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Why is June so cold and when will it warm up? | Science & Tech News

People during heavy rainfall in the centre of Scarborough, North Yorkshire. File pic: PA

June’s wet and grey weather doesn’t feel particularly summery, so what’s going on and, more importantly, when will it warm up? 

Last month was the UK’s hottest May on record, as higher temperatures during the night and warm weather in Scotland pushed up the temperature to about one degree above average.

But just over a week into June, the mercury has dropped.

“It seems like we’re one to three degrees below normal for this time of year,” David Schultz, a professor of Synoptic Meteorology at The University of Manchester, told Sky News.

The drop in temperature is down to a change in the jet stream, a core of strong winds about four to seven miles above the Earth’s surface.

These winds impact the weather closer to the surface. Currently, the jet stream is further south than usual and coming from the northwest.

Jet-stream switch

“Normally in the UK, we get the jet stream from the southwest,” Prof Schultz said.

“That brings moist, temperate air from the ocean over the UK.

“With a flow out of the northwest, we expect drier conditions, which is why we’ve seen sun, but it also favours afternoon showers,” he said.

“That’s why there have been patches of sunshine and then rain in recent days.”

Common misconception

“If you’re trying to plan outdoor activities, it’s slightly annoying but at least it’s not a period of steady rain,” Prof Schultz added.

Meteorologists aren’t surprised by the wet and blustery June.

“This is not that unusual,” said Sky News meteorologist Christopher England.

“Temperatures haven’t been that much below average, but frequent stiff winds have made it feel colder,” he said.

“People always seem to think summer should be warmer than it actually is.”

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Prof Schultz added that because climate change has pushed up average temperatures, we notice more when our weather gets colder.

“We might be complaining about a few degrees cooler than normal but historically, this spell might actually be closer to normal,” he said.

When will it warm up?

As for when we can expect a hot June to arrive, don’t hold your breath.

The weekend will “remain a mix of sunshine and showers”, according to the Met Office.

Next week, “all areas can expect to see some spells of drier, sunnier weather, but there will also be showers or longer spells of rain at times”.

“Expect cool, unsettled spells interspersed with warmer, drier conditions, likely averaging out to be fairly typical overall,” Mr England added.

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