1976 United Kingdom heat wave

1976 United Kingdom Heat Wave

1976 United Kingdom heat wave

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The summer of 1976 was the hottest summer in the UK since records began. As well as the heat, Britain was in the middle of a severe drought.

Heatwave and drought effects

The temperature reached 80°F (26.7°C) every day between 22 June and 16 July. For 15 consecutive days from 23 June to 7 July inclusive, temperatures reached 90°F (32.2°C) somewhere in England on each of these 15 days. Furthermore, five days saw temperatures exceed 95°F (35°C). On 28 June, temperatures reached 35.6°C (96.1°F) in Southampton, the highest June temperature recorded in the UK. The hottest day of all was 3 July, with temperatures reaching 35.9°C (96.6°F) in Cheltenham, one of the hottest July days on record in the UK.

The great drought was due to a very long dry period. The summer and autumn of 1975 were very dry, and the winter of 1975-76 was exceptionally dry, as was the spring of 1976, indeed some months during this period had no rain at all in some areas.

The drought was at its most severe in August 1976. Parts of the south west went 45 days without any rain in July and August. As the hot, dry weather continued, devastating heath and forest fires broke out in parts of Southern England. 50,000 trees were destroyed at Hurn Forest in Dorset. Crops were badly hit, with £500 million worth of crops failing. Food prices subsequently increased by 12%.http://archive.thisiswiltshire.co.uk/2001/7/4/214711.html This Is...
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