30 May 2013

Coldest spring for more than 50 years

Weather Presenter

Provisional figures released by the Met Office on Thursday show that this spring is likely to be the coldest in more than 50 years for the UK.

Spring Snow

The average temperature for the three spring months of March, April and May was 6.0C, which is well below the 7.7C that would normally be expected.

Even though there are still a few days of May to take into account, the Met Office says that this figure is unlikely to change given the expected weather.

Not only is this the coldest spring in half a century, it is also the 5th coldest on record, with records dating back to 1910.

The main reason for such a cold season has been the very cold March the UK has experienced this year. It was the coldest March in 50 years, characterised by winds from the north or east, bringing bitter cold, along with widespread snow and ice.

This spring goes against the general spring temperature trend of the past decade, with eight of the past ten springs being warmer than average.

It has once again been the position of the jet stream that has brought unseasonable weather.

For much of spring it has been unusually far south, steering spring warmth, sunshine and rain towards Iberia, the Mediterranean and the Balkans. This has left the UK and much of northwest Europe battling record-breaking cold and copious amounts of snow.

In terms of rainfall, it has been a little drier than normal, at 92 per cent of the seasonal average. However, this isn’t as dry as the springs of 2010 and 2011 which had 72 and 81 per cent respectively.

Despite news of a cold spring, there are signs that a taste of summer is on the way next week. High pressure is likely to build over the UK, bringing sunshine and temperatures into the low 20s Celsius.