Why has the summer been so wet?

In the UK, this summer has been the wettest on record so far, so what is going on with the weather?
29 July 2007

Interview with 

John Law from Weatherquest


Chris - What is contributing to the freaky weather conditions that we have seen so far this year?

John - The biggest thing is that we have seen lots of low pressures a lot further south than we would do normally.  They are driven mostly by the jet stream which is a really fast moving area of high altitude winds and is a lot further south this year than we would normally see.  It is the real driving force behind these low pressure areas which have been coming a lot further south and running across our country as opposed to being a lot further north which is I think where most of this rain has been coming from.

Chris - Why should a low pressure system trigger us to have rain in the first place?

John - In a low pressure system a lot of air converges into one place and as the air rises they produce clouds and with the clouds comes the rain, and this time of year with the temperatures higher than what you would find in the winter time there is a lot more moisture around and so a lot more energy to create lots of rain.

Chris -   Do we know why the jet stream is doing this unusual thing?  As I am not that old but this is by far the wettest summer I have seen.

John - Yes this is by far and away the wettest 3 month period, May, June, July we have seen since records began in the 1700s.  But there seems to be a lot of variation at the moment as last year we had a very dry summer.

Chris - What do you think is going to happen next month, is there going to be a late summer or are we going to go into winter having been acclimatised to it?

John - It is very hard to say what is going to happen next month, longer range forecasts are exceptionally hard to do, at the moment it looks like things are definitely set to improve in the next week or so it looks like things are going to get slightly more settled.


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