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Weather guide Mon 28th July to Sunday 4th August 2013

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[b]Headline: Cooler with rain or showers at times; brief hot interlude Thursday to Friday; weekend very uncertain[/b]

Our heatwave came to an end last week, spectacularly for parts of the Midlands with thunderstorms, Nottingham getting almost 3 inches rain in 24 hours between Monday evening and Tuesday evening, from a succession of thunderstorms causing severe flooding in the city and environs. Monday was the last really hot day, reaching 31c across Warwickshire and 25 to 28c for much of Wales. The rain held off for us in West Wales, where it was not until Wednesday night that some rain fell and then just 3mm at Llanwnnen, barely enough to settle the dust. Although cooler it was still a warm week for all places, and even by Saturday temperatures were reaching 22 to 26c widely. More heavy rain and thunderstorms for the Midlands on Saturday evening, over half an inch in just 30 minutes causing flooding in places such as Coventry, the total rain for the 24 hours to 10am this morning being 31.1mm at Bablake School, Coventry and 24mm fell at Rugby, no doubt some places received a lot more than these spot figures, such was the localised flooding. Mid and North Wales also saw a decent fall of rain overnight, properly ending the 4 weeks of mostly dry weather throughout July to date, and even SW Wales has not been spared with heavy showers on Sunday morning.

The week ahead looks decidedly unsettled, but not cool as winds will generally be between west and south and even the seas are relatively warm after the recent heatwave by now. A warm but at times wet week then sums it up, with another, albeit most likely brief hot spell later in the week. With a complex of low pressures over or close to the British Isles Sunday sees some heavy downpours knocking about, most places getting at least a couple through the day, and more for Wales where thunder and even hail is a possibility. Still fairly warm highs between 20 and 23c, with gentle breezes. Showers dying out over the Midlands tonight, but some continue to affect parts of West Wales, where you may even see flashes of lightning should you look hard enough. Low pressure centred to our north on Monday and with high pressure well away over the south of France, nothing to prevent showers or longer spells of rain, heavy in places. With winds more SW even west and quite fresh, a touch cooler on Monday highs 19c for West Wales coasts and 22c for the Midlands, although there will be sunny intervals. Again, most showers die out to leave a generally dry Monday night. Unsettled again on Tuesday with the complication of a wave low zipping across the south as we go through the day. A dry start for most places, especially the Midlands, but then a spell of wet weather likely to affect at least South Wales and the South Midlands. Impossible to predict at this stage exactly how far north this feature will track but it may be that more of us experience rather a wet day than is presently suggested in the models. Assuming cloud and rain , then Tuesday may well be the coolest day for several weeks, highs between 18 and 20c, along with a fresh SW wind, although it would only take a few sunny breaks for temperatures to get higher, as the air will be inherently warm. A mild, rather sticky night follows.

Wednesday, and the next low pressure is moving in off the Atlantic towards Ireland, this dragging up warm, humid air over Wales and England. Unfortunately for West Wales too much cloud and even rain at times on Wednesday for this warmth to be realised, highs below 20c here with hill and sea fog also likely. However, it should brighten in the afternoon for the Midlands with a humid 24c quite possible, although even here a little rain could occur at times. This low then drags up a plume of heat from Spain during Thursday, which after a warm night above 15c, sees strong sunshine developing for many areas. Always the chance of more could and perhaps some showery rain for West Wales, but quite a hot day, maxima at least 25c for West Wales and perhaps touching 30c for parts of the Midlands. One potential spoiler here is if the low is centred more over Ireland than slightly to its west, then West Wales may get a more cloudy and possibly damp day than expected, but lets be positive and go for a very warm day with sunny spells even here! The Midlands more or less guaranteed a hot and sunny Thursday! The heat and humidity may set off a scattering of thunderstorms during Thursday evening but many places missing these. Another warm, uncomfortable night to follow, no lower than 18c or so for some coasts and cities. Friday is a 'will the heat hang on' kind of day, as cooler, fresher air to the west starts to move in, although a chance it hangs on right through to the weekend for SE England according to ECM model? My hunch is another very warm/ quite hot day with sunny spells on Friday, with again the risk that some heavy showers and thunderstorms break out in places. Highs somewhere in the 23c to 29c range on Friday, least warm for coastal West Wales, where the fresher conditions should eventually spread in.

As often the case, differing model signals for the next weekend, some have been indicating high pressure settling down but we will have lost the heat, so this would mean a pleasant and fairly dry weekend, and more especially Sunday, with sunny spells and temperatures in the low to mid 20s C. ECM however is this morning showing a nasty, thundery low crossing the UK during next Saturday night having formed over hot Spain, this scenario would bring more thunderstorms, heavy rain and localised flooding over next weekend! Benign or stormy we shall see?
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Thursday cloudier for Carmarthenshire while Ceredigion was sunny! 

31c widely for the Midlands Thursday.

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