June weather summary video and your pictures

5 07 2013

June began settled and sunny in most areas before becoming more unsettled and cooler. In our video forecaster Helen explains what weather defined June and highlights the warmest, coldest, wettest and windiest places in the UK last month.

Visit our website for a full written summary of June’s weather.

Your June weather pictures

Thank you for sharing your weather pictures with us on Twitter. We’ll be sharing your Great British summer weather pictures each week on our summer pages so keep your pictures coming on Twitter and Instagram – use the hashtag #loveukweather.

April weather summary video and your photos

15 05 2013

Following on from the second coldest March on record, April was another cool month, with  temperatures below average everywhere. The provisional UK mean temperature was 6.3 °C, which is 1.1 °C below the 1981-2010 average, very similar to 2012 but otherwise the coldest April for the UK since 1989. Forecaster Helen talks through the weather we’ve seen this month in our video.

For a full written summary of the weather in April visit the climate section of our website.

Your weather pictures

Thank you for sharing your weather pictures with us on Twitter, here’s some of our favourites.

March weather summary video and your photos

11 04 2013

March was much colder than average, the coldest since 1962 and colder than the preceding winter months of December, January and February. Forecaster Charlie talks through the month’s weather in our latest video or you can read the detailed report on our website.

Thank you to everyone who sent in their pictures of UK weather in March on Twitter. Some of our favourites are below…

This week’s snowfall captured by rainfall radar

13 03 2013

The rainfall radar network is a great way of looking back at how weather systems affect the UK.

Here we see rainfall radar imagery from 00:00 GMT on Sunday 10 March to 09:00 GMT on Tuesday 12 March. It shows snow showers affecting much of the UK while an area of heavier snowfall affects northern France, the Channel Islands and the far south-east of England.


What’s particularly interesting is that it shows really well how the showers and the heavier snowfall across the south were moving in totally different directions. The snow showers can be seen moving in from the North Sea on north-easterly winds. Meanwhile, the heavier and more persistent snowfall was moving in from the south-west as an area of low pressure tracked across France. You can see how these two systems collided over Sussex and Kent, resulting in the heavy snowfall here.

At the very end of the sequence the wind changes direction again over the north of the UK, with the snow showers being blown across Scotland from the north.

You can see current observations from our rainfall radar on our website.

Today’s weather from above

12 03 2013

Today’s satellite images show the small areas of the UK which have snow lying, as well as a number of interesting cloud formations.

12 March 2013 Left: Visible satellite image of the UK, Right: False colour satellite image of the UK.

12 March 2013 Left: Visible satellite image of the UK, Right: False colour satellite image of the UK.

The snow shows up very clearly over the Pennines and Scottish Borders, over the Isle of Wight, southeast England and the far east of East Anglia. False colour images are particularly good for identifying snow because the turquoise colour helps to differentiate between the white of the snow and the white of the clouds.


You can also see how the clouds have lined up on the wind across southern Britain – this is a great example of cumulus clouds forming ‘cloud streets’ when the winds at the height of the clouds are strong.


Over the sea to the north of the UK we can see more shower clouds moving towards us. Here we have a great example of the two different types of convection: open cell – where the individual clouds form circles over the sea; and closed cell – where the individual clouds have ‘clumped’ together across northern Scotland.


Aren’t satellite pictures wonderful.

January weather – your pictures

7 02 2013

Thank you for sharing your January weather pictures with us on Twitter. Here’s a selection of our favourites. The January summary video is coming shortly.

Infographic: 2012 weather review of the year

21 12 2012

Hover over the image to link through to more detail on the UK weather in 2012.

Met Office Wettest June on record Be #weatheraware Met Office Twitter Wettest April Wettest June Weather in 2012 The UK's wet summer The coldest temperatures of winter Sunny March, wet April, how the jet stream is partly to blame Hottest day of the year so far Strong wind in January

Nacreous or ‘mother of pearl’ cloud sightings

10 12 2012

Yesterday there was several sightings of an iridescent cloud in Scotland shared with us on Twitter and Facebook.

As we did not observe the cloud ourselves and are only seeing the pictures, it’s not possible to be 100% certain, however it is most likely that these are nacreous clouds, also known as mother of pearl clouds.

This eye-catching cloud is rarely seen, and has only been sighted in polar regions (such as Scotland and Norway) in the winter months, especially when there is a low over northern Scandinavia with a strong west/north-westerly wind blowing over Scotland. They only form in the lower stratosphere – around 15 miles up – when temperatures here are below -78 °C.

Although nacreous clouds are brightest when the sun is just below the horizon, illuminating them from below, they can also still be seen several hours after the sun has gone down.

