John Hammond’s Month Ahead – When will summer reach its peak?

John gives us his latest thoughts on likely weather trends on the horizon over the next few weeks. 

Storm Hector put some of us in a brief midweek spin of autumnal wet and windy weather. But has its out-of-season visit ushered in a change in summer’s direction that may be more enduring?

Before Hector, Atlantic winds had been kept at bay for many weeks, allowing summer a kick-start of warm and sunny weather. Some have been ambitiously, perhaps naively, predicting this would sustain into a long, hot season ahead? But as I’ve been hinting for a while, the atmosphere (like real life) is seldom that straightforward. Indeed, some of those hot and sunny long-range forecasts are now clouded in more uncertainty. So as the summer season gets into full swing, that leaves event organisers and party-goers on tenterhooks as to what happens next. No pressure then, John…


Midsummer? Well, astronomically, yes…

In the wake of ‘Hector’, the rejuvenated Atlantic jet stream has delivered a fresh and showery spell to us all. But as we head into the new week, the jet stream will tend to aim its rain and wind to northwestern parts of the UK. Here, we can expect it to stay relatively cool. In contrast, a brief flirtation with tropical air may send daytime temperatures back into the high-20s across some southeastern parts of the UK. It’ll be cooler than this at dawn, for sure; but nevertheless, I have high hopes for a sunny solstice at Stonehenge. Talking of the solstice, here’s a reminder that the sun is stronger now than at any other time of year – so check out Sara’s great blog on staying safe in the sun.

And I expect this broad northwest/southeast split to continue through the rest of the week. Encouraging signs, then, for events such as the tennis at Queen’s Club and the racing at Royal Ascot. Across the Solent too, the Isle of Wight Festival should be well-placed although, by the weekend, there are hints that cool, showery weather will begin to arrive from the north.

… the highest temperature so far this ‘summer’ was actually recorded way back in April!


No great dramas. Typical summer weather

This week could be quite crucial in terms of how July pans out. Computer models have been confidently predicting a return of heat, as the jet stream buckles north, allowing high pressure to settle across the UK in its place.

Things look less clear-cut now. Widespread scorching heat seems unlikely. I still expect a lot of dry weather, and southern and eastern areas will continue to see the lion’s share of the warm sunshine. But the north and west will be more prone to cooler, showery ‘Atlantic’ air, which will occasionally topple down across the rest of the UK.


Heatwave on hold?

So we enter July with the UK weather neither one thing nor the other – betwixt and between squelch and swelter! Tantalisingly, hotter air lies just to our south. But for the time being it looks likely that Atlantic winds may just about keep scorching conditions at arm’s length. That said, there’ll still be a lot of fine and warm weather, especially across the south and east, whilst the northwest will remain cooler and more showery.

Wimbledon wouldn’t be Wimbledon without a few interruptions, but I don’t foresee too many. And just up the road at the Hampton Court Flower Show, the blooms should be at their dazzling best, although watering will be required. On the subject of water, the Thames should be looking its very best during the Henley Regatta – some warm and balmy riverside days beckon. I’m optimistic if you’re off to BST or Latitude too. And Goodwood Festival of Speed would be good (get it?!) if the circuit stayed dry.

Warmth is one thing. But as we all know, some like it hot! Well the highest temperature so far this ‘summer’ was actually recorded way back in April! “So aren’t we due again, John”, I hear you say.

It’s probably only a matter of time before 90-degree (32C) heat reaches our shores. But I see no clear sign of a prolonged heatwave on the horizon (despite what you may read elsewhere). And anyway, I know I’m not the only one who’s perfectly happy with 22C rather than 32C!

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