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Records are broken during the ceaseless summer of 2018

Summer 2018 continues to break records. Photo: PA

Perhaps Mother Nature needed to re-calibrate the meteorological scales after the ‘Beast from the East’ (that took place in February and March) brought the most significant spell of severe winter weather since December 2010.

Perhaps, climate change does have its part to play; a question currently being intensely considered by some of the UK’s brightest scientific minds.

Or perhaps every now and again we chance upon a summer that gives us everything we pay a fortune to find abroad - and bemoan the ‘Great British Summer’ that never quite lives up to our hopeful expectations.

This year though...

Bournemouth beach is always busy, but unusually so this year. Credit: PA

With huge, dominating areas of high pressure stretching from mid Russia to the mid Atlantic - essentially creating a blocked weather pattern where no fresher air can penetrate and no real heat is lost by night - the Great British Summer of 2018 shows every sign of going down as the hottest and driest since records began.

Just halfway through this summer (meteorologically classed as June, July & August) average daytime maximum temperatures are only 0.1C below our previous record set in 1976 - and we still have a good month of summer to go!

In fact, even if, right this moment, the weather reverted to being utterly run of the mill, this summer would still feature in the top five hottest and driest on record.

Tomorrow will not revert to ‘normal’ though. Quite the opposite. The UK, instead, is likely to see records broken two days in a row!

Hot for everyone on Thursday with very hot temperatures likely in the south east - before extreme heat in that south eastern quarter will likely challenge the UK record (38.5C set in August 2003) on Friday.

The White Horse of Westbury, Wiltshire, is surrounded by parched grass after being starved of water. Credit: PA

And of course it’s not just the heat that’s been grabbing the headlines, the UK has had just 19.5% of our expected rainfall so far this summer - hose pipe bans increasingly in force.

There IS some rain on the cards though - Northern Ireland will see some along an approaching frontal system in the next 24 hours.

The chance of much-needed rain too for some parts of east and northeastern England on Friday where some haven’t seen any substantial rainfall for around eight weeks.

Sadly this rain will not come in the form of the steady, bringing-crops-and-gardens-back-to-life rain.

People in London have been spending a lot more time in parks this summer. Credit: PA

Instead, as temperatures soar again on Friday, the Met Office have issued a weather warning for intense thunderstorms perhaps giving 30mm of rain in an hour, maybe 60mm in three hours (around a month’s worth).

This will be accompanied by large hail and 50-60mph gusts so a very real risk of travel disruption, treacherous driving conditions and flash flooding where those storms appear, as that sudden deluge falls on impenetrably hard, dry surfaces.

Signs are that potentially for something slightly less intense over the weekend - but that respite is unlikely to last with forecasters already warning of rising temperatures again next week.

Summer 2018 really is the summer that keeps on giving... whether we want it to or not!