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June was one of the hottest and driest on record across UK

The UK basked in one of its hottest and driest Junes ever, according to provisional figures.

It was the driest June on record in south-east and central southern England, with just 6% of expected rainfall across counties like Essex and Dorset, the Met Office said.

Scotland also enjoyed its highest ever temperature, with 33.2C recorded in Motherwell on June 28.

The sweltering spell has continued into July, with many parts enjoying temperatures around the mid-to-high 20s.

Tennis lovers looked set for plenty of action as Wimbledon began yesterday, with stars kicking the tournament off on sun-drenched courts.

Meanwhile, utility companies have been pumping billions of extra litres of water to try and keep pace with demand, which has risen by as much as 30%, Water UK said.

There are currently no water restrictions in force in England, but Thames Water says it is funnelling an extra 450 million litres per day as it deals with "record levels" of demand, and many suppliers are warning their customers to use water sparingly.

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