WEATHERWATCH

Countryfile Magazine - - Contents - With John Ham­mond

BBC weath­er­man John Ham­mond on June’s jol­lity (and oc­ca­sional tantrum).

Sum­mer’s here! 18 hours of day­light tell us so and, like a clock hand, we creep to­wards the sol­stice. In the coun­try­side, the sap is ris­ing. Na­ture is suck­ing in the vi­tal mix of heat and mois­ture and ur­gently

con­vert­ing it into abun­dant growth and colour. The greens are just that bit greener

than at any other time. In some years, high pres­sure traps air near the sun-baked ground, en­abling heat to build re­lent­lessly day by day. By the end

of June 1976, such a pres­sure-cooker en­abled tem­per­a­tures to reach 36°Cel­sius in south­ern Eng­land – the high­est June

tem­per­a­ture on record. But June is not al­ways a re­li­able guide to the sum­mer that fol­lows. It’s a volatile month. When pres­sure is lower, the ground

can is­sue bub­bles of ther­mal en­ergy sky­ward through the still-cool vapours aloft that waft in from across the sea. This un­sta­ble con­coc­tion can ex­plode vividly into thun­dery cloud­bursts, send­ing tor­rents of wa­ter back down to earth. A year be­fore the ‘record-breaker’, June 1975 was an­other ex­tra­or­di­nary month. On the 2nd, a chill northerly wind brought the lat­est snow­fall in re­cent recorded his­tory, and led at least one county cricket game to be snowed off. Yet, such a freak of na­ture was bound not to last. Within a week, it was

warm and sunny, and a fine sum­mer en­sued. Time to make hay while the sun shines, be­cause at least one me­te­o­rol­o­gist

has lit­tle idea what July might serve up.

Coun­try­file.

Watch weath­er­man John Ham­mond on BBC News and

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