What was the 1976 heatwave and how long did it last? | The Sun

What was the 1976 heatwave and how long did it last? | The Sun

BRITISH summers are expected to get hotter and drier, with heatwaves becoming much more common by 2050, according to the Met Office.

We take a look at one particular heatwave that caused roads to melt and the government to panic over a water shortage.

What was the 1976 British Isles heatwave?

The summer of 1976 is thought to be the hottest average temperature in the UK for more than 350 years.

It was one of the driest, sunniest and warmest summers in the 20th century, although the summer of 1995 is now regarded as the driest.

The government had begun to panic previously about low water levels in April and May, and water restrictions were introduced.

And by the summer months, the heat was so intense that the government introduced a Drought Act.

They also appointed a minister for Drought – Denis Howell – who was in charge of encouraging the public to use less water.

Hospital admissions soared with many people suffering from heart attacks and sunstroke.

Water companies issued a total of 139 drought orders.

Major motorways such as the M1 had problems with the tarmac melting, and large areas of woodlands and heath turned brown and were left destroyed by fires, which in some cases had to be left to burn out due to the water shortage.

People were also told to water their gardens with used bath water.

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How long did the 1976 heatwave last?

The summer of 1976 heatwave lasted for 15 days, from June 23 to July 7 in 1976.

The high temperatures continued throughout August with many parts of the south of the UK exceeding 330 hours of sunshine and highs of 25-30c on many days.

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What are the hottest UK temperatures on record?

The highest temperatures recorded in the UK by region (Met Office) are as follows:

  1. Cambridge Botanic Garden, East Anglia: 38.725 (July 2019)
  2. Faversham, South East England: 38.510 (August 2003)
  3. Cheltenham, Midlands: 37.13 (August 1990)
  4. Cranwell, East and North East England: 36.325 (July 2019)
  5. Saunton Sands, South West England: 35.43 (August 1990)
  6. Hawarden Bridge, North Wales: 35.22 (August 1990)
  7. Crossway, South Wales: 34.63 (August 1990)
  8. Nantwich, North West England: 34.63 (August 1990)
  9. Greycrook, East Scotland: 32.99 (August 2003)
  10. Dumfries, West Scotland: 32.82 (July 1908)
  11. Forres, Hillhead, North Scotland: 32.59 (August 2003)

The 2019 heatwave is the hottest recorded temperature in the UK.

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The heatwave occurred in late July and resulted in almost 900 extra deaths.

Temperatures across eastern England widely reached 35 to 36 °C and a temperature of 38.7 °C

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