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Page last updated at 12:10 GMT, Wednesday, 16 July 2008 13:10 UK

Midweek quiz: Summer weather

Summer weather quiz

The weather on St Swithin's Day was a typical British mixture - sunny spells and cloud, heavy showers and light drizzle. The Magazine tests your knowledge of all things summertime with a weather quiz, starting with the legend of St Swithin himself.

Old Father Time weather vane

1.) Multiple Choice Question

A myth says that the weather on St Swithin's Day, 15 July, lasts 40 days. St Swithin was the Bishop of Winchester. What's his legend based on?

St Swithin
  1. Freak storms when his body was moved
  2. He asked God for weeks of rain to punish the city
  3. He often invoked Noah's Ark in his sermons

2.) Missing Word Question

* and warm UK summer forecast

  1. Wet
  2. Damp
  3. Sunny

3.) Multiple Choice Question

The highest temperature ever recorded in England was 38.5° on 10 August 2003. But where was it?

  1. Eastbourne
  2. Gravesend
  3. Brogdale

4.) Multiple Choice Question

The lowest amount of monthly sunshine ever recorded was 0 hours. This was the same year that:

  1. London Underground opened
    London Underground
  2. The Great Smog descended
  3. Queen Elizabeth II got married
    Queen Elizabeth II
  4. The audio cassette was invented
    Cassette tape

5.) Multiple Choice Question

Which summer classic spent the shortest period at the top of the singles charts?

  1. Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard & The Shadows
    The Shadows
  2. In the Summertime - Mungo Jerry
    Mungo Jerry
  3. Summer Nights - John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John
    John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John

6.) Multiple Choice Question

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first recorded use of the word "summer" was in religious instructions to monks in 825. How was it spelt?

  1. Sumerr
  2. Sumur
  3. Summor

7.) Multiple Choice Question

William Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 starts "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" But it ends:

William Shakespeare
  1. Love's fire heats water, water cools not love
  2. So long lives this, and this gives life to thee
  3. To love that well which thou must leave ere long

8.) Multiple Choice Question

What is the fear of thunder known as?

  1. Heliophobia
  2. Ancraophobia
  3. Brontophobia

9.) Multiple Choice Question

A typical flash of fork lightning lasts for how many seconds?

  1. 0.2
  2. 0.8
  3. 1.2
  4. 1.6

10.) Multiple Choice Question

The highest amount of rainfall in 24 hours fell in July of what year?

  1. 1955
  2. 1987
  3. 2007


  1. Legend says violent rain storms - which lasted 40 days and 40 nights - indicated the saint's displeasure at being moved from his humble burial place to a shrine.
  2. It's wet, according to the Met Office's summer forecast. "Summer temperatures across the UK are more likely to be warmer than average and rainfall near or above average for the three months of summer," it said.
  3. It's Brogdale near Faversham in Kent. At first Gravesend was reported to be the hottest that day but seven weeks later the Met Office noticed its mistake. Eastbourne and Hastings has the record for the most sunshine in a month - 384 hours in July 1911.
  4. The Met Office recorded no sunshine in London's Westminster in December 1890, the same year that the capital's Tube opened to the public.
  5. Summer Holiday by Cliff Richard & The Shadows spent a mere three weeks at no 1 in two stints in 1963. The other two managed seven weeks each.
  6. It's "sumur" and was used in vespers in 825.
  7. It's "So long lives this, and this gives life to thee" Sonnet 18 is one of the most famous of Shakespeare's 154 sonnets.
  8. It's brontophobia, named after the ancient Greek for thunder. Heliophobia is fear of the sun and ancraophobia is fear of the wind.
  9. According to the BBC's Weather Centre, a typical flash of fork lightning lasts for only about 0.2 seconds and a typical discharge delivers about 1.5 million volts.
  10. Martinstown, near Dorchester, Dorset, received 279mm of rain in 24 hours on 18 July 1955.

Your Score

0 - 3 : Dense fog

4 - 8 : Ray of sunshine

9 - 10 : Grease lightning!

For a complete archive of past quizzes and our weekly news quiz, 7 days 7 questions, visit the Magazine page and scroll down. You can also do this quiz on your mobile device.

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