Europe June 2021 Outlook (Spring 2021 Recap)

Written by on May 18, 2021 in Rest of Europe, United Kingdom & Ireland with 0 Comments

As is often the case with prolonged ‘stuck patterns’ featuring high latitude blocking, we can flip from one extreme to the other and that’s certainly been the case in terms of rainfall between April and May. As for temperature, well it’s been pretty much continuously below average since the end of March. Since the UK recorded it’s warmest March day (24.5C at Kew Gardens) since the 1960s and several countries over the near continent recorded their warmest March day on record, it’s been cool, if not cold.

The highly amplified, strong phases 8, 1, 2 and 3 of the MJO may in fact be, at least part responsible for this highly blocked, cold spring pattern.

In the below graphic, check out how far the lines travel from the centre through 8, 1, 2 and 3.

This high amplification of the MJO has driven a negative AO and more so negative NAO for the most part.

Thanks to the forced blocking, enhanced by the MJO, the chill has been persistent over much of Europe and North America.

Due to enhanced convection often over Africa and the west/central Indian Ocean as can be seen in the below global temperature anomaly for May so far, parts of east and south Africa as well as India has been cool where as hotter than normal conditions have affected SE Asia, Russia and Middle East.

Credit: Michael Ventrice

From one of the driest April’s to over 200% above normal rain through 1st half of May

Following one of the UK’s driest April’s on record (taken off top spot thanks to heavy rain during the final days of the month), through the first 17 days of May rainfall has been pretty consistent but hit and miss thanks to high pressure being replaced by a sluggish low pressure pattern often featuring little wind.

As we departed April and stepped into May the tide turned, now parts of England and Wales sit at over 200% their normal May rain (through only the first 17 days) but not all has seen above normal rainfall due to the scattered nature of showers and t-storms. Parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland and even England are drier than normal for May so far.

Credit: Met Office

May so far

Credit: BBC Weather

UK percentage of normal rainfall through the first 17 days of May 2021.

Credit: Reading University

April and May combined has been very cool indeed for not only the UK but much of Europe.

April 2021

Credit: Michael Ventrice

May 2021

Credit: Michael Ventrice

For UK, it’s been the frostiest in 60 years with EVERY morning seeing somewhere within the UK dipping below 0C. Aboyne observed 25 out of 30 morning’s below freezing.

Credit: Starlings Roost Weather

Through the opening 10 days of April, snowfall was quite frequent and widespread.

Like April, early May also observed unusually heavy, low level snowfall.

The early May bank holiday produced both the coldest minimum (-5.9C) followed by coldest maximum (14C) UK temperature since the holiday was introduced back in 1978.

May has produced 2 and about to produce a 3rd unusually deep low which will have significant impacts on the UK.

Less than a week later!

Via Matt Hugo

The first deep low produced a gust of 93 mph to Needles Old Battery on the western tip of the Isle of Wight.

So to summerise, April and May will go down as one of Europe’s coldest in many years!

What can we expect for the final 10 days of May?

Well for one we have unusually deep low 3.0 moving in Wednesday night and set to spin close or over the UK through Thursday and Friday!

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

As we head for the final 10 days of the month we’re beginning to see some multi-model agreement indicating a temperature recovery towards normal even above normal. That being said I would advise holding off on shouting ‘heat wave on the way’ that’s for sure. After all, our bar on ‘warmth’ is set low this year.

The question is, do we cling onto the below average temperature like the models suggest through till the very end of the month? GFS ensemble 5-day means suggest yes.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

If we fail to reach 23.8C (recorded in May 2005 and 2013) then this May would have produced the coolest UK May maximum since the 90s. We may also witness the coldest UK May in 25 years and likely the coldest April-May in decades.

How’s June looking?

Based purely on the latest run of the CFSv2, Warm and dry!

500mb height anomaly for June.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Precipitation anomaly

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

2-metre temperature anomaly

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

My hunch is a fairly mixed month ahead with further Atlantic depressions paying a visit to UK shores keeping temperatures subdued. Any heat surges from the Azores/Spain or Africa are pretty short lived and come via approaching Atlantic fronts which give then quickly take.

I believe temperatures may average near to slightly above average for N England, Scotland but average to slightly below average for much of England and Wales as well as into N France, Low Countries extending into central Europe.


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