Will The UK Sizzle This Summer?
By Paul Homewood
And in the red corner, we have the met men:
Britain is due to sizzle this summer with highs of 33C (91F), but forecasters say hurricanes threaten to bring floods during the August school holidays due to the La Niña weather phenomenon.
The Met Office‘s long-range forecast says the UK should expect hotter-than-normal temperatures over the next three months.
The upbeat forecast will give a welcome boost to preparations for the Queen’s 90th birthday parade on June 11, Glastonbury from June 22 to 26, Wimbledon from June 27 to July 10 and the start of school summer holidays.
The top temperatures are not expected to beat last year’s record high of 36.7C, but bookmaker Ladbrokes has nevertheless cut odds of summer being the hottest for more than a century to 3/1……………….
A Met Office forecaster said, the three-month forecast said: "For May-July, above-average temperatures are slightly more probable than below-average.
"El Nino is ranked amongst the strongest on record. Sea-surface temperatures in the south and west North Atlantic are above-average, while in the north and east are below-average.
"This increases the probability of above-average pressure, associated with above-average temperatures."
But the Met Office reported hints of wetter-than-usual conditions and warned of wet and windy Atlantic low pressure, which often stems from tropical weather systems.
And in the blue corner, we have amateur climatologist, David King:
Red sky at night, shepherds’ delight. Rain before seven, fine by eleven…
These sayings may not represent an exact science, yet many people still set store by them. Using nature and traditional methods of divining the weather, these sayings have endured because they are surprisingly reliable, and often more on the money than the Met Office’s predictions.
Which is why, last week, when our national weather service forecast that Britain would sizzle this summer, amateur climatologist David King rolled his eyes.
“I cannot agree with the Met Office’s prediction that we will see temperatures as high as 33 degrees this summer,” says 76-year old King, a retired Metropolitan Police constable who ‘reads’ plants, animals and the British countryside to forecast upcoming weather patterns.
“I instead predict that June will be a wet and windy month, and we will only see the hotter weather arrive in the last two weeks of July. And, whilst it might get to 33 degrees then – anything is possible! – I’d say that perhaps 30 would be a better guess.”
King, who acquired and honed his traditional methods of natural weather forecasting over a period of eight years, was once a member of the Royal Meteorological Society, where his interest in alternative climatology was often ridiculed.
“I used to take a lot of stick,” says King, “but my methods give me 90 per cent accuracy.
“Occasionally I even hit 100 per cent,” the climatologist continues, “and get everything completely right. And that’s great, proving that the old ways can beat the technology of the day – much to the chagrin of experts!
“I gathered my skills by interviewing farmers in country pubs of the south east for around eight years. I was stationed in the relatively rural borough of Kenley in South London, and I’d estimate that I talked to almost 800 farmers and thatchers and others who work outdoors about these tips and tricks and old wives’ tales.
“But I’ve knocked thousands of techniques down to my current arsenal of tried and tested, reliable methods to predict the weather. And that’s how I know what’s really going to happen this summer!”
I might as well add my twopennorth.
Dry, sunny conditions for the next couple of weeks, but because of cold Atlantic waters, temperatures will remain unexceptional. Jet stream forecasts suggest a wet and windy spell mid-June.
Thereafter, I suspect dry, sunny, but relatively cool conditions will dominate. Forget about anything like a record hot summer.