The Weather Forecast
Met Office: Summer 2007 forecast
Issued 30 May 2007
This forecast for Summer 2007 has been derived using global forecasting models and statistical methods. Seasonal variations usually affect large geographic areas, so the forecast for the UK is set in the broader picture of Europe as a whole. Summer, in this context, is defined as the months of June, July and August.
Since the mid 1980s the average UK surface air temperature has warmed by about 1 °C, which is about twice the global warming trend averaged over all land areas. As a consequence, summers (and indeed other seasons) warmer than the 1971-2000 average are now common (the last summer with temperatures below the 1971-2000 average was nearly 10 years ago in 1998). Moreover, the underlying chance of exceptionally warm summers, such as experienced in 2003 or 2006, has increased. Year-to-year variability can add or detract from the underlying trend, and seasonal forecasting systems are designed to detect these year-to-year changes.
For Summer 2007, our forecasting models show a signal for fewer weather patterns of the type that can bring particularly hot summer spells to the UK, and this may be partly a consequence of the expected development of moderate or stronger La Niňa conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean.
Seasonal forecasting techniques for rainfall predictions in summer are typically less skilful than winter forecasts or forecasts for temperature.
There continues to be a high probability that mean summer temperatures will be above the 1971-2000 long-term average over much of Europe including the UK. However, for the UK it is likely that exceptionally hot spells will be fewer than experienced in the summers of 2003 or 2006. Predictions suggest that there is no more than a 1 in 6 chance that the UK summer 2007 overall will be as hot, or hotter, than 2003 or 2006.
Current indications suggest drier than average over western-central Europe and wetter than average over parts of northern Europe. This pattern suggests that southern UK is more likely to experience average or below average rainfall, while average or above average rainfall is more likely in northern regions.
The summer forecast will next be updated at 10 a.m. 26 June 2007.
I will await their update today with interest.