On Thursday 25th July Britain experienced its hottest day ever recorded – 38.7 degrees centigrade measured in Cambridge. On the same day Hastings Metereological Service also measured a new high: 34.2 degrees, beating the previous record of 33.2 established in July 2006 by a full degree.

PICTURE: Dave Young

Single weather statistics, however extreme, give little guidance of long term trends. Records are made to be broken, as sports commentators are apt to say. But climate analysts looking for patterns of global warming in the official temperature recordings made daily in Hastings since January 1875 will find evidence that is hard to underplay.

In the first 70 years, i.e. up to the end of 1944, there were just six months when the mercury on one or more days topped 30 degrees. In the next 70, i.e. up to and including 2014, there were 12 such months. In the last five years there have been another four  –  July 2015, July 2016, June 2017 and July 2019.

Whatever the weather, Hastings weather volunteers are there to record it daily, keeping up a 140-year service tradition. We are grateful in particular to Bill Butler for his report of these statistics.

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