Seasonal Forecasts

Summer Weather Forecast 2022

Welcome to my weather forecast for Summer 2022.

A week later than I prefer, but well, life got in the way. Better late than never.

Firstly a reminder that not all of this forecast will be correct. Accurate seasonal forecasting is beyond the limits of our abilities, but we can have a good idea of the more likely patterns ahead.

Alas, events occur that can completely break a seasonal forecast – such as sudden stratospheric warming events in winter. Atlantic hurricanes can also change the course of previously expected weather.

So do bear in mind that seasonal forecasting is experimental. Some of this should be good, but some will definitely not be. My aim is to get more right than wrong.

I’m much happier with my spring forecast than I was for my winter forecast. It feels as though I got more right than wrong, including the warm spell at the end of March and the general drier and warmer feel across the season.

Next, thanks to Rose for the glorious photograph. A £15 donation has been made to Sport In Mind as a thank you. And thanks to all those that sent photographs in for the summer forecast, and even more to those who send them in without reward (other than your name in lights!) for the regular forecasts.

Background Signals

There are always less background signals driving our weather at this time of year

La Niña is the main background signal affecting global weather conditions, as it has been for nearly 3 years now. Currently on the weak side, a weak La Niña would suggest high pressure close to the south of the UK during June is somewhat more likely, with low pressure to the north – I think this flips somewhat during July and August, in theory, though I’m not entirely sure I’ve understood that correctly.

Sea surface temperatures around and particularly to the west and north-west of the UK, are much warmer than normal, which suggests a greater chance of high pressure around and to the south of the UK than normal, I believe – and subsequent warmer conditions.

The Madden-Julian Oscillation can help predict the more likely weather outcomes for the coming month, though I’m wary of it as a tool. It is currently in phase 7/8, I think, which suggests fairly changeable weather but warm weather more likely for the first half of June – the MJO then progresses into no active phase, which suggests something more settled likely.

Hurricane season is expected to be busier than normal, and these can introduce some uncertainty, particularly in August and September – as they have been known to change our previously expected weather patterns into something much cooler and wetter – or much warmer and sunnier.

June

Well we are in day 8 of June as I write, so pointless telling you what I think the first week will be like.

Early changeable conditions will trend towards drier and sunnier weather, tending to be warm or very warm – but with some variation in cloud amounts and temperatures, and the odd shower or weak weather front.

A strong build of high pressure over Europe to our south, with much hotter conditions than normal is likely to effect our weather in two ways for the latter half of June – we will have the opportunity to briefly import some hot conditions for short hot spells (this is uncertain – the heat may stay very close to our south instead), but more likely we will import some thunderstorms or ex-thunderstorms that have become areas of general heavy rain, so some short unsettled spells – though for most of the latter part of June we should be settled, some sunny days, some cloud at times, and more often warm or very warm.

Overall I expect a somewhat warmer than average month, a slightly sunnier than average month, and below-average rainfall – though the latter does depend on avoiding any particularly torrential downpours being imported.

Confidence level around 75%.

July

The more likely start to July would be something similar to how June ended – generally pleasant with decent sunny spells, and temperatures very warm/quite hot. However with the expectation that at times we may import more heat/humidity for short spells from the south – along with some outbreaks of downpours/thunderstorms.

During the middle third, perhaps middle half of July, the more likely outcome sees high pressure develop to our east. Depending on exact positioning of the high pressure and the airmass source, this could lead to some unusually hot weather – I’d suggest this is the period when heatwave conditions are more likely.

However, possible low pressure over France may cut off any source of particular hot air to this set-up, in which case we’d be looking at temperatures close to the mid/high 20’s, and an increased chance of thundery downpours at times.

No particular signal for the latter part of July, though perhaps slightly more likely somewhat fresher conditions with some showers. Very low confidence.

Overall I expect a warmer than average month, a slightly sunnier than average month and rainfall…well…it depends on if we catch any particularly torrential downpours. Around average assuming that we don’t catch anything too crazy in terms of a downpour.

Confidence level around 70% – main uncertainty is positioning of high pressure during that middle third/half of July – too far east and it could be more unsettled than I’m forecasting!

August

August I am a lot less confident about.

Suggestions are that high pressure is more likely to be to our north-east or north at times, with the jetstream more likely pushed south over the UK.

Which would mean low pressure and resulting rain/showers crossing the UK.

However I also think high pressure should at times build over the UK from the south-west, blocking any low pressure invasions for some short spells.

