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Monthly Outlook

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Cooler and wetter finish to May but turning warmer

Changeable weather for the UK through the coming weeks. Turning cooler, breezier and showery to close out May. Heading into June things will tend to dry out and warm up for most.

Wet and cool end to May, warmer in June

Despite a warm start to the weekend, a frontal system will move across the UK both Saturday and Sunday, bringing widespread outbreaks of persistent rain to Scotland, and a cold front will sharp showers for England and Wales on Sunday, and perhaps a rumble of thunder in the Southeast Sunday afternoon. From Monday low pressure will bring in cooler air from the north-northwest, so temperatures will drop down to a bit below average for late May through much of the working week. Monday and Tuesday look to be quite unsettled with plenty of showers and perhaps one or two thunderstorms in the afternoon. There will also be a few dry and bright spells mixed in. Wednesday is expected to be marginally drier for most, except for some lingering showers in Scotland, and clearer skies will make for a chilly night. From Thursday and through the weekend, the pattern will gradually begin to shift again. A weak frontal system Thursday and Friday will bring some outbreaks of rain for most, but a high building into Central Europe should push this off to the north and replace it with drier and warmer air for southern areas. By Saturday and Sunday, the southern half of the country may see temperatures returning to near average with little rain, but the northern half will likely still be cooler and wetter.

Warmer and drier, but some rain in places

As we head into the first full week of June, high pressure is expected to build strongly across Central Europe and into Scandinavia, bringing in warmer tropical air to the UK and pushing much of the rain off to the north. However, Scotland and Northern Ireland will likely still see showers and perhaps longer spells of rain at times as weak fronts pass through along the edge of the high around a low that is expected to linger near Iceland. For much of England and Wales, early June will be marked by mostly sunny and warm afternoons followed by dry, mild nights. Temperatures are expected to climb a few degrees above average, so highs in the South in the mid-twenties are not out of the question. There is a risk, about 25%, that the high pressure centre will shift a bit too far to the east and end up over Eastern Europe and Russia. In this case, low pressure will be able to move in from the west, leading to a wetter trend. However, this will still likely be a warm pattern as south-westerly winds continue to bring in warmer and more tropical air.

Staying warm but turning more unsettled

Moving into the second full week of June, the weather is expected to become a bit more changeable. The high pressure system in Central Europe is expected to continue slowly shifting northwards and eastwards into Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, and Russia. Confidence is growing in favour of a blocked pattern, where high pressure to the north will prevent Atlantic weather systems from moving in from the west. However, low pressure is expected to be to the southwest near Spain and France, so the main risk for showery weather will be in the Southwest and West and along the southern coast, with Scotland seeing a bit of a break. There is a chance that a few of these rain events could bring in some rather heavy and widespread showers or thunderstorms from the continent, but there will also be some longer dry and sunny spells as well making for warm afternoons. With low pressure centres to the south and southwest, warmer Mediterranean air will find into way into the UK, so temperatures will likely stay fairly warm despite the increased risk for showers.

Further ahead

Will the high pressure build in strong for early June, keeping things mostly dry and quite warm, or are we in for a wetter start to summer?