Residents of South Essex are being warned to take ’emergency precautions’ after the Essex Weather Office announced that temperatures are expected to reach 42 DEGREES CELCIUS on Tuesday.

Herbert Dabb of the EWO said: ‘People in the area simply won’t be prepared for these conditions when the heat wave hits. At around 2pm on Tuesday, cars left in direct sunlight will actually have roofs as hot as a low-temp frying pan.’

‘The biggest concern for people indoors will be irresponsible motorists who drive down residential streets too quickly.’

‘Excessive speeds lead to high thermal waves that crash into properties, and for some residents this could lead to indoor temperatures increasing by 5 to 10 degrees more than in low-traffic areas.’

Pet owners have been warned to keep small dark-furred animals indoors after a 3-year-old black cat roasted to death in Fairfax Drive on Monday afternoon.

Jemima Fonge of Southend Cat Awareness Tracking said: ‘As always, SCAT advises owners of black cats to keep them indoors during heat wave conditions.’

‘While white cats are able to reflect heat efficiently, black cats literally cook from the inside by soaking up the rays from the sun. Tuesday’s forecast temperatures are a huge cause for concern.’

‘Our animal welfare officers have predicted that at 2pm on Tuesday in Southend, an all-black feline could perish after just four minutes of exposure to direct sunlight.’