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Current long range forecast

On The Weather FrontThe "not to be taken too seriously" long range forecast issued 8th May 2017, next update July 2017.“Weather is a literary speciality and no untrained hand can turn out a good article on it.” Mark Twain.My prediction of cold and frost returning later in April and early May was correct. The early April warm spell certainly was a false start to spring and not to be trusted. However I now expect the cold northerly winds to end and turn to a more favourable westerly just in time for the usual sudden spurt into summer around 20th May. Although quite cool, April and May have been dry and sunny and, perhaps unsurprisingly, we are now hearing of water shortages later into the summer. As I inspect my 50 year record I see that dry springs are very often followed by a cool, rainy early summer. This rainy spell tends to begin in early June – “The June Monsoon” and last through July only to settle down again by late August around St Bartholomew’s Day (24th August). It tends to follow closely the 40 day rainy period around to St. Swithin’s Day (15th July). If the jetstream is nearby in mid-July it has a habit of sticking. We really want it well to our north to encourage the fair weather Azores’ high pressure system to build in from the south-west.“St. Swithin’s Day if thou dost rain, For forty days it will remain, St. Swithin’s Day if thou be fair, For forty days ‘twill rain nae mair”“St Bartholomew’s mantle wipes dry all the tears that St. Swithin can cry”Of course, several will remember my writing that good summers often follow mild winters in Lynesack. Last winter was mild, so how does that equate with what I have said about a wet spell in summer following a dry spring? Which trend should we follow? Let’s see what happens around mid-July. I think by then the weather will be settling down to bring a fine end to July and a good August. Remember though, as I have said before, this is Copley and not Corfu so don’t expect endless sunshine. As long as the wind stays in the west we will see the best. The strong westerly breezes that we often complain about are actually breaking up the clouds and bringing the sunshine. Any flow from the north clockwise through to east directly off the North Sea is not good for us tending to bring mists and rain. A south-easterly or southerly drift brings very warm, hazy conditions with the threat of thunder.It is rarely warm enough here to develop our own home-grown thunderstorms. These usually form over France and Iberia during the day and trundle slowly northwards on a southerly flow under what we call a Spanish Plume. That is why most of our storms arrive in the evening or overnight. After a few days the warm, humid air is then challenged and replaced by the fresher westerlies, hence King George the second’s comment in 1730 of the English summer consisting of “Three fine days and a thunderstorm”.Now the not so scientific approach for our coming spring:- “Seagull, seagull sit on the sand, it’s never good weather when you’re on the land”“When windows won’t open and salt clogs the shaker, the weather will favour the umbrella maker”“When grass is dry at morning light, look for rain before the night”“The higher the clouds, the better the weather”“The more cloud types you can see, the greater the chance of rain”“When the swallows fly high, the weather will be dry”“If swans fly towards the wind it is an indication that a hurricane will follow”"The higher the rooks' nests the better the summer will be""Le trois fait le mois" (the weather on the 3rd 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"If you don't like Lynesack weather, just wait a minute.My usual 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.