The weather for the UK is currently summed up by one word. ‘Changeable’.
But will that continue or will we join many southern parts of Europe that are seeing extremely hot temperatures?
Well to find the answer we have to look at the outputs the models are showing and weighing up the likelihood of one outcome or another.
Currently there is a tendency to bring low pressure in from the west and set up shop to the North West of Northern Ireland.
This has the net result of allowing a fairly mobile pattern to be the main influence of our weather bringing ‘Changeable’ Weather.
However secondary areas of low pressure are hinted at by the models setting up further south allowing a straight Southerly wind flow bringing that very hot air with it.
As you can from the image above the hot air is expected to be within touching distance as we head towards August.
The difficult part is to establish how far south any secondary low will head and can it stay far enough to our south west to draw up that hot feed of air.
The latest output shows the secondary low pushing east to quickly and thus bringing cooler air across the UK. The reason this occurs is due to the lack of a strong area of high pressure over France/Germany area. At this range however it is not unusual to see the model outputs under estimating the strength of high pressure and hitting the default mode and pushing the entire system through very quickly.
As we head nearer to the time we will be keeping a close on any upgrades with regards to the strength of the high over Europe to see if we can tap in to that summer weather once again.
But a high proportion of these spinning columns of air had relatively low wind speeds and did not create much damage.
The researchers from the University of Manchester have produced a map showing the prevalence of tornadoes.
It found they were much more likely in England than in other parts of the UK – and if England was taken separately, it would have one of the world’s highest rates of tornadoes, relative to its size.
It found there was a 6% chance of a tornado per year in the area between London and Reading. The researchers say that this means a tornado is likely once every 17 years.
There was a 5% likelihood in a zone from Bristol north to Birmingham and Manchester.
And there was a 4% likelihood of a tornado between north-east London and Ipswich.
But while tornadoes are relatively frequent in the UK, 95% of them are in two lowest categories of strength, classified as F0 or F1, with a maximum wind speed of 112mph.
Only one in 20 reaches the level of an F2 tornado, with speeds up to 157mph.
In 2005, an F2 tornado caused 19 injuries and damage costing £40m in Birmingham.
The scale goes up to F5, with wind speeds over 300mph, and it is these highly destructive tornadoes that can hit parts of the United States.
“Because tornadoes are capable of causing such damage it is important that we have some kind of idea where they are most likely to hit,” said Kelsey Mulder, of the university’s School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences.
“It seems that most tornadoes in the UK are created along long, narrow storms that form along cold fronts,” said Ms Mulder.
She says there is no simple explanation for why some areas in the UK might be more prone to tornadoes and identification could depend on eye-witness reports.
Another spell of severe weather is expected for those in the South West, Wales and the West Midlands on Friday with a large amount of rain and winds of 60mph or more!
The UK Met Office have earlier released a warning which reads:
Between 05:00 Fri 21st and 19:00 Fri 21st
A brief spell of heavy rain and strong winds could lead to difficult travel conditions, as the summer holiday season starts for some. Standing water and spray may make journeys longer, and could lead to minor surface water flooding. Winds could be sufficiently strong to cause some bridge restrictions, and bring down branches from trees. Conditions could also be hazardous for those engaged in outdoor activities.
Chief Forecaster’s assessment
Winds will increase to bring gusts of around 40 mph inland and 50 mph on coasts for a period of a couple of hours as a squally band of rain approaches. Locally gusts could be 10 mph or so stronger, especially on headlands. After a brief spell of intense rain, winds will decrease – this happening during the morning over Cornwall but not till evening in the east of the area. Around 10-20 mm of rain will fall in a short time.
Further, possibly severe, thunderstorms may break out again this afternoon and evening, probably focused over parts of northeast Wales, central and northern England. Some heavy, thundery rain may also spread into parts of southwest Scotland by this evening although the risk of disruption is lower here than further south.
Although some places will miss the thunderstorms, there is a chance of localised sudden flooding of homes, businesses and roads. Frequent lightning and large hail may be additional hazards, the latter bringing potential for disruption to power networks.
This warning has been updated to shrink the south of the yellow area (where the risk of disruption in now reducing) whilst also to extend it further north across northern England and into southwest Scotland. The end time has also been extended a little.’
The UK has seen one of the most dramatic 24 hour periods of Thunderstorms for many years with well over 100,000 recorded strikes at the time of writing (3am) in just the last 24 hours!
The Lightning strikes are far from over yet however and the final number from this spell of severe weather could finish at over 250,000 strikes.
The unprecedented barrage of Lightning has come about from hot moist air pushing North from our near neighbours aided by an area of low pressure that has brought instability into the mix.
Its not just the Lightning making the headlines as flash flooding has caused misery for thousands especially those in Coverack, Cornwall which saw a wall of water flood down through the village not dissimilar to the flash flooding in Boscastle back in 2004.
Throughout the remainder of the day Thunderstorms currently active are expected to continue to move northwards before we see a return to warm if not hot weather in the Midlands & South East which could trigger yet more lively thunderstorms later in the day.