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Hottest September day for more than 50 years expected with highs of 30 in Kent

By KentOnline reporter

Gravesend has once again been thrust into the record books - notching up a scorching temperature of 34.4C.

That makes it the hottest place on the hottest September day in the UK since 1911.

The mercury has soared to over 30C in several parts of Kent, making it hotter than Los Angeles.

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The last time temperatures rose above 30C in September was in 2006 in Kew Gardens, which hit 30.5C on September 11.

Highs of 32.8C were earlier recorded at Heathrow and Kew Gardens in west London - but they were later beaten by Gravesend.

That's hotter than the 31.6C reached at Gatwick on September 2 1961, making today the hottest September day for decades.

It is also the first time since 1991 that a day in September has been the hottest of the year.

What happened the last time it was this hot in September... in 1911

  • The ocean liner RMS Titanic was launched in Belfast
  • The nation celebrated the coronation of George V and Queen Mary at Westminster Abbey
  • The Liver building in Liverpool was completed
  • The Official Secrets Act comes into effect
  • The first electric escalators wereintroduced, at Earl's Court tube station
  • Sufragettes storm parliament

Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge said: "Basically we've got air coming up from the south.

"The origins of this air is generally southern France and northern Spain, where things are fairly warm at this time of the year. So we'll start to see things warming up."

The highest September temperature recorded was in 1906 when the mercury hit 35.6C in Bawtry, South Yorkshire.

Temperatures are expected to remain above average for the rest of the week.

But Grahame Madge, Met Office spokesman, said: "It is incredibly unusual to have the hottest day of the year in Britain so relatively late in September.

"The last time it happened was at Heathrow in 1991, but that was on September 1."

Mr Madge said the unseasonally hot spell is forecast to last through Wednesday and Thursday, without eclipsing today's temperatures.

But he warned people to make the most of the warm weather as "fresher" air coming in from the Atlantic will see temperatures tumble from Friday.

He said: "The forecast for the next few days is for it to remain warm on Wednesday and Thursday without the temperatures being quite as high as Tuesday.

"Conditions will change markedly from Friday whe we have fresher air coming in from the Atlantic."

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