Representatives of the Met Agency have warned residents in Essex that from 30th May the county is due to experience some of the highest temperatures ever recorded – parents have been told to be especially careful when out with their children for the half-term holiday. According to the latest forecast information, Wednesday and Thursday could see thermometers hit 34 degrees Celcius, and with a complete lack of wind it could ‘feel’ more like 36 degrees Celcius.

The Met Agency statement said: ‘Our satellite models have shown that there will be a complete ‘low pressure break’ that will literally stop over Essex for the whole of next week, and this will lead to rocketing temperatures – this weather phenomenon is usually only experienced once every 200 years. With such precise data available, we have also issued a drought warning for the area of Southend Seafront between the Radio Essex building and Adventure Golf, and it appears that once again this micro-region will be the dryest area on the entire planet.’

A county health official said: ‘Although we advise people to drink plenty of water, local residents should remember that engineers will be testing the seafront lagoon and filling it with water – therefore we are encouraging everyone in the town to use their supply sensibly so that a full hose pipe ban can be avoided.’