Review and Experimental Long Range Forecast for SW England. June 2020.

Published 19 June 2020.

GDPR statement: Please note that the author of this blog does not set cookies but the host “” sets multiple cookies which are outside of the authors control. You can view their cookie policy here. 

1. Influences.

Changes in sea temperature


Equatorial sea temperatures look warmer than climatology as are the N Sea, Norwegian Sea and Baltic sea temperature. The North Atlantic west of Britain remains mostly near or cooler than average towards North America. Colder sea temperatures in the East Pacific just south of the equator show the La Nina has strengthened.


The tropical north Atlantic is forecast to remain very slightly warmer than average through the remainder of 2020 (See Met Office graphic above).

No more Atlantic tropical storms are forecast for the remainder of June but there have been three tropical storms in the Atlantic/Gulf of Mexico this season. Names are Arthur, Bertha and Cristobal – see Wikipedia link to details.

In the Pacific neutral El-Nino conditions are likely to continue to trend towards cooler / La Nina conditions until later in the Autumn 2020. The GFDL model reverts to neutral or El Nino conditions rather faster than most models with the consensus being La Nina or neutral conditions into winter.


The North Atlantic Oscillation index (shown by a 500hPa index in the image below) has been  roughly neutral since mid May and is expected to remain so over the next few weeks.


NAO background information see the Met Office NAO information.

Recent Climatology

June to 18th has seen temperatures near average after a very warm or even hot start to the month. Rainfall has been well above normal (typically 80 to 90mm locally double this over some hilly areas due to thundery outbreaks. Sunshine rangled from below average in in parts of Cornwall to near average further east (limited data).

Spring 2020 recorded above average temperatures (March was near normal) and well below normal rain although February was very wet and March had nearer normal rainfall.


May temperatures were above average across much of the globe but there were some colder spots including a good part of Northern Europe.


River flows in May 2020 reflected the drier Spring although groundwater levels were above normal. Details can be found in the April 2020 Hydrological summary PDF 


The reservoir levels in the SW of England (14th  June) showed 77% storage.  Three of the main reservoirs are at 75 to 82% capacity but Burrator was down to 47%. The very wet 18th and night of 18th/19th will no doubt lift these values.

Global Flood Awareness System. June forecast has near normal flood risk for southern parts of UK (Orange below normal Blue above).


Atmosphere: Predictions.

A:  1: Stratosphere

After a long period with a strong polar vortex the Stratosphere settled into summer mode around the end of April and remains with an easterly circulation as shown by the 30hPa chart for 18th.


A: 2: Upper Troposphere

CFSv2 200hPa contours for July to September 2020 are shown (top row) along with the anomalies from CFS (middle row) and the NMME anomalies (lower row). Forecast of above normal heights through the period.


B: Lower Troposphere:

A selection of  July to September solutions using June 2020 data are shown below. Three month season and individual months, top row temperature anomaly and lower row precipitation anomaly.

In the WMO data white areas are where the probabilities of below/normal/above are similar hence there is no overall signal. Precipitation forecasts over the UK end up with no signal because the wet models cancel out the dry forecasts showing there is no agreement between the models.






Meteo France





Other models







The full selection, including plots for Autumn and Winter, can be seen at the weather-info site.

C: Comparing the output of seasonal models for  March April May 2020, based on February  2020 data.

Most models got the idea of above average UK temperatures but not the nearer average March. Dry signal could have been stronger but some ideas about the NW being the least dry was good.

For graphics and details see Verification review 2020 Mar Apr May

2. Forecast. SW England.

Remainder of  summer 2020  (July August) 

Slightly above average temperatures are expected for the summer season with higher anomalies possibly in the second half of the summer.

Very mixed rainfall patterns but an indication for a wetter than average July and a near normal August although the east could be drier than average. Summer rain can be showery or thundery in nature with wide variations in rain days and rain totals across a region. It is not clear of above average rain means more wet days or just some days with higher rain total which has been a feature of recent years.

Summer climate: 1981 to 2010 average daily mean temperature 14 or 15°C in many areas to 16 or 17°C in main urban areas also locally east of the moors and more widely in Somerset. Maximum temperatures average 19 to over 21°C in similar areas. July often warmer than August. Average 1981 to 2010 rain in July typically 60 to 80mm, but 40 to 60mm in places especially East of the moors and in Somerset. Locally over 100mm across the moors. August slightly small areas with the lower rain totals due to July often being drier than August.

Autumn 2020 (September October November) 

Overall above average temperature seems likely, especially later in the season. Rainfall very mixed indication, most models have some longer dry periods but do not agree which month might be the drier or wetter month. Overall signal is for near normal rain although eastern parts of the region could be drier than average.

Autumn climate: 1981 to 2010 average mean temperature 11 or 12°C but nearer 10°C in rural areas. Maximum temperatures average 14 to 16°C. November normally colder than October which is colder than September. Average 1981 to 2010 rain 300 to 400mm, 600 to 800mm over the moors but east of the moors and in lowland Somerset more like 200 to 300mm. September often drier than October or November.

Winter (2020 December 2021 January February) limited data.

A milder than average winter in indicated although February could see temperatures nearer average. Rainfall could end up near average but at least one moth is likely to be wetter than average and again some longer drier spells are suggested but little agreement as to when. Below average snowfall (snow chiefly over the moors) is most likely.

Winter Climate: 1981-2010 average temperature values for lowland areas 7°C in the West and 5°C in the East. Rainfall; Dec and Jan typically wetter than February. 1981-2010 Autumn average 300-400 mm lowlands but 200-300 mm areas to E of Dartmoor. Snow climatology less than 5 days lying snow over lowland areas 5 to 10 hills, say hills around 200 metre elevation – one in three years have no lying snow.

3. Caution.

Experimental Long Range Forecasts do not have a good success rate. The data used for the above forecast summary can be seen at  here.

The attempt at a Regional Forecast for SW England aims to test whether such a forecast of temperature and rainfall variation from average can be made using numerical model data available on the internet. The forecast should not be used for any other purpose. A brief verification summary for the UK and Eire is routinely published at or Click here for the Teignmouth and Dawlish summary

4. References.

SST anomaly NOAA Remote Sens. 2014, 6(11), 11579-11606; doi:10.3390/rs61111579

IRI statistics: Mason, S.J. and L. Goddard, 2001: Probabilistic precipitation anomalies associated with ENSO. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 82, 619-638.

UK climate details see:

NMME information:

CFS2  info

GLOFAS Acknowledgement: Data were provided by the Global Flood Awareness System – GloFAS ( of the European Commission Joint Research Centre and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts.
Reference: Alfieri, L., Burek, P., Dutra, E., Krzeminski, B., Muraro, D., Thielen, J., and Pappenberger, F.: GloFAS – global ensemble streamflow forecasting and flood early warning, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 1161-1175, doi:10.5194/hess-17-1161-2013, 2013.

‘Copernicus Products’  as listed in the C3S or CAMS Service Product Specification or any other items available through an ECMWF Copernicus

International seasonal monthly data from WMO

Stratospheric Diagnostics from Japan Met Agency and ECMWF via  Free University Berlin

Climate data from The Met Office UK and NCEP USA

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s