Of all the regions in the UK, East Anglia has the highest Summer Index for 2017, with an index of +10 (fig 1). Western Scotland came bottom of the table with an SI of -11, mainly because the summer was so dull. The UK as a whole returned a disappointing SI of -1, which was lower than the +10 of 2016 (fig 2). Don’t forget the maximum SI a summer can achieve is 48 which it did in 1976. The last really good summer across the UK as a whole according to the SI at any rate, was 2013, with an SI of 32 (fig 2). If you’re new to what the Summer Index and how it’s calculated you can read an article that fully describes how it’s calculated here.
The scatter graph for mean maximum temperature and total rainfall indicate that although the summer had been a little warmer than usual, it was also a lot wetter than average too (fig 3).
The scatter graph of maximum temperature and total sunshine indicate that the summer has been slightly duller than average (fig 4).
Let me know if you notice anything wrong with the various terciles and quintiles, I’m far from perfect.
I thought that I would look and see what were the wettest places in the UK by counting up the number of rain days there had been this summer since the 1st of June. Remember that rain days are days when 0.2 mm or more of rain has fallen in 24 hours, using SYNOP climate data that means in the 06-06 UTC period, either from the 24 hour total reported at 06 UTC, or from adding up the 12 hour totals for the period 06-18 and 18-06. I could have counted the number of wet days, which includes days with 1 mm of rain or more. As you can see from the above infographic (fig 1), Tulloch Bridge in Perthshire has the most number of rain days this summer, with 64 out of 79 days (81%). The lowest number are not surprisingly all across southern counties of England, with nine stations reporting less than 40% rain days so far this summer, headed by the St Catherine’s Point on the Isle of Wight, with only 24 rain days so far (fig 2).
And if we look a little further south across the Mediterranean this summer we’ll see what really dry looks like, with many places seeing only a single rain day so far.
Temperatures in the summer of 2017 in the UK crashed on the 20th of July and have never recovered in the almost three weeks since it’s been since then. You can see clearly how the temperature has almost flat lined in the NCEP reanalysis data for the grid point 52.5° north and 2.5° west (just to the west of Birmingham), with almost all the 6 hour anomalies negative since then, negative (fig 1). I remarked in a blog only yesterday about how unusually flat the daily CET values had been since the 20th of July. Its probably all tied up with that ‘ribbon of high wind speed high in the atmosphere‘ that we like to call the jet stream.
Meanwhile in stark contrast to the UK, just to the northeast of Rome in Italy, at the 42.5° north 12.5° east grid point, things have been slightly different. A part from three short cold spells, the temperature anomalies there have all been well above average since early June (and before), with the recent heatwave this month clearly evident.
I get the distinct impression from the recent news from the Met Office that they are trying to convince us that summer 2017 is not a complete wash out, well not yet anyway. Perhaps they have been urged to say that by a phone call from the Director of VisitEngland, Andrew Stokes (fig 1). As far as I can see, there was some lovely weather about in May and June of this year, but things went downhill in the first week of July, and at the moment don’t look like they want to improve, blame it on being the wrong side of the jet.
VisitEngland and the tourist boards around the UK, must know that the weather forecast has a tremendous part to play in motivating holidaymakers to get out and visit the various attractions around the country, so it’s no wonder that tourism looks to the Met Office to ‘gee’ things up in the weather forecast, especially now that the school holidays are here. I personally would rather hear it as it, than be coaxed into believing by weather presenters, headlines and news articles, that the summer up till now (and for the foreseeable future) is anything other than average.