Britains Summer Could Beat 1976 Scorcher
BRITAIN is sweltering in the fiercest heatwave for seven years – and experts claim scorching conditions could continue for two months.
Temperatures hit a searing 89F (31.4C) on Saturday, making it the hottest day of the year so far, while widespread highs above 81F yesterday for the ninth day in a row makes this the longest sunshine super-spell since 2006.
And there is no immediate end in sight – with at least another two weeks of blistering heat on the way and thermometers likely to hit 95F.
Forecaster revealed the UK could be facing the longest heatwave on record with sky-high temperatures – threatening to stretch through August and beating the historic scorcher of 1976.
The Met office last night extended a Level 2 health alert into this week and warned high pressure causing extreme heat will stay wedged over the UK until the end of the month.
The warning had hit Level 3 on Saturday – the last step before emergency measures come in.
Alerts, issued in conjunction with the Department of Health, come into force when the mercury climbs above 86F during the day and night-time temperatures fail to fall below 59F.
Jonathan Powell, forecaster for Vantage Weather service insisted Britain’s long wait for a “barbecue summer” has finally come to an end.
He said the scorching conditions will last until the end of this month with early indications showing August is set to be another sizzler.
Mr Powell added: “This is the barbecue summer that we have been wanting for years – and there is not a shred of evidence it is going to end any time soon.
“The rest of July is showing a similar picture and now August looks like following suit, so we could be looking at another six weeks or more of this. Temperatures are just dazzling over the next two weeks at least, and in terms of historic heatwaves this is now looking like giving 1976 a run for its money. There is no sign of it cooling down.”
The blistering heat has been welcomed by sun-lovers who flocked to beaches and parks across Britain at the weekend.
Supermarkets had a roaring trade as thousands who opted to stay at home wheeled out the barbecues.
Predictions of another belting month tie in with legend that states if today, St Swithin’s Day, is fine another 40 days of good weather will follow.
Bookies said the heatwave has triggered a record number of bets forcing them to slash odds on top temperatures being beaten.