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Video: Is the hot weather set to stay?

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It will be an unsettled night with some heavy showers and thunderstorms heading north with lows of 17C (63F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Warm weather brings threat of thunderstorms

Scattered thunderstorms moving north tonight through the West Midlands could lead to some power cuts and travel delays, the Met Office is warning.

Although some places will miss the thunderstorms altogether, where they do occur there is the potential for frequent lightning, hail and gusty winds.

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Speed restriction due to heat

Speed restrictions have been put in place on Chiltern Railways services due to the heat.

Travellers are being warned journeys are expected to take longer than normal.

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Warnings issued as temperatures set to break 30C

The health service is warning people to stay hydrated and use sunscreen during the hot weather expected this week.

The south of England will see the hottest temperatures, but in the West Midlands we're still likely to see it reach 30C in the next few days and even higher in some areas.

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The NHS is advising those who are more vulnerable such as the very young and the elderly, to avoid being exposed to the sun for long periods.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

Any cloud should clear leaving a sunny and very warm day with highs of 31C (88F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It will be a dry night turning misty in places with lows of 13C (55F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Work starts on police Commonwealth Games HQ

Work has started on a new control suite, which will be the base for police operations for Birmingham's Commonwealth Games in 2022.

West Midlands Police
BBC

The new centre, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020, will also be a base for the force's firearms operations unit.

Ch Supt Dave Sturman said: “The games will be the largest operation in the force’s history and this new Event Control Suite will provide the world class facilities we need to deliver a safe and successful event for the region."

The new centre is also part of the force's programme to save £5m a year through disposing of underused buildings.

Drone footage of fire at derelict factory in Winson Green
Smoke could be seen across Birmingham on Saturday after a fire broke out at a derelict factory.

Weather: Rain forecast this weekend

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

If you were planning a barbeque this weekend, you might want to wait until Sunday, because we're forecast rain tomorrow.

It's looking a lot better next week though.

Weather forecast for the West Midlands

West Coast Main Line rail passengers face disruption

Rail passengers using the West Coast Main Line through the West Midlands can expect major disruption, because of engineering work which is due to start tomorrow.

For the next 16 days Network Rail is upgrading track, cabling, overhead lines and signalling at the Acton Grange junction between Crewe and Preston.

Railway track
Network Rail

Trains will be diverted during the £27m project, with replacement buses also running.

A full list of services affected is available on the Network Rail website, alongside details of replacement buses.

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It should be a dry night with clear periods and lows of 10C (50F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands
The moment police swoop on armed men in Birmingham
Footage from officers' body-worn cameras shows the operation after a sawn-off shotgun changes hands.

West Midlands house prices to see biggest rise in England

The West Midlands is predicted to see the biggest increase in house prices in England over the next two years, according to analysts from PwC.

Only Wales is expected to see faster growth in the UK.

Homes
PA Media

PwC said it expected the price of the average house in the West Midlands to rise from £194,000 to £223,000 by 2022 and warns that this will make it hard for people move to find new jobs and will also have an impact on rental prices.

More than 70 animals shot in the West Midlands

More than 70 animals were shot using air guns in the West Midlands last year, new figures show.

Cat
RSPCA

The RSPCA is calling for the licensing of air guns as figures reveal the charity received 767 reports of animals being shot across England and Wales, with 72 reports coming from the region.

Cats bore the brunt of the shootings with 258 of them and 73 dogs deliberately killed or maimed last year.

A large number of wild mammals and birds, including foxes, squirrels, swans and pigeons were targeted as well, it said.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

Any early rain should clear leaving a bright day with highs of 23C (973F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Latest weather: Another warm and overcast day

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It's forecast to be another warm and overcast day tomorrow and there's a chance of a bit of rain overnight.

Weather forecast for the West Midlands

Force gets extra £5m for crime-predicting technology trial

The Home Office has given another £5m to a police force testing software that predicts whether someone will commit a crime.

Lloyd House, West Midlands Police HQ
BBC

West Midlands Police is trialling the system to analyse data on knife and gun offences, as well as modern slavery.

The National Data Analytics Solution is used to help predict whether someone will commit a crime or become a victim.

Supt Nick Dale, from the force, said: "This technology has the potential to help us understand modern slavery networks, the hidden crime within our communities, so much better, as well as the problems that lead to serious violence that blights communities and affects the lives of victims and perpetrators.

