Today is the last day of June and according to the UK Meteorological Office, we should be in the middle of a ‘level two heatwave’. But sitting here in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire watching rain trickle down the windows in time-honoured fashion, it seems like a different story.
To be fair, I can’t complain too much – it has been beautifully sunny for the past week or so, and the rain has come as a welcome relief from the humidity that has been hanging around for the past couple of nights, bringing all kinds of unwanted flying insects into the house and forcing me to finally admit defeat and bring the desk fan down from its winter hibernation in the loft!
It’s a well-known fact that British people like nothing better than to endlessly talk about the weather – when it’s hot, we want it to be cooler, and when it’s cold, we dream of escaping to hot balmy climates and distant sandy shores…and I am no different. Although, according to the latest weather reports, Yorkshire has a much smaller chance of reaching these temperatures than the South, the prospect of a heatwave has got me thinking about how the weather affects our mood and whether the high temperatures are a good thing or not.
The hottest day of the week is forecast to be this Thursday, when temperatures in London and the South East could potentially rise to 32C (90F). The BBC Weather site notes that the government has announced its official ‘heatwave plan’, which involves local hospitals setting up special emergency cool rooms for people who might be feeling faint or having breathing problems. Vets at the Blue Cross animal charity have also reminded people to take extra care of their pets during hot spells.
It is recognised that hot weather can bring on crime sprees as people become more iritable and short-tempered in the heat. Other undesirable traits associated with hot weather include tiredness and lack of concentration – some office workers claim that hot weather causes them to make more mistakes when typing (a real issue for online marketers!) and there have long been calls for UK workplaces to introduce summer dress code policies to combat stuffy offices without air-conditioning.
Still, on the plus side, the heatwave might give UK coastal resorts the boost they need from people travelling to the seaside to spend their money on donkey rides, B&Bs and ice creams. And after a difficult financial year, families could benefit from the opportunity to have a low-cost, fun-filled and traditional beach holiday without the need to travel abroad.
It seems like the summer is finally here – who needs Barbados, eh?!?
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