Met Office provisional summer weather report for UK

Posted: August 31, 2013 by tchannon in weather
Short stalk wheat ready for harvest 27th Aug 2013 at 725 ft asl central southern England. 51.352847° -1.472144° Photo (c)2013 Tim Channon

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The UK Met Office released a “provisional” report Friday evening (30th Aug 2013), ie. before the weekend. The media will wait for finals, no other source for Met Office statements.

30 August 2013 – Provisional Met Office statistics for this summer (June, July and August) show that this year has seen the warmest, driest and sunniest summer since 2006.

Nothing is going to change, still strikes me as peculiar and especially after asking the press office when a prior provisional was going to be formalised: answer, we won’t.

The web press release follows: –

Warmest, driest and sunniest summer since 2006

30 August 2013 – Provisional Met Office statistics for this summer (June, July and August) show that this year has seen the warmest, driest and sunniest summer since 2006.

However, it’s not a record breaker on any front – despite the prolonged heat wave experienced across the UK from the 3rd to 22nd July.

The early figures take observations from 1 June to 28 August, then assume average conditions for the final three days of the season – so the full-season figures could see some changes once all the information for August is available.

Using the estimates, the UK mean temperature for the summer is 15.2 °C, which is 0.8 °C above the average (all averages refer to 1981-2010 long-term average). It’s likely this summer will finish around 8th to 10th warmest in the national record dating back to 1910.

In terms of rainfall, the estimate suggests about 189 mm of rain – which is 78 % of the UK average, making this the driest summer since 2006 and ranking about 16th driest in the records dating back to 1910. For south-east England and East Anglia this will be the driest summer since 1995

Sunshine is also above average for the UK, with 588 hours amounting to about 117 % of the UK average. This ranks it at 7th sunniest in the records going back to 1929.

While this summer is warmer, drier and sunnier than the long-term average, it hasn’t been exceptional. It stands out because the last six summers have been wetter than average, with 2012 and 2007 both being in the top five wettest, and 2008 and 2009 also in the top ten wettest in records from 1910.

This summer also contrasts with the rather cool summers of 2011 and 2012.

The most notable weather of the summer was the prolonged heat wave in July, which was the most significant since July 2006. This year’s heat wave was more notable for its duration than the actual temperatures recorded.

Fine and sunny weather wasn’t confined to July, though, we also saw spells of warm and settled weather in June and August – with the highest temperature of the year, 34.1 °C recorded on 1 August at Heathrow – the highest UK temperature since July 2006.

There were also some very wet days in parts of the UK. Torrential rain on 23 July caused flash flooding in Nottinghamshire and in other parts of Northern England and Scotland. More recently, heavy rain caused some flooding in Essex on 24 August.

Early figures for August have also been released today, showing that the month is likely to finish slightly warmer and drier than average.
Early estimate Met Office figures for summer

[table reformatted as best I can for Talkshop]

UK England Wales Scotland Northern Ireland
Mean Temp (°C)
Early estimate for 2013 15.2 16.2 15.2 13.5 15.1
Average (1981-2010) 14.4 15.5 14.5 12.5 13.9
Early diff from average 0.8 0.7 0.7 0.9 1.1
Rainfall (mm)
Early estimate for 2013 189 150 232 235 232
Average (1981-2010) 241 194 286 305 255
Early % of average 78.4 77.4 81.2 76.9 90.9
Sunshine (hours)
Early estimate for 2013 588 647 650 490 496
Average (1981-2010) 505 559 521 425 426
Early % of average 116.5 115.9 124.8 115.2 116.4

A full summary of the weather this August and through the summer will be available on the Met Office website early in September.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2013/early-summer-stats

Commentary

The general tone of the writing is commendably neutral given the past excesses of the Met Office over any hint of warmth. Yes we did have a summer this year but nevertheless the weather was a little strange.

However, it’s not a record breaker on any front – despite the prolonged heat wave experienced across the UK from the 3rd to 22nd July.

