31 July 2009
The media spotlight has been on our summer forecast in the last week and here we clarify some of the misconceptions about the recent routine update to our forecast for this summer.
An important point to get across is that, even though our forecast is for rainfall to be near or above average in August there is still the possibility of some spells of fine weather at times through the month.
We acknowledge that the weather we have seen through July has been disappointing, especially after the fine weather through June and the heatwave at the end of June and beginning of July.
In April our seasonal forecast for the summer (June, July and August) stated that there was a 65% probability of a warmer-than-average and near- or drier-than-average summer. Our news release stated: "The coming summer is 'odds on for a barbecue summer'...
"Although the forecast is for a drier and warmer summer than average it does not rule out the chances of seeing some heavy downpours at times. However, a repeat of the wet summers of 2007 and 2008 is unlikely."
At no time did the Met Office state that Summer 2009 would be hot and dry throughout or forecast a 'scorcher'.
|June||12.6 °C||13.6 °C|
|July (up to 27th)||14.9 °C||15.1 °C|
|Season so far||13.7 °C||14.4 °C|
|June||72.6 mm||63.4 mm|
|July (up to 27th)||69.6 mm||142.9 mm|
|Season so far||142.5 mm||184.7 mm|
Seasonal forecasting is a developing area of meteorology and, although these forecasts are nowhere near as accurate as our short-term forecasts, they do demonstrate some skill in predicting what may happen for a season ahead - if they are looked at over a number of years.
It is important that the Met Office, as well as others developing seasonal forecasting methods, continue to drive forward developments in seasonal forecasting and climate change. We have seen vast improvements in our short-range forecasting over the last 50 years due to our continuing research programme and we are confident that we will continue to see improvements in our seasonal forecasts as well.
Met Office Press Office: +44 (0)1392 886655
E-mail: Press Office
Met Office Customer Centre: 01392 885680
If you're outside the UK: +44 1392 885680
Last updated: 13 May 2011