HEATWAVE: June was Lancashire's second hottest since records began

Anna and her sister Cara enjoying the sun on the beach in Morecambe
Anna and her sister Cara enjoying the sun on the beach in Morecambe

Dried out reservoirs, hosepipe bans and even a minister for drought. The summer of 1976 has gone done in history as the hottest on record.

But the heatwave of 2018 is gearing up to eclipse the 42-year-old record breaking summer with temperatures in June now officially the hottest in 78 years.

The Met Office says that average maximum temperatures in the region measured 20.7°C making it the second warmest June since records began in 1910.

Lancashire’s June record was only beaten in 1940, when average temperatures reached a blistering 21.4°C.

And experts at Lancaster University’s Hazelrigg Weather station say that temperatures for the hottest individual day in June came very close to the hottest ever recorded, hitting 28.2°C on June 28 (the hottest June day was recorded on June 18, 2000 at 28.4°C).

Data released by the experts also shows that residents enjoyed 262 hours of sunshine over the month making it the sunniest June in 43 years.

Dr James Heath of the Lancaster Environment Centre said: “What makes all this the more remarkable is that these figures were reached in spite of the sudden arrival of Storm Hector on June 13-14, introducing a week or so of much fresher, more changeable conditions.

“Without that interruption mid-month, June 2018 would very likely have broken all the records going back more than 50 years.

“The Met Office is predicting higher than average temperatures for the summer, however, long range forecasts are unpredictable.

“It is too early to say whether or not the rest of the summer will continue to be as hot.”

What remains to be seen is whether the 2018 heatwave can continue as long as the sweltering summer of 1976, which lasted three months.

The prolonged heatwave led to hose pipe bans, melting roads and wildfires across the region.

But already the hot, dry start to this year’s summer has contributed to several large moorland fires that have ripped across Lancashire.

United Utilities is now urging people to conserve water wherever possible, with many residents expecting a hose-pipe ban to be imposed imminently.