There are headlines in the media today suggesting the UK is in for “three months of sizzling weather”. It would appear these stories have been based, in part, on the latest Met Office three month outlook for contingency planners.
This outlook is designed to help planners in business and Government assess the level of risk connected to different weather scenarios. It does not however identify weather for a particular day or week – so is not that useful when you want to know, for example, which summer weekend looks good for an outdoor event.
As discussed previously, the outlook is not a normal weather forecast. It’s an outlook based on probabilities which assesses the likelihood of five different scenarios for both temperature and rainfall for UK as a whole for the next three months. It is based on the more probable prevailing weather patterns and has to be used in the right context.
It’s a bit like the science-equivalent of factoring the odds on a horse race and like any horse race it’s always possible the favourite won’t win. Users of the outlook are aware of the complexities and limitations of this type of forecast, and will include those factors in their decision making processes.
What does the current outlook for April-May-June 2017 say?
Signals from long-range prediction systems are relatively weak for the current 3 month period, consistent with a lack of large-scale global drivers. Overall, there is a slight increase in the likelihood of anticyclonic conditions. As a result of this, and the warmth being observed in many of the regions that act as sources for air travelling to the UK, there is an increased chance that the average temperature over April-May-June will be higher-than-normal.
However this far from implies the UK will predominantly experience warm, fine weather, and does not mean there can’t also be some colder spells. It is also important to remember that higher-than-average temperatures won’t necessarily feel like ‘good’ weather if it is also more cloudy, windy or wet than usual.
There is also a suggestion that drier-than-average conditions are slightly more likely than wetter-than-average but the signal is small and the likelihood of any extreme weather is close to normal during this period.
If you want a forecast for your area or are looking to plan up and coming activities head to our forecasts pages for a detailed 7 day forecast or a 30 day look ahead at weather trends.