SATURDAY was the fourth hottest June day in Oxford since records began.

The temperature reached a sweltering 33C at the Radcliffe Meteorological Station - meaning only three days have been warmer in the city in more than 200 years ago.

All those days occurred in one scorching spell in the summer of 1976, when it was 34C on June 26, 34.3C on 27 and 33.1C on 28.

This weekend's record pushes June 21, 2017 (32.5C), into fifth place, according to the station.

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Director Professor Richard Washington explained: “July and August are on average the hottest months for Oxford so it is not surprising that very hot June days happen at the end of the month. Seven of the top ten hottest June days have occurred from the 22nd onwards.

Seven of the 10 hottest June days have occurred in the 44 years since 1976.

Only 3 of the top ten occurred in the previous 160 years.

Professor Washington continued: "June is also the hottest month in the central Sahara. Heat waves in Europe and the UK usually feature plumes of hot air which originate there. The June 2019 event began that way too with winds from central-southern Algeria and Libya.”

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Professor Washington’s predecessor Professor Tim Burt and colleague Stephen Burt (no relation) have written a new book Oxford Weather and Climate since 1767, recently published by Oxford University Press.

The book provides a detailed analysis of the weather records from the station.

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The facility has a unique place in UK and international weather observation. Records began there in 1772, with an unbroken daily air temperature record starting in November 1813, daily rainfall from January 1827 and sunshine from February 1880.

These are the longest single-site weather records in the UK, and amongst the longest in the world.