Broadly I’m going to suggest a fairly mixed month – yes some unsettled spells, but also some fine, dry weather at times too – occasionally on the hot side. I don’t have a good enough handle of likely weather patterns to have an idea of what period of August may be more likely to be unsettled, or hot, etc.

Overall I’d suggest a slightly warmer than average month, a somewhat less sunnier than average month and a somewhat wetter than average month.

Confidence level just 30%.

Summary and Autumnal thoughts

So in summary, I do expect a warmer/hotter than normal summer, with the best spell of weather probably broadly from mid-June to late-July, with the highest chance of heatwaves in the middle third/half of July. Though with some heavy showers/thunderstorms at times.

August more mixed with some unsettled spells, but very low confidence.

Autumn? Well, if a weak La Niña is still in play then I’d suggest that a wetter than normal September is more likely than not – though low confidence with the active hurricane season expected, this could easily be pushed north to leave a warmer than normal month.

A mixed October though perhaps drier than average.

An increased chance of colder northerly/north-westerly flows in November, with some frosts and generally fairly dry conditions being more likely.

No particular signals for winter yet.

Spring 2022 Weather Forecast

Welcome to my weather forecast for Spring 2022.

Let’s hope it is more accurate than my winter forecast. I always suggest that you take these forecasts with a huge pile of salt, but normally the general pattern isn’t a mile away.

My winter summary was – “a slightly drier and colder than normal winter is expected, though with some notable unsettled spells too – especially in January”. It was slightly drier than normal, though it was milder than normal. We did get notable unsettled spells – but not in January! In fact, if you swapped my January and February forecasts around, then my winter forecast would have been half-decent.

So. Take this forecast with a bucket of salt. Often I get quite a bit right, but sometimes I get it badly wrong – like this winter.

Thanks to Jane for the photograph. A donation to the charity of your choice will be made…if you are reading then please drop me a message.

Background Signals

I’m a bit lacking in time at the moment so will be brief.

The stratospheric polar vortex remains very strong for the time of year – well, it did before a very recent warming event up there. Difficult to know whether it will recover, but if it does, then a return to westerly winds will remain likely for early spring. The warming event increases the chances of blocking highs before then – like we have right now, in fact.

La Niña is still going, so will increase the chances of westerly winds during spring, especially the early part – La Niña is fading and may be replaced by El Niño later in the year…we’ll see.

March

March looks like it will be dominated by a battle between a cold blocking high to the east, and low pressure systems trying to push in from a still active Atlantic.

The beginning of the month will often be settled, some days sunny, some days cloudy – though there will also be some days with slow-moving weather fronts stuck, bringing some rain. Generally quite mild, though some overnight frosts also.

Around the middle of the month, or just before, those weather systems to our west will have more success in pushing the block back, so there will be more wind and rain over the period.

For the latter third, we should see high pressure trying to push up from the south, but likely an active jetstream also. Details a bit uncertain, but I’d expect some quite warm spring-like days, and some spells of heavy rain on other days. Overnight frosts less likely, but still very possible.

Overall I expect March to be warmer than average, slightly drier than average and slightly sunnier than average.

Around 75% confidence.

April

April I expect to be dominated by high pressure close to, or over the UK.

April perhaps starting changeable with some occasional rain bands and sunshine/shower days – mixed with some pleasant days. The pleasant days more likely to outnumber showery days towards mid-month – temperatures will depend on exact positioning of high pressure, and some chilly nights could be expected, but hopefully some pleasant days.

Suggestions that for the latter part of April, high pressure is closer to our west, allowing more northerly or north-westerly flows to prevail, which would be cool and cloudy, perhaps with showers.

Overall I expect April to be warmer than average, slightly drier than average and slightly sunnier than average.

Around 70% confidence – main uncertainty being positioning of high pressure.

May

Confidence is lower for May, though high pressure seems likely to be fairly dominant.

However during the first part of March, it looks more likely to be our west, which would again bring a cooler and cloudier flow, with showers or rain at times – though some dry days also.

The middle of May may be some form of transition to something nicer – with the latter part of May more likely to see high pressure either over the UK or to our east, with warm or very warm conditions, and the odd heavy shower, being the more likely pattern.

Overall I expect May to be slightly warmer than average (though with large variations), around average rainfall, and around average sunshine – perhaps slightly below average.

Around 60% confidence. Not much in the way of long-term drivers to affect May, and the timing of the final stratospheric warming will affect when any cooler spell happens.

