Reports Britain is facing a three-month heatwave has many hoping for a summer of sporting success in the sunshine. The Met Office has said hotter than normal temperatures are more likely than not during the summer months – meaning it could be the perfect time to organise a Wimbledon or World Cup barbeque.
Some forecasters are even saying highs of 33C may be on the way in August – making it the hottest summer in the UK for 12 years. The sun may arrive as soon as this week, with sub-tropical air from the Azores hitting the south of England. Later in the week though showers are predicted in the north-west with a ‘European monsoon’ expected.
Met Office records show Britain’s average summer temperature is 14.3C. There is double the usual probability of this summer having a higher temperature than 2013’s 15.17C – which would make 2018 the warmest summer since 2006 – the hottest summer for a century, forecasters say. Emergency services, transport leaders, business chiefs and councils have already been warned of the risks of a hotter-than-normal three months. The hottest summer day on record happened in 2006, when a peak of 36.5C was recorded on July 19, at Wisley in Surrey. The Met Office June-August forecast said: ‘For June-August, above-average temperatures are more likely than below-average temperatures. ‘The probability the UK average temperature for June-August will fall into the warmest of our five categories is 40 percent. ‘The coldest of our five categories is around 5 percent. ‘The likelihood of above-average temperatures is greater than usual. The Met Office long-range prediction system shows a slightly increased chance of high-pressure patterns across the UK.’
Met Office forecaster Helen Roberts said: ‘There’s plenty of sunshine to come this week, with the South generally fine through the week, although the North-West will be changeable from Wednesday. ‘There is a signal for a gradual return to more settled weather through the end of June. ‘Temperatures are likely to be warmer than average, with the possibility of very warm or hot spells.’ Bookmakers Ladbrokes have cut odds on summer being the hottest on record to the shortest ever offered at just 5/2. Spokesman Alex Apati said: ‘Punters and weathermen believe Britain will wilt. Odds on a record summer are shorter than ever.’