The Daily Telegraph

After the hottest summer on record, get set for an ‘above-average’ autumn

- By Sarah Knapton SCIENCE EDITOR

ENGLAND experience­d its hottest summer since records began in 1910 with average daily temperatur­es of 62.9F (17.2C), the Met Office confirmed yesterday.

The relentless heatwave saw the mercury soaring above the 1976 summer, which peaked at an average of 62.6F (17C).

For Britain as a whole, temperatur­es for June to August matched heatwaves in 2006, 2003 and 1976 – when combined day and night temperatur­es averaged almost exactly 60.4F (15.8C).

And this autumn could also likely see “above-average” temperatur­es, a three-month outlook covering August, September and October from the Met Office suggests.

The extreme weather this year will lead to small and wonky vegetables in the shops in the next few months, experts have warned.

Prof Ian Holman, from Cranfield University, said livestock farmers had

been particular­ly affected by the conditions, with poor grass growth leading to a lack of feed for their animals.

But there were positives for some farmers, such as Scottish potato growers who benefited from more sunshine.

Overall, Prof Holman said: “There’s likely to be smaller and less uniform vegetables. Consumers will be noticing a change in the uniformity and sizes of vegetables after the drought, in theory, has ended because it has started to rain.”

Conservati­onists also warned that

Britain should prepare itself for increasing­ly hot weather.

Tony Juniper, the executive director at WWF, said: “As people and wildlife baked this summer, we all felt this was a monumental event. This data confirms it.

“Unfortunat­ely, it looks like this will be the new normal, as our rapidly changing climate renders extreme weather ever more likely.

“We urgently need ambitious action to cut climate-changing pollution and to build a cleaner, greener economy.”

Mike Childs, the head of policy for Friends of the Earth, added: “It’s time for the Government to take the heat off the planet by ending our fossil fuel fixation, investing in energy efficiency and developing the UK’S huge renewable power potential.”

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