How Long is this Weather Set to Last? As we see the hot temperatures of the last week and a half slowly disappearing over the weekend, we have to wonder, was that our summer and is over? Here in Britain our heat waves never last very long and last week was no exception. The weather is predicted to go back to typical May/June weather at the weekend. Forecaster Charlie Powell is saying June will carry on being fairly predictable. The weather is going to be just as expected over the next month, sunny spells interspersed with rainy spells. If there is going to be any dramatic weather changes over the summer this year then the forecasting team will know about it well in advance and as of yet there are no signs of an extraordinary summer. The reason for us never having exceptionally warm weather or exceptionally wet weather during the summer months is due to our position on the globe and it just isn’t possible. Although, Cumbria is situated in an area which means it is subject to winds coming from three different directions which all bring along different types of weather. There is no way of accurately predicting what the weather will be like this summer as anything after a five day prediction isn’t reliable, although all the signs look like we are in for a traditional English summer. Last year the hottest day of the year came in October when the surprisingly warm spell came and many dubbed it an Indian summer. As we can never be sure when the hot weather will strike us here in Britain, it is always best to ensure your air conditioning unit is working all year round. This will not only prolong the life of it but also its effectiveness, which can be vital on those muggy days in the office. April Showers or April Washout? So the day is nearly over and we still have half a month’s rain to come in the next few hours. In the UK, this is expected to be the wettest day of the year with a predicted months worth of rain to fall in just 24 hours. There have been four severe weather warnings across the UK as the high winds and heavy rain will be carried over the country for what looks like could be till the later part of tomorrow afternoon. Weather forecasters are also predicting that our April showers won’t end at the end of the month; they look set to continue into May. The worst hit areas are expected to be in Eastern Scotland and in the South of England. Unlucky for us! Paul Michaelwhite, a weather forecaster has said, “It’s an April washout rather than April showers as unusually deep, autumnal type Atlantic low pushes across the South. “This is an unusually active depression for the time of year, as the Atlantic is traditionally at its quietest during mid-to-late spring.” This is the complete opposite, however, to what is going on, on the other side of the world in New Mexico. They are experiencing the most uncomfortable temperatures. It has been reported that the student housing in Cervantes Village’s air conditioning isn’t programmed to come on till the last day April and many students have to sleep on their tiled floors just to keep cool. A lady who lives in the village has said her daughter has woken up with nose bleeds from the humidity and dry air. The housing officials say it takes 4 weeks to switch all 900 of the air conditioning units and although the process has started, the residents need to be patient as they are not at fault for temperatures reaching 15 degrees what is the seasonal average. It’s officially Autumn in the UK We may have had one of the nicest springs in 2011, but in Britain we also had one of our worst-ever summers. Summer was officially declared over yesterday as the UK was battered by gale-force winds and torrential rain. Most people saw themselves going to bed earlier than usual as it became darker quicker. Forecasters predicted unsettled weather throughout the week and it won’t get much better throughout September, so there’s no need to have your air conditioning units switched on. According to the Met Office, it has been the worst summer in Britain since 1993. Dan Williams, Met Office forecaster, said “Northwest Britain is looking unsettled with showers and even gales. For the South East, we’ll see rain but in general it’s going to be drier and more settled,” which sounds like a very uncertain prediction. There were gusts of wind up to 60mph in some places in Britain. Railways across the country were disrupted by trees falling on the tracks causing cancellations, ferries along the south cost were severely disrupted and some of London’s tube stations were also closed due to flooding. Southend’s mile long pleasure pier’s supports and decking were also damaged after a giant barge was blown into the structure. We still have our fingers crossed for some sunshine though! SXA55XWXPPH3 Hoorah! Summer has arrived! August has kicked off to a promising start, even if July was a bit of a letdown with the weather. However, the weatherman still warns us to keep an umbrella in reach. After swapping our T-shirts for jumpers, not using sunscreen for the past few weeks and even seeing Autumn/Winter 2011 clothes pop up in shop windows, we have finally enjoyed some much needed heat over the weekend and more is on its way. So far we have had 26c, with the promise of up to 28c (82f) in some areas of Britain in the coming days. Millions of Britons took advantage of the hot spell and headed to British beaches over the weekend, to paddle in the sea and soak up the sun. Some areas saw their car parks full by Sunday morning and hotels also had “no vacancies” in their windows. However, we all know what the weather is like in Britain and good things have to come to an end. The hot spell will be short lived and we could see thunderstorms in many areas, along with swarms of flying ants, forecasters have warned. “In the next few days the conditions are likely to set off thunderstorms just about anywhere in the country. That will herald low temperatures for most parts. People should make the most of the weather while they can”, said Andy Bodenham, Met Office forecaster. Bournemouth’s seven miles of beaches was full of deck chairs on Sunday. “It’s glorious today. The beach is really busy and I expect people have come because they don’t know if the warm weather will last”, said Charles Baker, 36, from Hordle, Hampshire, who was visiting Bournemouth with his partner Aileen Simpson and one-year-old daughter Alice. Unsettled weather is said to return to most areas by the end of this week, where temperatures are expected to slide back to the 70s. It’s still expected to be muggy and people without air conditioning at home may feel uncomfortable, especially at night time. The muggy conditions has already encouraged millions of mating flying ants, the phenomenon has been described by pest control experts as “the biggest annual one-night stand in the UK”. Managing director of Cleankill, Paul Bates said the insects don’t bite or sting people, he explains “the problem normally disappears on its own within a few hours”. He added that people shouldn’t waste their money on calling someone out to eradicate them. Getting the most out of your air conditioning unit It doesn’t happen very often for us in the UK, but when it does, we can definitely get hot under the collar from the summer heat. It’s nearly August and some of us have started to get uncomfortable at night. But don’t lose sleep because of the heat! For those of us who have air conditioning units to keep us cool at work and at home, sometimes we can be wary of turning the units on because of the costs of running them. However, here are some top tips for getting the most out of your air conditioning unit. Filters, filters, filters! You may have heard it all before, but keeping them clean is vital for peak efficiency, and can be ignored. Close the doors and windows to keep the cool air in and hot air out when using your air conditioner. It may be an obvious tip, but we’ve all seen it happen before, whether it’s at work or at the gym. At home, you could also block the vents in unused rooms, if you have central air. If you work in a shop or store, close your doors and don’t let the cool air fly out the window. Some countries have rules to fine store owners, who leave their doors open and air con running. Each degree lower increases cooling costs by 6%, so set the thermostats no lower than 78 degrees. To save money on cheap air conditioning units, turn off your appliances that you aren’t using and turn off your lights, set a timer to turn them on and off if necessary. Run appliances such as washing machines, ovens, dishwashers and dryers in the late night or early morning when it’s generally cooler. With the British summer, it’s a great excuse to cook outside with your barbecue – make the most out of the sunshine, if possible!