Weather Watch: Things are hotting up after worst of the wet

Latest weather news with MetDesk in Wendover
Latest weather news with MetDesk in Wendover

As we move into climatologically the warmest period of the year in the UK, let’s take a look at how the first half of 2014 has fared compared to average.

The year started exceptionally wet and stormy and the winter combined (December to February) was the wettest in the England and Wales rainfall series, which dates back to 1766.

Central southern and south-east England saw more than 230% of the expected rainfall and during mid-February parts of south Bucks spent several days submerged in a swollen River Thames.

The winter was, of course, also very mild with overnight frost at a premium throughout the opening months of 2014.

Snow was conspicuous by its near complete absence with none now having fallen across much of southern England since the bitterly cold spring of 2013.

Although May was wet, with rainfall 140% of average across the UK, the rest of spring and early summer has been much drier, with just 75% of the normal rainfall in June, for example.

It has been sunny, too, with over 10% more sunshine than average across south Bucks during both June and 2014 as a whole.

Spring 2014 (March to May) was the third warmest since 1910 across the UK as a whole and the past seven months have all been warmer than average.

Despite this, there have been few very hot days so far this year with only a handful of places reaching temperatures higher than 27C.

The maximum temperature: 28.7C at both Writtle, Essex, and Weybourne, Norfolk, on July 4, is lower than the UK’s annual maximum in most years, and falls well short of the highest ever recorded UK temperature: 38.5C (101.3F) at Brogdale near Faversham in Kent on August 10, 2003.

It would take a big change in the current synoptic weather set up to repeat that value this summer, but the rest of this week does look rather hot, as well as quite sunny, and it’s possible that temperatures exceed 28C, perhaps even in south Bucks.

There is a chance of a few showers early on Friday, though, and then turning more unsettled over the weekend with the potential for some heavy, thundery rain.