Have you seen any interesting weather phenomenons lately? Add your pictures to our Facebook page or tweet them to us @metoffice.

Visit our website for more information on cloud spotting.

Top ten: spookiest weather conditions

30 10 2012

As it’s halloween  tomorrow, we’ve taken a look at the top ten spookiest weather conditions. From well known scary weather – like thunder and lightning and sea mist, to lesser-known phenomena such as brocken spectre and fall streak holes.

  1. Fall streak hole. Also known as a hole punch cloud, these clouds sometimes cause people to think the world is ending, especially when wispy vigra clouds are descending from the hole. The exact conditions that cause them to occur are still debated.
  2. Sea mist. This occurs when mild air moves over the sea, which is cooler. It can be particularly spooky when sea mist comes in during the day and visibility is drastically reduced.
  3. Sunsets. Although often considered beautiful, some particularly vibrant red sunsets can create a spooky effect.
  4. Dust storms. Dust and sand storms can be whipped up rapidly by strong winds in arid regions. Dust storms can look particularly ominous as they approach as they can be up to 40 metres high.
  5. Whistling wind. Windy conditions can be scary when they blow through objects causing a whistling sound.
  6. Brocken spectre. This effect is produced when an observer stands above the upper surface of a cloud – on a mountain or high ground – with the sun behind them. When they view their shadow the light is reflected back in such a way that a spooky circular ‘glory’ appears around the point directly opposite the sun.
  7. Roll clouds. These ominous looking clouds are a type of arcus cloud usually associated with a thunderstorm or a cold front. As these rare clouds often appear to be ‘rolling’ they often cause fear that severe weather is on the way.
  8. Thunder and lightning. One of the most common forms of ‘scary weather’, thousands of thunderstorms are taking place at any one time across the globe.  The lightning you see during a thunderstorm is a large electrical spark caused by electrons moving from one place to another, while the rumble of thunder is caused by the noise of intense heating and expansion of the air along the path of the lightning.
  9. Clouds over a full moon. This spooky effect occurs when clouds partially cover a full moon.
  10. Fog. Fog forms when relatively moist and mild air close to the ground cools quickly, causing the moisture in the air to condense (at which point it becomes visible to the human eye). This normally happens in autumn and winter under clear skies, which allows heat from the ground to escape quickly to cause rapid temperature drops.

What weather conditions do you find the spookiest?

Updated rainfall totals: over a month’s worth of rain falls in south east

12 06 2012

An area of low pressure across south-eastern areas of Britain has given some persistent and heavy rain over the last couple of days, with parts of Surrey and Sussex seeing more than a month’s worth of rainfall in 36 hours.

Rain is still currently falling in parts of the South East and heavy showers are forecast for south west England and Wales. The Met Office currently has severe weather warnings in place for south west England, Wales and south east England for further heavy rain.

The table below shows rainfall totals from 7 pm Sunday evening until 7 am this morning. Wiggonholt in West Sussex has seen 72 mm of rain, almost one and a half times its monthly average for June of 52.9 mm.

Site name Area Precipitation amount (mm)
Wiggonholt  West Sussex 72
Thorney Island   West Sussex 68.6
Shoreham Airport  West Sussex 67.8
Swanage      Dorset 55.2
Charlwood   Surrey 55.2
Odiham    Hampshire 55
Otterbourne W Wks       Hampshire 53
Kenley Airfield     Greater London 49.2
Wisley          Surrey 47
Middle Wallop     Hampshire 45.8
London, St James’s Park Greater London  44.6
Rothamsted              Hertfordshire   44.4
South Farnborough       Hampshire       44
Hampstead               Greater London  43.2
Alice Holt Lodge        Hampshire       40.8
Boscombe Down           Wiltshire       40.4
High Wycombe, Hqair Buckinghamshire 37.6
Goudhurst           Kent            37.4
Larkhil       Wiltshire       36.8
Woburn                  Bedfordshire    36.2
Kew Gardens Greater London 36.2
Benson      Oxfordshire    35.8

The jet stream is partly to blame for our unsettled conditions at the moment. It is currently flowing to the south of the UK, allowing a series of low pressure systems to spread in from the Atlantic.

There are many factors which can impact the notoriously changeable weather in the UK, so no single one on its own can be said to be fully responsible. However, it is possible to isolate contributing factors and, in this case, one of those is the northern hemisphere jet stream. This is a narrow band of fast flowing westerly winds (ie blowing from west to east) in the high atmosphere. This band moves around and also changes its track, from a fairly straight line to something more closely resembling a meandering river. Its position can, and does impact weather in the UK and other parts of the northern hemisphere.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,448 other followers

%d bloggers like this: