Mention long, hot summers and many people will start reminiscing about the summer of 1976. The year the sun came out in spring and stayed out until the end of autumn without a single cloud being seen in the sky.

But was the summer of 1976 really that hot?

Or are we looking back with rose tinted spectacles?

In fact, it got so hot at the beginning of June that within a couple of weeks there was talk of a serious drought in the offing. Then, like most typical bank holiday weekends, it poured down replenishing the falling reservoirs.

However according to some, a water shortage was a small price to pay for some of the best weather anybody could remember.

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Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

As the sun shone on and it got hotter, in some parts of Bradford a good night’s sleep had become an almost-forgotten luxury as the thermometer hovered around the 80 degrees mark even in the early hours.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Thankfully, Bradford’s water supply had been secured with great foresight and expense by the 1920s. Bradford Corporation had gone, subsumed into Yorkshire Water Authority.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

By September, the weather broke and the rain came. Suddenly flushing the loo no longer involved a struggle with one’s social conscience.

But how does the summer of 76 compare to the summer of 2022?

In terms of heat it's no contest.

Nationally, the peak temperature that year was 35.9C (96.6F). That has already been beaten by the current heatwave and today forecasters are warning it could go as high as 41C (105.8F).

But the heatwave of 1976 started in June and lasted for two months. So far this summer has been one of extremes: high temperatures followed by a precipitous dip and this heatwave looks to be following the same pattern.

After today's sweltering heat tomorrow will see a rapid fall to around 20C - a 50% fall compared to what we are going to experience today.

And the long-range forecast doesn't predict another heatwave with temperatures staying around the seasonal norm - or just below - for the next fortnight.