Summer still on course to be hottest ever in UK

How many more opportunities for sunbathing in Sheffield will this summer hold?
How many more opportunities for sunbathing in Sheffield will this summer hold?
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The mercury may have dropped slightly since the peak of the heat wave, but this remains on course to be the UK's hottest ever summer.

The mean temperature - including night and daytime readings - so far this summer of 16.1C is exactly the same as it was at this point in August of 2006, when the existing record was set.

The Met Office today said it already looks certain this summer - June, July and August - will be one of the warmest on record but it remains to be seen whether the final mean temperature will beat the 15.8C recorded 12 years ago.

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The record for the average maximum summer temperature currently stands at the 21.0C recorded in 1976, with this summer slightly ahead in that race at 21.1C.

But August will have to warm up quickly if it is to break any records. As of August 15, the mean UK temperature for the month was 16.3C, which is well above the long-term average for August of 14.9C but a long way off the record 17.3C in 1995.

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Dr Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre, said: "Looking at maximum temperatures might seem to chime more with our perceptions, as our memories tend to focus on those hot days when the temperatures really peaked, rather than the mild nights.

“However, by including night and daytime temperatures, the mean temperature measure gives a fuller picture of what the UK climate is doing. On this measure it’s clear that the meteorological summer of 2018 is exceptional, simply for the consistent levels of warmth seen throughout the period so far.”