Tuesday, 19 Oct 2021

UK long-range forecast: Risk of thunderstorms increases with hot weather return

Met Office long-range weather forecasters have released their predictions for the rest of May, as temperatures continue to drop across the UK. They expect conditions will recover in the coming weeks, but they come at a price, as a scattering of showers and thunderstorms may follow.

UK weather forecasts have, until recently, provided a bright picture for the country, as meteorologists expect temperatures to rise in the coming days.

Over the next week, the weather will pick up from the single figures and progress back to 2020 records experienced on the first May bank holiday.

By Wednesday, May 20, Met Office forecasters predict the country will bask in highs of 24C.

From there on, temperatures will likely remain, but the Met Office long-range plan states this could come at a price.

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In their latest long-range prediction, which covers May 20 to May 26, forecasters said spells of “long, fine and dry” weather would continue.

However, there is a risk thunderstorms and bands of rain will streak across the UK afterwards.

The forecast reads: “It is expected that this period will start very warm with good spells of long, fine and dry weather throughout.

“However, it is possible that following this, rain will develop across some western regions, perhaps spreading east at times whilst weakening.”

“These unsettled periods carry the risk of strong winds, mainly for western areas, and rain may turn heavy at times, however confidence is low for this presently.

“There is a risk of a few thunderstorms forming ahead of any bands of rain.

“Probably becoming less warm, but temperatures remaining above average for the time of year.

“Towards the end of this period it’s possible we will see a return of more settled conditions, with further dry and rather warm weather.”

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Hot weather and thunderstorms often come hand-in-hand, with the phenomenon more common during the spring and summer months.

Sun beating down on the ground heats the earth’s surface, and causes moisture to rise, where to mixes with colder temperatures in the upper level of a cloud.

The interaction develops a positive charge on the cloud’s lower level.

There, warm moisture droplets continuously collide with ice crystals, which charges static electricity.

The clouds eventually loose electrons, negatively charging the earth’s surface.

Once the lower level of the cloud has stored enough energy, it will let discharge lightning.

In countries with a warmer clime, clouds direct their energy towards the ground, while it transfers within the atmosphere in colder countries.

Lightning creates pockets in the air which collapse with a percussive impact, causing thunder.

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