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.
Watch weatherman John Hammond on BBC News and