Weather

A short taste of summer on the way

After a spell of very unsettled weather, the jet stream is expected to move northwards in the next 24 hours, leading to a spell of fine and warm weather from Wednesday.

Computer models have recently been indicating that high pressure would become established across the UK around the middle of the month, with temperatures by Friday in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire reaching 21C (70F).

As usual the biggest area of uncertainty will be the longevity of the fine and warm weather.

Unfortunately current indications suggest that the early taste of summer will be a short lived one, with unsettled conditions returning to some areas during the second half of the weekend and lasting through next week.

The prediction of an early breakdown in this fine weather is based on a range of computer models, using standard meteorology.

Of possible interest to some readers is an alternative prediction from Weather Action, published in early May, which is based on solar considerations.

Their forecast is hugely different, predicting heat-wave conditions to develop next week, lasting until the end of the month by which time a thundery breakdown would be under way.

It will be very interesting to see which scenario is correct.

END

This week's weather show features the climate of Antarctica and the torando season in America, which is now available on the iplayer

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  • Comment number 45. Posted by ashleyhr

    on 20 May 2014 18:58

    Are you reading these comments, Nathan Rao? And assuming that - since a bank holiday is imminent - so too is Spring Thunderstorm Apocalypse?

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  • Comment number 44. Posted by QuaesoVeritas

    on 20 May 2014 18:56

    On the topic of Albemarle observations, the haven't been updated for about 24 hours so I contacted the MO.
    The reply was:

    "Albermarle has been hit by lightning and is leaking gas so the engineer cannot fix it immediately."

    Incidentally Albemarle is the observation station for Newcastle Upon Tyne.

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  • Comment number 43. Posted by QuaesoVeritas

    on 20 May 2014 12:04

    sjw62

    Close but not identical is still a miss.
    Remember there is quite a lot of overlap between categories, for example "cloudy" includes some clear sky and "sunny" includes some cloud, so if the MO are taking the observations correctly (which I actually doubt) the is still some margin of error.
    Anyway that is how the MO have chosen to express the forecasts so they should change it if they can't be that accurate.
    There is also the aspect of timing. If the forecast is correct but an hour out, it's 100% wrong.
    If they can't achieve an hourly forecast they shouldn't imply they can.

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  • Comment number 42. Posted by sjw62

    on 20 May 2014 10:58

    @QuaesoVeritas

    "Anyway the overall figure was 31%".

    Annoyingly I was going to guess between 30% and 50%, but never got round to it.

    I'm guessing this would be significantly better than chance, but it would be astonishing and worrying if it wasn't. I'm not sure how useful a figure like that is for judging the accuracy of the forecasts, as a simple hit or miss doesn't allow for close but not identical results.

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  • Comment number 41. Posted by QuaesoVeritas

    on 20 May 2014 10:33

    From the Express article:

    "BRITAIN’S scorching early summer will erupt into the most violent thunderstorms seen in decades within 72 hours, forecasters warned today"

    They can't even get the season right!

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  • Comment number 40. Posted by QuaesoVeritas

    on 20 May 2014 10:22

    #38. quake

    "37. yes that was the (serious) joke!"

    At least the MO did better than random forecast
    #39. quake

    "SHOCK FORECAST: Worst thunderstorms in 50 years to rip through Britain THIS week"

    So the Express is at again!

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  • Comment number 39. Posted by quake

    on 20 May 2014 09:39

    SHOCK FORECAST: Worst thunderstorms in 50 years to rip through Britain THIS week

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/476905/SHOCK-FORECAST-Worst-thunderstorms-in-FIFTY-years-to-rip-through-Britain-THIS-week

    "will erupt into the most violent thunderstorms seen in decades"

    "expect weather MAYHEM by Friday"

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  • Comment number 38. Posted by quake

    on 20 May 2014 09:36

    37. yes that was the (serious) joke!

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  • Comment number 37. Posted by QuaesoVeritas

    on 20 May 2014 09:30

    #26. quake

    "I would guess that accuracy in % would be close to 100 divided by the number of plausible symbols for this time of year (sunny, cloudy, rain, etc, but not snow)"

    Isn't that what you would expect from a random distribution of forecasts?

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  • Comment number 36. Posted by QuaesoVeritas

    on 20 May 2014 09:26

    No more guesses?
    Pity because I would have liked a split between those who consider the forecasts to be good and bad.
    Anyway the overall figure was 31% but there was quite a wide range from 83% on the 18th, to 0% on the 22nd. On the whole, accuracy was better during stable weather.
    The most accurate time of day was in the morning with 09:00 at 62% but for some reason 07:00 and 08:00 were only 23% and 33%. The lowest time of day was 16:00 and 18:00 both at 14% with accuracy picking up again at night and early hours.
    I would have liked to continue the monitoring and compare for more days but it just isn't practical as it all has to be entered manually on a spreadsheet.

    Even the MO say they haven't got the resources to do a similar evaluation but if they don't, who does? They have the data and one person with a computer could probably do it if it were automated.

    I pointed out that if the spent less time on "climate change" the would be able to do it.

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