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Describe the Summer so far in just four words

Could you describe the summer weather so far in just four words? June has been stuck in a cool northerly flow.

Blog by Jo Farrow
Issued: 11th June 2024 09:39

The summer months are June, July and August. Here in the UK, June has not got off to a good start. With airflow from Greenland and the Arctic, northerly winds have given us chilly nights and a cool edge to the air if you are not in the bright sunshine.

There has been snow over the Scottish mountains observed for a week now. That length of time is very unusual. The daytime maximum temperatures have varied from 18 to 22C, down to just 9 or 10C. The average for the month of June in England is around 18.5C, Scotland only 15.3C, Wales 17.3C and Northern Ireland nearly 17C.

The Netherlands had a wild Monday with strong wind warnings as a little low pressure nipped by. Visitors would have needed a big coat and even wellies in that. 

We might expect or crave some warmth, a definite change into “summer”. A change into our summer wardrobe and away from behaviours of the winter months. 


Very British Problems on TwitterX posed the challenge

Write a story about British summertime in 4 words.    I’ll go first:  "Heating on in June."

The heavy downpours featured a lot.

“Bring the washing in quick!”  “Better take your brolly”  “ The ducks are happy”

This colder air from the north progresses over gradually less cold seas and then reaches the UK. Here the land is warming up in the June sunshine and so by day solar radiation heats the ground, which warms the surface air and it is then unstable. The warmer air rises, and convection currents form cumulus clouds which can shoot up and sometimes make thunderstorms. Torrential downpours come and go with sunny spells in between. 

The chill also was referenced a lot

“Still using winter duvet” “It’s like it’s November” “Fluffy socks in June” ‘“Making soup, not salad”  “ got my jumper handy” and “Coat on, Coat off”

 This chopping and changing is catching everyone out. We've been hearing that it isn’t going to be particularly warm for a week now, so most people get that. However, the sun’s rays are still so strong at this time of year. You need sunscreen but you may also need a sweater, a raincoat, a brolly, and footwear is just a random guess at the moment. 

“Fire lit last night”   “Four seasons in one day”  “Winter coat back out”

Are we just expecting too much? Are we just remembering the intense heatwaves and hot spells punctuating our recent years? 2023 and 2018 were very warm and sunny. As we saw with May 2024, it was dull, the sunshine hours were low and so the perception that it was cold grew. It did feel cold at times. 

Even this week if you are sitting by a sunny window, it can feel very warm. At the same time in a north-facing room, the cold air is more apparent yet the air temperature outside is recorded as just 13C. How we feel is important and is impacted by dampness, cloud or sunshine, airflow - the wind and will make us behave in different ways. Including putting the heating on. 

If Scotland sees 15.3C on average across the country each day in June, it will be an average temperature month. We’ve had a cooler start this month but if we have a hotter end to June, we could still see an average month overall.  If the temperature each day is 16.3C in June, that will qualify as a warmer than average month, even though people may feel it has been disappointing. 

This is what happened in May. There wasn’t a burst of heat or any memorable sunshine and warmth but day on day, the temperatures were above average. That quiet creep should be unnerving, as should the gradual increase of average 30-year temperature averages and the shift in heatwave criteria for the UK. 

What would be your four words to describe June so far, no swearing allowed.

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