An end to the dry summer in the south?

  • Wet weather clothing will be needed through the next few days. Photo: Hannah McKay/PA Wire/PA Images.

    A pressure chart showing the low pressure system responsible for Friday's forecast rainfall. Photo: MeteoGroup.

    Expected rainfall totals from various model output. Photo: MeteoGroup.

  • An end to the dry summer in the south?
    23.07.2015 13:40

    After a dry summer so far across southern parts of the UK, an area of heavy and persistent rain is expected to push north-eastwards to give some fairly high rainfall totals through Friday. Will these unsettled conditions persist for long though?

    The trigger for this Friday's (24th July) heavy rain will be a low pressure system moving eastwards through the English Channel with associated fronts extending northwards across the southern half of the UK. The system is expected to give 15-20mm fairly widely across much of Wales and the southern half of England with as much as 30-40mm, locally slightly higher, possible across East Anglia and SE England - the areas that have been the driest of all so far this summer. Although the rain may come as a relief to parched plants, as it falls onto hard soils there is the chance of some surface flooding in places.

    Not all of the UK will be affected by the heavy and persistent area of rain though with northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland seeing brighter conditions albeit with a scattering of heavy showers.

    Southern areas of the UK will have a much drier day on Saturday with sunny spells and just a scattering of showers in the east, as a ridge of high pressure edges in from the south-west. The north of the UK will see a larger number of showers which could be heavy and locally thundery, but rainfall totals will be nowhere near as high as those across the south-east of the UK through Friday.

    On Sunday, another low pressure system will approach from the west to spread bursts of rain east/north-eastwards across the UK. Some heavy bursts of rain are possible, including across south-eastern parts of the UK once again (but with totals not as high as through Friday). It will also be a rather windy day for the time of year.

    Through next week, current indications are that it will remain unsettled for a time with further showers or longer outbreaks of rain expected in many places. It will also be cool with a north to north-westerly flow developing. There is some uncertainty by the end of the week, but the most likely scenario is for high pressure to ridge in from the west to give drier and more settled conditions with daytime temperatures edging closer to the average (some cold nights are still possible).

    So, although the UK (particularly southern areas) will see an unsettled spell through the rest of this week and into next week, it currently looks like the drier and more settled conditions that have been typical of the summer so far will return later next week.

    By: Andy Ratcliffe