John Hammond’s Month Ahead – HEATWAVE! Heading into extra time?

You can forget all your fancy weather computers – I have a theory! Perhaps there is a direct relationship between England’s continued progress in The World Cup and the persistence of the heatwave! Maybe one depends upon the other. Uncannily, there are signs that as as the Jules Rimet Trophy is lifted (by our boys), so we will see a change in the weather. As I say, it’s just a theory…

I jest. On a more serious note, as I hinted in my last update, there are signs of an atmospheric shift later this month. As for much useful rain… don’t get too excited just yet.


Hints of heatwave easing 

Not a lot of rain… yet

August looks different



Still no rain!

This may be the only type of water falling from the sky for at least another week

There had been earlier hints that dangerous heat would ooze up from southern Europe as the new week begins. That is now unlikely. In fact as early as Monday, cooler air will be filtering down from the north. There may be one more 30-degree day across southern Britain; but through the early part of the week, temperatures will be easing down. A welcome change for many.

The light northerly wind will bring fresher conditions to all. Indeed it may feel distinctly cool across some northeastern for a while, where more cloud and breeze off the North Sea will bring temperatures back down into the teens on the coast.

After midweek I expect the cool northerly to be cut off. Light winds and renewed sunshine will bring warmth back again. Indeed I, for one, may be complaining that it’s “too hot” again by the end of the week.

A sunny weekend beckons for many (who aren’t indoors watching sport all weekend, that is!). There’s the Goodwood Festival of Speed, as well as the major musical festivals of BST in Hyde Park and Latitude in Suffolk to enjoy. And I’m hopeful the rain will stay away from all three. Sunshine should be glinting off the Wimbledon Trophy as it is lifted on Sunday afternoon too. But we will already be looking to the horizon for the unusual prospect of rain.


… your water butts may not be recharged as quickly as you’d like!



They think it’s all over!

There are signs of some rain as mid-month passes

The World Cup is at least! There may be a two-pronged attack to bring the dry spell to an (albeit temporary) end. There’ll be one eye to the south, as a humid plume of thunderstorms approach from France. There’ll be another eye to the west, with Atlantic fronts bringing cooler, showery weather our way.

The upshot is that many of us should see at least some rain by the new week, although amounts will vary greatly from place to place. However, your water butts may not be recharged as much as you’d like! Yes, some northwestern areas of the UK will likely see further blustery showers through the week; but I see little sign of reliable rain further south and east, once any thundery air has gone.

What will be more noticeable is a waft of cooler Atlantic air across the UK through this week – a pleasant relief for many.

The golfing world heads to Carnoustie on the coast of Fife for the Open Championship later in the week; and British golfers may be hoping for more than a just waft of wind to give them home advantage over foreign opposition. Those fairways and greens may have been rock hard and lightning fast after the phenomenally long dry spell; but the weather is on the change. I’d be surprised if either wind or rain didn’t feature at all during the four days of the tournament; and there’s a small chance of some quite impactful wet and windy weather.


… tropical trouble-makers can affect our jet stream in unforeseen ways.



A summer of two halves…?

Tropical storms and hurricanes may have a knock-on effect on our weather later this summer

Summer reaches its peak of outdoor activity. At Camp Bestival in Dorset and the Green Man Festival deep in the Brecon Beacons, happy campers will be hoping we don’t go straight from drought to deluge! And then there’s the Edinburgh Festival to look forward to as we head into August.

Well it may not be an exaggeration to say that the rest of the summer hinges on an atmospheric power struggle to be played out during this period. Long-term computer forecasts continue to place the UK on the knife-edge between hot continental air and much cooler (and potentially wetter) air poised to our west. As I mentioned in my blog about this remarkable year, prolonged periods of dry and hot weather have been seen, on some occasions, to be self-perpetuating. Hot and dry leads to hot and dry. That’s an ominous prospect for those concerned about drought from the ongoing heatwave.

On the other hand, there continue to be repeated ‘attempts’ by computer forecasts to bring a cooler more unsettled flavour of weather towards us from the Atlantic. In the UK we appear to be in the buffer zone of this battle.

And then there’s an added X-Factor which meteorologists will be considering – the hurricane season will be cranking up soon. These tropical trouble-makers can affect our jet stream in unforeseen ways.

In the absence of a reliable steer from computer forecasts, I continue to suspect that we are going to transition into a less dry period through the second half of summer. The jet stream will bring glancing blows of rain, especially to northwestern parts of the UK. Meanwhile, the south and east may again see occasional bouts of heat and, probably, less reliable rainfall.

One thing’s for sure. With the school holidays in full swing, the nation remains divided into those who want rain, and those who don’t! You can’t win in this game! Hopefully England will win in theirs!

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