Why is the weather so bad in 2021 in the UK? If rain and cold is normal in summer - and when it will get warmer

So far, August has seen a mixture of sunshine, cloud, thunderstorms, rain and fluctuating temperatures

The weather of late has been unsettled across most of the UK, with bright skies and warmer temperatures turning to thundery and grey conditions for many.

But why has the weather been such a mixture so far this year?

Sign up to our NationalWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Here’s what you need to know.

Why has the weather been so bad this year?

The start of the year saw cool temperatures and wet and windy conditions, but it’s not been as bad as you may think.

March saw a 0.9C average temperature increase from 1981-2010 national averages for the month, with some high temperatures during the latter part of the month seeing several stations break their existing records for their warmest March day.

Alongside this, last month was the sunniest April on record, with central and southern Scotland and north west England seeing well above average amounts of sunshine.

The UK experienced persistent low pressure systems from the start of the month, with Wales and northern parts of England in particular “bearing the brunt of persistent, heavy rainfall and sometimes stormy conditions,” the Met Office explains.

Up to 18 May, some areas of the UK, including northern England, Wales and parts of the South West, had already had up to two times their total May rainfall.

Met Office meteorologist, Aidan McGivern, explained that May’s weather was down to a blocking anticyclone.

This saw a large area of high pressure sitting over Greenland, which has then pushed the jet stream to the south, with low pressure bringing “wind and rain followed by frequent heavy showers,” Mr McGivern said.

The cooler side of the jet stream also brought below-average temperatures.

June then saw a mixture of warm temperatures, blazing sunshine, thunderstorms and heavy rain across the UK.

July experienced a mixture of sunshine, cloud, thunderstorms, rain and fluctuating temperatures.

What will the end of August be like?

August has been a mixed bag across the UK so far, but conditions are set to become more settled towards the end of the month, with more dry weather and occasional sunny spells.

The Met Office said: “The last weekend in August and into September is likely to be dominated by high pressure resulting in fine and settled weather across the UK. This will bring variable amounts of cloud, sunny spells, a few light showers and mainly light winds but some fog patches overnight, which clear during early morning.

“It looks increasingly likely that these settled conditions will persist through much of this period, with perhaps weak frontal systems bringing some light rain and showers at times.”