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Hot weather set to stay in Cornwall, but it's no 'Indian Summer'
7:00am Tuesday 3rd September 2013 in News
After a warm, dry, sunny summer, the fine weather is continuing this week with temperatures in over 20 degrees C today and tomorrow.
While many media reports are calling this an ‘Indian summer’, according to the Met Office’s Meteorological Glossary, it’s a little too early in the year.
An Indian summer is defined as a warm, calm spell of weather occurring after the first frost in autumn, especially in October and November.
The origins of the term Indian summer are uncertain, but several writers suggest it may be have been based on the warm, hazy conditions in autumn when native American Indians chose to hunt.
The earliest record of the use of the term is in America at the end of the 18th century. Although William R Deedler also refers to a reference by a French man, John de Crevecoeur, in 1778: “Sometimes the rain is followed by an interval of calm and warmth which is called the Indian Summer; its characteristics are a tranquil atmosphere and general smokiness. Up to this epoch the approaches of winter are doubtful; it arrives about the middle of November, although snows and brief freezes often occur long before that date.”
The term was first used in the British Isles at the beginning of the 19th century, but there is no statistical evidence to show that such a warm spell tends to recur each year. The warmest recorded temperatures in the UK in October and November are 29.9 °C on 1 October 2011, in Kent, and 21.1 °C on 2 November 1938, in Essex and Suffolk.
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