Heatwave hype has been building over the past few days and, for once, the media has been justified in its coverage of the current spell.
Temperatures over the past few days have been enough for the Met Office to trigger its Heath-Health Watch whereby the mean temperature (an average of the maximum and minimum) for two consecutive days reaches 23.5C.
A couple of years ago I compiled a list of heatwaves for this area back to 1852 where the mean temperature reaches at least 23.5C three days running. This spell, the only other June heatwave (the other being 1976!), only just scrapes into the list.
Although it felt hot this spell, in terms of Premier League quality, was more Middlesbrough than Chelsea.
Forecasters say today is likely to be the hottest June day for 40 years though I’d be surprised if we exceed the 34.2C recorded on June 27th 2011. It would be the fifth day running that 30C has been reached in this area, enough to fulfil the World Meteorological Organisation’s (WMO) definition of a heatwave.
Whatever happens today the fact that the heat has been produced by a tropical maritime airmass is remarkable. With France and Spain recording some very high temperatures of late the same pattern in July and August could put more records at risk of being broken.
This week marks the 41st anniversary of the start of probably the finest British summer in history, but anyone hoping that yet another parallel with the 1970s is about to come true should take a look at the latest model runs.