Calderdale basks in the spring heatwave

Summer comes early: Josh Pearson 12, Matthew Pearson, nine, Chloe Wade, 10 and Holly Wade, 14, make the most of this week's unseasonable weather
Summer comes early: Josh Pearson 12, Matthew Pearson, nine, Chloe Wade, 10 and Holly Wade, 14, make the most of this week's unseasonable weather
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SIZZLING Calderdale has been sweltering in a Mediterreanean-type heatwave this week – and it’s sunshine all the way for businesses.

The unusual summery spell for April has brought the Easter holiday crowds and tourists out in their masses.

The Piece Hall in Halifax has been swamped with families soaking up the sun during the school break.

Lynn Grady, services manager at Halifax visitor centre, said: “We’ve been packed out. A good proportion of visitors are from outside of the area. The Piece Hall has been given a real boost.

“And it’s not just here, the Hebden Bridge visitor centre has been absolutely inundated.

“There is such a positive buzz about the place. We’ve had a lot of people looking round and we’ve got plenty of Easter events, including a visit from a Easter bunny, so there will be loads to do in the coming week.”

Kate Glanville, from boutique Little You in the Piece Hall said: “The benches in the courtyard have been rammed for days. We get full sun all day in beautiful surroundings and everyone seems to be in great spirits.”

Kendall’s Ices in Hipperholme has seen a huge increase in sales and owner William Briggs said that he had been particularly busy this week.

“We’ve had plenty of customers in the shop. Let’s just hope it continues and we have a long and happy summer.”

This month’s high temperatures have far doubled the 10C average for a normal April - and the good news is the rest of the weekend is going to be scorching.

The mercury looks set to reach 22C today - hotter than Corfu, Madrid and even Los Angeles at a mild 20C.

Calderdale weather enthusiast David Utley, of Todmorden, said: “It is unusually warm for April. Last time we saw temperatures this warm was in 2003.”

The Met Office is forecasting warm weather for Monday and Tuesday with cloudy skies and a spot of rain.

But, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has issued its first smog alert for more than a year.

High levels of polluting particles known as PM10s which can affect health will be around over the weekend due to the warm and still conditions brought on by a high pressure weather system.

“Some people, including those who have asthma - and particularly the elderly - could be affected by the high pollution levels and many notice an impact on their breathing,” said Defra.