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Glastonbury Festival 2019

Washout or scorcher?


20/06/2019

Glastonbury long range outlook

Glastonbury 2019 takes place between June 26th and 30th. It is now well within the range of medium range computer models. June has brought spells of cool and very wet weather so far. There are signs of it turning much warmer in time for the festival, but the pattern may not be stable.

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

What do medium range models suggest?

There is a growing signal for very warm or hot weather during the Glastonbury Festival period. Details are uncertain and there is a possibility of it cooling off later. The postage stamp chart below shows forecast temperatures on the afternoon of Friday 28th June. Each stamp represents the forecast from one GEFS model run. The thing to note is how many of them have orange and red shading over southern England. That suggests a good chance of temperatures in the high 20Cs or low 30Cs. It could be a scorcher, but it is far from certain.  

GEFS 2m max temperatures

Risk of thunderstorms?

As well as hot it may be very humid. In fact a lot of the ingredients needed for big thunderstorms appear to be falling into place. Despite that a number of the postage stamps below show dry conditions on Friday 28th June. Computer models often don't handle the development of showers and thunderstorms well, so the chart could be understating the risk. It's also possible that by this time the hottest and most humid air may have been pushed away eastwards. The other thing to remember is that showery rain is very hit and miss, so it is possible some days could remain dry whilst others see cloudbursts and downpours.

GEFS rain postage stamps

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

To summarise at the present time:

1) Much warmer than average conditions are expected. It could be a hot one, although it possibly cools later. 

2) There is a risk of heavy showers and thunderstorms. It isn't possible to be more specific at the moment. 

Hot and bothered perhaps describe the prospects! 

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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