Summer Forecast – the Truth

Naturally, we folk at Garden Furniture Towers are all keen weather watchers.

Ok, so the sun has been shining which always means we’ve been inundated with callers wanting extra chairs for their cast aluminium patio furniture, or new cushions to go with the new rattan garden table, as well as folk like the lovely lady who rang at the weekend wanting an extending 12-seater metal table, 4 sun beds and a couple of garden benches.   Anecdotally, we all know it’s been an unusually warm and dry Easter but is there any truth in the recent tabloid headlines about what’s in store in the next 3 months?

Tabloid Fever

The Daily Mail reports daily that we’re in for a record-breaking summer with bookies offering 2/1 on 2015 being the hottest summer ever.   The recent lovely weather has been caused by warm air blowing up from the Azores and this is making Britons place tens of thousands of pounds worth of bets. In the Express, they even claim that “this summer is on course to be a super-scorcher putting even The Great Heatwave of 1906 in the shade.” 

We didn’t say that says the Met Office

However, the Met Office has been compelled to issue a statement denying that they are the source of the information used by various media outlets to back up their claims that we are likely to see a heatwave in June. As they explain on their blog, April’s weather doesn’t necessarily tell us anything about what this summer’s going to be like. We are still in the midst of spring so it is far too early to predict accurately the weather of June, July and August.

The Met Office’s three month outlook for contingency planners seems to be at the root of it – and the misinterpretation of its data. The outlook shows probabilities attached to different scenarios for rainfall and temperatures over the three months it covers. As they explain, “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”. What the Met Office will say is that the current three month (ie April-June) outlook does show that we are more likely to experience above average temperatures than below average ones. It issues a note of warning that it is worth remembering that cloudy wet weather may actually bring with it warmer than average temperatures but you still wouldn’t think of it as a great summer.

They urge everyone to use their professional forecasts and to take a look at the Outlook for the next 30 days to keep up to date.

So what about May?

Early May looks as if it should be dry with sunny showery weather in northern and eastern areas of the country. It could even be quite wintery over high ground in Scotland. The south and west are in for cloudy weather with increasing chance of rain. It looks as if the rain will move northeastwards to affect all parts of the country by the Bank Holiday (boo hoo!). After that, the weather will remain unsettled with the best of the drier brighter weather in the south. Watch out for winds with a risk of gales in places (protect your patio furniture and keep parasols safely out of harm’s way). Temperatures for the first half of May are likely to be below the average and there are certainly risks of ground frosts with low night temperatures.

The changeable weather is predicted to continue throughout the rest of the month, although we may be in for a more settled period around the middle of the month. Again the southeast are likely to get the best of the fair weather.   In short, it’s typical May weather with bright sunny intervals alternating with showers, although temperatures are likely to be near or a little below the average for the month with the chilly evenings persisting.

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