When summers were hot

Thirty-seven years ago, on 31 May 1978, we were on the first full day of our honeymoon in North Wales.

The weather was scorchingly hot as we walked up into the Berwyn Mountains. Inevitably I fell into a bog during our descent, and by the time that we were walking back to the hotel over exposed moorland, we were engulfed by a violent thunderstorm.

Today the temperature has struggled to reach 13˚C (55˚F), it is windy, and we have already had over 10 mm (nearly half an inch) of rain. You would be forgiven for thinking that tomorrow was the first of March, not June.

The UK, and the English Channel coast here, is known for cool, wet and windy weather even in summer, when depressions stray south from keeping the Scottish Highlands wild and picturesque. In June 1944 one such depression nearly caused postponement of the Normandy landings, but they are relatively brief and passing phases.

Although we had a few days back in April which were enticingly warm, and everyone started mentioning the S word, much of May has been unseasonably cold, and fairly dull too.

We cannot blame change in the North Atlantic Drift (‘Gulf Stream’), despite dire warnings that it might shut down with future climate change. Nor can we put this down to El Niño. And if you dare mention ‘global warming’ round here I think the local hoteliers and others in the tourist trade would lynch you.

Does anyone know which key combination we need to reboot the weather?