John Hammond’s Month Ahead – Sun soon to set on summer’s scorcher?

It’s 30 degrees (again)! Had enough yet? Well – be careful what you wish for. Before too long, some of us will be getting quite nostalgic about the heady days of the heatwave. I know I’ve sounded like a broken record recently, but as I’ve been saying for many weeks, August will turn into a very different month to June and July. The summer is about to return to normal, despite what you may read in some tabloid newspapers. Could the next few 30-degree days be the last this year?


Heat leaks away 

August returns to normal

Welcome rain for all




Dramatic change

Of course if you’re reading this across the northwestern half of the UK, the weather’s been on the slide for a while now – a happy slide for those who desperately need rain. And after a brief return of heat at the weekend, Atlantic fronts will soon bring more rain into Scotland and Northern Ireland early in the new week.

Further south and east, we can expect a steamy day or so of sunshine and high temperatures. But by Tuesday, with Continental heat threatening 30+ degrees one last time, thunderclouds will be brewing across England and Wales,

Midweek will bring an abrupt change in summer’s direction. Thundery downpours may well threaten isolated flash flooding. But as a cold front sweeps away the humidity, I expect sunshine and blustery showers to blow in from the Atlantic to end the week. Temperatures will ‘fall off a cliff’, and the weekend looks positively chilly by recent standards. Forget 30 degrees – some will be lucky to hit 20!

Still, the hardy sailors at Cowes Week won’t mind that. They’ll be pleased at the prospect of a freshening wind in the Solent!


…there’ll still be enough sun for the odd ice cream



A fresh direction

For months, a huge atmospheric block has prevented the jet stream from delivering waves of wet weather from the Atlantic. That block has finally been dislodged; and as a result, we look to the west for further weather systems to arrive through the week. It’s northern parts of the UK which look like being closest to the jet stream’s waving path for most of the week. These areas can therefore expect most rain and strongest winds. But the jet stream will dip further south at times, bringing useful rain for all. For beleaguered farmers and growers, at long last, there’s enough evidence to suggest that the worst may finally be over.

The ‘mobile’ weather pattern means that, despite what your weather apps may suggest, the timing of individual weather systems at this range is impossible. But for holidaymakers, there’ll still be enough sun for the odd ice cream on the beach.

A common theme, however, will be much lower temperatures than many have seen for some time. Any excursions into the high twenties look like being temporary; the low thirties are unlikely. So for cinema fans, you might need an extra layer or two for the evening shows at the Film 4 Summer Screen at Somerset House.


Computer forecast models are looking unreliable



Summer’s licked?

The summer holidays are reaching their peak, and with the Bank Holiday approaching, there’s a frenzied crescendo in outdoor fun and games. There’s Carfest South, The Big Feastival and the Notting Hill Carnival to name but three! The pressure on weather forecasters is seldom higher!

Computer forecast models are looking unreliable to me. Some are hinting that hot and dry weather will return as this summer’s atmospheric block of heat rebuilds. I’m sceptical. To me, they seem to be behind the curve of a resurgent jet stream. And so I expect the month to end with our eyes looking to the west rather than the east. There will be a healthy mixture of rain and shine – and hopefully a sufficient blend to suit most tastes. But with this set-up, there will be some events that will be rain-affected.

So we arrive at September with the heatwave a fading memory; and with the day-length over 2 hours shorter than in midsummer, dare I say it – there are hints of autumn?!


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