John Hammond’s Month Ahead – Hello Holidays, Goodbye Summer?

The nation has been on the edge of its seat. After all this time, was it finally about to happen? Many pundits were talking bullishly about our chances this summer, but would they evaporate into thin air at the final hurdle? Well, football might not be, but RAIN IS COMING HOME! (In fact, for some, it’s already arrived).


Some welcome rain 

Heat easing

‘Normal’ summer returns



A different complexion

Parched lawns may soon undergo a transformation

I hinted in my last blog that as we head into the second half of summer, the influence of ex-hurriances can impact on our weather. Well, as I speak, ex-Hurricane ‘Chris’ is about to have a minor role in bringing the dry spell to a faltering end. Don’t get too excited about a destructive storm – just some damp and blustery weather for northwestern parts of the UK. But for most of England and Wales, the heat holds on for a day or so longer. Monday and Tuesday look hot and humid across the southeast of the country in particular, sparking thunderstorms. A noisy end to the heatwave for some!

Very gradually through the week, the heat will leak away. Fresher Atlantic breezes will bring a slow drop in temperatures, together with some showers, especially to the west of the UK.

Some gardeners will need to be patient for that watering, though. Rain will arrive sporadically across the country. It may take several days; but by the weekend, I expect low pressure to have become dominant enough to bring quite widespread downpours across the UK.

For the Open Championship at Carnoustie, I expect a mixture of sunshine and showers. Any rain should help to soften up the greens and fairway; but at times the breeze off the Firth of Tay could be quite testing too. Let’s hope so!


The nation’s lawns will be transformed from brown to green



Summer as we used to know it

A mixture of rain and shine later in July will make for some stunning skyscapes

An atmospheric switch is being flicked. So far this summer, a dome of high pressure and warm air has been sitting resolutely over us. But the atmosphere is now showing a decisive move into the opposite mode, placing us in a trough of lower pressure and cooler air. In the process, dry turns to wet – just as the schools break up!

Of course, what’s bad news for some is good for others. The nation’s lawns will be transformed from brown to green, and many a water authority may begin to breathe just a little easier, at least for a while.

The week will be cooler and more unsettled than for many weeks. We can all expect to see further spells of rain, especially across western parts of the country. That’s not to suggest that the week will be a washout, but the usual ‘pick ‘n mix’ of clothing will be needed for outdoor plans – and that includes a waterproof. At Camp Bestival in Dorset and Carfest North in Cheshire, happy campers will be hoping we don’t go straight from drought to deluge!


… it will be a good deal cooler and wetter than earlier this summer



August up in the air

Unsettled skies may usher in August, but will the weather settle down again?

There is a huge amount of debate in the meteorological community – not always the most riveting of conversations, I’ll admit! What’s so interesting about this one is just how little agreement there is on how the rest of the summer will turn out. I mentioned many weeks ago how naive I felt some forecasters were in blindly following computer models in their prediction of a long hot summer ahead.

We’re barely half-way through the summer, and already those same models have a very different look as we peer into August. Despite their fickle projections, I continue to believe that we will head into a much more ‘normal’ pattern. The jet stream will deliver further spells of rain from the Atlantic as it dips towards us. Some sunnier and warmer interludes are likely, with Continental heat never too far away from the southeast. But in general, it will be a good deal cooler and wetter than earlier this summer. That’ll soften the going as Glorious Goodwood gets under way. Meanwhile, a week later, blustery winds will make for some sporting sailing conditions across the Solent as Cowes Week arrives.

Talking of blustery winds, I’ll finish where I started. We will continue to look to the tropics for signs of another hurricane. As Sara commented in the the national press earlier this week, if and when it interacts with our jet stream, the summer could take on another twist.


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