ANYONE feeling blue about the lack of holidays abroad this summer needn't worry as the town is set to be hotter than Barbados this week.

Temperatures in the area are expected to soar past 30C as the heatwave hits the county.

The Met Office is predicting temperatures highs of 31C locally - hotter than that currently forecast in the Caribbean island of Barbados.

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In Reading, residents can expect its hottest days this week to be today and tomorrow with highs of 31C throughout the afternoons.

The forecast is predicting it will be its hottest between 3pm and 5pm, and for temperatures to remain largely above 27C throughout most the day.

It is clear sunshine expected for today, before thunderstorms are predicted to move in tomorrow.

The same applies to Bracknell, where forecasters are again predicting highs of 31C today between 3pm and 4pm. The same story for the remainder of the day with temperatures staying largely above 26C throughout.

Bracknell too is likely to be subjected to thunderstorms tomorrow as well, as the Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for the county - and most areas across the UK.

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It will come into force from 4pm through to 9am on Friday and the warning says: "Whilst many places will be dry or see little rain, thunderstorms may cause flooding and disruption in a few places."

Experts are also warning about the health risks of heatwaves as temperatures continue to climb.

Warnings have been issued about UV levels, which are going to be "exceptionally high" over the next couple of days.

Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said that UV levels will be "reaching eight across many places and will be reaching nine across parts of Devon and Cornwall tomorrow.

"That's about as high as it gets really in the UK.

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"The sun is as strong as it gets at the moment because we're so close to the solstice.

"We've got peak sun strength, clear skies, plenty of sunshine - it's the perfect ingredients for high UV."

Shoppers have also been advised to be aware they could be forced to spend extra time in the sun as a result of social distancing measures.

Dr Lynn Thomas, medical director at St John Ambulance, added: "You could end up in the sun for longer than expected on what would normally be a quick journey, such as queuing to enter the supermarket, so you should be prepared to look after yourself and others."

She added: "Heat exhaustion and heatstroke are two of the most serious problems that can develop when the mercury soars but by being prepared you can spot the early warning signs, such as headache and dizziness."

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The public is also being reminded not to have barbecues on dry grass, not to drop cigarettes or matches, and not to leave rubbish such as bottles lying around.

Emergency teams have also warned people to take care around water, amid concerns people might be tempted to take a dip to cool down.