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Here comes the summer! Posted On 01 June 2021

It’s the start of our favourite season of extremes

 

June traditionally marks the start of the brightest, warmest and most longed-for season of the year. So here are a few facts to amuse, amaze and kill the conversation at your socially-distanced barbecue…

The heat is on

Although meteorologists say summer officially starts on June 1st, the astronomical summer doesn’t begin until the 21st, when there is a 23.5degrees tilt of the Earth’s axis in its orbit around the Sun.

The summer of 2006 is considered the warmest on record with daytime temperatures averaging 15.8degrees Centigrade (around 60degrees Fahrenheit). However, the hottest day was recorded at Cambridge University Botanic Garden on July 25th, 2019 when plants wilted in the sweltering 38.7C heat (101.66F).

The Eiffel Tower grows in the summer. Paris’ iron landmark can expand by up to 17cm on a hot day.

Theoretically, it is possible to fry an egg on a car bonnet. TV chef James Martin did it in June 2018 in 26C heat, although experts say you really need a dry heat of 70C (158F) to get it done properly. Which means you need to be in Death Valley, California, or the Australian outback to have a decent fry-up on your Merc.

You can work out the evening temperature by listening to a cricket. Count the number of chirps over 25 seconds, divide by 3 and add 4 to the Celsius figure. Yes, really.

Life’s a beach

There are currently 195 Blue Flag beaches in the British Isles. While most accept it is a recognition of water quality, the flag is also awarded for environmental management, safety and services, plus education and information.

Even though it does not have a sandy beach, the little village of St Mawes in Cornwall was last year named Britain’s ideal seaside resort in a Which? study. Skegness, Great Yarmouth, Bognor Regis, Blackpool, Morecambe and Cleethorpes didn’t fare as well.

Chesil Beach in Dorset is the longest in the UK, at 18 miles long. But it is a shingle spit, so the sandy beaches at Bournemouth and Pendine Beach in Wales, which are more than seven miles long, are officially the longest. In comparison, the largest in the world is at Praia do Cassino in Brazil – a piffling 150 miles long.

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