• Britons are obsessed with the weather and what it will be like each day
  • The first weather 'forecast' was made 150 years ago by Admiral Robert FitzRoy
  • Britain's topography and location means we have many more microclimates than other countries

One of the most random days we've had in 2015 was the 'one day heatwave'. On 1 July this year, Britain was smothered in hot air travelling up from Spain. Heathrow in London experienced a day of 36.7 degrees centigrade, the highest level ever recorded in any July, since records began!

According to the details, it was also a very unusual day because at 9.00am, the temperature also at Heathrow was already 32.5 degrees.

On the flip-side, in the first week of July, Durham caught the brunt of a localised hailstorm with multiple vehicles damaged. Some were even left un-driveable!

Thankfully for them, their car insurance covered the damage and got them back on the road as soon as possible.

Why do we love to talk about the weather?

In Britain, you're never far from a conversation about the weather. When it's warm, it's too hot. When it's cold, it's bitter! The British love talking about it because it changes daily, and sometimes hourly.

The reason we have some of the world's most varied weather is Britain's geography, position and our closeness to mainland Europe. We're in a 'mid-latitude westerly wind belt' on the edge of the Atlantic according to the MET Office. When this is coupled with the way the land changes in short distances and our vast coastlines, we get the weather we do.

Visitors to Britain will stare at us in wonder, questioning our obsession with daily talk of clouds, chilly mornings and is the rain drizzling or spitting down. After a week or two of being here, they're the first to join in. Some of the charm is most definitely never getting one day the same.

The history of the weather forecast

Maybe we constantly talk about the weather because the first recorded weather 'forecast' was made by Admiral Robert FitzRoy 150 years ago! FitzRoy was a sailor and creator of the forerunner that would become the MET Office as we know it today.

FitzRoy was tormented by the loss of ships at sea and believed he could save the lives of sailors if he could give enough notice of storms. Using the newly expanding telegraph network he was able to gather information from all over Britain. He used this to calculate the chances of storms, and as a by-product was also able to make scientific predictions on the weather over the next two days.

The problem with FitzRoy's forecast was that its accuracy was never spot on. Sometimes he was incredibly on point, other times, he didn't even come close. What he did do though, was cement the weather into British history and conversations for centuries to come, maybe?

The rise of the weather app

With so many Britons connected to the 'internet of things' it's no wonder we've taken our obsession online. There are numerous weather apps out there for all types of devices.

If FitzRoy was around today, he'd most definitely be overjoyed at the amount of data he could gather, and hopefully, be proud of what his legacy has created for generations to come.

Sources:

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-32483678