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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 July 2006, 06:16 GMT 07:16 UK
UK heatwave subsides for weekend
Two women and a girl in the rain
Summer showers are predicted over the weekend
Fresher weather and summer showers have been predicted to take effect over the weekend, as the recent heatwave starts to cool off.

Thunderstorms predicted for Friday largely failed to materialise, as heat levels were not sufficiently high.

Cooler weather will push in from the west, and by Sunday most areas will feel much fresher.

Met office forecaster Robin Thwaytes said: "People will say it has gone cold in comparison to how hot it's been."

The hot weather has been blamed by energy company EDF for several power cuts in London's West End.

Shops were forced to close in the capital's busiest shopping district on Thursday, and smaller blackouts were reported on Friday.

EDF, whose customers were affected, said local network failures had been made worse by power surges caused by the hot weather.

This month is already on target to be the hottest July on record but the Met Office says the current heatwave is set to end over the next few days.

Temperatures next week will typically be between 19C (66F) and 25C (77F) - much closer to the seasonal average.

According to Mr Thwaytes the predicted outbreak of thunderstorms on Friday only took place over east Kent and in Northern Ireland which experienced "one or two little showers".

Vegetable threat

Temperatures are expected to stay quite high in the South East on Saturday, reaching about 27C (81F) in London.

Temperatures of between 20C (68F) and 23C (73F) are expected in other parts of the country with the west, Northern Ireland and Scotland the coolest.

Eastern parts will be cooler and damper by Sunday.

In the capital, temperatures of about 24C (75F) are expected.

Mr Thwaytes said all areas would seem "a good deal cooler" by Monday and Tuesday.

"It will be much more pleasant to sleep in," he added.

There are hints that the high pressure will return towards next week, bringing dry weather and summer conditions.

Forecasters are unsure if that spell of warm weather will constitute a heatwave.

The recent heatwave across Continental Europe has led to warnings of a shortage of vegetables in the shops, which in turn could push up prices.

Current conditions combined with a cold and wet spring mean production of some crops has fallen by up to 40%.

Broad beans, potatoes, baby carrots and peas could be some of the produce in short supply over the next few weeks.


Do you have any pictures of how the storms are affecting your area? Send your pictures or mobile phone video to yourpics@bbc.co.uk




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