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London 2012 and the weather

Let the Games begin! (courtesy: LOCOG)
Let the Games begin! (courtesy: LOCOG)

Lyndsay Morrison, staff writer

July 27, 2012 — The athletes have arrived, the city is bustling, and Canadians are eager to cheer their country on.

Will the Summer Games be soggy?
Will the Summer Games be soggy?

With many competitions happening outdoors, and with some dependent on the conditions, The Weather Network will be keeping close tabs on the forecast throughout the United Kingdom. 


The weeks leading up to the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games have had some feeling nervous about the weather forecast. 
It was the UK's wettest June on record. It was also the second dullest June on record, and the second coolest since 1991. 

July didn't get off to the best start, either. In one week, nearly 100 flood alerts had been issued by Britain's Environment Agency. 

The recent weather has put a damper on several big events. Soggy weather soaked the queen's Diamond Jubilee flotilla on the Thames, created a sea of mud at the Isle of Wight music festival, and led to frequent delays at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.

Take your mark ...
Take your mark ...

While the recent deluge has been significant in England, some argue that it's just a little bit of "British weather." 

"Rubber boots are a common sight in London, as the city does get a lot of rainy days," says Elena Lappo, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. "Weather also changes very quickly in southeast England, so it's common to see rain, cloud, and then some sunshine all in the same day."

However, Lappo adds that London's summer rain is often light and brief. In fact, London's average rainfall in August is less than what is expected to fall in the same month in Toronto. 

While the UK is stereotypically known as a cool and wet place, the  London area is generally warmer and drier in the summer. 
"July and August are also the warmest months of the year with average temperatures around 23°C in London," explains Lappo. "The highest ever recorded temperature in London’s international airport was 37.9°C during a heat wave in 2003. London on average, sees temperatures rising above 30°C about 7 days a year."


Most venues have roofs or covers over them, but some, including Olympic Stadium, will not remain completely dry if the rain comes down. 

Of course, some events are also held outdoors. The events most at risk of being affected include tennis at Wimbledon, BMX biking, rowing, sailing and beach volleyball.
Organizers of the games have ordered 250,000 ponchos to sell to spectators. Olympic ticket-holders will be denied refunds if events are called off, but will be given the option to see the rescheduled event.


For the latest on the weather conditions check our London, United Kingdom Forecast. You can also check out the forecast for the various venues.

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