"We are still at an early stage in identifying how best machine learning technology can be used, but it is really important that our work is scrutinised independently from an ethical point of view, and that technology will never replace professional judgment or affect the police's accountability for our actions."

West Midlands Police received £4.5m of Home Office funding for the scheme last year.

Town centre task force 'open minded' about regeneration

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A taskforce set up to regenerate five town centres in the West Midlands, says it will listen to business people there, before drawing up a plan.

The West Midlands Combined Authority appointed Jon Bramwell (below, centre) to lead the group and it has £20m to spend on the improvements.

Business leaders in Bilston
BBC

Mr Bramwell said his taskforce was "very open minded" and that it was very difficult to say how the five high streets might change "given the fact that the way people go about shopping these days is changing."

The five town centres are Bilston, the St Thomas Quarter in Dudley, Bordesley Green in Birmingham, the St Matthews Quarter in Walsall and West Bromwich East.

Policeman charged with custody block assault

A police custody sergeant has been charged with assaulting a man who was detained by officers last December.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said Sgt Nathan Legend will appear at Birmingham Magistrates' Court on Thursday charged with two counts of assault by beating.

The 31-year-old was charged by the CPS following an IOPC investigation which looked at the officer's use of force against a man detained at Birmingham's Perry Barr custody unit.

Psychologist says we can all learn from Djokovic

BBC Sport

Visualisation techniques which helped Novak Djokovic win Wimbledon can be used by "almost every human being", a psychologist has said.

Djokovic said after lifting the title "I always try to imagine myself as a winner" and Dr Jennifer Cumming from the University of Birmingham said there has been "tons of research" on the power of imagery in normal life.

novak djokovic
Getty Images

The technique of "imagery" involves creating or recreating an successful experience in your mind, to encourage positive thinking and improve performance.

"Generally we can all capitalise on this and the more we use it, the more we can improve it," Dr Cumming said.

She said we probably already use the technique without realising, for instance re-tracing your steps when you lose your keys, and that it can help in situations like job interviews or exams to imagine, in detail, how they will happen.

University staff strike over pay and conditions

Support staff at the University of Birmingham are taking strike action in a row over pay and conditions.

Striking staff
Unison

Caterers, cleaners, security guards and other staff who are members of Unison are taking two days of industrial action.

The union says senior managers have refused to negotiate over fair pay and have and imposed a below-inflation pay rise of 2%.

Striking staff
Unison

The University of Birmingham said a "very small number" of staff were involved in the industrial action and it remains "business as usual on campus."

“The University has met a number of times with Unison and the other support staff unions over the last week in order to try to bring an end to the action and made an extensive offer around pay and the voluntary Living Wage," it added.

Unemployment down slightly in West Midlands

Unemployment across the UK was 3.8% between March and May 2019. The rate is at its lowest since late 1974.

Unemployment rates
BBC

In the West Midlands figures fell slightly to 4.8%, according to the Office for National Statistics. Unemployment is highest in the North East at 5.6%.

Figures also showed wage growth in the UK was 3.6% in the year to May 2019, the highest growth rate since 2008.

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It should be a dry and clear night with lows of 7C (45F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Sir Vince Cable in Brexit studies role

Sir Vince Cable will teach at a Centre for Brexit Studies at Birmingham City University, it has been announced.

Sir Vince, who leaves his role as the Liberal Democrat party leader next week, has joined the centre as a visiting professor.

Sir Vince Cable
EPA

“The former business secretary has been appointed to the think tank to offer insight and analysis, and brings with him decades of experience working in frontline politics.” the university said.

He will focus on “looking at the economics and scenarios” related to Britain’s exit from the EU.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It will be a dry and fine day with light winds and highs of 22C (72F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Clear and dry start to the weekend

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

Starting off dry with clear spells tonight, here's the rest of the forecast for the West Midlands:

Rebecca Wood with Friday night's West Midlands weather

You can get the latest forecast for your area at any other time by heading to the BBC Weather website.

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

There will be some sunny intervals this evening but also some showers which may be heavy.

It should be a dry night with some clear spells with highs of 13C (55F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Thunderstorms warning issued

Parts of the West Midlands could be affected by thunderstorms later, with some disruption to travel expected.

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The Met Office has issued a yellow warning which is in place from 13:00 to 21:00.