Summer arriving for the summer holidays?

The summer has been very mixed so far. June was drier than average, but despite a period of very warm weather late in the month it was cool on the whole. Unsettled conditions have returned in early July, pegging back temperatures and bringing large amounts of rain to parts of the UK. Are there any signs of warmer and more settled weather developing as we head towards the summer holiday period?
7th July 2024

Summer sun
Any sign of settled and very warm weather?

In the short term a continuation of the unsettled period is expected. Areas of low pressure moving up from the southwest bring the potential for heavy rain in much of the UK.

During the middle third of July there are indications of a change beginning to take place. High pressure centred in the Atlantic may begin to move, but there is a lot of uncertainty about whether or not that will lead to more settled and warmer conditions. 

Where will high pressure be centred?

Anywhere but the UK? Medium range computer models are showing a range of outcomes as is often the case. Typically, a clear favorite emerges when a majority of models agree. Right now that isn't really the case, although recent updates have started showing high pressure areas in less favourable positions if you're hoping for dry, settled and warm weather in the UK.

ECM pressure forecast for 17th July
ECM pressure forecast for 17th July

The ECM forecast chart above is for Wednesday, 17th July. While it's important not to look at one run in isolation, this chart  shows low pressure close to the UK, with area of high pressure in unfavourable positions. As noted above, different scenarios are being predicted, but many of them now show areas of low pressure continuing to have influence on the UK's weather.

The ensemble forecast chart below is for London. It shows the pressure forecasts for the next 16 days from all of the runs in the GEFS model. There is a signal for pressure to rise in the middle third of the month, but it isn't a particularly strong one.

London pressure forecast graph
London pressure forecast graph

While the forecast suggests drier periods are more likely to develop during this timeframe, there's still a chance of showers or even longer spells of rain affecting all parts of the UK.. 

Weather prospects in the balance

While medium range forecasts can sometimes offer clear indications of weather patterns, this isn't the case at the moment. However, it is possible to draw some conclusions:

1) There is a higher chance of dry periods in the middle third of July compared to the first third

2) Despite the increased chance of drier weather, changeable conditions are still more likely than prolonged settled periods

3) There are indications of it becoming warmer towards mid-July

The above suggest that dry and warm spells are more likely in mid-July, but showers or longer spells of rain remain a possibility in all regions. If the trends continue, a more robust transformation to settled conditions could develop in time for the summer holiday period. However, at this stage, it's still too early to say for certain.

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