Saturday, 5 April 2008

Wet and warm UK summer forecast

The UK is facing a wet and warm summer this year, according to a long-range forecast by the Met Office.

Its forecasters said temperatures were likely to be warmer than average for the UK, and rainfall near or above average for the three months of summer.

However, it said there was a very low probability of the exceptional rainfall on the scale of last year which caused devastating floods in some parts.

The Met Office described the forecast as a "typical British summer".

'Accurate advice'

Met Office head of forecasting Brian Golding said: "Seasonal forecasting is a difficult thing to do and this places some limitations on our forecasts.

"Our predictions for last autumn, winter and spring have all given accurate advice, giving more confidence in our latest summer forecast."

Parts of England and Wales, and particularly the Midlands, had their wettest summer last year since rainfall records began in 1914.

Last month, figures obtained by the BBC suggested that more than 10,000 people were still unable to return to their homes after last summer's flooding, with Hull, East Riding and Tewkesbury, near Worcester, the worst affected areas.

The worst of the floods - estimated to have cost £3bn - hit Yorkshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire.

Forward planning

A wetter than average summer is also likely this year in southern Scandinavia and a drier than average one across southern and eastern Europe.

The forecast is designed to help official organisations with their forward planning.

Met Office government services director Rob Varley said: "Our long-range forecasts are proving useful to a range of people, such as emergency planners and the water industry, in order to help them plan ahead.

"They are not forecasts which can be used to plan a summer holiday or inform an outdoor event."

Malcolm's comments are, "It seems to me that 'wet' can be translated into 'not a lot of sunshine'. In which case we will have to adopt a policy of only growing Cannas where they get potential all-day sunlight, because I can't see how they can get enough light to prosper any other way."

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