25 June 2012 - All eyes will be turning to the sky in SW19 as the Wimbledon Championships get underway on Monday.
All eyes will be turning to the sky in SW19 as the Wimbledon Championships get underway on Monday.
Met Office forecasts indicate that the tournament will start dry with bright or sunny spells and only a very small chance of a shower interupting play on Monday. However Tuesday looks cloudier, with rather humid conditions and a greater risk of showery rain potentially interupting play.
Spectators and visitors can keep up with the latest weather at the championships by visiting our dedicated Wimbledon page throughout the fortnight.
Like last year, Met Office forecasters will be stationed on site for the duration of the tournament. Our forecasters will combine the latest scientific knowledge and technology from the Met Office's headquarters in Exeter with on the ground weather reading and assessment. This means that if it's drizzling on the ground, the on site forecaster can then access information from the Met Office's arsenal of radars, forecasts and mapping systems to find out which direction it's moving in the wider area and know whether it will affect play, and for how long.
Even though the new retractable roof means that play on centre court can continue when it's raining, the weather will still impact on play on the other courts and Met Office forecasts are still used to determine when to close the roof and, perhaps even more importantly, when it is safe to open it again.
Tim Hewson, one of the on-site Met Office forecasters for last year's tournament, said: "We can't stop the rain from falling, but we can help the referee organise the tournament around the weather, so that spectators get to watch as much tennis as possible, and so that players don't risk injury by playing on slippery courts."
In the video below, Chris Tubbs, who will be on site forecasting this year, talks through the process of forecasting the weather for the championships.
The warmest Wimbledon Championship on record was 1976, where temperatures averaged at 25.4 C.
In 1997, 118.3 mm of rain fell during the championships, making it the wettest Wimbledon on record.
Perhaps rather unfairly, Wimbledon has always been associated with bad weather and particularly with rain. But actually play has only been totally rained off 32 times in 125 years.
Most years, some rain does fall during the championships, however there have been seven years where rain did not interrupt play at all - 1931, 1976, 1977, 1993 and 1995, 2009 and 2010.
The Met Office will be providing a range of forecasts for the public during Wimbledon including:
Our special Wimbledon Events page that enables visitors to view the forecast up to five days ahead.
Video forecasts on the Met Office YouTube channel.
Met Office Press Office: +44 (0)1392 886655
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