Put autumn on hold - summer's finally set to arrive

 

A A A

Put the porridge on hold. Leave the pullovers in the drawer. And if you're a pub landlord with a beer garden, throw it open. As October approaches, midsummer is returning.

Much of Britain is about to experience the best weather of the year, a sumptuous five-day interlude of cloudless skies and uninterrupted sunshine, with near-record temperatures for the season – and traders and businesses all over the country are preparing to cash in on a final open-air bonanza for 2011.

A large high-pressure system over the Continent is drawing a vast mass of hot dry air towards the British Isles from Southern Europe and even from North Africa, pushing temperatures up a full 10C above their seasonal norms.

From today, the hot weather will build up, and by Saturday, South-east England is likely to see highs of 28C (just under 83F) or possibly even exceeding that – threatening Britain's October record temperature of 29.4C, or 85F, which was set in Cambridge on 1 October 1985.

As the average seasonal high in the South-east is 18.4C (65F), this is very unusual and the warmest spell of autumn weather for 25 years is now in prospect. It is likely that roads will be crammed at the weekend as people flock to seaside resorts and crowd on to beaches for their last attempt at a tan.

Businesses which are weather-affected are rubbing their hands in anticipation. The Co-op is bringing in extra supplies of ice cream, while a spokesman for Morrisons said the supermarket had ordered the production of 200,000 more sausages and 120,000 more burgers, in the expectation that customers would be dusting off their barbecues over the weekend.

Pubs are putting more staff on the rota and planning to give their beer gardens and outdoor areas a stay of execution for what is expected to be one of the biggest weekends of the year.

"We think this could be bigger than almost any weekend in the summer gone by," said Andrea Solinas, general manager of the Avalon pub in Clapham, south London, which is reopening its 300-seat garden specially this week. "People will come because they know there won't be another weekend like it this year."

A spokesman for JD Wetherspoon, which manages 820 pubs across the country, said the company hoped its landlords would "throw the doors open" to outside seating areas in city centres.

Ice cream vans will be out on the streets for one last hurrah. Purbeck Ice Cream reported sales were up by 50 per cent against what was expected for September. The company's managing director, Hazel Hartle, said: "We love prolonging the summer a little, so everyone who has been working full-on can enjoy the weather at a slightly slower pace."

The warm spell will be hugely welcome after what has been the coldest summer since 1993, with August a chilly washout in many places. This week is likely to be the warmest since the school holidays began in late July.

But it's not quite correct to call it an Indian summer, said Paul Gundersen, deputy chief forecaster at the Met Office. "In terms of the classical definition, it would be expected to occur a little later in the season, more like October-November," he said. "But nonetheless, a very warm spell."

Five-day forecast

Wednesday Dry and sunny, some cloud in Ireland and north-west Scotland. Maximum temperature: 26C

Thursday Dry and sunny in England and Wales, rain in north-west Scotland and Ireland. Maximum temperature: 27C

Friday Dry and sunny in England and Wales, rain at times in parts of Scotland and Ireland. Maximum temperature: 27C

Saturday Dry and sunny in England and Wales, rainy in most of Scotland and Ireland. Maximum temperature: 27C

Sunday Dry and sunny in the south-east of England, rain and cloud moving in for the rest of the country from the north-west. Maximum temperature: 25C



Source: PA

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
people
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
people
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
Arts and Entertainment
Warner Bros released a mock-up of what the new Central Perk will look like
tv'Friends' cafe will be complete with Gunther and orange couch
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Java Developer - 1 year contract

£350 - £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...

Junior Analyst - Graduate - 6 Month fixed term contract

£17000 - £20000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

SAS Business Analyst - Credit Risk - Retail Banking

£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: SAS Business Analyst, London, Banking, Credit Ris...

Project Manager - Pensions

£32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone