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Current long range forecast

On The Weather FrontThe "not to be taken too seriously" long range forecast issued 9th May 2018, next update July 2018.“Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability" - Sam Keen.Benjamin Disraeli, former British Prime Minister, said “There are three types of lies:- lies, damned lies and statistics”. Statistics are thrown at us daily and weather recording is no exception. The facts that are given always need to be looked at critically. The press shouted that the recent May Day Bank Holiday Monday was the hottest on record in the UK and so it was with 28.7C(83.7F) recorded at Northolt(London), but there have been hotter temperatures on that actual date with 29.0C(84.2F) in 1976 at Waddon(London) and Ulcombe (Kent). Another former Prime Minister, Michael Foot, initiated the May Day holiday as recently as 1978. It is taken on the first Monday in May and herein lies another problem as the dates vary from 1st to 7th. Last Monday was the latest it could be and theoretically it should be warmer than 1st. Anyway, the weather is back to normal now as I write on 9th May, struggling to reach 10C, windy and showery but is has been a remarkably variable spring even by Lynesack standards. We had our usual April snow at the beginning of the month when Copley was again the snowiest Met Office site in the UK, followed by almost a week of fog, rain with no sun, then the very warm and sunny spell around 20th April with 21C. At the end of the month we saw frosts down to -9C followed by that hot May Day. Variability like this is common in our region as the polar air and North Sea remain surprisingly cold while the tropics and Europe are warming quickly and the wind direction is critical. However, this time it has really kept us on our toesMay is the sunniest of all the months here in Lynesack with an average of 6 hours per day, but in an average year it goes downhill in June but recovers a little by July. There are more hours of sun available in June, so what goes wrong? It is usually down to the position of our jetstream which tends to move closer and bring us cloudy, damp south-westerly flows around then. This is linked to air on the continent which is heating rapidly and rising, sucking moist air across us from the Atlantic. The clear skies of a typical May are replaced by the cloudy, rainy “June Monsoon”, but there are exceptions with June 1940 and 1976 springing to mind. If this year follows recent trends we will have rapidly changing conditions from spells of cool, rainy skies to warm and sunny conditions. Forecasts are becoming really good now for up to a week ahead, so you can prepare well in advance. Take less notice of any forecast beyond a week and pay little heed to any further ahead – apart from mine of course!As I have written, sunshine figures improve a little into July and it is our warmest month as fair weather high pressure systems tend to stay around a tad longer. Once again it is very much dependent on the position of the jetstream and some years it can stick in the position it takes mid-July for a surprisingly long time. Did St Swithin cause all this many years ago? He died in 862 and was buried in a spot he had chosen, but on July 15th 971 Winchester monks moved his remains to an elaborate shrine. Legend has it that he was very unhappy about the move and forty days and nights of appalling weather followed, showing his displeasure. Met Office scientists say there is little, if any, scientific fact in the St Swithin’s saying that the weather of that day will be repeated for forty days and forty nights. However, in my experience the jet’s position during the week surrounding 15th July needs noting as blocking patterns are not unusual then and can last for some time- even as long as St Bartholomew’s Day, 24th August, which happens to be forty days later!If none of these forecasts work, then have a look at the old country sayings below:-Blame nature, not me, if these are wrong! :-Over to folklore now (;0)What can nature tell us in early June?"The higher the clouds, the finer the weather.""When the dew is on the grass rain will never come to pass, but when grass is dry at morning light, look for rain before the night.""Evening red and morning gray helps the traveller on his way. Evening gray and morning red brings down rain upon his head"."If June is the hottest, next February will be the coldest""A wet June makes a dry September, a dry June makes a wet September""The higher the rooks' nests the better the summer will be""Le trois fait le mois" French saying - the weather on the third will be that for the month)"If a fly lands on your nose, swat it 'til it goes. If the fly lands again it will bring back heavy rain"The ode to the weatherman:- "And in the dying embers these are my main regrets, when I'm right no one remembers, when I'm wrong no one forgets."Keep up to date with my website and the Teesdale Mercury Enjoy our weather – it’s never dull and behind the clouds the sun is shining. Ken Cook, (follow the links for real-time goodies)

COPLEY CLIMATOLOGICAL STATION altitude 253metres(830feet) Met. Office manned observing site.