South Yorkshire’s red hot October

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PHEW - it wasn’t half hot!

Excited children cooled off in the Peace Gardens this weekend as Sheffield baked - with a new record temperature on Saturday for the beginning of October.

The thermometer soared to a blistering 27.8 degrees at 4pm on Saturday - way above the 15 degrees average for this time of year, and more than a degree higher than the former 26.3C high point measured in 1985.

Amazingly, Saturday was also the second warmest day of the year. Only June 28, when the mercury reached 29.1C in Sheffield city centre, was warmer. according to a MeteoGroup spokeswoman.

Nationally, a new record for October was set when temperatures in Gravesend, Kent, reached 29.9C. It was almost matched by the temperature at Finningley, Doncaster, which reached 29.6C, although the spokeswoman said due to problems with the equipment the figure was unofficial.

Across the city barbecues sizzled as Halloween costumes and Christmas puddings sat on supermarket shelves untouched.

The warm weather on Saturday followed the warmest end to September for more than 100 years.

But while people everywhere enjoyed a fleeting taste of the summer we should have had, it didn’t spell good news for everyone.

Calls to the fire service leapt 84 per cent above average on Saturday - believed to be due to the warm weather.

Operators said they received 208 calls in 24 hours on October 1 compared to 108 calls for an average October day.

Fifty of them were linked to anti-social behaviour, a 233 per cent rise above the average of 14 a day in October.

A fire spokesman said the increases were believed to be due to dry conditions and more people outside enjoying the warm weather.

On Friday the service took 160 calls, 42 per cent up on the September average daily total of 113.

Some 28 were linked to anti-social behaviour, 87 per cent above average.

But sun worshippers are being warned the Indian summer will be over by tomorrow when temperatures are expected to be around 15C, falling to 13C by the end of the week.