For me, there’s almost nothing better than sitting in a rain-lashed car, staring at the sea with a thermos of hot coffee, some boiled eggs and a home-made foil packet of salt.
But that kind of maudlin coastal introspection is best reserved for a bleak February day, it’s not what we’re looking for in July.
Which is why, when you see a forecast like the one for this weekend, you might think the coast is the last place you’d go. Who wants to pack up the car/the children/the dog/the in-laws and sit in misery in beach-drenching rain showers, slowly but definitely turning blue, bravely talking about 99s all around, wishing they were anywhere else in the world?
You might know enough about the weather to know that when we talk about “low pressure dominating”, it normally means rain. And wind. And dreams of the Mediterranean. So when you see a chart like this one for Saturday on the forecast, you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s nothing for it but hot chocs and marshmallows in the sanctuary of home for the weekend.
But not so fast! When low pressure sits directly over the UK, it can mean that the coast is one of the best places to be.
And here’s why. Low pressure draws air inwards and sends it skywards, a process that’s helped at this time of year by daytime ‘thermals’ that shoot up inland as the ground heats up during the day.
When a low is slap bang on top of us, moisture is sucked inland away from the sea and up into the atmosphere over land. That produces big clouds, the kind that has ruined many a village fete with their downpours.
But the positioning of the low means the coast is shielded from the upwards/downwards action and so gin clear skies and a refreshing sea breeze can cheer the heart of many a fed-up family. Meanwhile, just a few miles inland thunder rumbles away.
There are a couple of notes of caution though; the southwest is to be avoided first thing this Saturday as the low moves in, and a weather front across the northeast of Britain will bring more persistent rain here.
For the rest though, a punt on a clear slot at the coast is certainly worth an hour of car-time. Now where did I put the egg timer?