AT this time of year, most people would normally be digging out their woolly knits and brollies. But instead, it was sunglasses and shorts that were being donned as Comet country saw its hottest October temperature ever recorded.

The mercury hit 29 degrees Celsius in North Herts on the first day of the month, the hottest temperature ever recorded in the area in October.

It was noted by Royston met observer Richard Barker, who has been keeping records for nearly 40 years.

Mr Barker said that it had also been one of the hottest Septembers he had seen, with the last week the warmest he had ever recorded. That temperature was 28.7 degrees Celsius, set on the last day of the month.

He told The Comet: “It’s quite remarkable really - you would normally expect it to be about 18 degrees at this time of year, so it’s about 10 degrees warmer than it should be.

“It’s completely unprecedented, it wasn’t expected.”

According to Mr Barker, September was an incredibly dry month - just 30 per cent of what would be normal rainfall fell locally.

“We had a very dry spring, which meant we couldn’t recover in the summer which was also below average, and now we’ve had a very dry September too,” he added.

Those who are hoping the hot weather will last, however, will be disappointed.

“I think it for the remainder of the week, it will cool down,” said Mr Barker.

“We could be looking at a more normal temperature by the end of the week, as it will probably get colder gradually.”

Pictures thanks to Robert Chapman: