Europe: Upside Down Temperatures, Remaining Messy, UK Warming Up!

Written by on May 29, 2013 in Rest of Europe, United Kingdom & Ireland with 0 Comments

High pressure is trying to build into the UK from the Azores as we progress towards the weekend and we shall find sunny spells and warmth but also spells of rain too. Recent days has been somewhat of a forecasting headache as I try to get a handle on our pattern into June. It’s not a clear cut forecast by any means and although heights should be fairly strong over the next 7-10 days across the UK, there are fronts which will bring influence to our weather. Also heights are ‘reasonably strong’ but not enough to bring significant warmth. Any warmth we may see over the next week or so, will be of a come and go nature. Nothing sustained.

Weak fronts look to skirt the Northern half of the UK but down across England and Wales, the best of the weather has yet to come and by Saturday and Sunday, look for a mix of sun and cloud (more sun than clouds) and highs in the 18-22C range. For Scotland, we managed to get up to 20 or 21C today and tomorrow may be slightly warmer in some places. Always sunniest in the west. By this weekend though, weak fronts will ride the northern periphery of that building Azores high, so while somewhat unsettled across Scotland and Northern Ireland, the sunniest, warmest weather stays south across England and Wales.

Here’s the GFS surface chart for Saturday.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro
Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Note the heights are falling across the Northern UK with the passing of the front! Bulk of England and Wales should stay sunny and warm.

By Sunday another disturbance will push across Scotland bringing rain but heights are on the rise with surface pressure up at 1028mb. This should present warmer temperatures across England and Wales with 19-23C, dissapointing across Scotland at 12-15C.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro
Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

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This late week/weekend ridge and warmer weather was predicted since last week but what has been frustrating me of late is the lack of any real ridge and what I mean by that is that I’ve been calling for an increasingly positive NAO for the best part of 10 days now. That is showing up but the pattern doesn’t appear to break the ‘progressive’ pattern with short bursts of ‘relative warmth’. Initially I called for a cool start, then warm second half to June. Right now it looks like we have a mixed bag, just like last night’s post title reads.

Here is the the ECMWF upper chart and 850 temps for Friday




During Sunday a boundary looks to push rain south over the UK, temporarily cutting down the warmth but more warmth follows. This is an example of the lack of strength in upper heights. Their weak enough that fronts can break down the high but once their though, heights and surface warmth rebounds.

Here’s Monday once the front has pushes through.


The ridge which bounces back on the backside of the front remains fairly weak, thus surface temperatures are ‘relatively warm’, nothing significant.

Remember, if we don’t get strong enough heights, fronts can and will penetrate and these will bring spoilers just when you think warmth and sunshine is on the way. The stronger the upper levels heights, the harder it is for fronts to penerate and they are forced to ride around the ridge. There is little sign of that.

The ECMWF suggests a more widespread positive height field through the middle and second half of next week. This would be supoortive of this.


With the increasing +NAO, stronger heights next week is plausible but the question is, can we get heights strong enough to cap the atmosphere and shield the UK and Ireland from approaching Atlantic fronts?

As we span out, much of Europe remains VERY unsettled and dissapointing for late May. In recent days we have seen temperatures only reach 10-14C over interior SW France while north of low pressure which dominates the heart of the continent with fronts spiralling around the circulation, temperatures have been nearly as warm up in central Scandinavia as they are down along Mediterannean coasts.

Tonight’s satellite image says it all with a lot of cloud covering much of the continent. Note the sunnier skies over central and northern Scandinavia, Ireland, Northern Ireland and southern Spain. These areas are also seeing the warmest temperatures.


Take today, Belfast reached 20C (68F), that was warmer than the Balearics and Lisbon.

Is there any relief from the cool and frequently wet weather?

The low pressure, unsettled theme looks to continue through this weekend but it’s an improving picture through next week as heights build widely.

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