What makes this heatwave different?

Andrew Smith leaps off the sea wall in Brighton, East Sussex. Photo: Press Association

We've had temperatures of 30 degrees or more over the last 4 days, and the heat is here to stay with us for the rest of the week.

This will make it likely to be longest spell of hot weather since July 2006: the hottest July on record where temperatures soared to 37 degrees.

Rob Fewster-Noble and his son Adam (aged 13) on a beach in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, on Saturday.. Credit: Press Association

Past hot Julys include 1995 and 1976. After 6 years of poor summers, the hot sunshine is much deserved.

Previous hot, summery weather has seeped in from the Continent - but this year is different. This heat has been generated by a system out in the Atlantic.

The Azores High, normally sitting at the same lattitude as the Canaries, has moved north. Credit: ITV News

The Azores High, which usually sits at the same latitude as the Canaries, has extended up across the UK.

The hot temperatures are from the Atlantic, not the continent, this time. Credit: Press Association

This has resulted in settled, dry and hot conditions from the south-west and higher temperatures than across parts of Europe.

It was the same situation during the heatwave summer of 1976.