Europe Summer 2014: Forecast Verses Reality

Written by on September 1, 2014 in Rest of Europe, United Kingdom & Ireland with 0 Comments

Well that’s another summer over, meteorologically speaking!

In today’s post I want to look at how it turned out. Forecast which was issued back in April, verses reality.

Based on type of winter, drier spring, onset of El Nino, solar maximum and global water temperature profile, I called for a mixed summer but biased warmer and drier than normal with potential for 2nd ‘good summer’ in a row. Warm in July but not as warm as 2013.

Here’s the stats according to the Met Office.



Source/Credit: Crown/Met Office

Source/Credit: Crown/Met Office


1.2C above normal


The warm June and July was followed by the COOLEST AUGUST since 1993

Was also very wet!

Source/Credit: Crown/Met Office

Source/Credit: Crown/Met Office

Despite the warm June and July, the much cooler turnaround for August has meant that summer overall (June-August) has ended up near average across the UK.

2014 has been a warm year for the UK. August was the first below normal month since last year.

Source/Credit: Crown/Met Office

Source/Credit: Crown/Met Office

Why so persistently warm? Not so much the AMO which in fact was warm but the solar max probably had a lot to do with it.


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Why the turnaround in August? Check out the sharp dip in the NAO, a possible reaction to the solar downturn which may continue with the negative trend in the NAO into the upcoming winter.


As for Europe.



April-July period. When the stats and maps come out later this month you’ll see August was rather different. Much cooler and wetter over Western Europe!


As you can see from the reality above to forecast below that it was a pretty successful forecast on the whole, however August was off as I had it warm and dry like June, July. I knew a turnaround would come but didn’t think it would come at the beginning of August. Keep in mind that the below forecast was issued back in April, a month and a half ahead of the actual forecast period. There will ALWAYS be elements that are incorrect.

Official United Kingdom & Europe Summer Forecast 2014

on April 20 | in Rest of Europe, Spring 2014, Summer 2014, United Kingdom & Ireland | by | with No Comments

After a warm and record wet winter, the spring pattern has turned around with warmer and drier than normal conditions which could have significant implications for later down the road.

This drier but not completely dry pattern has helped drain some of the saturated soil covering much of the UK and Ireland. This is important when it comes to atmospheric pressure and temperature into the warm season.

This has also helped sway me more towards a warmer summer ahead.

As it stands and when taking into account all current factors including current and past pattern, SST temperature profile both local and global, the ENSO status and forecast through the next 6 months and aspects such as solar cycle, I am swaying towards a warmer and drier than normal summer and the second straight ‘good’ summer for the UK and Ireland.

I believe this summer could be a hot, dry one for much of Europe with potential for a significant heat wave across a broad area of the continent, similar but likely not as extreme as 2003.

My summer ideas have been laid out before you now for some time but I have been hesitant in providing detail simply because I needed to find out how the spring pattern would turn out. Had it continued wet like we saw during the winter then it would have likely been a much more disappointing summer, similar to 2012.

So, warmer, drier than normal across much of the continent but there will be cool and wet episodes. However, high pressure looks likely to dominate in the broader scheme of things. The heart of the continent may see the core of heat but it will flex back and fourth.

What has been very interesting over the last 20 days is the change is water temperature around the UK. The high pressure dominated pattern we have enjoyed has significantly warmed our surrounding waters.

Here was the start of April.




The water temperature profile is similar now to this time back in 2003 (below). Why bring that up and what’s significant about 2003? We of course had the big heat wave that smashed all sorts of records from the UK to Austria that summer. No, I’m not going for another summer heat wave of 2003 BUT I think we could see some major heat focused on the heart of Europe which may spread west, reaching the Low Countries, Denmark and the UK. Just look at how warm those waters are surrounding the European land mass and given the fairly dry ground helped by persistent high pressure, we could be looking at heat wave conditions this year.



April 22, 2003


Now you could say, I thought if we had wet ground and warm surrounding waters that we ‘should’ see a wetter summer. Well, 2003 sure wasn’t a cool wetter summer, so what’s the difference now compared to 2012 when waters surrounding the UK were warm and an El Nino was coming on.

April 23, 2012


Note the waters were warm more widely across the Atlantic in 2012 at this time. Core of warmest then, is where the core of cold is now. Much more significant is the warm water off South America at this time in 2012. This year, though an El Nino is coming on, waters are COLD off South America. The onset of El Nino this year is quite different to the Nino back then and interestingly similar to 2003. Positioning of warm and cold water over the Pacific has global precipitation distribution influence.

So, colder water over the central Atlantic and off South America, coupled with a drier, warmer spring here is likely to make for a different summer to 2012. By this stage in 2012, we already had a record wet April and that pattern continued into and through summer that year. SEE SIMILARITY IN GLOBAL WATER TEMPS BETWEEN LATE APRIL 2014 AND 2003. Waters surrounding the UK were warm with core of warmest to the north but notice the warm west Pacific/cold east Pacific in 2003 like we have now.

Another potential player is the solar max were just coming off. Though MUCH weaker, 2003 came off a solar max a year or two before.


As far as I’m concerned, it’s how warm do we get this summer? A lot depends on the pattern over the next few weeks. The CFSv2 has a warm May for Northern Europe extending from Ireland to Russia.


Modelling is in good agreement that summer 2014 is warmer and drier than normal across much of Europe. Jamstec has ALL of Europe warm, CFSv2 has a warm north and cool south.




Jamstec Precip




See today’s video for discussion.

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