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, the beginning of July 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?

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May has seen wet and windy conditions across the UK for most of the month (Photo: Shutterstock)
May has seen wet and windy conditions across the UK for most of the month (Photo: Shutterstock)

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.

Is the weather set to improve?

So far, the beginning of July has seen a mixture of sunshine, cloud, thunderstorms, rain and fluctuating temperatures.

Looking ahead to the rest of the month, the Met Office UK outlook for 8-17 July said: “While Wednesday is likely to be another unsettled day with rain or showers, after this there is expected to be a trend towards more settled conditions as drier weather develops from the west.

"By the end of the week, many areas should see a of of dry weather, although still some showers at times. There is a lower chance of seeing more prolonged unsettled weather, mainly in the west.

"Towards the end of the period things are looking mostly fine and dry, though there remains a chance of isolated thunderstorms. Many areas are likely to see temperatures trending upwards through the period, with parts of the south potentially becoming very warm. Winds are looking to remain light across the UK for most of the period.”

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