29/07/2009

Met Office Dampens 'Barbeque Summer' Forecast

Weather forecasters have issued a revised forecast following its claim in April that the UK was "odds on for a barbeque summer", instead warning Britons to expect more rainfall in August.

As Britain experiences rainy conditions, the Met Office is likely to be experiencing embarrassment, following an optimistic press release in April which detailed news of a hot summer.

Chief Meteorologist, Ewen McCallum, said the wet summers of 2007 and 2008 were highly unlikely to be repeated.

He predicted: "This year will be much drier than normal. Get the BBQ out."

Mr McCallum said at the time: "After two disappointingly wet summers, the signs are much more promising this year. We can expect times when temperatures will be above 30C, something we hardly saw at all last year."

Though he warned that while there was a two in three chance the forecast could be right, there was a one in three chance it would be wrong.

Today's weather predictions from the Met Office however, showed a very different forecast, stating: "For the rest of the summer, rainfall is likely to be near or above average over the UK."

The Met Office said: "Seasonal forecasting is still a new science. It's something we are still building on. When we are looking at seasonal forecasts, we are looking at the season as a whole, not a specific day or week.

"The forecast was for the temperatures to be above average. June temperatures were 1C above average and rainfall was below average, so it’s about putting things into perspective."

Although a hot spell was experienced at the end of June and beginning of July, rainy weather has been dominant and is set to continue.

A severe weather warning had been issued for part of Wales, the Midlands and South West England.

The regions can expect heavy rainfall of up to 30mm in three hours, with up to 50mm in the same timeframe for Devon and Cornwall.

However, the Met Office said that temperatures have been around or above normal, and that the end of August might be better again.

(JM/BMcC)

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