At 79f, a frolic in the summertime blues: Britain skips straight to summer with glorious sunshine and soaring temperatures


Summertime blues: Orphan fox Anuska looks startled by the sudden burst of summer sun as she frolics among the bluebells of Bedfordshire

In Lee-on-the-Solent in Hampshire, the mercury reached a high of 26c (79f) - hotter than Sicily. Hundreds poured on to beaches, while others headed to parks and gardens to soak up the long-awaited sunshine.
It was a far cry from the chilly weekend, which followed the wettest April on record and one of the coldest starts to May in decades. Forecasters say the mercury could hit 27c (81f) in the South and South East today, and they expect the sunny conditions to stay for the next fortnight.
Perhaps no one enjoyed the scorching sunshine more than baby elephants Nayan, two, and Jamilah, 18 months, two of Chester Zoo's youngest residents.
The cheeky pair frolicked and screeched with joy as they squirted water all over their pen as their patient parents calmly looked on.

Who'd have trunk it? Nayan the two-year-old baby elephant larks about with wather to keep cool at Chester Zoo, Cheshire

Water hot day it is: Baby elephants Nayan, two, left and Jamilah, 18 months, get cooled off with water by keepers at Chester Zoo

A high like yesterday's has not been seen for almost two months, with the south coast outshining the peak temperature of 23.6C enjoyed in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, on March 27.
Those able to make the most of the midweek sunny spell rushed to the country's parks and coasts.
In Bournemouth, Dorset, students skipped classes and workers called in sick in order to take advantage of the summer's arrival. The seven miles of sand were busy and there were plenty of bathers in the water that is still a cool 11C.
Beach huts across the nation were opened up and deck chairs and sunloungers were gleefully brought out of storage.

Bright mind: Medical student Lisa Rennie, 23, takes a break from studying for exams in Westburn Park, Aberdeen, with forecasters predicting temperatures in Scotland could reach 25 degrees throughout the week

Fun in the sun: (left to right) Elan Leyne, 16, Roy McBain, 16, Keith Wagon, 16, Harrison Rockensuss, 16, and Toby Williams, 16, from Portsmouth were cooling off in the cold seawater during the unusually hot sunny day at Portsmouth Beach

Ice cream salesmen who have been washed out for weeks enjoyed a busy day and seafront traders were delighted.
It follows weeks of weather so wet that officials have had to coin a new name for the strange situation whereby Britain found itself hit simultaneously by both floods and hosepipe bans.
Environmental Stress due to Rainfall Deficit, or ‘ESRD’ for short, is the term being employed by the Environment Agency. The agency admits it is not exactly catchy but believes it best describes the situation in the 19 counties no longer in drought.
And this is only the start of it. They plan to create ‘more sophisticated terminology’ to describe an array of dry conditions, and address concerns that the term drought is too ‘blunt’.
The aim is to prevent a repeat of the situation this year where people were told that their areas were officially in drought despite the fact their homes were being flooded.

Life's a beach: Cousins (left to right) Molly Lawrence, one, Ellen Grey, two, and Alfie Grey, one, play in the sand at the end of Skegness Pier, Lincolnshire

source: dailymail