St Martin’s Summer – not really on the cards in Kent for 2019

Folklore says St Martin’s Day, 11 November, brings with it a settled spell of weather known as St Martin’s Summer.

Disappointingly, the UKMO forecast chart for St Martin’s Day (weathercharts.org), 11 November 2019 leads to a text book forecast: blustery showers, some of which will merge to give longer outbreaks of rain.

UKMO forecast chart for St Matin's Day - 11/11/19
UKMO forecast chart for St Matin’s Day – 11/11/19

 

History (wikipedia) tells us that St Martin was a Roman cavalry soldier who resettled as a Bishop on leaving the army.  Leaving the Roman equivalent of brightly coloured trousers behind, his Christian career gained some meteorological notoriety in a snow storm.  Turning the tools of his military career to pastoral use he cut his cloak in two in order to share half of it with a beggar.

Höchster_Schloß_Tor_St_Martin.jpg
Statue of Saint Martin cutting his cloak in two above the Höchst Castle’s gate

By Eva K. / Eva K.Eva K. / Eva K., CC BY-SA 2.5, Link

Mid-latitude weather can always be relied upon to give some settled spells and there is enough lore out there to expect such a respite on many dates.  In fact, Shakespeare connects St Martin’s Summer with a similar spell of calm weather, halcyon days, expected at the solstice.  Henry VI, Part 1, act 1, scene 2, line 131:

Expect Saint Martin’s summer, halcyon days.

The current forecast from the Met Office doesn’t really promise summer:

St Martin's Day Forecast

with heavy rain for the commute.  Tuesday and Wednesday seem better, but low pressure is not far away.

The time is always ripe for some continued Autumnal feasting as depicted in the featured image.