Hot weather in London

The Mayor wants to ensure that Londoners can prepare, respond to, and recover from the impacts of extreme heat.

Hot weather can make things quite uncomfortable if you live and/or work in the capital, so it’s important to be prepared. Whether you’re travelling, working and/or trying to keep cool at home there are small actions you can take to help you cope with the heat.

When we experience hot weather, Public Health England issues the following advice:

  • Shut windows and pull down the shades (or close curtains) when it is hotter outside. You can open the windows for ventilation when it is cooler
  • Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you're vulnerable to the effects of heat
  • Wear loose, cool clothing and a hat and sunglasses if you go outdoors
  • Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and diluted fruit juice. Avoid excess alcohol, caffeine (tea, coffee and cola) or drinks high in sugar
  • Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves
  • Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this isn't possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter)
  • Have a cool bath or shower, and splash yourself with cool water
  • Listen to alerts on the radio, TV and social media about keeping cool
  • Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies such as food, water and any medications you need
  • Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool

If you are out and about, you may find a ‘cool spot’. Cool spots may include shaded areas beneath trees in a green space or park, libraries, the basement of a shop, a museum etc.

Who is at risk?

There are certain factors that increase an individual’s risk during a heatwave. These include:

  • older age: especially those over 75+, or those living on their own and who are socially isolated, or in a care home
  • chronic and severe illness: such as heart conditions, diabetes, respiratory or renal insufficiency, Parkinson’s disease or severe mental illness
  • inability to adapt behaviour to keep cool: having Alzheimer’s, a disability, being bed bound, too much alcohol, babies and the very young
  • environmental factors and overexposure: living in a top floor flat, being homeless, activities or jobs that are in hot places or outdoors and include high levels of physical exertion

If you are at risk and/or know someone who could be at risk

  • check room temperatures especially where disabled or individuals who are at risk spend most of their time
  • keep an eye on people at risk – ensure they have access to plenty of cool liquids
  • if you see someone sleeping rough, refer them to StreetLink so that outreach workers can provide them with hot weather essentials like water and sunscreen, and make them aware of support options
  • look out for vulnerable neighbours
  • check that extra care and support are available if needed
  • check that you/the person can contact a primary care team such as a GP or primary care centre, if informal care arrangements are unavailable
  • check there is a care plan containing contact details for the GP, other care workers and informal carers
  • check there are adequate arrangements for food shopping to reduce having to go out in hot weather
  • suggest you/the person consults the GP about possible changes to their treatment and/or medication

If you are worried about an urgent medical concern in very hot weather, you can call NHS 111 to speak to a fully trained advisor.

Find out more information about this service.

Weather forecasts

Stay up to date with the weather in London with forecasts and alerts from the Met Office.

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