19 May 2015

What’s going on with May’s weather?

Yet again today, many of us have been dodging the downpours at a time of the year when we’d normally expect the weather to be perking up.

While April delivered us high pressure, sunshine and warmth, May, so far, has delivered low pressure, wind and rain. It’s as if the weather has got its dates muddled up.

Spring is renowned for being a mixed season, as the weather makes the transition from winter towards summer. But there’s no doubt that May hasn’t been great up to now.


A month’s worth of rain in two weeks

If you thought that May so far has been wet, then you’re right. Today, the Met Office released some figures up to the 17th day of the month.

You won’t be surprised to hear that it has been very wet, with the UK having had all of its May rainfall and a little bit more already – 6 per cent above normal, to be precise.

So far this month, it’s also been cooler than normal as well, with UK mean temperatures (a combination of day and night temperatures) around 1.2C below normal.

Why has it been so unsettled?

wellies_puddles_g_wpNormally during May, the jet stream tends to move north of the UK, diverting low pressure, wind and rain towards Iceland and Scandinavia.

However, so far this May, the jet stream hasn’t undertaken this shift northwards and has been sitting over or south of the UK, as well as moving quite quickly.

This has been spawning areas of low pressure and pushing them across us, bringing wind, rain and some chilly temperatures, with rural frosts remaining quite frequent.

Today’s downpours in pictures

Another area of low pressure, sitting just to the north east of the UK today, has brought heavy, thundery downpours across much of the country, with some hail mixed in too (find out how hail forms here).

There’s been quite a few pictures and videos on Twitter, capturing what can easily be described as April showers in May.

If you’re thinking ahead to the bank holiday weekend already, don’t get your hopes up for summer-like warmth. While it won’t be a washout, don’t expect sunshine all the time and temperatures will remain below normal for this time of year.

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

Tweets by @liamdutton

3 reader comments

  1. Andrew Dundas says:

    Isn’t all this because the Pacific is getting more and more pushy?

  2. ashley haworth-roberts says:

    Abnormally chilly nights likely next week? Minus 4 C somewhere even?

  3. Chris quick says:

    I dont think May has been wet far from it.ive spent most days in the garden wearing just a tee shirt and a lot of days on the golf course without a jumper, and dont forget two weeks ago it was warmer than Barcelona for five days

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