THE heatwave is continuing in Dorset - with today expected to outshine and become the hottest day of the year.

Data from Weymouth weatherman Bob Poots who records data at the Wyke weather station shows that Tuesday was the hottest day of the year with a maximum temperature of 25.5 degrees. But that was beaten yesterday as it nudged up past 26 degrees.

People in direct sunlight will be experiencing temperatures well above 30 degrees.

Today is set to be even hotter.

The average amount of sunshine for the month is 239 hours but it could be on target to reach 300 hours this July.

High temperatures are set to continue but tomorrow could see some showers and it is likely to be overcast on Saturday.

Public Health Dorset says heat can be dangerous, particularly for older people, the very young and those with serious illnesses. It can make heart and respiratory problems worse and, in extreme circumstances, lead to heat stroke.

Public Health Dorset has some simple tips to help you stay safe in high heat: 

  • check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves
  • keep out of the sun in the hottest hours, between 11am and 3pm
  • walk in the shade, apply high protection sunscreen and wear a hat and light scarf
  • avoid extreme physical exertion
  • wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes.

You can cool down with regular cold drinks, eating salads and fruit, taking cool showers and sprinkling water over your skin or clothing. Closing curtains or shades at home is also recommended.

During days of intense heat, watch out for cramp in the arms, legs or stomach, feelings of mild confusion, weakness or problems sleeping. If you do have these symptoms, rest up, keep cool and drink plenty of water.

If unusual symptoms persist, contact your doctor or pharmacist – especially if you are taking medication.

Dorset County Hospital said it treated a few people for dehydration.

A spokesman said: “We have treated some elderly people and babies for dehydration.

"We would ask people to keep an eye on elderly relatives and neighbours to make sure their houses are well ventilated so that air can circulate and to make sure they drink enough.

"Babies should be stripped to their nappies in this sort of heat and kept out of the sunshine.

"People should also ensure they are properly protected out in the sun to avoid sunburn, which can be severe at this time of year.”

The RSPCA is reminding people that all animals can suffer during hot weather.

Last weekend, the charity received nearly 400 calls about animals affected by the rising temperatures, including a rabbit left outside without shade or water; a parrot left trapped in a hot car; a cage of hamsters left in a petshop window in direct sunlight; a horse left tethered in 82 degree heat unable to move to get water; a cat trapped in a glass box and around 30 chicks kept in a wire cage with no access to shade.

“Hot weather can cause problem for all animals. Every summer we urge people to take extra precautions during the heat but sadly our inspectors on the ground are still being faced with distressing situations that could have been avoided,”  said RSPCA pet welfare expert Dr Jane Tyson.

“We have already had calls about animals such as rabbits dying in their cages due to the heat and lack of access to water. While we hope the message is starting to get through to people that hot cars can be death traps for dogs, it is really important to remember that other animals may be suffering too,” she added.