Heatwaves likely as Met Office long-range forecast says we could get a sizzling summer

Man enjoying a sunny day at Barry Island
-Credit: (Image: Richard Swingler Photography)


This weekend marks the start of meteorological summer, and everyone is hoping that the fine weather we are experiencing is a sign of something better. The latest figures show that it has been a wetter than average spring for most parts of the UK.

In March the figures show that the UK had 107.8mm of rain compared with the average of 84.9mm, so it ranks in the top 20% of wettest Marches.

April was even wetter! BBC weather forecaster Chris Fawkes said there was 111.4mm of rain, compared to the average of 71.9mm. It was the sixth wettest April of the last 189 years and rainfall figures for May also look set to be above average. But what is the outlook for summer?

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Earlier this week, the Met Office issued its three-month summary for June, July and August. There were three key points that they raised:

  • The chance of a hot summer is higher than normal but is similar to recent years

  • This brings an increased likelihood of heatwaves and heat-related impacts

  • The chances of a wet or dry summer are fairly balanced.

The summary included the one-month summary for June that said that there was a "slightly higher" than normal chance of a hot month. It also said that the likelihood of a wet month is "slightly higher than average, and there was an increased chance of localised impacts from thundery downpours.

The more detailed long-range forecast from the Met Office for the whole of UK for the majority of June says: "In early June, it looks likely there will be a split in conditions across the UK. Further south, higher pressure is likely to continue to dominate, although perhaps with some cloudier interludes and the patchy rain. The north is likely to see more in the way of unsettled weather, with a mix of blustery showers and sunny spells."

The Met Office long range forecast:

-Credit:Met Office
-Credit:Met Office

Discussing temperatures it says they will be "generally around average" in the south, but occasionally rather cool in the north.

Concluding: "Thereafter the outlook becomes more uncertain. The south of the UK will probably continue to be drier, although it's not possible to rule out scattered showers at times. Cooler and cloudier further northwest, where rain is more likely. Temperatures probably around normal."

Looking towards the end of June, it says there is no "strong signal" yet of whether high or low pressure will dominate.

The forecast adds: "On balance, it is probable that a continuation of variable, slow moving weather patterns are likely through much of June, similar to that which has been experienced through May. However, with potentially slow moving weather systems there is still a chance that longer-lived drier, or even wetter, spells are entirely possible too. Temperatures are most likely to be around or above normal."