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Until Next Year, Summer!

SUMMER 2014 in the UK has seen a mixed bag of weather. It made a promising start with glorious sunny days and temperatures in England reaching a top figure of 33.5°C in July.

It wasn’t long however, until the usual ‘British summer’ greeted us with its familiar damp weather. In fact, the UK’s weather has had major influences from around the globe this year. The tail-end of Hurricane Bertha swept across the UK in mid-August- bringing strong winds and torrential rainfall, causing the Met Office to issue a yellow warning for rain in Reading and across the UK.

What’s more, Fair Isle in Shetland saw 132.6 mm of rain over a 12-hour period, which is nearly twice the average rainfall for August. The low-pressure system associated with the decaying Hurricane Bertha passed directly over the UK.

However, Hurricane Cristobal is looking to have a different impact on our weather, bringing much more settled conditions. As the extra tropical system of Cristobal moves to the north of the UK, it looks to draw high pressure away from Europe. This could see temperatures at the beginning of September rise and bring stable conditions to Reading. The surface pressure chart in Figure 1 shows the low-pressure system, ex-hurricane Cristobal traveling to the north and an area of high pressure moving over the UK.

Figure 1: Surface pressure chart for Sunday 31st August

Figure 1: Surface pressure chart for Sunday 31st August

Even with the cooler and wetter August and the hot dry spell in June and July, summer 2014 has been decisively average as a season with a regular temperature of 14.8C, which is only 0.5C more than the long term summer average.

As for the autumn, the forecasts show that September looks to remain settled with the potential for higher than average monthly temperatures.

About Rebecca Reilly

r.reilly@student.reading.ac.uk'

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