Summary…and summer thoughts

So, quite a pleasant spring expected. Overall a little warmer and sunnier than normal, and a bit drier than normal. If I get it wrong, I suspect that maybe I’ve underestimated how warm/sunny it will be, rather than the other way around. We shall see.

Early summer thoughts are for a hot June…but becoming increasingly unsettled in July and August – particularly August. Which feels very normal.

Winter Forecast 2021/22

Welcome to my winter 2021/22 weather forecast for Reading and the surrounding areas.

This is going to be quite a long post…I guess I should pour myself a drink…it is nearly Christmas after all.

So let’s start with some admin as usual.

Firstly thanks to Grace for the superb photograph, and first clue to my expectations of the weather this winter. A £20 donation has been made to Blood Cancer UK.

Secondly thanks to everyone who sends in photographs more regularly, comments, shares, etc – you ensure there is still a point in me doing these forecasts.

Finally a reminder that seasonal forecasting is experimental. Though my understanding and the understanding of the general meteorological community improves every year, some parts of this forecast will no doubt be wrong.

I’m actually really happy with my autumn forecast which was surprisingly close to reality – I’m particularly delighted to have picked out the signal for the cold spell at the end of November, 3 months ago. That said, background signals were strong.

Background signals

Which is a good time to start talking about background signals going into this winter.

Unsurprisingly the background signals are conflicting and create quite a lot of uncertainty – arguably more so than usual. Yet there are plenty that point to a colder than normal winter – alas, the seasonal models generated by super-computers point to a mild winter. Which is why you may have heard professional meteorologists arguing different cases.

Of course, nobody knows exactly how it will pan out – some professional and experienced forecasters are going to be wrong. Maybe I will too.

Anyway, those signals:

La Niña. We had a La Niña last winter, and we have another one this winter. La Niña is thought to increase the chance of north-westerly/northerly flows in November/December, and milder westerly flows in January/February – hence why I was pretty confident of the current cold spell some time out.

It does also depend somewhat on the strength, and also where the La Niña is centred – this is more of an east-based La Niña which I believe increases the cold signal for North-West Europe, and can also increase the chance of high pressure forming to our north/north-east – which would suggest cold easterly flows are possible.

Madden-Julian Oscillation. The pattern of thunderstorms over the Indian and Pacific Ocean has an effect on our weather and the pressure patterns. This is more of a medium-term forecasting tool, so really only any use for December. Currently it is in phase 6, and looks like going into phase 7, which should promote high pressure forming to our north/north-east.

However, it is argued that MJO signals are often over-ridden in La Niña winters, so I’m not sure how much notice to take.

Quasi-Biennial Oscillation. These are stratospheric winds which switch from west to east, roughly every 22 months. It has recently switched to east which tends to encourage a weaker polar vortex and increases the chances of cold weather in Europe.

Said polar vortex is kind of disorganised in the troposphere (our level of atmosphere) at the moment, though has hints of organising. In the stratosphere (way above our atmosphere – the next level up) it is unusually strong. If the tropospheric and stratospheric polar vortexes couple, then you can wave goodbye to the chance of cold for weeks – sometimes even until the end of winter – and you’ll have weeks of mild, often wet and windy weather. There are hints this coupling may happen later this month, but is highly uncertain.

One thing that can break the coupling of the vortexes, is a sudden stratospheric warming event (SSW) which you’ll likely have heard me talk about in previous winters. These are a sudden warming of the stratosphere where the winds reverse fairly suddenly. What normally happens 2-4 weeks afterwards, is that high pressure blocking systems set up across the northern hemisphere and cold air floods down into the US, Europe and Asia – though not everywhere, as some places will be on the mild side of the blocking systems.

We had one in 2018 and ended up with the “Beast From The East” – a classic response from an SSW. However we had one last winter, and there was little effect on our weather – we had some cold weather that followed, but nothing unusual and arguably not because of the SSW. However, I do believe that the colder spring that we had was because of the SSW.

It is impossible to know if an SSW will happen more than a couple of weeks ahead. However, a pressure pattern is currently setting up over Europe/Asia that can be a trigger of one, say by late December/early January – so with the lag, that gives a slightly higher than normal chance of significant cold in February.

Finally, the solar cycle. I feel this is more debatable than most signals, but periods of low solar intensity like we are coming out of now, tend to encourage weaker polar vortexes and hence a greater chance of cold spells. And those winters where solar activity is just starting to increase, like this winter, are arguably most likely to experience this effect.

I guess you want a forecast now?

