A week may be a long time in politics, but it’s also certainly a long time when it comes to our glorious British weather!
We have moved from high pressure and endless days of sunshine through much of May, to the prospect of the first weekend of June being plagued by heavy downpours.
Useful rain at least, as many courses were certainly in need of a drop, so maybe we shouldn’t complain, but we could do without reaching for the brollies and wetsuits for Saturday’s golf!
Here’s the latest weather plan for the next few days:
Low pressure is pivoting around over the North Sea into the weekend. Cold air at upper levels in the atmosphere means things are quite unstable. This produces frothing cumulus clouds, and ultimately some heavy and thundery downpours.
This upper ‘trough’ will be over central-northern England through Friday and Saturday, with scope for showers to locally band together due to local converging winds.
This means there is still a degree of ‘hit and miss’ about who gets what in terms of downpours. A few miles either way can make a big difference! A realistic 5mm in half an hour is to be expected, with 10-15mm in the day if you get hit a few times.
Friday is likely to see showers pretty widely, so you’ll do well to miss everything. There’s a tendency for clusters of showers to concentrate into areas east of the Pennines in the afternoons in these cyclonic northwesterly episodes, but there will always be a few bands of showers which form around Lancashire and try to move into the western Peak District and Staffordshire. Watch out for thunder and lightning because things are lively enough for that in the current setup.
By Friday night into Saturday, northwesterly winds will strengthen, with gusts toward gale force, 35-40mph, which will bring some debris down from the trees. A more organised zone of rain is expected to pivot southwards across northern England into the Midlands from pre-dawn into Saturday morning, lasting several hours. This combined with continued strong winds and chilly temperatures only 6 to 8C means it’s not looking so clever for your morning socially distanced three or fourball…
As this system pivots in on early Saturday, a 6-8 hours rainfall accumulation of 15-25mm in the western Peak & Pennines is looking believable, as strong west-northwest winds drive into this part of the world, and throw their moisture at the hills.
I say this with appropriate caution, but it’s a weather situation which is not far removed from the one which brought the infamous ‘snow stops play’ to Buxton in June 1975 (see charts below). Delving into the archives, I reckon that airmass was inherently more purely ‘Arctic’, whereas this one is merely Scandinavian in origin. It has come from the same sort of weather setup though, with a cyclonic northerly regime in charge for a few days. It would only take a few more degrees worth of temperature fall within a heavy rain band early Saturday to find something sleety in the mix. I think you’d have to go up Cat and Fiddle or onto Kinder plateau to find this, but it’s not a million miles away.
By Saturday afternoon, things should be breaking up into showers, but the odd lively one is still likely. The worst of the winds are expected to ease too, and temperatures should recover toward 13 to 15C in any sunshine.
By Sunday, pressure begins to build, and whilst it stays cool with a risk of showers, they will likely be more scattered, with variable cloud and sunshine. Highs of only 13 to 15C are still not exactly summer-like!
Early next week is expected to see high pressure nudge further across Britain, with less strength than recently, but should be enough to give some dry days again. An odd shower or weak frontal band giving patchy rain will remain possible.
In the longer range, most trends favour high pressure lying to the north/northwest of Britain, whilst low pressure wants to be focused to the south over Europe, so east or southeasterly patterns may be the most common. Temperatures trending upward with time. Some showery activity is likely, but depends just how the various weather patterns shuffle around.
We could do with some rain to keep things lush, but not too much to spoil our summer!