World Cup and hot weather boost for Lancaster

Photo: David Hurst'Lifelong friends enjoying the sun in Williamson Park
Photo: David Hurst'Lifelong friends enjoying the sun in Williamson Park

Lancaster and Morecambe has been basking in the highest recorded temperatures for almost fifty years.

Figures from Lancaster University’s Hazelrigg Weather Station show that June 2018 was even hotter than June 1976, when a three month heatwave caused a severe drought across the UK.

Photo: David Hurst'Anna and her sister Cara enjoying the sun on the beach in Morecambe

Photo: David Hurst'Anna and her sister Cara enjoying the sun on the beach in Morecambe

Only June 1970 was hotter and drier since the records began in 1966.

The Met Office has predicted more hot, dry weather for the north of England as we head into July.

Dr James Heath, from the weather station at Lancaster University, said: “What makes all this the more remarkable is that these figures were reached in spite of the sudden arrival of Storm Hector on June 13 and 14, introducing a week or so of much fresher, more changeable conditions.

“Without that interruption mid-month, June 2018 would very likely have broken all the records going back more than 50 years.”

Photo: David Hurst'Ryan Long and Natasha Lean enjoying the sun in Williamson Park

Photo: David Hurst'Ryan Long and Natasha Lean enjoying the sun in Williamson Park

Businesses across the district have also reported “booming trade” thanks to the hot, sunny weather and England’s success in the World Cup.

They play Sweden in the World Cup quarter finals on Saturday, July 7.

Vicky Lofthouse, CEO of Lancaster & District Chamber of Commerce said: “The long overdue glorious weather is having a positive effect on trade right across the Lancaster District.

“People are making the most of the weather by getting out and about and spending.

Morecambe beach on Saturday. Photo by Morecambe BID.

Morecambe beach on Saturday. Photo by Morecambe BID.

“I have just heard one member comment that they are ‘well up on last year for June and it looks like we are set for a very good year’.

“Local businesses have some challenging times ahead, but they are certainly making lots of hay while the sun shines.”

Meanwhile, wildfires have been raging across Lancashire over the last week, with emergency services working flat out to bring the fires under control.

Water company United Utilities have urged people to conserve water wherever possible due to there being very little rainfall, however there is currently no hosepipe ban in place.

The county’s gritters have also been out treating roads with granite dust to stop them melting in the heat, while children at Our Lady’s Catholic College have been told they can come to school in their PE kits until further notice.

Thousands of people took to the beach at Morecambe over the weekend to bask in temperatures of up to 29 Degrees Celsius.

Gritters have been putting down granite dust on sticky spots on several roads across the county to provide a protective layer, and improve skid resistance. 
County Councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Now this problem has started it will carry on until the weather cools off so we’re sending the gritters out every day at the moment to those places where we know this is a problem, as well as responding to any new locations picked up by our inspectors or reported by the public.”
John O’Neill, Manager of the Morecambe BID, said the weather has been “fantastic” for Morecambe over the past few weeks, with events taking place including Catch the Wind kite festival and Armed Forces Day bringing thousands of people into the town.

He added: “One could be forgiven for thinking one was in the Mediterranean...”

over the two days. BID was the major sponsor, and we requested that a lot of the flying and activities be moved into central Morecambe, including activities and music in town. This worked on several levels as it spread the people along the Promenade and in town, and lots of places reported that they were busier than ever.

“In some places we’re also putting out signs with advisory speed limits to encourage vehicles to slow down for safety.

“It’s not the first time we’ve had to do this in Lancashire, and our climate means that it doesn’t happen very often. If permanent damage is caused to any of the network, and once the weather cools down, we’ll assess these locations for any repairs which may be needed.

“In the meantime, I’d ask people to take particular care on the roads, observe any advisory speed limits in place, and report any problems to us which we may not already be aware of.”