This week is set to see some unseasonably warm weather for parts of the UK – with temperatures expected to climb to the low to mid-20s Celsius in the south on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Warm air flowing up from the south west will combine with high pressure, bringing settled conditions and sunny spells for many.
Warmest days of the year so far
This week’s above average temperatures follow on from a similar spell last week, which saw temperatures top out at 21.9C at St James’s Park in London on Friday.
This was the ‘warmest day of the year so far’, but It looks like Tuesday and Wednesday will top that – which is to be expected as we head through spring and edge closer to the start of summer.
Unfortunately, the weather we get in April doesn’t necessarily tell us anything about the kind of summer we can expect. We’re still in the midst of spring, so it’s far too early to say what the months of June, July and August may hold.
Summer ‘heatwave’ speculation
That hasn’t stopped speculation about heatwaves, the warmest summer ever and record temperatures in the media. Some stories cite our three month outlook for contingency planners as proof of the impending heatwave, but this is in no way an accurate reflection of what it shows.
The outlook shows probabilities attached to different scenarios for temperature and rainfall over the whole three-month period it covers. This is useful for those who use probabilities to plan ahead on longer-timescales, but not very useful for deciding where and when to go on your UK summer holiday, for example.
What does the longer outlook show?
Our current three month outlook does show that above average temperatures are more likely than below average temperatures for the April-June period. The outlook is essentially the scientific equivalent of factoring the odds on a horse race and, just like a horse race, the favourite doesn’t always win.
It’s also important to note that above average temperatures over a three-month period could come about in a variety of ways in terms of actual weather – we can still see warmer than average temperatures when it’s cloudy and wet, for example. Also, even in an above average three-months not all individual months would need to be above average.
This just reinforces the point that the contingency planners outlook doesn’t tell us what specific weather we are going to see at a specific location. For the best information on the weather ahead, people should use the Met Office’s 5-day weather forecast supplemented with our 30-day outlook.
By keeping up to date with the latest forecast, you’ll always have the most up-to-date and accurate view of the weather in store for the UK.
Reblogged this on Trumpet Touring and commented:
Lets hope for an early and long summer..
It’s misleading to compare the Met Office three month forecasts to the odds offered on a horse race.
When offering the odds on a horse the bookies have reasonably reliable information in the the horse’s form (and condition) in previous races on which they can base their odds offered. It is therefore an informed decision based on hard data.
The complete failure of climate models to accurately forecast anything beyond a few days, if that, makes any such comparison misleading. If the Met Office income had depended on the accuracy of their three month forecasts the organisation would have ceased to exist long ago.
I had the March and April detail forecast last Autumn.
This I issued in February:
2015 WEATHER FORECAST for the UK Region
Based on the planetary ordering of solar activity
From March 18/20 a sharp cold snap
Slightly milder 2nd week April
Very warm burst from April ~15
Cooler and wetter from April ~29
Warmer burst from May ~17
Warm burst from May ~25
Cooler and wetter June ~4 to 9
Strong warm burst from June 10/11******
Cooler and wetter from June ~24
Possible few warmer days from June 29 (not certain)
Cooler and wetter from July 5/7
Possible few warmer days from July 19 (not certain)
Strong warm burst from July ~29******
Weaker warm burst from August 8/9
Much cooler and wetter from August ~20
Possible few warmer days from August ~25/26 (not certain)
From September ~4 much cooler-wetter
Slightly milder from October ~2/3
Colder from October ~14
Much colder from November ~4/5
Temperature deviations are relative to normals for
the time of year.
Early June I checked past analogues for the three short uncertain periods, and decided to keep the first and third as now certain, and remove the second one as the best analogue in 2012 showed it as wetter and cooler.
I have noted three significant periods of variance with my forecast so far. 24 May to 3 June was cooler, 24 to 28 June was warmer, and 6 to 11 Sept was warmer. And the higher pressure moving in now is also at variance with the forecast, though I do expect occasional periods of a few days in each longer forecast period to be contrary. I hope to get the timing of the change in weather type periods within a couple of days, three at a push, four would be a fail.
Winter detail has been issued to farmers as follows:
Nov cold continues well into Dec, which should mean early Dec snow events from the reliable westerlies then.
A milder signal from around 20 Dec, which may result initially in regional snow events delaying warming till around Xmas.
A colder than normal week from around 29 Dec, followed by the rest of Jan to around mid Feb being normal to above normal temps. Again the warming from around week 2 of Jan could be regionally delayed due to snow events.
From around mid Feb, an extended cold period continuing through most of March.
I reconsidered a minor uncertainty that I had about late October to early November, and on 13 Oct I had informed one farmer in SW France who is finding my forecasts very useful (Carolyn Roberts), that it may be milder from around 24/25 Oct, and the start of colder than normal conditions from Nov ~4/5 being delayed by an extra ~5 days.
Met office cannot forecast accurately for the current day, let alone long term. How can anything they say be believed. I would love them to post their accuracy records.
You can find verification of our public forecasts on our website http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/about-us/who/accuracy/forecasts. They are updated each month.
Why do you keep using them then?
Nigel, the MetO regularly give indispensable advance regional heavy weather warnings both in land and at sea.
This blog is absolutely spot on. I read an article purporting to a 3 month heatwave from the Mirror a couple of days ago. It’s simply taking hard statistics that the Met Office provides and twisting them for their own gain and the public’s obsession with the weather (don’t get me wrong, I’m British so I share that obsession as well)
Unlike jbenton’s comment, I actually think it’s a fantastic analogy to describe weather predictions as odds on a horse race. Imagine if newspaper headlines were covered with sports headlines which did twist proportionate odds and picked out the “favourite” or most likely outcome and wrote it as gospel. People would laugh. “Australia all set for a 4-1 win in the Ashes this summer”, “Manchester United to win the 2017 Champions League” Predicting a horse race is far far less complicated than predicting the weather in the UK for three months. I think it’s ludicrous that the majority of people are so blaze about the complexity of predicting something that is governed by so many factors and how incredibly advanced we are at making such predictions. I say sit back and hope for the best. And if it doesn’t happen, my money for a hot and sunny summer is on Greece.
We will have to agree to disagree then.