Hopefully you can at least you can see there are lots of conflicting signals, even if more of them do point to cold than normal. As such, overall I think winter will be slightly drier and colder than normal – though with some unsettled spells.

December

December looks like it will be a battle between an Atlantic Ocean finally waking up – and a blocking high stretching from Siberia to Scandinavia.

Generally it will be colder than normal, though low pressure systems will battle into the block, bringing wind and rain at times. There is a plausible chance that there could be some heavy snow as low pressure systems struggle as they come up against cold air to our east – but most precipitation should be rain.

After around mid-month, the jetstream should shift north, with high pressure building from the south – still some weather fronts but mostly light/patchy rain, overnight frosts and fog possible, though generally slightly milder than normal.

Then towards Christmas, that cold weather block to our east looks like it will migrate west, bringing colder air and a seasonal feel, with sharp frosts possible and cold, crisp sunny days. Snow showers would be somewhat possible though dry weather is expected to be dominant.

Overall I expect temperatures to be slightly below-average, rainfall slightly above-average and sunshine amounts around average.

Confidence level 75%. Main uncertainty is over the Christmas period – as it is certainly possible that we retain a milder southerly/south-easterly source and have mild, dry, probably cloudy/foggy weather instead.

January

January does look more unsettled with more influence from the polar vortex. Any early cold and dry weather should be shunted out of the way by a resurgent Atlantic, perhaps initially some snow as the milder air battles to displace the colder air, but generally becoming mildish and wet.

Occasionally the flow should be more north-westerly, allowing for colder weather, though nothing extreme, and brief easterly flows will also be possible – so though rain is the more likely outcome, there will be marginal opportunities for sleet/snow.

Also worth mentioning that the heaviest rain should often be to our north, so I’m not expecting the wettest month ever, but generally fairly unsettled with some short dry spells.

Overall I expect temperatures to be slightly above-average, rainfall somewhat above-average and sunshine amounts slightly below-average.

Confidence level 65%. Main uncertainty is the block to the east, and whether colder and drier weather could again spread west at times.

February

February currently looks likely to be a dry month with high pressure generally over the UK, or close to.

This does lead to some uncertainty on temperatures, arguably something milder/cloudier is slightly more likely early February, with colder than normal conditions most of the time after early February.

Often sunny though a risk of fog at times, regular overnight frosts likely which could be sharp, depending on the exact position of high pressure.

Rainfall will be limited, though occasionally the odd weather front will pass over bringing a bit of rain, perhaps sleet/snow, as the high pressure repositions itself.

Low confidence but there are suggestions of a very mild end to February being possible.

Overall I expect slightly below-average temperatures, below average rainfall and above average sunshine.

Confidence level 60%. Main uncertainty is the chance of an SSW, which would increase the chance of easterly flows and snow showers – I’ve assumed no SSW in the forecast as they are impossible to predict this far out.

Summary and Spring Thoughts

So, overall a slightly drier and colder than normal winter is expected, though with some notable unsettled spells too – especially in January.

Remember, it will be a shock if all this comes to pass, but hopefully it will be a good enough guide. Should an SSW occur, then there will be a good chance of a significant cold spell 2-4 weeks later, but it is impossible to know now.

Assuming no SSW (or an SSW that doesn’t favour cold in the UK), then early signs are that March could be warmer than normal.

However, don’t get too excited – early hints for April and May are for colder and somewhat wetter conditions than normal.

Well, I hope you enjoyed reading this forecast, I hope it is reasonably accurate and I hope you can enjoy the weather – whatever it throws at us.

Autumn 2021 Weather Forecast

Autumn is here and so is my Autumn 2021 Weather Forecast.

Seasonal forecasts are experimental and things go wrong. My summer forecast accuracy was mixed at best – so do take this as a guide more than an actual forecast. Hopefully more will be right than wrong.

Was more right than wrong for my summer forecast? Hmmm. In terms of weather patterns, for example high pressure being dominant in August, then I’m happy with it. Alas, I had assumed it would be a sunny high as most high pressure systems are in summer – we’ve been really unlucky with the wind direction and hence all the cloud. So, though I may have predicted high pressure to be dominant – I also predicted it would be mostly sunny too. Is that wrong? Half-right?

Same with June and July, though I again feel that the main patterns were reasonably accurate, I vastly underestimated rainfall in June – I totally didn’t expect weak low pressure after weak low pressure to trundle across and set up over south-east England. I don’t think anyone did.

So don’t take this forecast as gospel.

