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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 August, 2003, 17:51 GMT 18:51 UK
Britain's hottest summer?
Will 2003 outshine 1976?
The record for the hottest day in Britain has been broken, but will summer 2003 eclipse other near legendary ones.

According to the Met Office, it is too early to say whether this summer will beat the one of 1976.

Spokesman Andy Yeatman pointed out: "It depends on what statistics you choose. But in 1976 there were 15 consecutive days with temperatures above 32C."

Record-breaking temperatures all over the UK suggest Britain, as well as the rest of the world, is hotting up.

'Climate change'

But meteorologists point out that climate trends have to be measured over long periods.

"It is certainly true that world temperatures are getting higher," Andy Yeatman adds.

"We'll be seeing these hot events more frequently. But we can't say this hot spell is attributed to climate change."

Big Ben
The UK is getting hotter
The record for the hottest day ever in Britain was recorded on Sunday at Heathrow, where temperatures soared to 37.9C (100.2F)

The previous record was created in 1990, when it reached 37.1C in Cheltenham and 36.5C at Heathrow and Cambridge.

On Wednesday London reached the highest ever recorded in the capital at 35.3C.

Last month Maidenhead had its hottest July day since 1976, and the 27.3C in Wolverhampton on 16 April was the hottest April day since 1949.

In the past decade, the year's hottest day has ranged from 32.2C in 1998 to 35.2C in 1995 until the new 10-year peak was reached on Wednesday.

Even in 1976, the hottest day was only 35.9C. It was reached in Cheltenham on 3 August.


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