European July 2018 Outlook

Written by on June 23, 2018 in Rest of Europe, United Kingdom & Ireland with 0 Comments

With the exceptions of a wet start to May and middle June, it’s been a predominantly dry, settled and warm pattern across northwest and north Europe thanks to blocking high pressure while low pressure has kept things unseasonably cool and unsettled over southwest Europe.

This is seen nicely in the May and June temperature anomaly charts below.

May of course was Europe warmest on record.

Credit: Michael Ventrice

June so far

Credit: Michael Ventrice

May was very dry across Scotland while thunderstorms over England kept things quite wet, especially over south-central areas whereas June is turning out to be one of England’s driest while 10 days of unsettled weather has brought wetter conditions to ‘parts’ of Scotland. That being said, the opening 10 and closing 10 days of June will have seen little rain in Scotland and parts of northern and eastern Scotland has in fact seen less rain in June than in May.


Credit: Met Office


Credit: Met Office

Warm, Dry UK, Cool, Wet Iberia & Canaries

The dry May and even drier June has led to warmer than normal temperatures. The lack of rain, stronger sun and increase in temperature is quickly drying out UK soil and dry ground correlates to stronger than normal surface and upper level pressure when conditions are right. Heat looks highly likely to be a big factor in July 2018 across northwest Europe and Scandinavia.

As for the typically warmer, drier southern Europe, it’s certainly been opposite of last year. It’s been a cool and wet spring from Madeira across the Canaries and up through Spain, Portugal into the Balearic Islands.

According to AEMET, May was coolest in the Canaries since the early 1990s with the surrounding water temperature anomaly at a 10 year low.

The very cool surrounding waters are a result of lower pressure near Iberia and stronger pressure over the mid Atlantic which has led to unusually strong northeast trade winds.

Dry ground surrounded by cool water points to warm, settled high pressure for UK but low pressure & cool, wet for Iberia

Take a look at the below sea surface temperature anomaly.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Note the very cool waters extending from Portugal down the African coast and out over the tropical Atlantic. Also cool waters extending from Newfoundland to UK with a bubble of very warm in between where the mid Atlantic ridge has been stronger than normal.

The west-east oriented Atlantic tripole of cool, warm, cool combined with dry UK, wet Spain should continue supporting sinking (high pressure) over the UK and Ireland and rising air (low pressure) over Iberia down to the Canaries and sinking over the Cape Verde.

As you’ll be well aware, we have a terrific final week of June coming up with likely the warmest weather of the year so far coming up.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Dry ground means less water vapour released and therefore warmer temperatures

Simon Cardy

Wet patterns encourage wet and dry encourages dry.

As the temperature climbs this upcoming week so the evaporation rates too shall increase enhancing the drying process of the ground. When the ground is wet so water vapor is released into the atmosphere and this can help cloud and rain production but also, half of the sun’s incoming energy goes into evaporation. Dry ground releases little to no moisture into the air and so incoming solar radiation goes directly into heating the air, hence why dry patterns are often warm to hot ones.

Given the past and current pattern and model projection, July 2018 has the potential for multiple 32C days in England and a perhaps even a few 30C days for Scotland, the first since 2006.

The CFSv2 has been consistent in it’s July solution over recent months. High pressure across the north and lower pressure near Iberia. I cannot argue with this and see no reason why we aren’t in for a great July. Just how warm and dry July will be is the question. Is it a warm or hot July?

I’m going for a threat to the toasty July’s of 2006 and 2013. Expect ‘some cooler, wetter days’ with a possible brief breakdown mid month before more heat returns.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits


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