Being somewhat aware of the figures and station competence I disagree with “prolonged heat wave”. There were two warm periods with a reduction in the middle and it is primarily by cherry picking stations, often poor ones they can make that claim. They have previously used the phrase “somewhere in the UK”

It’s likely this summer will finish around 8th to 10th warmest in the national record dating back to 1910.

That depends on the mathematics used: Met Office maths does not handle time correctly,  leading to maths artefact scatter ~1C (CET data), changing ranking. Done right this would follow slow movements.

More critical is the lack of stability in station location. practices and equipment stability from 1910 to date, making any compare pretty much moot.

In terms of rainfall, the estimate suggests about 189 mm of rain – which is 78 % of the UK average, making this the driest summer since 2006 and ranking about 16th driest in the records dating back to 1910. For south-east England and East Anglia this will be the driest summer since 1995

Was something like that, slightly dry. As with the warmth the report is wholly non-technical and completely omits any explanation on the broad reasons.

Sunshine is also above average for the UK, with 588 hours amounting to about 117 % of the UK average. This ranks it at 7th sunniest in the records going back to 1929.

This goes with warm and dry.

Fine and sunny weather wasn’t confined to July, though, we also saw spells of warm and settled weather in June and August – with the highest temperature of the year, 34.1 °C recorded on 1 August at Heathrow – the highest UK temperature since July 2000

London airport where the Stevenson screen is close to acres of asphalt and even has local paving…

What has been omitted

No mention of wind or airflow.

This whole year has been notable for blocking highs and abnormal wind direction from the continental east instead of the wetter and cooler south westerly from the Atlantic.

There were few days with a hot south wind from the near continent, when really high temperatures tend to result.

Some of the excess temperature was caused by defective weather stations where one I single out is Solent where there is a sun trap, terrible exposure close to buildings. The fairly persistent north through south winds shielded the Stevenson screen from the wind. Surrounding stations were somewhat cooler.

Another figuring often was Norwich airport where the lack of good ground cover (reminiscent of Brogdale, scruffy, for which I now have contemporary photographs) and perhaps a persistent traffic cone right next to the Stevenson screen (I kid not, April 2013) have as much to do with it as the dry light soil. Inland East Anglia is normally warm anyway.

Weather is changing, autumn is already in the air, car lights on by 8pm BST. Wintry showers are expected today on the Scottish mountain tops. Let’s hope we get a golden autumn, keep decent weather whilst losing the AGW lunacy.

Chilbolton data? I continue collecting but the radiation instruments were still on holiday (away for service) last time I checked the downloaded data. (need to have a decode session and fix a minor software bug)
During the “heat wave” the highs were lower than the hot spots, in line roughly with normal stations, dipped below 10C a few times at night, an interesting point since the few hourly reading I collected from the on-line Met Office stations tends to show UHI effects, did not cool properly, delayed cooling.

There is also a question mark over Met Office Stevenson screens, sensor transient response and capture software, seems to be a remarkably high noise level, record peak higher than I expect given hourly figures. Wind shifts over buildings and tarmac might explain some of it. Sometime I might post the collected information.

[UPDATE:  XLS sheet added 1st Sept 2013 containing Met Office hottest site for the day collected by hand from web site on the day.
Certain sites appear far too often and are known to have problems. XLS here  (16k, note: spelling mistake in spreadsheet, Hern should be Hurn, Bournemouth Airport (see comments))

/UPDATE]

Tim
(photo is marked (c) to distance it from anything whatsoever to do with the Met Office content, just a head image, ask if you want full size)

Comments
  1. craigm350 says:

    Reblogged this on CraigM350 and commented:
    Thanks Tim.

  2. So from a newsworthy release of hottest year since… we have to read about the hottest summer since…. I wonder if the charade will still continue when the hottest day since… is the only release to come out of the met.
    I would be a lot happier if instead of proclaiming the hottest summer in 7 years that a statement was made to the effect of a decent summer despite the overall promise of a cool year following the trend since the turn of the century as depicted by their own data:

    But of course the media output of the MO is as infuriating to the warmistas as it is to those of us depicted as deniers according to their own scientists, that must be such a boost to the notion of neutral scientific assessment without bias to policy.
    Perhaps a congratulatory round of applause is in order….. clap……….. clap………… clap.

  3. ren says:

    Lock in the north now there is, therefore, fall in the British Isles is now the norm, the jet stream will move over Scotland and Scandinavia. The next block to the south leads but be vigilant. The faster the jet stream (winter), the lock is more noticeable.

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/intraseasonal/temp10anim.shtml

  4. tchannon says:

    UPDATEAdded XLS of highest day temperature for the Summer period as reported by the Met Office. There will be errors including my finger trouble.

  5. tchannon says:

    Weather 30th and 31st August.

    Summer broke to cooler clear air when a mass of cold air escaped tha Arctic 27th/28th via the low route to the west of Greenland. This spread out to form a large MPH (Mobile Polar High) which crossed the North Atlantic at high speed, the leading edge arriving Ireland 30th. Today the 31st southern England the air was cooler but the sky a clear blue, cold Arctic air.

    An observation, these are conditions when there will be strong outgoing IR because turbidity is low since humidity is low. Earlier in the year I noticed that whilst ground temperatures rose so did the water burden in the air, counteracting the increase in outgoing radiation which would be expected from the ground temperature. Ie. hot days may well have lower outgoing than colder dry clear air days.

    The clearest image of the MPH but copyright, seeking permission so I can do an article is on the IJIS/JAXA sea ice web page.
    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/cgi-bin/seaice-monitor.cgi?lang=e

    UK is upside down at the top.

    1. Select 28 Aug and PR89 image, wait. MPH is spilling and forming

    2. Select 29 Aug, hit search, wait

    3. 30th and oh wow! Complete with characterisitc high cloud pattern, leading edge will presumably be jetstream and lows, running widdershins.

    Looks like another one is spilling 31st.

    I’ve capture low level wind vectors from Meteosat zero degrees, MPH is doing mph.

    Here is a high compressed jpg, click for high res png (750k)

    http://oiswww.eumetsat.org/IPPS/html/MSG/PRODUCTS/AMV/WESTERNEUROPE/index.htm
    Current images for a few days only.

    Synoptic chart looks like this, same, click for hi res.

    The jetstream archived model looks like this

    Worth looking at times either side of the above, archive page
    http://virga.sfsu.edu/archive/jetstream/jetstream_atl/big/1308/

    Ah well, mainstream thinks this isn’t real.

  6. Anything is possible says:

    As much as it would make the global warming crowd look more idiotic than they already do, I really hope this winter forecast for the NAO is wrong. :

    http://theweathercentre.blogspot.co.uk/

    “my prime analog was the winter of 1962-1963.”

    Gulp..

  7. Phillip Bratby says:

    It was just a good old-fashioned British summer, as some of us recall from our childhood. Now to get ready for a good old-fashioned British autumn and winter. It was noticeably cold first thing this morning.

  8. Asmilwho says:

    Meanwhile, according to the very same Met Office, the yearly CET average to date for 2013 is 0,28 deg C * below* the long term average.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/cet_info_mean.html

    Somehow they didnt mention that.

  9. tchannon says:

    Asmilwho,
    Some stories in CET yet to be revealed.

    Nothing to do with the above, CET page you reference mentions this

    “Note that anomalies quoted here are w.r.t. the period 1961-1990. This is the current standard period of reference for climatological data as recommended by the WMO (World Met. Organisation).”

    and at the bottom

    “Maintained by: Tim Legg
    Last updated: 11/04/2013 Expires: 01/04/2014”

    This brief WMO discussion note is of interest

    Click to access Rev_discussion_paper_May2012.pdf

    from http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/wcp/wcdmp/GCDS_1.php

    How convenient, a stuck standard which keeps high figures.

