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Hot summer ‘could well be record breaking’ if temperatures stay above average

2:48 pm, 18th July 2018

The UK has experienced some scorching temperatures in recent weeks, averaging 20.9C (69.6F) across the country between 1 June and 16 July, which is just shy of the 21C (69.8F) recorded across the summer of 1976.

If the rest of the season remains above average, the Met Office has declared that “it could well be record breaking” – and is likely to at the very least make it into the top 10 warmest summers ever.

It could also be one of the five sunniest summers on record if the UK gets just an average amount of sunshine up to the end of August.

But it is not just extreme heat and sun that Britons have been contending with of late, with millions braced for a hosepipe ban due to an unusually dry spell.

So far there has been just 47mm (1.85in) of rain this summer, making it the driest start to one since at least 1961.

That means that even though an average amount of showers are expected for the rest of the summer – likely to be around 174mm (6.85in) – this summer should still end up in the top 10 driest on record.

With that in mind, the Environment Agency has backed the decision by United Utilities to introduce a hosepipe ban in parts of the North West next month.

Around seven million customers will be banned from using hosepipes or sprinklers to water gardens or wash cars.

Paul Hickey, head of water resources at the agency, said: “Across the rest of England, most groundwater supplies are at healthy levels and water companies have enough water to maintain supplies if resources are managed properly.

“Many rivers around the country have dropped to lower levels than normal for this time of year, which can be damaging to wildlife.”

There are measures in place to protect the environment from the lack of rain, while farmers and other groups are being advised about conserving water and planning for further dry spells.

Sky News has also compiled a list of everyday water-saving tips to get you through the summer.