Scorcher On The South Coast

The mini heatwave on the South Coast is expected to last for the next few days - thousands of people will be packing out the beaches.

Roads to places like the New Forest, Bournemouth, Southsea, Hayling and The Witterings are expected to be extra-busy - while BBQ food will be flying off supermarket shelves again.

Thermometers at Heathrow and Kew Gardens in London nudged 28.1C (82.6F) yesterday, but those temperatures are set to be put in the shade today (Sunday 7th July) as the mercury soars to 30C (86F).

Matt Dobson, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said:

"Most areas, particularly in the southern half of the UK, will have another glorious day with plenty of sunshine and obviously very warm again.

"We are looking at temperatures of between 26C (78.8F) and 29C (84.2F) across many inland parts of England, and we could just see 30C (86F) likely in west London.

"Yesterday was the hottest day of the year so far, and it is fairly comfortable that we are going to beat that today, with the favourite spot to do so being west London and the Thames Valley''

Mr Dobson said that the forecast remained fine for the coming days, but temperatures would fall off to something more comfortable by the middle of the week.

He said: "Rather than the heatwave continuing to intensify it will just remain lovely and glorious weather, and will gradually become less hot by Wednesday or Thursday.''

Yesterday's fine weather claimed its first life, when a boy died while swimming in a disused quarry in Worcestershire.

The boy, who has not yet been named, failed to resurface after swimming in Gullet Quarry near Malvern.

His death is not suspicious, West Mercia Police said, although Detective Inspector Richard Rees reiterated warnings about swimming in rivers, lakes and canals.

The last time the country enjoyed a long spell of warm July weather was in 2006 when temperatures were above 28C (82.4F) in many areas for a fortnight.

More recently, temperatures peaked at 30.7C (87F) between July 23 and 26 last year.

It's great news for outdoor events on the south coast this weekend, but we are being warned to make sure we use plenty of sunscreen and to watch out for young children and the elderly.

We're also being warned against leaving pets in cars, with the RSPCA saying when it’s 22° C/72° F outside, the temperature inside a car can soar to 47° C/117° F within 60 minutes.

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