Last summer, the UK experienced a prolonged hot, dry spell - but is Blackpool set to see similar conditions this time around?
Richard Miles, Met Office meteorologist, explains that in regards to the UK experiencing another prolonged period of dry, hot weather, “the current 30 day forecast suggests a more changeable picture.”
The Met Office UK forecast for Wednesday 12 June to Wednesday 26 June says that “the most probable trend for this period is for a relatively mixed weather picture, although overall more settled than the first part of June.
“This is especially the case in the north and northwest of the UK, where it is likely to be much warmer.
“However, whilst this is likely to bring spells of dry and often sunny weather, “occasional outbreaks of heavy, possibly thundery showers may develop anywhere.”
Looking further ahead towards the end of June, there is the possibility of more unsettled conditions returning, bringing longer spells of rain across the UK at times. This could also be accompanied by some stronger winds.
“Temperatures will be near normal or warm overall for the time of year, warmest conditions most likely in the southeast,” said the Met Office.
Heatwaves in the UK
A heatwave refers to a prolonged period of hot weather, which is at times accompanied by high humidity.
Low pressure and high pressure are two of the main variables which control how much heat the UK receives, with high atmospheric pressure causing the weather phenomenon that is most common in summer.
For the past two years, a heatwave has occurred during the summer months in the UK and they can happen due to the location of the jet stream, which is usually to the north of the UK in the summer.
This can allow high pressure to develop over the UK resulting in persistent dry and settled weather.
Will this summer see a heatwave?
Last year, Blackpool saw temperatures soar, reaching a peak of 30C in June, with temperatures of around 28C continuing into July.
But will Blackpool experience another heatwave this year?
The answer to this question isn’t as simple as you may think, due to the forecasting of the weather being much more complex than a simple yes or no.
Met Office meteorologist, Grahame Madge, explains that although they are “making great strides in meteorological science”, continuously pushing the boundaries of longer and more advanced forecasts, making any weather predictions past a month is “too challenging”.
The vast amount of data which is required to be collected and analysed per second just for a 12 hour forecast, means that any forecast past a seven day period decreases in accuracy and becomes the “merest of indications”.
Although the location of the UK means that we can experience warmer weather and perhaps a heatwave or two at times, Mr Madge explains that its location also means it is at a “crossroads for weather from all directions”, which makes it harder to predict the weather past a month, as our atmosphere is “so chaotic”.
The past few years have been warmer in the summer generally, with last year setting a new record, but this unfortunately doesn’t guarantee the same for this year.