Early summer warmth arrives over Europe

  • People enjoying warm weather by the water fountains in Trafalgar Square, central London, in May. In the UK, the highest temperature this May was 26.3C, recorded on 19th at Heathrow Airport.

    Temperature deviation from the normal in the months from December 2013 through to May 2014. The red shading shows the extent of the areas that were warmer than the 1981-2010 average. (re-analysis data from the National Centers for Environmental Protection/ National Center for Atmospheric Research, USA).

    Maximum temperatures recorded in northeast Europe on Wednesday 4th June. Temperatures reached the high 20s degrees Celsius over Estonia and Latvia.

  • Early summer warmth arrives over Europe
    05.06.2014 13:50

    Summer looks set to make an appearance across much of Europe over the next few days with temperatures soaring over the near continent. Temperatures may locally reach as high as 36 or 37C by Monday over southern parts of Germany. The UK also looks like having some reasonable early summer warmth during the coming week.

    Parts of north-eastern Europe have already experienced warmer than normal conditions in recent days with highs of 29C recorded over parts of Latvia and Estonia on Wednesday 4th, some ten degrees Celsius above the seasonal average. Indeed, coastal resorts in Estonia were also bathed in sunshine for the day.

    The early summer warmth comes after a milder than normal winter and spring over large parts of Europe. Meteorologists define winter as the months of December, January and February and spring as March, April and May. Many areas of Europe, including southern parts of Scandinavia were in excess of 2C warmer than the seasonal norm through the winter months, on average.

    Perhaps remarkably, temperatures over England and Wales have been warmer than the seasonal norm in every month since December last year although it may not have felt like it after a winter with severe flooding and damaging winds.

    Furthermore, according to data from Philip Eden, weather historian, the mean spring temperature, in terms of the Central England Temperature (CET) was 10.0C. Since records began in 1659, in the long running CET series, only two springs have been warmer (1893 and 1945), making it one of the warmest on record.

    One of the reasons for the relative mildness of the last six months or so has been the prevalence of low pressure systems to the west of the UK, which have helped to push warmth from the south-west over the UK and much of Europe. Indeed, those storms that brought the dire weather to much of the UK through the winter helped to keep much of Europe milder than normal.

    Whether we will continue to see warmer than normal temperatures through the summer months is yet to be seen. However, the UK is likely to experience some warmer than average weather through the coming week, even if not scorching hot. It will be unsettled at times, though, with heavy rain and thunderstorms spreading north-eastwards across the country this Saturday, bringing localised downpours and spray on roads. There are some hints of much drier conditions emerging later next week.

    By: Paul Mott