Hosepipe bans are affecting over a million people in the UK right now, as measures are in place to cope with the long period of dry weather.

Residents in certain areas are being banned from using hosepipes for a long list of activities, including watering gardens and washing cars.

The Met Office has warned there is “very little meaningful rain” on the horizon for parched areas of England as temperatures are set to climb into the 30s this week.

While it could mean another heatwave – when there are above-average temperatures for three days or more – it is likely conditions will be well below the 40C seen in some places last month.

Is there a hosepipe ban in Cumbria?

Currently, this is no hosepipe ban in place for Cumbria. According to HosepipeBan.Org, the current bans in place are in the Isle of Man, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Kent and Sussex.

Thames Water has also said it will introduce a hosepipe ban in London and surrounding areas which will affect 15 million people, “in coming weeks”.

HosepipeBan.Org also reported that Severn Trent, Yorkshire Water and South West Water have recently applied for drought permits, which is the first stage in applying for a hosepipe ban.

Met Office heatwave forecast for Cumbria

Over the weekend Cumbria will see temperatures in the late 20s, with Carlisle hitting 29C for Friday through to Sunday.

Temperatures are slightly cooler further south, with Ulverston reaching just 25C on the same days. This is the same with Workington and Maryport.

Penrith will see highs of 27C and Silloth will reach 25/26C.

Kendal will have temperatures of 26C, then will get cooler at the start of next week.

What classes as a heatwave?

A heatwave is an extended period of hot weather, relative to the expected conditions of the area at that time of year.

The current temperatures far exceed those normally, therefore we are experiencing a heatwave.

The UK also has its own conditions to be met for a heatwave to be declared.

A UK heatwave threshold is met when a location records a period of at least three consecutive days with daily maximum temperatures meeting or exceeding the heatwave temperature threshold. The threshold varies by UK county.

What causes a heatwave?

Heatwaves are common in summer when high pressure develops across an area, the Met Office explains.

High-pressure systems slowly move and can persist over many days or weeks. They can occur in the UK due to the location of the jet stream, which is usually to the north of the UK in the summer.

This can allow high pressure to develop over the UK resulting in persistent dry and settled weather.

With the latest heatwave coming after months of low rain, which have left the countryside and urban parks and gardens tinder-dry, households in some areas are being urged not to light fires or have barbecues.

The Met Office’s fire severity index (FSI), an assessment of how severe a fire could become if one were to start, is very high for most of England and Wales, and will reach “exceptional” for a swathe of England by the weekend.

Scientists warn that the likelihood of droughts occurring is becoming higher due to climate change, driven by greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels and other human activities.

Climate change is also making heatwaves more intense, frequent and likely – with last month’s record temperatures made at least 10 times more likely because of global warming, and “virtually impossible” without it, research shows.