British people are internationally renowned for our obsession with the weather. This national preoccupation seems to date back to Anglo Saxon times at the very least, with the famous story of St Swithun. The feast day of this venerated figure, bishop of Winchester from 852AD to 862AD, falls on 15 July every year. The legend has it that if it rains on this day it will rain for 40 days, but if it is fair weather, 40 days of fair weather will follow.
St Swithun himself seems to have been partial to the rain, requesting that he should be buried in the churchyard rather than within the church, so that raindrops could fall on his grave. His body was moved a century later and a great storm followed that raged for 40 days!
What is the jet stream?
Although it seems unlikely that supernatural forces are at play when it comes to the unpredictability of British weather, there is a scientific basis to our midsummer weather. The jet stream is a core of strong winds around five to seven miles above the Earth’s surface, blowing from west to east. It causes changes in the wind and pressure and influences our weather patterns. Generally speaking, around about the middle of July, the jet stream settles into a pattern that holds steady until the end of August. When the jet stream lies north of our islands, high pressure from the continent can move in, when it lies across or south of us, air from the Arctic and weather systems from the Atlantic take over instead.
Science aside, with around 40 churches dedicated to him scattered across the country, the legend of St Swithun lives on. We will have to wait and see what 15 July has in store for us this year!
Summer storms and flash floods
Whether it is weather patterns or saintly intervention, as anyone who has ever spent a summer in this country knows, anything is possible when it comes to a British summer. Blazing hot days can take us by surprise or weeks of rain can lead to sodden campsites and washed-out festivals.
Storms and flash floods are inconvenient for us at best but at worst can be absolutely devastating. In 2007, we experienced our wettest May-July period since records began in 1776. The average rainfall was more than double the average for June, with some places experiencing a month’s worth of rain in just 24 hours. Thousands of homes and businesses were wrecked. 13 people died and damage to property cost about £6.5 billion.
Time is of the essence when it comes to flood damage
If the worst does happen and flooding affects your property, we are always on standby, ready to help, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With all flooding incidents, time is really of the essence. The longer water stays in situ, the more it can affect buildings, causing structural, damp and moulding issues, so our ability to get on scene rapidly really helps mitigate damage as far as possible.
Our experts are trained to analyse and react accordingly as soon as they reach a flood-hit property. We have a whole portfolio of restoration services and technologies at our disposal, from technical drying to restoration and reinstatement. Contact us to find out more.