Please can you also share the forecast in some way. Invite friends on Facebook, retweet on Twitter, e-mail it to your boss. Whatever works. Or don’t share it, I’m not fussed.

Finally thanks to Eve for the photograph. Please get in touch so I can make the charity donation!

Background signals

La Niña. This is expected to develop again over autumn, which tends to promote unsettled conditions in September and settled conditions later in autumn.

Polar vortex. Every August the polar vortex starts to develop – a weaker vortex is more likely this autumn/winter, similar to last year, this increases the chance of “stuck” weather patterns, and reduces the chances of weeks of low pressure systems going west to east on a strong jetstream, like we can often have in autumn.

Hurricane season. This is a curveball rather than a signal, but I do expect a busy September for Atlantic hurricanes and they can significantly alter expected weather patterns. This does make September especially difficult to forecast.

September

September is a difficult month to predict. It starts dry, and likely becomes very warm/quite hot, though after a couple of hot days thundery downpours may develop. After around 9th, things get tricky. A changeable two or so weeks is the more likely outcome, with some warm sunny days, some cooler cloudier days, some showery/wet days – probably warmer than normal.

However, if we strike it lucky with an Atlantic hurricane curving up and way north of the UK, it could reinforce the previous change to very warm/quite hot conditions – and we could end up with a mostly very warm and sunny middle of the month. This is an unknown curveball.

Towards the end of the month, a change to more settled conditions (assuming we had a changeable two weeks) is the more likely outcome, with temperatures around normal.

Overall I expect above average temperatures, around average sunshine, slightly below average rainfall.

Confidence level of 40%. Which is unusually low.

October

There are fairly strong signals of high pressure being close to our east for the start of October, which should translate to warmer and sunnier than normal.

A change to more unsettled conditions is likely after the first 7-10 days, with spells of wind and rain, temperatures around normal.

Low confidence by the end of the month, I’d suggest broadly changeable, some wind and rain, some drier spells. A very slight signal for colder north-westerly/northerly flows being more likely.

Overall I expect slightly above-average temperatures, slightly below-average sunshine, around average rainfall.

60% confidence.

November

Again no real signal for the beginning of November, I’d assume fairly mixed, some rain but nothing too much, more dry conditions with variable amounts of cloud. Probably on the mild side.

There is a stronger signal from around mid-month, maybe a bit earlier, for high pressure to build to our west, allowing colder north-westerly or northerly flows, with some showers at times, and a mixture of sunny and cloudy spells otherwise.

Any showers more likely of rain down here, but wintry showers will be possible in any more potent northerly. Overnight frosts more likely too.

Overall I expect slightly above-average temperatures (though colder than average later in the month), around average sunshine amounts, somewhat below average rainfall.

Summary and Winter Thoughts

So, if I’m reasonably on target, we should have a warmer/milder autumn than normal though with the second half of November more likely to be colder than normal. A bit drier than normal overall, though some wet spells. Sunshine amounts around normal.

Background signals are mixed for winter – nothing new there. La Niña would tend to suggest a wetter winter, assuming it develops to be quite strong as expected (weaker La Niña’s are more supportive of cold weather) – yet there are plenty of background signals that suggest that cold spells are more likely than normal too. Kind of contradictory.

On balance, I’d say a colder than normal start to winter, ie late November and into December is more likely.

A mixed January.

A wet and windy February.

Winter always has the wild card of sudden stratospheric warming events, roughly every other winter. We had one last winter and it did bring some cold northerly weather at times, albeit minimal snow. Impossible to predict the chance of one occurring this far in advance.

That’ll do. I need some dinner.

Spring Weather Forecast 2021

Welcome to my Spring Weather Forecast 2021.

Spring is my favourite season – especially late spring and early summer when it is often very warm but not too hot, and there are chances of thundery downpours – my favourite kind of weather day.

It is, of course, still early days for spring and still rather chilly as I write – but at least there is blossom on some trees, daffodils are starting to shine – the hope that spring brings never tires, and after arguably the most difficult winter collectively for decades, it is nice to just see the beginnings of spring.

I’m actually quite happy with my winter weather forecast – these seasonal forecasts will never be perfect but I thought I did a good job. We had more cold spells than recent winters and though we didn’t quite get something like February 2018 – the models teased that could happen, the sudden stratospheric warming event happened but just didn’t split the polar vortex which is likely why we didn’t quite have that newsworthy cold spell that we would have referred to for years to come.

So as I mentioned, these seasonal forecasts are experimental – I will not get everything right. Think of them more as a general guide, my hope is to get more right than wrong. I am not a professional meteorologist.

