Northern Ireland

Sunny skies 'not too far off' as jet stream shifts

sunshine
Image caption Will life ever be a beach in Northern Ireland?

Summer may be late, but it might be just around the corner.

The United Kingdom is expected to get drier and warmer next week, but only after more rain.

"This year the jet stream has been much further south than normal and we have had our wettest June on record followed by a wetter than average July," said BBC weather presenter Cecilia Daly.

But there are signs that the jet stream may shift slightly northwards which means it should feel more like summer.

"Around the middle of next week, pressure will build - the Azores high.

"This would allow our weather to take on more normal summer characteristics," she explained.

But it is too early to ditch the umbrellas just yet.

Changeable weather will continue to affect the north western parts of the British Isles which will include Northern Ireland.

"Nonetheless it would still mean an improvement on what has so far has been a very poor summer," she said.

The jet stream is a great river of wind flowing through the upper atmosphere. Its path is the cause of the repeated flooding being suffered during a British summer that has so far been one of the most miserable on record.

It usually passes along a steady path from west to east across the Atlantic - sometimes a bit to the north of the UK, sometimes a bit to the south.

As a relatively small island, on the borderline between the Atlantic Ocean and the European continent, the precise location of the stream matters hugely and, at the moment, the UK is on the wrong side of it.

However, if it shifts, the weather should prove to be more like summer.

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