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  Why is it so hot?
Updated 07 August 2003, 15.44
Two friends cool off at London's Brockwell Lido
The recent spell of hot weather's got us all in a spin.

But what's causing the heatwave in the first place?

There's no one simple answer but meteorologists - the weather experts - blame the heat on certain weather systems coming from a different part of Europe.

The most important one is an area of high pressure - known as an anticyclone - which often brings fine weather.

Weathermen think this particular high pressure has been coming from a place known as the Iberian Peninsula.

Hot air

That's in the southwest of Europe and is often very hot anyway.

It's pumping hot air into the rest of Europe, including Britain.

It's holding off weather systems called depressions which can bring rain and strong winds.

There's no clear evidence to blame global warming for this heatwave.

But scientists at the World Meteorological Office say the world's 10 hottest recorded years have all taken place since 1987.

More InfoBORDER=0
PicturesCheck out these hot weather pics
Find OutOur cool summer safety guide!
Find OutWhat is global warming?
VoteVote: R U fed up with the heat?

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Past StoriesBORDER=0
Britain set to heat up again
Hottest day of 2003 so far confirmed
Britain's hottest temperature could be beaten
UK hots up as temperatures soar

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