Indian summer

7th September, 2016

As we experience one of the hottest Septembers on record, are we correct to refer to it as an ‘Indian Summer’?

Often when we experience a warm period of weather during the Autumn months, we hear it referred to as an 'Indian Summer', but what exactly does this mean and where does the phrase come from? 

The Met Office Meteorological Glossary, first published in 1916, defines an Indian summer as 'a warm, calm spell of weather occurring in Autumn, especially in October and November.'

The exact origins of the phrase are uncertain. It may originally have referred to a spell of warm, hazy autumn conditions that allowed Native American Indians to continue hunting. The first recorded use of the phrase appears in a letter written by a Frenchman called John de Crevecoeur dated 17 January 1778. In his description of the Mohawk country he writes "Sometimes the rain is followed by an interval of calm and warm which is called the Indian Summer."

The term was first used in the UK in the early 19th century but the concept of a warm autumn spell is not new to the UK. Previously, references to ‘St Martin's Summer’ were widely used to describe warm weather leading up to St Martin's Day on 11 November.

Despite particular dates being the anchor points for such phrases, there is no statistical evidence to suggest that such warm spells recur at any particular time each year - warm spells during the Autumn months are not uncommon.

So coming back to the original question - is this an Indian Summer? Well, it seems to depend on which season you think September is in! Either way, we are likely to return to cooler weather soon ahead of the freezing cold of the winter so why don’t we just enjoy it for now?

In this weather, you may think it’s too early to plan for your winter gritting and snow clearing but it’s never too soon to prepare.  Now is the time to act so that everything is in place for those first frosts so you do not get caught out. Call us today on 01728 633900 for a quote tailored to your needs. 

Is this an Indian summer?

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