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July has been mixed so far with most parts of the UK seeing rain at times. The heat of late June has not returned and to the 14th the Central England Temperature (CET) is provisionally 15.1C which is 0.8C below the 30 year average. With computer models showing a mixed short to medium term outlook it is possible, but far from certain, the month will be the first this year to be cooler than average.
How are things looking as we head into August, the final month of the meteorological summer?
The GEFS postage stamp chart below shows forecast pressure patterns on Friday 31st July. Each stamp represents the output from one of the GEFS model runs. The key is to look for commonalities between the runs to identify the most likely scenario.
At this stage most of the runs show areas of low pressure having significant influence on the UK's weather. That pattern is an unsettled one which suggests an increased risk of showers or longer periods of rain. Some of the runs show the Azores high pressure building towards the UK and leading to drier conditions, particularly in the southern half of the country. However, they appear to be in a minority.
The GEFS postage stamp chart below shows the forecast temperatures during the afternoon of Thursday 30th July. At this time of year one of the things to look for is how many of the individual model runs show very warm or hot conditions over the UK.
The plot suggests heatwave conditions are unlikely. A minority of runs show very warm conditions in northern France; only one indicates the real warmth reaching England. Most show temperatures quite close to the seasonal average. Therefore, the signal for early August is for temperatures to be close to the average in much of the UK, meaning the highest values can be expected in the south.
Looking towards the middle and second half of August forecast confidence decreases as is the case the further ahead we go. On balance, computer models suggest quite a mixed picture. A fairly typical pattern is expected with the driest and warmest conditions in the southern half of the UK.
The TWO seasonal forecast issued in late May suggested August would bring periods of very warm or hot and settled weather. That is still a possibility but the latest computer model predictions suggest it is not the favoured outcome. The information in this update is based on data which is available now.
Computer forecast models currently are leaning towards August being a mixed month. Although drier and warmer periods are expected, all regions could see showers or longer spells of rain at times. With a fairly typical pattern the warmest and driest spells are likely to be in the south and particularly the south east. There is the possibility of hot conditions moving up from southern Europe at times, but the chance of it happening seems to be lower than in recent years.
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