However, it’s a far too early to be writing off any chance of a decent summer season – after all, it doesn’t officially start (for us meteorologists) for more than two weeks (on 1 June).
It appears the news stories are borne out of the current position of the jet stream, a band of fast moving westerly winds high up in the atmosphere. But why is this important?
A quick Jet stream explainer
The jet stream tends to guide the generally wet and windy weather systems which come in off the Atlantic. So, if it’s over us or just to the south, we tend to get a lot of wet and windy weather – which is what we expect through winter.
If the jet is to the north of us, it guides that changeable weather to the north to give us more settled conditions – which is what we expect in the summer.
(You can read a bit more about the jet stream, how it impacted our weather last year, and any potential connections to climate change in a blog story we wrote last year).
What’s going on now?
Right now the jet stream is sitting to the south of the country and it is influencing the unsettled weather we are seeing at the moment.
It’s fair to say that this is roughly the position it was in for extended periods during the exceptionally wet weather that we saw last year, particularly in June.
Crucially, however, the jet stream does move around quite a bit and it can change its track significantly in just a few days. So the current position of the jet stream does not mean that it’s stuck in that position.
Much like our weather, it’s a huge challenge to predict the exact track of the jet stream more than five or six days ahead, so there’s still a great deal to play for in the outlook for our summer.
In short, it’s far too early to write-off summer 2013 based on the current position of the jet stream.
You can find out more about the jet stream in our YouTube video.