The awful cold and cloudy conditions are continuing again today down the east coast of England, and the infamous east-west split coined by Michael Fish has been called into play again today by weather presenters at the BBC.
Philip Avery was very agitated about the storms over France when he presented the BBC weather this lunchtime, and proceeded to show us a couple of days worth of satellite images in a loop, and his arms went round and round as he described the “storm” that had been causing all the flooding problems in France and Germany. He then muttered something about “a bit of an east-west split going on” and showed this graphic.
All I can say to Philip is, yes you’re quite right there is most definitely an “east-west split” going on, and yes, to use another tired old cliché “west is best”. In fact it’s been going on for several days now and has suppressed temperatures across the eastern and central parts of England, have a look at these thermograph traces that illustrate the temperature differences between east and west. Approximately around +4°C warmer in the SW than the SE, and still no appreciable rain west of Yeovilton for almost a fortnight.
He then went onto present another graphic of the forecast situation at 1600 BST. But looking at the spread of temperatures along the south coast you would be forgiven for thinking that it was the SW of England that had been covered in cloud all day and not the SE.
Plymouth is not a great site to use as a representative temperature for the whole of Devon and Cornwall, and at the moment here in mid-Devon at 1500 BST it’s 19.7°C, and it could even be a little higher by 1600 BST under these blues skies. I am skeptical that the low cloud in the SE will break up as much as is indicated in the above graphic, and allow temperatures to rise to 18°C, but of course it may do, but I notice that it didn’t yesterday or the day before.
Latest Update 1830 BST
Just for completeness and complete “I told you so” here is what the cloud and temperatures were at 1600 BST.
The cloud remained solid down the east coast and across London and most of Sussex, which of course reflected in lower temperatures than forecast, in other words a poor forecast for the southeast even though it was for less than three hours in the future! I may be that the presenters don’t have any way of modifying model cloud amounts, but surely they can inject a few more temperatures to reflect reality. It’s a great shame that the BBC presenters can’t display thermograms or meteograms for the last week temperatures from locations in the east to compare them with those in the west, like I have done. Incidentally the maximum here in mid-Devon was 19.8°C at 1429 UTC.
Final update (I promise) 10000 BST on 3 June 2016
I’ll let the graphics do the talking…