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Glastonbury Festival 2019

Washout or scorcher?


08/05/2019

Glastonbury long range outlook

Glastonbury 2019 takes place between June 26th and 30th. It is outside the range of medium range computer models but a number of seasonal prediction systems are now available. Unfortunately for the UK their skill level or accuracy remains low. In addition a number of factors have known impacts on the UK's weather, e.g. the sea surface temperature profile in the North Atlantic. Therefore at this range it is not possible to provide an accurate weather forecast, but some pointers can be considered.

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

What do seasonal models suggest?

In a nutshell there is a signal for slightly above to above average temperatures. However the predictions are for the summer as a whole and they could mask significant variations. For example a hot period could be in part offset by a cooler one. 

The rain tendency is more mixed. Several of the models show no signal which means all outcomes are equally likely. Of those which do offer a prediction the bias is tilted towards drier than average conditions.

European Monsoon and Glastonbury

The early part of the summer is sometimes referred to as the "European Monsoon". It refers to the tendency for the westerly flow to strengthen during June and June after weakening in late spring. The impact is to increase the risk of wet weather periods.

The European Monsoon is unpredictable and often weak, but it is most likely to occur during late June or early July. It could be the reason why some people associate Glastonbury with rain and mud! Nonetheless the records show that despite some mudbath festivals they haven't all coincided with poor weather.  

Summary

Further updates will be issued in the coming weeks. To summarise at the present time:

1) Warmer than average conditions are favoured

2) The rainfall signal is mixed but on balance below average rainfall is favoured

3) The European Monsoon season comes increasingly into play during June

Despite the above points it is too early to be even vaguely confident about the weather prospects for Glastonbury 

How to select your forecast

A number of forecasts for Glastonbury are provided. The best one to use depends on the range you are looking ahead to. 

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