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May update

Fine weather ahead?


Warm first half

The first half of May brought spells of very warm weather and the Central England Temperature was close to 1.5C above the 30 year average. Despite that there have been cooler and wet days mixed in.

What does the second half of the month have in store? Are there any signs of the "European Monsoon" making an early appearance as June begins? 

Muddy festival

By Domharrison (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The second half of May

In the short term cooler air spreads southeastwards but it will remain mostly dry. By the end of this week temperatures should be climbing again and most of the country can look forward to a pleasant weekend. 

In the longer term things become less certain but the annotated 16 day GEFS ensemble plot for London below gives some indications. By 22nd May upper air temperatures are back above the 30 year average but the chance of wet weather also increases. Corresponding GEFS plots for northern locations show a similar pattern but if anything they are a little drier.

That suggests the likelihood of high pressure close to the north of the UK and low pressure systems centred over France and northern Spain. If that happens there is a risk of heavy showery and thundery rain pushing up into the south of the UK on occasion.  

Other computer models show the high pressure band stretching southwards into France. That would lead to a good deal of fine weather in the UK with rain more likely in the north west as Atlantic fronts try to push in. 

GEFS 850hPa temperatures and precipitation


The second half of May has the potential to bring periods of fine weather. Forecast details are uncertain though with some computer models developing active areas of low pressure to the south of the UK. That would increase the risk of rain in the south. In contrast other models have the high pressure band farther south making rain more likely in the north west.

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