John Hammond’s Month Ahead – A sting in summer’s tail?

A wasp is buzzing around aimlessly in my living room as I write this. I’ve been twitchily keeping half an eye on it for hours, trying to guess where it will head next, wary of its unpredictable sting. You never know! What I do know is that once it finally finds its way out of the room, I’ll breathe a little easier. It’s that time of year.

Similarly, in the wider atmosphere, I’ve been watching another unwanted visitor. It’s ‘Ernesto’ – a Tropical Storm – and as it’s neared our shores, its fickle moves have been causing a bit of a kerfuffle amongst weather forecasters. The range of possibilities thrown up by various computer forecasts for this weekend has been as broad as it has been unreliable. Again, it’s that time of year…


Cooler end to August 

Mixed Bank Holiday Weekend

Keeping an eye on the tropics



Late summer to early autumn?

Be they wasps or Tropical Storms, these potent late-summer bundles of energy have the habit of keeping everyone on their toes.

Once the rain-maker ‘Ernesto’ has left our shores, I’ve got more confidence about what happens next week, and it doesn’t involve a return of the heatwave!

After a warm and muggy start, a cold front will arrive in the northwest of the UK by midweek. As this spreads slowly southeast, it will will usher in much cooler winds, reaching the south by the end of the week, behind a short spell of rain. Thereafter, the best of the sunshine will be in the south while further north we can expect some blustery showers. A touch of frost in some rural hollows to start the Bank Holiday Weekend? I wouldn’t rule it out! Wherever you are, it will feel positively autumnal, with some particularly chilly nights.

The showers will ease with time, and in the sunshine it should feel quite pleasant. Good news for outdoor events such as The Notting Hill Carnival,  Carfest South and The Big Feastival. But being a Bank Holiday, of course there’s the chance of more rain looming from the west later.


For holidaymakers, all is not lost!



That ‘Back to School’ feeling

Other longer range forecasters have now all but given up on their earlier predictions of the heatwave making a comeback. Their great success early in the summer has almost been matched by their poor forecast for August. It’s not easy.

Instead, as I’ve suggested for a long while now, the summer looks like ending in fairly undramatic fashion. Normal service has resumed, with the jet stream continuing to deliver occasional waves of wet weather, interspersed by some lengthy dry spells, especially in the south of the UK. Suddenly, mowing the lawn is back in fashion as things green up again.

For holidaymakers, all is not lost! It’ll feel pleasant in the sunshine – great news for outdoor events such as Salon Privé at Blenheim Palace.

But one thing that does seem to stand out from my chart analysis is a tendency for winds to often come from a cool northwesterly direction. So I expect further quite chilly nights. Layers will be required for that late camping holiday before the start of term.


A steady slide into early Autumn, or will a different weather pattern emerge?



Normal – but for how long?

So aside from the dreaded school bell, what should get our attention, weatherwise, as we head into September? Initially at least, I see no obvious dramas. Early September will continue to cool off gently, with a further mixture of rain and shine. A steady slide into early Autumn, or will a different weather pattern emerge?

As we’re seeing this weekend, there’s always a chance that another tropical storm or even a hurricane could wander northwards through the Atlantic to jolt the jet stream in unpredictable ways. At this range, it’s impossible to say when, or even if, this will happen; or indeed how it might affect our weather. The outdoor events continue, and thousands heading to the Goodwood Revival will be hoping the thrills and spills come from the track rather than the skies.

But while that wasp has finally buzzed off out of the window, I’m mindful that it’s only a matter of time before another one comes my way. A sting in summer’s tail may be just around the corner. It’s that time of year…



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