Warmest day of the year for UK... but with sweltering humidity and very high pollen levels


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The Independent Online

In summers gone by, today's weather statistics would hardly be worth a mention. But after a freezing winter, snow in May and a miserable summer so far, this afternoon at least brought a sunny smile to many British faces.

It was the warmest day of the year so far, with a temperature of 26.3C (79.3F) in central London . But many areas were not so lucky with thickening cloud and some showers along the north Kent coast.

Meanwhile the high humidity led to thunderstorm warnings. Individual enjoyment of the warmth was therefore tempered by 'stickiness and misery for sufferers was heightened by "very high" pollen counts.

The spell of hot weather is brief. Tomorrow sees temperatures falling to 20C (68F) at best, plus widespread frequent showers and long spells of rain.

The longer term picture is no more rosy, with meteorologists suggesting the recent run of wet summers could continue for a further decade. Experts who gathered at the Met Office in Exeter heard that the damp summer weather may have been caused by a 10- to 20-year pattern of warming in the Atlantic, which may only have been happening since 2007.