we experienced for the past few weeks.
“There may be some sunshine, but the air will be warm with high humidity.”
Chief forecaster Nick Grahame said Spanish Plume was a complex meteorological phenomenon which leads to hot conditions and, on occasion, can lead to heavy showers or thunderstorms.
He said: “As the name suggests it is a plume of hot air that pushes north from the Spanish plateau and reaches the British Isles on a southerly airflow.
“Of course over the UK we are normally affected by cooler Atlantic air as fronts encroach from the west.
“Now when these two air masses meet, the hot ‘plume’ air is forced to rise vigorously over the cooler Atlantic air and as a result can sometimes produce thunderstorms.”
However, these steamy conditions are expected to be short lived with temperatures dropping to as low as 20°C (68°F) degrees on Saturday, which will see sunshine and showers.
Sunday is predicted to see highs of 24°C (75°F) with sun and clouds.
Solent NHS Trust nursing director Judy Hillier said: “If there’s anybody you know, for example an older person living on their own, who might be at special risk, make sure they know what to do.
“We would encourage everybody to follow this advice and take sensible precautions to look after themselves and keep hydrated and protected and look out for their neighbours.”
“At Solent NHS Trust, we are making sure our patients have got a constant and easy supply of water and their ward environment is comfortable.
“We also look after patients in the community in their own homes and our nurses are making additional checks such as telephone calls and visits to their patients so that we help them to stay hydrated.”