Dutch measure hottest October 1 on record

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The Netherlands measured its hottest first day of October on Saturday as temperatures reached a record 26 degrees Celsius (78.8 degrees Fahrenheit) at its central meteorological hub.

"Its been the warmest 1st of October since 1908, when the previous record was set," said MeteoConsult's Remco Wijnhoven of the temperature taken at Dutch weather hub at De Bilt, near the central city of Utrecht.

"It has never been this warm on October 1," added Dutch weather website Weeronline.nl in a statement.

The previous record for October 1 was 24.1 degrees Celsius in 1908, with the warmest day for the month measured on October 10, 1921 when the mercury climbed to 26.7 degrees, it said.

"The warm weather is the result of a strong high pressure system which brings warm southerly winds from the continent as opposed to the westerlies we usually have blowing in off the North Sea and cooling things down," Wijnhoven told AFP.

Thousands of Dutch sunseekers flocked to beaches along the North Sea coastline, with most packed to capacity, Paul Zonneveld of the Society for Dutch Beachgoers (NVSN) told AFP.

Wijnhoven said temperatures were expected to fall gradually next week "with things returning to normal" around next Friday when temperatures of 11 to 12 degrees Celsius are expected.

© 2011 AFP

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