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Temperatures soar on hottest day

Temperatures have soared to 30C in parts of the UK, making it not only the hottest day ever recorded in October but also the third warmest of 2011.

It meant the UK topped temperatures in the holiday hotspot islands of Ibiza and Majorca and the Spanish capital Madrid.

But not everybody in Britain shared in the heatwave. While people in much of the country headed for beaches and parks to soak up the sunshine or fired up barbecues, rain fell on parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Rachel Vince, senior meteorologist with MeteoGroup, said RAF Finningley in Yorkshire recorded a sweltering 30C at 3pm on Saturday. Gravesend in Kent was not far behind - reaching 29.6C at 3pm.

The previous October record of 29.4C was set in March, Cambridgeshire, in 1985.

Wales also broke its October record, which had stood since 1985, when Hawarden reached 28.2C shortly after 2pm on Saturday.

The UK's hottest day of 2011 was June 27 when a temperature of 33.3C was recorded at the Olympic Park in London. The previous day, St Helier on the island of Jersey reached 30.8C - leaving the latest high of 30C in third place.

"It's very unusual. Normally this time of year we see temperatures in the high teens, perhaps just knocking on the door of 20C," Miss Vince said.

But people in Scotland and Northern Ireland would have been "wondering what all the fuss is about" as they endured rain and temperatures that were struggling to get into the mid-teens, she said.

Miss Vince said the heatwave is expected to last until next Tuesday or Wednesday in the south east corner of the UK, then drop to a fresher 18-20C.

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