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    Saturday, 30 June 2018

    Great British Beach Weekend! 100,000 people pack onto the sand at Bournemouth

    Scorching temperatures are set to continue this weekend as millions of Brits head out to enjoy the sun at the country's parks and beaches.
    Up to 100,000 holidaymakers have flocked to Bournemouth beach to soak up the sun as Britain basks in a heatwave.
    This week has been the hottest of the year so far with temperatures hitting highs of 88F (31C) and tourists got to the beach early to get the best spot. The roads approaching the Dorset seaside town are gridlocked and hordes of people have been arriving by train as crowds also flocked the the south-east to enjoy the sun in Brighton.
    The heatwave has caused lettuce shortages because conditions are too hot for the crop and Northern Ireland has been the subject of the UK's first hosepipe ban in six years as millions flocked to seafronts all over England. The first hosepipe ban has kicked in as millions of Brits sizzled today in 31C heat - but forecasters have predicted storms ahead.
    Beachgoers have been basking in the extended heatwave as disturbing photos show reservoirs drying up across the UK amid a severe rain shortage.Around 100,000 holidaymakers flocked to Bournemouth beach to soak up the sun towards the end of the hottest week of the year so far.
    But even as scorching weather gripped the UK, the Met Office issued an unprecedented warning for thunder, lightning and torrential rain.
    Up to 40mm of rain in an hour could fall tomorrow after weeks of scorching conditions, they warned, with a high risk of flash flooding.
    They said: "The greatest chance of impacts is in the afternoon, with the risk decreasing again on Sunday evening.
    "Where surface water flooding or lightning impacts do occur they are likely to be in only a few places rather than across the whole warning area."
    This is the first thunderstorm warning since the Met Office brought in two new types of weather warnings - one for thunderstorms, and the other for lightning.
    It comes after Northern Ireland brought in the first hosepipe ban in six years last night, as utility companies feel the strain of pumping millions of litres into their systems to cope with the lack of rain.
    NI Water chief executive Sara Venning said: "We have maximised our water production and need customers' help to reduce demand."We are asking customers to take heed of the hosepipe ban and stop non-essential water use - using hoses and sprinklers is causing demand to exceed the capacity to supply."
    The Met Office said the highest temperature on Friday was 32.5C (90.5F) in Porthmadog in north-west Wales and highs of 30C-31C (86F-87.8F) are expected on Saturday.
    This compares with average temperatures for the time of year of 17C (62.6F) in the north and 21C (69.8F) in the south, senior forecaster Marco Petagna said.
    "There's a lot of fine weather still to come," he said.
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