25 Apr 2012

A sneak peek at the weather for May

As a weatherman, you learn to have a thick skin and broad shoulders relatively quickly. Despite just being the messenger for the meteorological delights that arrive on our shores, inevitably when the weather isn’t particularly nice people tend to look in my direction.

With April being very unsettled, I’ve certainly had a fair few looks over the past few weeks, as well as people stopping me in the street and asking ‘the question’: “When is the weather going to settle down and turn warmer?”

Admittedly, the wind and rain has been relentless over the past few weeks and seems even more ironic given that much of England is officially in drought and hosepipe bans have come into force.

As the end of a wet April fast approaches, I thought I’d give a flavour of what May holds. Before I do, I must stress that it will only be a trend rather than a day by day forecast. For that level of detail, it’s still too far ahead.

During April, the jet stream has been active and lying to the south of the UK, which has put us in the path of a conveyor belt of low pressure systems moving in off the Atlantic Ocean.

This has meant that wind and rain have been a common theme, with lots of places seeing close to their average April rainfall only half way through the month.

However, during the next two weeks, the jet stream will become less active and move north of the UK. This means that the number of wind and rain-bearing weather systems will decrease and also head further northwards, affecting Iceland and Norway rather than us.

So the weather won’t be quite as unsettled as it has been, however there will still be some showers or rain, but for different reasons.

There are signs that the wind will more generally start to blow from an east to south easterly direction. Whilst this will bring warmer air and thus higher temperatures (15-20C), it will also bring the potential for heavy, thundery downpours to drift in from the near by continent.

In addition, pressure will remain a little low in the upper atmosphere to the south of the UK, which will make the air still prone to rising, giving the potential for clouds and thus some rain to form.

You may notice that this is quite contrary to some reports in the media over the past week that have claimed it’s going to be the coldest May in 100 years. Having looked at the weather charts, I see no evidence of this at all.

So at the moment, May is looking warmer than of late, not as unsettled, but there’ll still be the potential for rain at times.

If anything changes, I’ll of course keep you updated. In the meantime you can always get the latest five day forecast on the Channel 4 Weather website or contact me anytime on Twitter – @liamdutton

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