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Weekend washout leaves this month wetter than July 1976

Currently, July this year is the 13th driest on record, the Met Office said.

Heavy rain during the past few days means this month will end up wetter than July 1976.

An average 49.9mm of rain fell across the UK from July 1 to July 29, according to provisional figures from the Met Office.

The total for the whole of July 1976, when the UK was in the middle of a blistering heatwave, was 43.3mm.

With further rain forecast this week, the final total for July 2018 could be even higher.

A surfer at Brighton beach took advantage of the changing conditions (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Meanwhile, Saturday was the first day since June 23 that no part of the UK reached temperatures above 25C (77F), the Met Office said.

Meteorologist Alex Burkill said: “It was a welcome change I think. People were hoping, particularly in the South East, for something a bit fresher and that’s what the weekend brought.

“But temperatures are going to rise again as we go through this week. I think by Friday we could quite easily be getting temperatures just above the 30s (86F).

“The heat is going to be a bit more widespread. More places across central southern England will see high 20s and low 30s, whereas last Thursday and Friday it was really just the South East.

“It looks like it’s going to stay very warm through much of August, temperatures are going to be generally quite a bit above average for the whole month.”

Although the heatwave is set to continue, it should be punctuated by cool, fresh spells similar to the weekend, said Mr Burkill, adding: “If it’s fresher weather you’re after don’t give up all hope for August.”

Two photos taken on Sunday July 29 (top) and Wednesday July 25 (below), showing the changing weather conditions at Bournemouth beach in Dorset (PA)

By contrast, the north and west will be cooler and see cloudier weather with a risk of showers.

But temperatures are set to remain above average, with much of Scotland and Northern Ireland set to enjoy temperatures in the low 20s as the week progresses.

The UK suffered a long heatwave during the summer of 1976, which helped make July 1976 the joint ninth driest on record.

Currently, July this year is the 13th driest on record, the Met Office said.

The driest ever July was in 1955, when an average of 30.6mm rainfall was measured across the UK.

Comparable records for rainfall date back to 1910.

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