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Monday, 28 July 2014

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South Cumbria families take chance to have fun in the sun

FAMILIES enjoyed outdoor fun across Barrow and south Cumbria yesterday making the most of September sunshine before schools go back tomorrow.

But it has come too little too late for many with much of the school holidays having been wet.

The UK and the England and Wales Rainfall Series show 2012 was the wettest summer for 100 years.

And, bar a brief spell of warm temperatures back in May, south Cumbria has been no exception – with repeated incidents of flooding taking their toll between June and August.

Unsurprisingly, the conditions did not have customers at Barrow’s Homebase rushing to buy the usual summer staples from the home and garden giant.

Store manager, Rob Connolly, said: “Barbecues and garden furniture have gone down a bit, not many people have been buying them.

“But then, in terms of things like home decorating – paint, flooring, those types of things – we’ve seen an increase in sales of those over the summer.

“I think because it’s been so wet over the summer, people tend to move to do things inside the house instead.”

Mr Connolly said other notable sales included a number of customers moving to protect their property from the horrendous weather.

He added: “Things like plastic sheds have seen a fantastic increase this year, probably because people aren’t leaving stuff outside the same way.”

The England and Wales Rainfall Series, which dates back to 1727, is projecting this year’s as the fourth or fifth wettest summer since then.

Edward Mills, an honorary fellow of the Royal Metereological Society, has a weather station at High Carley, just outside Ulverston.

In June, Mr Mills said, 170mm of rain fell – the highest that month since 1998. July saw 129.3mm.

Peter Johnson, an associate fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society living in Levens, found that neither June or July saw a single “hot” day (where the temperature rises above 25 degrees).

He said rain fell at some point on 21 days of June and 28 of July.

But Mr Johnson added: “I think we’re in for some settled weather now – it often happens in September.

“August has always been a month that’s a bit iffy.”

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