A look at what's going on and whether it'll ever stop raining this summer...
What's going on with the weather then? Perhaps it's just
rose-tinted specs, but we can't remember quite such a miserable
June/July since records began when we were old enough to remember
In an effort to find out what's wrong and when we can expect some
sort of improvement, we trawled round the various specialist weather
sites for some expert input.
Blame The Azores...
by John Arthur - OM album
The cheery guys over at Metcheck
kick off with some gentle fun - 'Sunshine! (only joking)' is their
current headline. And they are joking. According to yesterday's
analysis, there's trouble brewing in the Azores thanks to 'a rogue
area of low pressure on a frontal wave' which, if it develops, 'will
bring further flooding and misery to parts of the UK next week.'
Not so good then, though it might be nice over the weekend before
things get bad again... Just to rub salt in the wounds, the site's
Weather Singularities' page says that the period from 10 July
to 22 July is often traditionally warm and dry as the Azores high
builds. Not this year it seems...
Verdict It's all down to things moving around in the
Atlantic, damn those fish.
Dave Mycroft - OM Album
Over at theweatheroutlook.com
'mixed' is the word du jour. It might be getting warmer over the next
14 days, it says, but it will also be unsettled. More reassuringly,
the 45-day forecast says that from 1 July to 14 August temperatures
are expected to be above the Central England Temperature average,
with precipitation slightly above average.
The really good news is that between 12-14 August it should be
'rather warm and mainly dry wtih sunny spells'. Less encouragingly,
the remainder of the forecast majors on warm but unsettled with
showers. Oh dear.
Verdict Warm but unsettled.
Above Average Temperatures
Rob Sutherland- OM Album
Over to the experts at the Met
Office where the long-term Summer 2007 forecast is for
temperatures for the remainder of the summer to be above 1971-2000
averages all over Europe. But before you get your hopes up, they also
point out that warmer than average temperatures are now common and
that weather patterns that bring particularly hot and sunny spells to
the UK will be fewer than in some recent hot summers, partly perhaps
because of the expected development of moderate or strong La
Niña conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean.
The forecast for rainfall is for average in southern areas of the
UK, average or above average rainfall more likely in the north.
Lots of good weather information in the Research
section of the site, but what's La Niña? The BBC
can tell us, briefly it's the extensive cooling of the central and
eastern Pacific - the opposite of the better known El Niño -
in general, it says here, generally areas of the world that generally
experience dry weather will be drier, while areas that generally
experience wet weather (what, us?) will be wetter. However the
effects aren't fully understood. Oh well...
Verdict Very average, but probably not a scorcher...
TIme Is Running Out For The Summer...
by Dinky - OM album
Over at BBC
Weather the Monthly Outlook says things are still looking
grim for July after one of the wettest Junes on record. Apparently
the jet stream, a zone of high-level winds that zap around high above
the Atlantic would normally be blowing to the north of the British
Isles pushing low pressure areas towards the unfortunate
However, this year the jet stream's further south so Atlantic
depressions are smacking right into the British Isles. Oh dear. The
first half of the month looks set to continue the same way though,
but things may improve for the second part of July, just in time for
the school holidays it says here... Improve here means 'average
Verdict Crap until mid-July, blame the jet stream.
Summer Was In April
by Andrew Terrill - OM album
That's the conclusion The
Times reached when it delved into the weather situation, and
it believes 'heavy rain that spoilt May and June looks set to stay
for the rest of summer'.
Not good then. Based on Met Office research, it too believes that
La Niña is behind it all. Apparently in a weird sci-fi sort of
way, British weather is being mirrored in the southern hemisphere
where 'similar bands of depressions have been sweeping 45 to 55
degrees latitude, similar latitudes to Britain and Northern
Historical data suggests that we can expect more cloudiness,
wetness and windiness if La Niña continues. Apparently in
simple terms, La Niña changes the pattern of rainfall in the
tropics, which disrupts the jetstreams which control our weather and
bingo, weekend misery :-(
Verdict It's La Niña again and things look rubbish
for the rest of the summer.
Wet Early Summer Fuels Fly Problem
by Pete Aylmer- OM album
Just in case you weren't depressed already, Stackyard
News says that the wet June and early July weather looks set
to spark 'a fly explosion in many areas of the country'.
Apparently horse flies, midges, black flies and common cleggs all
lay their eggs in and around water. This is bad news for farmers and
their livestock, but not great for walkers and climbers either given
that cleggs and midges feed on blood and aren't fussy about who they
get it from. Nice...
Verdict Start stockpiling insect repellant now...
So What Does It All Mean?
by John Fitzpatrick- OM album
On the face of it, things are pretty depressing. The good news is
that long-term weather forecasts are notoriously inaccurate, so the
damp and gloomy outlook may change.
Right now the consensus seems to be that an area of high pressure
over the Azores and jet stream patterns changed by La Niña in
the Pacific means that fronts which would normally pass to the north
of us are instead bringing rain and more rain which rightfully
belongs to Scandinavia and Iceland.
Having said that, the weather actually looks okay for the weekend