Weather for athletes: How the weather affects the lives of our athletes

As a sport that predominantly takes place outdoors, the link between athletics and weather is closer than most. Unlike in cricket or tennis rain very rarely stops play, in fact very little actually does. The conditions in which athletes can perform is shown by Colin Jackson's stories elsewhere on this website of chipping the ice from a single lane on a Welsh track in order to train on the frozen ground. Of course athletics is a summer sport, and this is unlikely to be seen at an event, but it illustrates the kind of conditions athletes can go about their business in.

Phoenix dust storm

This time lapse video, constructed from images taken on a hill at Sun Ray park in Ahwatukee, Phoenix shows a huge dust storm, known as a 'haboob', descending on the city on the evening of 5th July.

The storm, which was estimated to be more than 100 miles wide, halted flights, knocked out power to nearly 10,000 people and fouled up thousands of swimming pools. 

Behind the folklore: St Swithun's Day: Does rain today really mean a ruined summer?


St Swithun’s day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St Swithun’s day if thou be fair
For forty days ‘twill rain nae mare

In 1716, John Gay, the author of The Beggar's Opera, published a poem entitled Trivia: Or, the Art of Walking the Streets of London – a lengthy paean to the joys of striding around the capital (ironic considering his reputation as a corpulent and entirely sedentary man of letters). In it, and with typical élan, he poured scorn upon the age-old legend of 15th July - St Swithun's Day: