The sizzling weather currently baking the region is a sign Birmingham's climate is turning into that enjoyed by Paris, according to a city meteorology expert.
The present heatwave - which is expected to see temperatures in the West Midlands top 30 C (86F) today - could indicate that the region is in the grip of global warming and heading towards a climate more like that of the Continent, according to Dr John Thornes, reader in meteorology at Birmingham University.
The sweltering heat has been causing problems for asthma sufferers, animals and the elderly across Britain, and it is expected to reach a maximum today.
"There's some indication that in the 1990s and into the 2000s we are getting warmer spells of weather in the summer months," said Dr Thornes.
"It could be natural variation but the evidence is getting stronger that what we are seeing is enhanced global warming. Predictions for later into the century mean the climate in Birmingham will be more like that of Paris, in that we will have hotter, drier summers and milder, wetter winters.
"Previously we have had heatwaves in 2003, 1995 and 1976 and we might see these hot spells becoming closer together," he added.
The Met Office raised its Heat-Health alert to "level three" yesterday after threshold temperatures were reached for two days in a row.
At the weekend the Met Office issued a level two alert, which is triggered when forecasters believe that there is an 80 per cent chance that "heatwave" temperatures will be reached for two or more days.
The Met Office said it was the first time it had issued a level three alert since the warning service was started in 2004.
The hot weather, combined with sudden downpourings of cold rain, has put freshwater fish in shallow lakes in the region at risk for the second time in a month.
Yesterday anglers in Harborne, Birmingham, spotted 50-60 of Moor Pool Fishing Club's larger fish floating dead on the water's surface.
"Oxygen was being used up by fast-growing algae, which had multiplied in the heat. We estimate about 80 per cent of the stock, mainly carp, has died because of the heat" said angler Steve Smith. Environment Agency officers pumped in a solution of peroxide and oxygen levels were brought up to 80 per cent.
"I would appeal to anyone who can help us to restock our pool," added Mr Smith.
Last month thousands of fish died at a fishery at Larford Lakes, Stourport, after 3,000 fish died in similar circumstances.
Pets are also bearing the brunt of the heatwave, with the RSPCA reporting 222 incidents of dogs being left in hot cars.
At The Royal Show in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, RSPCA inspectors broke into a BMW to find a dead whippet inside. The heat in the car was more than 47C.
A spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service said there had been many more call-outs over the past two days to reports of acute asthma attacks, which were associated to the hot weather.
"Temperatures are due to become cooler by Wednesday - between 22C (72F) and 24C (75F) and heavy, thundery showers will become more common as well," said a Met Office spokeswoman.
Thunder and flash floods were already affecting some parts of the country yesterday including West Yorkshire and North Wales.
In Greater Manchester buildings were struck by lightning and seven people were evacuated in Irlam when two cars were flooded in 4ft deep water. ..SUPL: