Weather forecasters predict an Indian summer

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The Independent Online

Weather forecasters are predicting that Saturday ­ the first day of autumn ­ could mark the start of an Indian summer with "copious amounts" of good weather to come.

Weather forecasters are predicting that Saturday ­ the first day of autumn ­ could mark the start of an Indian summer with "copious amounts" of good weather to come.

As the sun goes down on a summer that has seen temperatures one degree Celsius above average, meteorologists are expecting mild weather to continue well into September.

In what has been the best summer since 1999 and warmer than any of those between 1959 and 1975, Northern Ireland had the best of the weather, with 12 per cent more sunshine than normal, while Scotland was 10 per cent cloudier than usual.

Jim Dale, senior forecaster for British Weather Services, says the first week of autumn will be typically cool and changeable. "But after that we will start to see an Indian summer, which will last at the very least to the middle of the month and may well continue for longer. The sunshine is enough for people to get excited about.

"Most places will enjoy copious amounts of sunshine, little if any rain and temperatures into the 70s," he said.

The phrase Indian summer has nothing to do with the climate on the subcontinent but dates from the late 18th-century colonial habit of describing unusual things as Indian.

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