July second hottest since ice-cream was invented

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The Independent Online
THIS July has been the second hottest since 1659 - the year in which Francisco Procopio perfected ice-cream, Glenda Cooper writes.

Meteorological Office figures for 1 to 27 July show that the average central England temperature was 19C (68F). The only hotter July on record was in 1983, when the average temperature was 19.5C.

That was when Martina Navratilova's victim in the Wimbledon final was Andrea Jaeger, golfer Tom Watson won his fifth Open and Police topped the charts with Every Breath You Take. Much of Europe endured a heatwave so severe dozens of lives were lost.

July 1983 and July 1994 beat 1975 and 1976, widely remembered as the hottest summers of recent years, because the hot spells in those years did not fall so neatly in a single month. This July also beats the more distant July heatwaves of 1959, 1947 and 1783.

Met Office figures show that central England temperatures this month have been a clear 3.2 degrees Centigrade above the average recorded between 1951 and 1980.

Sunshine has been 21 per cent up on average levels - by 27 July, 197 hours of sunshine were recorded. Fair Isle in Scotland had the most sunshine in one day, recording 16 hours on 18 July.

When it came to comparing areas there were no surprises, the Met Office said. East Anglia was the driest part of the country, with only 51 per cent of its average rainfall, recording a paltry 22.6mm. The north of Scotland was coldest, averaging 14.2C (58F). Rainfall was above average in only one area - north-west England and north Wales, which endured an increase of 13 per cent.

(Photograph omitted)

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