As always, I’d kindly ask you to share this forecast in some way – I don’t ask for anything other than a quarterly share/retweet or whatever your preferred action is.

And the final bit of administration is to say thank you to Eve for this classic Reading in spring photograph. A donation has been made to British Lung Foundation.

Background signals

I think background signals are less useful in spring than they are in winter, but those of note include La Niña which is weak and trending towards neutral – though there is some uncertainty as to whether it may strengthen once more May onwards – one would assume the trend to neutral continues, but some models have suggested La Niña could strengthen which would increase chances of rain/showers come summer.

In the more short-medium term, the MJO is suggested that it may go into phase 8/1, which would support the idea of high pressure to our north (ish) later in March.

The sudden stratospheric warming event from January will likely still have some impact – I believe that it increases the prevalence of blocking highs through spring, and there is more cold air at mid-latitudes because of the SSW that could be tapped into during early spring.

Finally, the polar vortex is strengthening which should encourage the jetstream to head further north – taking low pressure systems with it, especially as the influence of the SSW fades.

So quite a mixed and conflicting set of background signals as always, but there is a theme and that is of high pressure being close to the UK more than normal – so a drier and sunnier spring than normal is expected. Getting the position of the high pressure systems – and hence the source of the air and subsequent temperatures is the challenge.

March

March starts dry and mild. Towards the first weekend colder weather will spread down from the north – nothing especially cold but still cold enough with overnight frosts – a chance of a light wintry shower.

For the second week this will be replaced by more unsettled conditions with spells of wind and rain, and showers in between – temperatures average or a little below. I wouldn’t rule out sleet or snow either in any more notable north-westerlies.

That unsettled spell should be short-lived and high pressure should take back over for the rest of March – positioning uncertain at the moment and it will vary a bit. When it is closer to the UK, it will be rather pleasant, mild and sunny – when further west it will be cooler, perhaps colder with showers – a 2-3 day northerly plunge with wintry showers could easily occur. I do think high pressure will be to our west or close to our west for more of this period.

Overall I expect slightly above-average sunshine, somewhat below-average rainfall and slightly below-average temperatures.

Confidence level of 80% – main issue is where high pressure sets up for the second half of March.

April

Again April looks likely to be dominated by high pressure – again there are questions over positioning.

The first half looks more likely to be fairly mixed – there is a signal for both warm southerly winds and cold northerly winds – both involve high pressure close by, so we should end up with interchanging cold/warm spells, with some heavy showers around but more emphasis on sunshine.

Later in April, there are suggestions of high pressure migrating west/north a bit, allowing a cooler and somewhat cloudier north-westerly flow to become more dominant – some showers again but more emphasis on dry conditions overall. Again high pressure position probably varying so some short warm spells could easily be mixed into the dominant cooler, cloudier pattern through this spell.

Overall I expect average sunshine, somewhat below-average rainfall, average temperatures.

Confidence level of 70% – again the positioning of high pressure systems is the tricky thing to capture, and possible that it may be a bit warmer at times than I’m forecasting.

May

Again May will see high pressure over or close to the UK for much of the month – and by May there will be less cold air around to tap into so it should be warmer than average for most of the month.

The first half should be warm and sunny for most of the time – some variations, the odd weak weather front may cross from the north-west bringing some light rain and cooler conditions as high pressure moves around a bit – there may be some dull and cloudy days mixed in too depending on wind direction, but generally the theme will be warm and sunny.

Later in May, low pressure to the south will increase the chance of heavy showers and thunderstorms developing – though it likely remains warm or very warm and sunny most days, some days will see those heavy showers or thunderstorms later in the day.

Overall I expect above-average sunshine, below-average rainfall (unless you get a particularly torrential downpour in the latter part of May) and above-average temperatures.

Confidence level of 75% – again high pressure positioning is the tricky part and certainly possible I’ve over-egged the warmth.

And summer?

Well, that will depend on how La Niña pans out.

Early suggestions are that June will be sunnier and warmer than average – but some unsettled spells too.

There are signals that July and August will be fairly changeable with more rain and showers than normal – and temperatures generally suppressed for summer – though with short heatwaves likely.

Summer is a long way away though, and there is plenty of time for these signals to change.

So your overall take from this should be a drier than normal spring, a sunnier than normal spring, a colder than normal March, mixed temperatures April and warmer than normal May.

Roll on the first weekend where I can sit in the garden and have a beer.

Don’t forget to share!