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Costa del Cov!; FORGET TAKING A PLANE TO IBIZA - IT'S HOTTER HERE IN THE WEST MIDLANDS.

Byline: MARTIN SMITH

COVENTRY was today basking in sweltering temperatures of 32C (89.6F) - hotter than Ibiza, Tenerife and Casablanca.

Weather forecasters expected today's temperatures in the city to peak between 32C and 33C (89-91F).

For the past three days, city people have baked under sweltering heat with temperatures hovering about the 30C (86F) mark.

As Coventry people enjoyed the summer heatwave today, officials at Bablake Weather Station, based at Bablake School, in Coundon Road, Coventry, said it would be hottest day of the year so far.

Steve Jackson, who runs the weather centre, said: "Yesterday, the hottest day of the year, we got a reading of 29.9C. It was also the warmest July day for seven years.

"We are expecting it to be a degree or two warmer than it was yesterday."

The steamy weather will stay with us tomorrow with a chance of thunderstorms later in the evening.

The heatwave has left newsagents in Coventry with empty freezers as people try to cool down with ice creams.

Jackie Breeze, owner of Ash Green News, in Ash Green Lane, Coventry, said: "They are going bonkers for ice creams.

"Ice cream sales always go through the roof when we have weather like this but over the last week we have sold out every night.

"Nice weather is always good for business. We would like it to be like this all of the time!"

And the long sunny days have also had people rushing to snap up suntan lotion and sunglasses.

Pravin Vithlani, owner of Cheylesmore Pharmacy, in Daventry Road, Cheylesmore, said: "Sales are going very well with sun creams and sunglasses. The demand is definitely there. People are more aware these days and want to protect themselves."

At Whitmore Park School in Coventry, pupils were plastering on the sunblock to protect them from the sun.

Yesterday the heatwave saw Britain basking in weather equal to that at the Spanish holiday destination, the Costa del Sol, and above the south coast of France where temperatures were 29C (84F).

martin.1.smith@mrn.co.uk

Concrete cauldron

IT'S the hottest day of the year so far and weather forecasters believe they've found the most baking part of the city - Corporation Street.

Steve Jackson, of Bablake Weather Station, believes that Corporation Street - where the Evening Telegraph is based - will be the hottest part of the city today.

He said: "The hottest part of Coventry is probably the bottom of Corporation Street. You can bank on getting 32C (89.6F) there at least because of all of the concrete."

TOP OF THE HOT SPOTS

Temperatures in recent days

Tenerife 27c (80f) Biarritz 27c (80f) Madrid 28c (82f) Menorca 29c (82f) COVENTRY 30c (86f)

CAPTION(S):

COOL KIDS: Whitmore Park School pupils Danielle Fox (left) and Grant Stothard, both 10, used plenty of sunblock to make sure they could enjoy the sun safely. Picture: MICHELLE SPERRY
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 15, 2003
Words:482
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