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02

Apr

Fans Ain’t What They Used To Be

Written by Duncan under Ceiling Fans, General | No Comments ""

Forecasting the weather beyond about a week ahead stretches even the most experienced weather forecaster. The Met Office and the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) have huge amounts of computing power at their disposal and, as we all know, they can still get it completely wrong. Nowadays, a forecast for five days ahead is usually of the same quality as a forecast for two days ahead, but anything beyond that we’ve learned to take with a pinch (a very large one) of salt.  Through systematic model development, an increased use of satellites, observations from weather balloons, aircraft and surface stations, weather forecasting continues to get more reliable and dependable.

So what will Summer 2011 be like? Summer 2009 was a bit hit and miss and Summer 2010 was pretty awful.  Winter 2010/11 turned out to be one of the harshest in years, so does that mean that we will be in for a scorcher? After the last few miserable summers we’re probably owed a good one.  Probably as good an indicator as any will be checking out when the first baby swans have hatched at Abbotsbury Swannery in Dorset.   From mid May to late June hundreds of cygnets hatch and the monks who used to look after the place believed the arrival of the first cygnet meant the first day of summer had come.

Even if you are not a fan of monks, swans or weather forecasters, they all seem to be in agreement about what this summer is going to be like.  It’ll be a decent one!  Maybe!  Don’t rush out and buy the BBQ just yet though, because remember that if it is hot, a warmer atmosphere holds more moisture and so is humid and sticky with an increased chance of rain.  So it’s likely that the “must have” for this summer won’t be the BBQ, but a decent fan for the home, office or factory.

No matter what type, from oscillating desk fans or ceiling fans to heavy duty industrial drum fans they all work the same way.  The difference is merely a matter of scale.  Any fan does not actually “cool” a space at all. It simply creates a wind chill effect in exactly the same way that you’d blow on hot soup or coffee to cool it down. The movement of the air increases heat loss by convection, so the soup or coffee cools down quicker.  By moving air around, a fan makes it easier for the air to evaporate sweat from your skin, which is how the body normally gets rid of excess heat. The greater the rate of evaporation, the cooler you feel.


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