by P. Homewood, Jul 15, 2022 in NotaLotofPeopleKnowThat
Wildfires have raged, speed restrictions have been imposed on some railway lines and hospitals have already declared ‘critical incidents’.
The hot weather in Britain this summer is set to peak next week, when the mercury could top 39C (102F) in London.
The current non-stop sunshine has evoked memories of the summer of 1976, when there were 15 consecutive days that saw temperatures of 89.6F (32C) somewhere in the UK.
Overall, there were ten weeks of blazing heat that saw widespread drought, mass standpipe use, and even the pausing of the murder trial of the notorious ‘Black Panther’, after a woman suffering from ‘heat exhaustion’ collapsed.
During a First Division football match between Manchester City and Aston Villa, City player collectively lost four stone in weight, prompting the team’s captain to call for an end to ‘summer soccer’.
At that year’s Wimbledon tennis championships, umpires were allowed to remove their jackets for the first time in living memory, whilst major roads were littered with broken-down cars that had overheated.
The extreme weather also caused an increase in the number of 999 callouts to domestic disturbances, as tempers buckled due to the heat.
The summer of 1976 was caused in part by very hot air that had originated in the Mediterranean. The warm weather and lack of rain began on June 23 and did not abate for more than a month.
The highest temperature recorded in the summer was on July 3, when the mercury hit 96.6F (35.9C) in Cheltenham. The average maximum daily temperature was 67.8F (19.9C).