Poor summer weather to continue well into July

Monday 2 July 2012, 15:42

Paul Hudson Paul Hudson


According to the Met Office, averaged across the UK, June 2012 has been the wettest since records began in 1910, the coolest since 1991, and the second dullest since records began (record for lowest sunshine in June is still 1987).


It will come as no surprise that June in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire has turned out to be one of the wettest on record - in fact second only to the incredibly wet June of 2007 which saw some of the worst widespread summer flooding that the region has ever seen, with Sheffield and Hull hit particularly hard.

Bingley, in the Pennine hills of West Yorkshire has recorded 212.8mm this month, compared with the average which is 70mm. But this is quite a bit short of the 283mm which was recorded in June 2007.

Sheffield is also well short of what was recorded in 2007, when 286mm (463% of average) fell; not only was June 2007 the wettest June on record in the city, but their wettest month ever in 125 years of records.

It's also been the second wettest June in Lincolnshire. Coningsby recorded 141mm in the month, compared with their average of 50mm.

The reason for the on-going poor weather has been the unusual positioning of the jet stream, which continues to be too far south than normal.

This point is graphically illustrated by the fact that June has been in the top 3 most cyclonic (low pressure) Junes in 140 years of records.

And there's still a chance that when official Met Office statistics are published later today or tomorrow, that averaged across the UK as a whole, June 2012 has been the wettest on record.

It's also been cold - with June the coolest since 1991 - and one of the dullest on record too.

Of course June has just seen a continuation of the cool and wet weather which began at the end of March.

At Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire, for example, April, May & June combined have been the wettest on record (data back to 1939), with the wet spell only punctuated by one spell of fine warm weather towards the end of May.

And for those of us desperate for a change to more settled weather, there is little to suggest an improvement anytime soon.

Current indications are that low pressure will dominate our weather until at least the middle of July, if not beyond.

This means that one or two fine days are possible, in an overall unsettled and at times wet picture.

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    Comment number 1.

    "Met Office 3-month Outlook
    Period: May – July 2012 Issue date: 26.04.12
    The forecast presented here is for May and the average of the May-June-July period for the United Kingdom as a whole. This forecast is based on information from observations, several numerical models and expert judgement.

    For UK-average rainfall, the predicted probabilities slightly favour above-normal values during both May and May-June-July. However, confidence in this prediction is not high, and there is still a significant probability of below-normal rainfall. Whilst the wet weather of recent weeks will have had a positive effect on soil moisture, with all that that implies for agriculture, it is unlikely to have had a significant impact on groundwater supplies. With the forecast for May and May-June-July not favouring a continuation of the current very wet spell, groundwater resources in southern, eastern and central England are very unlikely to recover during this period.
    The probability that UK-average rainfall for May-June-July will fall into the driest of our five categories is around 15%, whilst the probability that it will fall into the wettest of our five categories is around 30% (the 1971-2000 climatological probability for each of these categories is 20%)."

    How much do they spend on their computers? How much did Piers Corbyn laptop cost, probably not 33 million pound sterling?

    Surely it is obvious by now that even though Piers doesn't always get it right, his forecasts are much more precise and valuable than the Met Office.

    Many years ago the magazine Analog carried a fact article about astrology, the science of the position of heavenly bodies. It featured someone who made radio propagation predictions using the position of the planets [ very valuable and profitable in those days ] and weather predictions using the same technique. For a year they logged the forecasts from the USA weather service and made predictions using a roulette wheel. From memory [ my magazine copy was lost during a house move ] was the weather bureau approx 50%, the roulette wheel approx 50% and the astrology based predictions better than 70%.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Clearly the Met Office is not fit for purpose - in fact the Met Office is harmful to the country. It should be closed down forthwith.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    #1 Did the prediction, by Piers Corbyn 6 weeks previously, for thunderstorms with very large hailstones on the 29th June not come a day early on the 28th? There's a credibilty gap here. Would £40million be enough?

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    As I said before on a par with 2007 just a little less water possibly a nice September and October coming again at least that will be something to look forward to weather wise.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    "Matt Ridley: The Met Office’s Green Bias"


    "Now look at the curriculum vitae of the chairman of the Met Office, Robert Napier. He is also chairman of the Green Fiscal Commission and the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, and has been a director of the Carbon Disclosure Project, the Alliance of Religions and Conservation and the Climate Group. He is so high up in the church of global warming, he is a carbon cardinal. I am sure he is a man of great integrity, but given this list you have to wonder if one of the organisations he chairs does not occasionally — and perhaps unconsciously — aim to please him with warm long-range forecasts."


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I worked as a forecaster with the Met Office for nearly 15 years locally and at the international unit, after graduating with first class honours in Geophysics and Planetary physics at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1992. I then joined the BBC in October 2007, where I divide my time between forecasting and reporting on stories about climate change and its implications for people's everyday lives.

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