John Hammond’s Month Ahead – After the heat? Whatever’s next?

John gives us his latest thoughts on likely weather trends on the horizon over the next few weeks. To ensure you are reading the very latest weekly blog, check out Wow and Why

Confused? I’m not surprised. In the last few weeks, we seem to have gone straight from winter to summer. Record cold in March to extreme heat in April. To misquote Abraham Lincoln, it’s hard to please all the people all the time. And high temperatures can certainly divide opinion – gorgeous for some, but stifling for others. Well as Atlantic winds sweep the heat away, we can look forward to something more ‘middle of the road’ in the next week or so. But what happens next? Spring as we used to know it?



Hot spell? Oh yes, I remember that

The new week starts with brisk westerly winds and much lower temperatures than in recent days. There’ll be a healthy mixture of sunshine and blustery showers coming in on the breeze, with northwestern parts of the UK seeing most of the latter.

With a strong jet stream rippling across the UK, there’s every chance of it spinning up an area of more prolonged wet and windy weather around midweek, and again at the weekend. But the timing and track of these low pressure systems will remain uncertain for a few days.

The bottom line for this week is that we can all expect some rain. Daytime temperatures will be mostly in the teens, with some chilly nights where skies clear and winds fall light.

… it looks like we’ll be on the cool side of the street as we head into early May


Cool entry into May

As we end the month, the jet stream looks like taking on more of a meandering path. This will help to slow or even stall weather systems as they approach the UK, allowing some longer periods of dry weather in between. But crucially, on which side of the jet stream will we be? If we’re on the northern side, we can expect the influence of chilly northerly winds to hold temperatures back. If we’re to the south of the jet stream, then warmth will return.

The jury is still out on this, with no clear indication from long-range forecast models. But on balance, it looks like we’ll be on the cool side of the street as we head into early May. Nights could be particularly chilly, but by day, with light winds, some very pleasant spring sunshine can be expected.



By Royal command…

At present, there is very little useful information to be gleaned from long-range models. “So how on earth can you give us a prediction then John”, I hear you say. Well, I fall back on what we know from May weather in past years. At this time of year, the jet stream tends to be quite contorted, preventing any sustained push of wet and windy weather from the Atlantic. Therefore, I expect plenty of dry weather, with winds quite light. However, as I mentioned above, the feel of the weather will depend on whether we sit to the north or to the south of the jet stream. I still feel that cool conditions may predominate, especially across northern parts of the UK – even bringing the prospect of some late frosts. Further south, there’s a far greater chance of warm visitations from the Continent, although extreme heat seems unlikely.

Of course outdoor events abound at this time of year. But there’s one particular ceremony in Windsor that will take centre-stage on May 20th. And I’ll be giving some insight to the weather on the ‘Big Day’ in subsequent blogs. Maybe that way I’ll get a late invite?