  10. Tim Channon! Just to say thank you for your Sept 1st Comm above. Very instructive – when extra interesting stuff comes on TallBloke someone (CraigM) usually posts it to our WeatherAction latest Comms.
    The point of the Mobile Polar High you mention – and that satellite pic is good – is that it came as part of our ‘TopRed’ R5 29-30th and R4 31-1st (and associated QV5 for quake trials and solar events). There was as we predicted an Earth Facing Coronal Hole and a MAJOR Quake – M7 in the Aleutian Isles and various extreme weather events eg massive hail in North USA as we explicitly predicted SEE Reports: http://bit.ly/18ljIXS and twitpic http://twitpic.com/dbgjx3/full
    An interesting question must be do all our R5’s lead to Mobile Polar Highs?
    Thanks, Piers C

  11. tchannon says:

    The MPH was immediately followed by a second starting on the same route but took a different trajectory appearing to pass to the north west of the UK, the leading band of cloud currently over north west areas, down here in the south has been clear sunny all day.

    I’ve been trying to find a good way of spotting MPH, it was the sea ice page which put me onto this one.

    The problem seems manyfold. Geostationary imaging has a very oblique view of polar regions putting a fog of atmosphere in the way but gives good time resolution. Sensing generally is poor with a small choice of wavelengths.

    Polar orbital or orbital are too few so only brief snapshot are taken but MPH move very fast.

    Really it is only visible light images which can see the clear air and characteristic cloud, no help at night. Low light imaging doesn’t seem to be done.

    The usage of polarisation is probably a good route and ought to have occurred to me earlier.

    Given time it might be possible to create MPH spotting software based on a variety of clues.

    Another interesting source are the Eumet movies of northern weather over a month. I can only access the non-flash versions which is annoying, only some are available. Last time I had a session on this one I concluded there seems to be a winter and summer seasonal effect, which I mentioned previously.

    Reckon we are seeing the start of autumn/winter, the modal switch.

    Found it https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/tantalising-videos-of-arctic-air-spilling/
    (and the videos no longer work here)

    Does this relate to the extraterrestrial events?
    Wall sitting, I don’t know.

  12. tchannon says:

    Here we are, see previous comment

  13. tallbloke says:

    Paul Hudson ‏@Hudsonweather 47m
    A reminder how poor models can be, esp longer term. Here’s the NCEP 45 day mean temp 4cast for late June-mid Aug 2013
    pic.twitter.com/y6nfINYD02

  14. Richard Barraclough says:

    Thanks for the spreadsheet of the maxima for the summer. Very interesting. Is there anywhere that the Met Office makes similar data available, or is it necessary to do what you have done, and capture them by hand day by day? I presume there must be, as we saw various comments during the summer about long runs of days above 28C, 32C, etc. “somewhere in the country” in previous years.

    PS Hurn Airport, which I can just about see from my bedroom, has a U (not an E).

    Regards

    Richard

  15. tchannon says:

    Not so far as I know.

    Oh dear, my hearing words strikes again, get all spellings so I don’t see. Umm… oh, in the spreadsheet. Put a note on the link,. Thanks.

    There is more information but providing it takes time so I don’t unless there is a good reason.

  16. Craig M says:

    Apparently this iz where the updated figs now are inc regional

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/summaries

  17. tchannon says:

    Last night (Sunday/Money — oops sic), I noticed the temperature dropped to +3.7C at Chilbolton for an hour or two before dawn. Odd that, colder than any main Met Office station in the south of England, +4.1C.

    Heathrow got down to about 9.6C. Looking around it must have been freak conditions just there but enough to trip the heating on here. Weather looks the same as elsewhere except the wind dropped more. In the 30’s old money with rain showers around, brrrr.

    Added, max is much the same as elsewhere. Instruments seem reasonable.