After the heatwave, stand by for the storms

Kevin Rawlinson
Friday 10 January 2014 02:42
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June was Britain's hottest, driest and sunniest month for three years as temperatures rose to nearly 32 degrees C, figures showed today.

But, as usual, no-one should not get too used to basking in the sunshine. Despite Met Office seasonal forecasts predicting above average temperatures for the next two months, early July is set to bring showers and thunderstorms are predicted across much of Western England on Thursday.

A spokesman said: "Our seasonal forecast is for good weather and warmer than average temperatures for the period June-August. But after the current heatwave, which will spill over into July, the heat will slowly fade and more showers will begin to creep in."

June ended on a scorching note with Surrey recording 31.3C – the month's highest temperature.

June's average maximum temperature differed between the regions, Heathrow airport seeing 22.3C while on Fair Isle, between Orkney and Shetland, the figure was just 12.9C.

Rainfall in England and Wales was just 80 per cent the average for the period 1971-2000, 84 per cent of the normal amount in Scotland and 95 per cent in Northern Ireland.

Summer storms though did mean some areas suffered downpours, with 90mm of rain falling in the Exeter area on the 6th.

The hot weather has prompted the Government to set up a 'heatwave advice page' on its own Directgov website, giving help and advice to the public which can be found at www.direct.gov.uk.

Water companies moved to allay fears of water shortages over the coming months. A Northumbrian Water spokesman said: "Because we have a good reservoir system, including Kielder Water, so we do not envisage any problem with supply."

And the heatwave has sent sales of fans soaring. Tesco said it expects to sell around 100,000 fans before the week is out – up twenty-fold on last week.

Ice cream sales are rising too. "We're expecting the best week for ice cream since the heatwave of 2006," David Whiffen, Sainsbury's ice cream buyer, said. The store's ice cream sales had doubled compared with the same week last year and up 75 per cent on last week's figures.

Three Valleys Water, which supplies the areas to the north and west of London, said it expects an increase in demand for water in July but it does not anticipate any issues supplying its customers.

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