Sunshine all the way this weekend

Things are very much set fair into the weekend, as high pressure dominates across the British Isles.

It’s a pretty simple forecast in the short term, with lots of sunshine and blue sky. A chance of local mist pockets just around dawn, but those will soon burn off.

Temperatures rising into the low 20s Celsius into the afternoons, and some spots in northwest England to the lee of the Pennines may nudge 23 or 24C.

A general light east to southeasterly breeze will prevail, so eastern parts of the Midlands will tend to be a little cooler, with the air moving inland off a cool North Sea.

Overnight temperatures will dip into single figures out of towns, and some spots over the weekend may find themselves around 5C in Pennine areas just at dawn, so a dewy start is to be expected at first light.

Into next week, it gets a little more complex, as pressure falls a little, with the scope for isolated pop-up showers forming on some days. Most indications make these very hit and miss, with a mostly dry theme still looking likely into the first week or so of June with high pressure still nearby.

One or two forecast model simulations do make showers pop up more widely with time, but trust this at your peril if you’re itching for rain… It may come to nought for most places!

The temperature will ease back a bit next week as the air mostly approaches the UK from the north or northwest. Expect a bit more cloud, and maxima in the 16 to 21C range, whilst overnight will typically fall between 5 and 10C.  Chillier nights are possible later in the week, so keep an eye on that one.

The likelihood into the second week of June is that high pressure is stationed to the west of the country with northwesterly weather patterns prevailing. Some suggestions lean toward the Atlantic patterns trying to make a stronger comeback for a time. I would suggest for now that things are likely to stay more often dry, but looking rather on the cool side on some days.

This Saturday afternoon’s maximum temperatures are shown below.1



Summer thinking; not much rain ahead

Spring 2020 has been notably dry, following the deluges of last summer, autumn and winter. It looks like the dry theme is here to stay for a while longer. Are we looking at a repeat of the parched fairways of 2018?

Weather tends to go in cycles and patterns, and I have studied this extensively over the years. There is much short term variability mixed with longer term trends which manifest themselves over a series of years for familiar weather patterns, before things switch gear and we go into another weather ‘mode’. Then there’s much longer term variability in the British weather driven by multi-decadal patterns occurring within the north Atlantic Ocean. That’s before we even consider any human induced climate changes!

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see our current dry spring drift into a dry summer based on historic patterns. Regardless of winter rainfall, dry and wet summers tend to cluster together, with the 1990s seeing batches of dry summers, and of course the two back to back years of 1975-1976 which sit high up in weather folklore.

The 2000s were much more sparse with frequently wet or thundery summers. The 2007 to 2009 years were excessively wet. 2012 was also very wet, then after a dry July in 2013, the middle 2010s were mediocre rather than extreme, lacking any significantly long dry spells until we arrived at 2018. Last year started off dry in the spring, but by June things were often wet. July had it’s ups and downs before the heat spike followed immediately by the heavens opening and dramatic flooding.

So where do we go into summer 2020? There’s never an absolute answer, and things never repeat exactly, but there’s some patterns which we can look for.

My suggestion is that we stay on the drier side into early summer, maybe interspersed by the odd ‘nibble’ of Atlantic patterns, but soon back to building pressure. Higher than average pressure means drier than average weather, and that seems to be on the cards based on latest computer modelling.

Deeper into summer, I suspect some lively thunderstorms will get going again, perhaps a situation where most of a month’s total rainfall occurs in just a few big events, leaving still a good deal of dry weather. By August, I wonder if we’re struggling, and unsettled patterns are more common. August is climatologically a wet month in British weather patterns despite our idea of it being the holiday month! Very dry Augusts are quite rare.

In the short term, there’s a small but useful amount of rain to come on Friday morning as a frontal system sweeps through. Very windy conditions too, and blustery west to southwest winds will take us into the weekend. A few squibs of showers will come from the west, most frequent in areas north of the Peak District, leaving places nearer to the Midlands more generally dry.

The week ahead sees pressure build from the south again, and any weather fronts off the Atlantic will focus themselves on western Scotland and sometimes the Lakes & N Pennines, with just the weak tail end of fronts grazing our part of the world with little or no rain of note.

Temperatures will be a little warmer than average thanks to southwesterly air, although cloud amounts may vary day to day, changing the feel of things through the week.

Most indications keep pressure fairly high to the end of the month, with perhaps a weather system floating around later next week, but unlikely to come to much.

Total accumulated rainfall up to 1st of June from one of the standard forecast models is shown below.


Golf returns, any useful rain?

Golf has returned, and lets hope the situation in the country stays safe enough for us to continue doing this fully into the summer. I’m sure we’re all more than willing to keep to the various restrictions to enable us to get out and enjoy the game we love.

So what does the weather have in store for both players and greenkeepers in the near future? Here’s my latest summary relevant to the Midlands and the south Pennine areas:

Still often dry, warming up next week.

Our British weather likes to give us the run around, and we often swing between being too wet and too dry, and less often ‘just right’! The soggy winter is now a distant memory, and recent weeks of lockdown has seen things dry out significantly, to the extent that we could now use a drop of rain!

The outlook for the next 10 days doesn’t have much rain in the forecast however, and it stays dry for most through to Saturday, barring a local squib of a shower. 

A weather front is then due to come in from the Atlantic as we move into Sunday and Monday. Most of this rain is likely to be aimed at the northwestern parts of Britain, although some is expected to spill into the Pennines. The Lancs/Yorks corridor may get rainfall in a couple of sustained periods during Sunday-Monday, totalling 10mm over the western Pennine hills north from about Manchester, with less further east.

There will be generally less rain the further south you are, with 3-5mm currently modelled for central parts of Derbyshire and the Peak District in 48 hours or so Sunday-Monday, whilst into the lowlands of the Midlands, more likely barely 1-2mm.

Beyond that, high pressure is expected to build from the south, with dry conditions looking likely for most of next week, and becoming increasingly warm as the wind flow turns to the south, beginning to feel rather humid too. 

Temperatures will be back to 15 to 17C this weekend, then into the low 20s Celsius into next week, and some spots may nudge 23 or 24C by midweek if sunshine comes out widely. The current risk of overnight frost will disappear by the weekend onward.

Further ahead, signals are for warmer than average conditions to be a common theme late May into early June, interspersed with perhaps the odd thundery breakdown coming from the south.

Overall though, conditions look more often dry in the weeks ahead. Sometimes as we move further into June, we see a so-called ‘return of the westerly winds’, which can bring unsettled weather following these drier springtime patterns.

We’ll have to wait and see if that will materialise this year.