Image: "The sticky summer of 1976" (35.9C) led to severe water shortages (Guardian Archive)
UK women wear cardigans during 1976 "heatwave".
Something is wrong with the above picture. In fact, something is wrong with much of the media hype about the weather. It's almost as bad as the continual scrabbling for something horrific to insinuate about Russia/Trump. (Fortunately, Snopes doesn't hold with the media reports that Russia is hacking America's power grid.)
Nowadays, the media tend to report only "the best" or the "the worst" with no boring in-between. Somebody should tell them that Dickens was not thinking about the future when he penned his famous quote.
For starters, it would be nice to know whether the stats given are for average weather, predicted weather or actual weather (and if so, was it the mean temperature or a named locality?).
Are forecasts deliberately exaggerated? As an example: for the region in which I live, Environment Canada has, at least twice this month, posted big banner notices shouting: "Severe Thunderstorm Warning" though none actually occurred, and many of the predicted temperatures have been at least a couple of degrees higher than those actually reached. So, I can't help feeling cautious about the the weather reports coming out of the UK.
The Guardian reports that Britain's current heatwave has reached 32.4C (90.3F).
Now let's look at the UK's heatwave history (Guardian), which is hardly a recent phenomenon since, as early as August 10, 1911 (36.7C) the recorded temp for the UK was said to be "the hottest day in seventy years".
Which suggests that, in 1841*, the temp was even hotter than in 1911.**
BT News differed:-
BT News: Hottest on record: When was the UK’s hottest summer?
Just to confuse things further, the BBC had this to say in 2009:
And today, BT reported:
From whence cameth that "all-time record"?
The overall impression being that the hottest temps have been in this century, but what about *1841 -- and ** 1911?
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