Derek looks back on the summer

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The weather has been very topsy turvy this year. After the warmest March in Wales for over 50 years, the heavens opened and April was one of the wettest on record.

After a very disappointing start, May turned out to be lovely with a heat-wave. The highlight of the month for me was being in Monmouth and Cardiff for the arrival of the Olympic torch. The weather was glorious and it was the sunniest May in Wales since 1997.

Many people hoped that the beautiful weather in late May would continue through the summer. Sadly this was not the case.

Flaming June turned out to be flaming awful with spells of wet and windy weather; sometimes it felt more like autumn.

On June 8 and 9th, the worst June storm since 2004 hit Wales. More than a month's worth of rain fell in 24 hours in north Ceredigion causing severe flooding.

Villages including Talybont, Dol-y-bont, Penrhyncoch and Llandre were hit, as well as areas of Aberystwyth.

June turned out to be the wettest since records began in 1910 with 205mm of rain. The average June rainfall for Wales is 85.8mm.

There was less rainfall in July but it was still wetter than average. However, it wasn't a total washout, the Royal Welsh Show was dry and it was the hottest show weather since 2008 with temperatures rising as high as 26 Celsius.

The weather was very mixed for the National Eisteddfod in the Vale of Glamorgan in August but it ended on a hot and sunny note with highs of 25 celsius.

On the morning of August 31st it was cold enough for a ground frost in mid Wales with temperatures dropping below 3 celsius. Overall the summer was cooler than average but slightly warmer than summer 2011.

August was the warmest summer month in Wales with a mean temperature of 15.4 celsius. In fact it was the warmest August since 2004.

There was a lack of sunshine, especially in June making it the dullest summer since 1978 with only 415 hours of sunshine.

It hasn't been ideal weather for filming the next series of Weatherman Walking. I've got a bit wet at times but thankfully we’ve had a few windows of fine weather.

Plus, I did manage to have one picnic with friends in Porthkerry Park in Barry in August which I am grateful for!

The last six summers in Wales have been wetter than average. While two of the three wettest summers on record have happened in that time - 2007 and 2012.

The reason for the poor summer weather is down to the jet stream - strong winds high in the atmosphere.

The jet stream has been consistently further south than normal over the last few years steering low pressure systems in from the Atlantic. It's also the reason why we've experienced some cold winters recently too.

The big question is why is the jet stream behaving in this way?

There are two theories: One is linked to melting ice in the Arctic. The other theory suggests that the sun and low solar activity is to blame, which happened in the early 1800s.

And if the early 1800s are anything to go by, poor summers and cold winters may be something we need to get used to in the next few years. Only time will tell.

Now that it’s September and the school holidays are over, the weather is set to improve with high pressure bringing a spell of fine and warm weather. Summer maybe officially over but I’m certainly hoping for an Indian summer.


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