A cold May ahead

Why I still put any trust in the long range 2M temperature forecasts from the ECMWF with their recent run of dreadful predictions God only knows (more on that in a day or so). Perhaps it’s because the ECMWF as a organisation at least make an effort to put their forecasts across in a clear and understandable way, unlike the gobbledygook from the UKMO. Anyway the message you get from looking at the above temperature anomaly charts for the month of May can be summed up with a quote from the film Groundhog day “OK campers, rise and shine! — and don’t forget your booties ’cause it’s cooooooold out there today”. For the word today please substitute this May.

Here’s the Met Office text version of the same thing, which when you read it could just about describe any May for the last hundred years. Some classic lines in there ‘showers falling as snow over high ground in the north’ – well I never. Believe it or not this is the kind of forecast the new billion pound supercomputer is going to improve.

Long range forecast

Monday 3 May – Wednesday 12 May

A transition to more unsettled conditions is likely at the start of this period, bringing an increased likelihood of persistent rain and stronger winds from Monday onwards, and temperatures are likely to stay below average at the start of this period. Showery conditions could well occur between these unsettled spells, with showers developing fairly widely most days, though many areas will see some sunny spells too. Showers are likely to fall as snow over high ground in the north. Nights will remain cold with some overnight frosts, though these becoming more restricted to the north. Temperatures are likely to remain below average overall though there are signs that they could recover back closer to average by the end of the period.

Wednesday 12 May – Wednesday 26 May

Confidence is very low for this outlook as is typical of late spring. A mixture of sunny/clear spells and showers is likely, especially at first, with areas in the south experiencing the most settled conditions. In the north there is an increased chance of more unsettled weather, with stronger winds and longer periods of rain arriving from the Atlantic at times. Temperatures will most likely be around average for the time of year.

Courtesy UKMO

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