Olympic torch tested for barmy British weather

Torch in windy room
The torch survived wind speeds of 50mph and temperatures as low as -5C Photo:

The London Olympic Torch has been put through the toughest of tests to make sure it can cope with British weather.

At an extreme test centre in Munich, owned by Olympic sponsors BMW, a range of extreme weather conditions were created to put the torch through its paces.

Olympic legend Daley Thompson helped run the tests which included extreme temperatures and wind conditions that the torch may face on its journey through the icy summit of Snowdon to the swirling winds of the Shetlands.

The tests could have been more viscous, the tunnel is capable of getting to as low as -20c and as high as +55c. It can replicate the same conditions as the Arctic Tundria and the Sahara Desert and can produce wind speeds of 280 km/h - even higher than those of hurricanes.

Not that an Olympic torch in Britain will have to endure those sorts of extremes. But it did pass with flaming colours when put through a temperature range of -5c to +40c and stayed lit through 50mph winds.

Two people holding torch
Local university students have been chosen to run with the Olympic torch for a rehearsal today in Leicester Credit: PA Wire

A torch relay rehearsal began today just after 7am today from the National Space Centre in Leicester.

The rehearsal today will test the timings, convoy movement, radio communications, traffic management and security operations of the relay.

The actual flame will pass through 1,018 UK places.

Today's rehearsal will take place on the Leicester to Peterborough phase of the route. You can see details and maps of the route here.