28 May 2014

Brighter and warmer for most this weekend

During the past week, most of the UK has been plagued by showers or longer spells of rain, dashing the hopes of anything resembling early summer for the half-term holidays.

Low pressure has been sitting close to or over us for much of the time, providing ideal conditions for rising air, towering clouds and heavy downpours.

Once again, the driver of our weather, the jet stream, is to blame. Recently it has been to the south of the UK, which helps low pressure to form. 


We are not alone in having wet weather, with many central and western parts of Europe hit by downpours and some flooding over the past week.

A wet bank holiday

The bank holiday weekend lived up to its reputation for delivering some miserable weather to many places.

puddles_leaves_g_wpEach day from Saturday to Tuesday, at least one location in the UK recorded at least an inch of rain (25mm) in the space of 24 hours.

Liscombe, Somerset had 32.2mm on Saturday, Edinburgh, Lothian 26.2mm on Sunday, with Wattisham, Suffolk having 31.2mm on Monday.

The main cause of these large daily rainfall totals is that the rain has been slow-moving, meaning that certain locations have had heavy rain for prolonged periods of time.

Brighter and warmer this weekend

Thankfully, the weather looks set to improve for most of us from Friday onwards, as the jet stream not only weakens, but also moves north of us for a time.

This will allow a ridge of high pressure to build, bringing drier weather, more sunshine and higher temperatures.

The ridge of high pressure isn’t terribly strong, so there will still be a few showers, but not the downpours that have plagued us through the weekend.

Temperatures will take on an upward trend, with 17-20C for Scotland and Northern Ireland, and 18-23C across England and Wales from Friday onwards.

Unsettled again next week

Despite a brief respite this weekend, it looks like the weather will once again turn more unsettled early next week, as the jet stream picks up speed and moves south of us again.

showers_rainbow_g_wpThis will deliver areas of low pressure off the Atlantic, bringing rain or showers – initially to Scotland and Northern Ireland later on Sunday, before arriving across the rest of the UK on Monday.

Cooler air will also make its presence felt, with temperature coming back down to the upper teens – especially in the west.

So, there are no signs of any prolonged spells of heat and sunshine, with summer eluding us for the time being.

Don’t forget, you can get the latest forecast on the Channel 4 Weather website. I’ll also be posting regular updates on Twitter – @liamdutton

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