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Summer this year has brought long spells of hot and settled weather, especially to southern counties, and it has been compared to 1976. Despite that a change to more unsettled and cooler weather is expected in the short term and all regions are likely to see some rain. Will the more mixed theme continue through the rest of August or will high pressure return to bring settled and warm conditions back?
Early August brought more fine and hot weather to the south and east but the north and west were often more changeable. In the short term the cooler and changeable weather is expected to push southeastwards across all of the country.
The TWO monthly forecast which was issued at the end of July suggested it would turn cooler during the second week of the month. It went on to predict the second half of the month would "often be settled in the south" with more unsettled spells continuing at times in the north and west. Is that still looking likely?
Computer ensemble models are generally showing a signal for high pressure to build close to the UK again during the middle part of August. That suggests an increasing chance of further dry, warmer and more settled periods, particularly in the south east. Northern and western areas are more likely to remain under an Atlantic influence which would bring an ongoing risk of showers or longer spells of rain, as well as drier spells. Therefore, in the north west the weather could be quite close to average for much of the time, but conditions become progressively warmer and drier the further south east you head. A large reservoir of heat is expected to remain in southern Europe, and if high pressure becomes centred to the east of the UK, some of that could filter northwards leading to the chance of hot conditions again.
GEFS surface pressure and 500hPa postage stamp plot, valid for Friday, 17th August
The GEFS postage stamp plot above is for Friday 17th August. Many of the individual stamps show high pressure being the dominant feature of the UK's weather.
In the short term all regions can expect more changeable weather with a risk of showers or longer spells of rain. Despite that there will be dry and sunny periods too, and in much of eastern England rainfall totals may not be great. During the middle part of the month pressure is expected to build close to the UK and that could usher in another period of predominantly fine and warm or very warm weather in the south and east, but the north and west may remain more changeable.
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