Should footballers consider climate too?

Posted on: August 30, 2016

One of the most frenetic periods of any football season – Transfer Deadline Day – is upon us. But should one of a club’s key marketing points to prospective players be the better aspects of the local climate?

Winter weather tends to have a greater influence on players’ attitudes to a potential new club, especially for those coming from sunnier climes.

We looked at the average January data from the Met Office for four key measures to see which Premier League clubs offered the most welcoming and hostile winter conditions.

Cold temperatures
If players are concerned about the cold in winter then the clubs to avoid are Middlesbrough that has an average minimum daily temperature in January of 0.7 degrees Celsius, Manchester United 0.8, Manchester City 0.8, Stoke City 1.1 and Leicester City 1.2. The mildest climates are offered by Swansea 4.0, and the five London clubs – Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Crystal Palace and West Ham.

If frosty air on the train

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Keep cool, freeze your sheets

Posted on: August 24, 2016

If you’re struggling to sleep during the hot summer nights, why not think about how you can cool things down? Rather than suffer in a sweat following a few simple ice-related tips could result in you enjoying a much cooler night of rest:

Put your sheets in a bag and pop them in the freezer for about 10 minutes before you go to bed. When you take them out and lay them on your bed you’ll have a cool start to the night helping you to drop off quickly
Fill your hot water bottle with cold water and add a few ice cubes. Pop it on your pillow or under your sheets before you get into bed and keep it there all night if you like
Take a really cold shower before you get into bed to lower your body’s temperature
Keep a bowl of iced water beside the bed to dip your feet into during

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How Olympians use ice in Rio

Posted on: August 17, 2016

Heat and humidity, not ice and snow, will present the greatest weather challenge to the 10,000 athletes at this month’s Olympics in Rio. But ice will play a key role in aiding athlete performance…and we’re not talking iced drinks! 

Even though it will be winter in Brasil, temperatures could hit around 32 degrees Celsius. Becoming acclimatised and remaining hydrated are key to avoiding heat-related health problems, from cramps to heat stroke.
One of the key tools in the modern athlete’s locker is the ice vest. Competitors will wear them to reduce skin temperature while maintaining a stable core temperature; delay the onset of dehydration by conserving fluid that would normally be lost through sweating; and lower their cardiac output towards the skin allowing more blood to be sent back to the muscles resulting in a prolonged high level of performance.

And, after competition, many will resort to a rather bracing ice bath. The general theory behind this cold therapy is that the exposure to cold helps to combat t

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Weather forecast key for Olympic sailors

Posted on: August 10, 2016

One group of athletes will be paying particularly close attention to the weather reports at this month’s Olympics in Rio. Windsurfers rely on accurate weather forecasting as it’s a crucial part of their competition preparation because the conditions dictate how they approach each race.

Windsurfing is highly tactical, so reading the wind on the water and understanding changes to the currents is crucial. Rio could prove to be an especially challenging location with Sugar Loaf and the Corcovado mountains nearby which makes accurate forecasting difficult. The speed of the wind can mean a fast and exciting or slow and methodical race – or, if it’s too strong, could mean it doesn’t happen at all!

The unpredictable nature of the weather wherever you are in the world means that accurate forecasting and good preparation can go a long way to coping with whatever the weather throws at us. We too place a lot of emphasis on making our weather forecasts as accurate and up-to-date as we can. 

You may believe it’s

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The summer that wasn't

Posted on: August 4, 2016

Earlier in the year, it was predicted that we were set to enjoy (or maybe endure) the hottest summer ever, with temperatures hitting a record 38.5C during the first two weeks of June. This didn’t quite materialise, and we’re also yet to experience the “relentless pulses of extreme heat” that was forecast to last until September.

According to the experts, an irregular flaring of the sun is meant to push the jet stream off course, giving us “a summer we won’t forget” with huge extremes in temperature, sometimes higher than those in America, Australia and parts of Africa. Even the more restrained Met Office predicted a warmer than usual summer in its three-month forecast.

But it hasn't quite turned out that way. Having enjoyed scant opportunities to peel off our winter layers, the predictions returned to what we’ve become accustomed to expect. Now the Met Office is only committing to “changeable” weather persisting for much of the following month, thanks to a “Westerly regime” with high pressure in the South and lo

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Old Wives' forecasts

Posted on: August 3, 2016

St Swithun’s Day occurs each year on 15 July, so anyone who believes in Old Wives’ Tales will be have been waiting to see if there was rain or fair weather on the day, because folklore has it that it will last for the next 40 days and nights. But is there any truth in this?

While there are no records of 40 consecutive days of rainfall or drought, there may be a scientific explanation to the predominant weather patterns experienced. The mid-July jet stream often settles into a relatively consistent pattern. So, if it’s to the north of the UK, high pressure can build and remain to create generally fair, dry and warm weather, while if it positions itself to the south, rain-bearing low pressure can dominate.

So what’s this all got to do with St Swithun? He was the Anglo-Saxon Bishop of Winchester who died in AD862. It was reported that he asked for his remains to be buried outside the church alongside the common people but, after he was made patron saint of Winchester Cathedral, his remains were dug up and placed in an indoor shrine. This apparently gave h

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