Flaming June could end up a washout
June's weather looks set to deteriorate further as low pressure intensifies its grip across the UK.
The timing couldn't be more awkward for the Environment Agency who this morning issued a drought order for parts of Eastern England.
Only hours later, the Met Office issued yellow warnings in parts of the country, including drought-order hit Lincolnshire, for prolonged thundery downpours that could produce 25-45mm in places, with the associated risk of localised flooding.
Just as the atmosphere was 'blocked' through March and April, with persistent areas of high pressure that led to the dry conditions, the atmosphere looks set to stay stuck in a rut of persistent areas of low pressure, possibly for much of the rest of June.
On Sunday a deep area of low pressure will bring rain sweeping across the UK, including drought-hit Eastern England. A respite will follow into next week with a little ridge of high pressure, before another area of low pressure swings back in from the west bringing more rain to many areas later in the week.
It's an all too familiar pattern of weather for the British Isles at this time of the year, especially after a long period of dry weather, which only a cursory glance at the climate books shows.
It also highlights once more the dangers of long range forecasting.
We all remember the blaze of headlines at the end of May that this summer was likely to be as hot and sunny as the summer of 1976 - arguably the best and most memorable summer of the 20th century - leaving expectations across the country sky high that at long last we might be in for a barbeque summer.
These headlines came from a detailed forecast from private weather company Netweather.
They said only last month that 'Within the summer, we expect the core of the hot and settled weather to occur during June and July, particularly June which we think will be very pleasant with high pressure in charge across much of western Europe and the UK.'
Rarely has a long range forecast gone so spectacularly wrong, so quickly.
The Met Office is still haunted by their now infamous 'barbecue summer' forecast of 2009.
Netweather will be hoping that July and August shows a rapid and sharp improvement - or more likely that their 'shades of 1976' forecast is quietly forgotten.