Column by UK correspondent Kris Surtees – Well I am very sorry to report that, relative to recent weeks, it’s actually been a fairly benign week of weather across the UK this week….thats not to say it hasn’t passed without event of course, this is the UK after all.
England and Wales in particular, though, have enjoyed a pretty glorious week, with high pressure in charge pumping up warmth from the South, pushing temperatures back in to the 20’s and bringing another chance for sun-starved Britons to try and build up a tan!
A little more disappointing further north where the influence of lower pressure brought slightly more cloud, lower temperatures and a stronger breeze. But here, the story was one of a different phenomenon altogether – sand storms! (Video footage of such events can be found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22260836)
Yes despite the near record levels of rainfall for much of the UK in 2012, Scotland is now approaching drought conditions after months of very dry weather, and the strong breeze has been whipping up the very dry soil and creating these storms.
It’s not the only consequence of the dry winter – back in March whilst the UK was shivering through one of the coldest early spring spells in history, heath fires were raging not only across Northern Scotland, but also across parts of Scandinavia.
Beyond this, though, came a significant cool down as the winds swung around to the North. In fact, the cool down has been so significant (drops in temperature of around 10-12c) that the Scottish ski resorts have had some decent very late season snowfalls, and we even saw showers of sleet and hail as far South as the London area. More worryingly for growers, we have seen a return of overnight frosts.
The weather looks likely to remain on the cool side as we head in to the early part of the new working week, with some overnight frosts and the continuation of hill snow for the Northern half of the UK.
So after a slightly quieter interlude this week, we look likely to settle back down into the topsy-turvy climate of the UK, promising to make life hard once again for us forecasters…quick, somebody find a small violin and a very sad song.