Letter: Watery death warmed up

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Sir: Casual perusal of records here in Northampton has alerted me to an interesting fact concerning last month's very warm weather and the two warmer Julys of 1983 and 1970. Astonishing though it might seem to the mass pessimism of the British public on the subject of the weather, it appears there was in each case a marked improvement at weekends.

July this year was undoubtedly warm in Northampton (average maximum temperature 24 C, a full three degrees above what we usually expect), but a quick calculation reveals it was even better at weekends (with temperatures averaging 1.5 degrees warmer and 10 per cent sunnier than the rest of the week). The worst day of the week was Thursdays, coming in at 'only' 22 C (3.5 degrees cooler than Sundays on average).

This fortunate pattern for those otherwise engaged during the East Midlands working week was oddly repeated in the other two very warm Julys of the last two decades. Weekend temperatures in both years averaged a degree and a half warmer than the rest of the week, and once again Thursdays were significantly colder. I wouldn't want to risk an explanation but I'd be the first to think what stunningly good luck.

Yours faithfully,


Lecturer in Meteorology

Nene College


8 August