Will the Azores High Rescue our Summer?

Posted on July 17, 2012

There is increasing information coming from the Met Office that the huge ridge of high pressure that builds from the Azores every summer may, in the next week, be about to extend further north in to southern Britain, pushing away the jet stream and the succession of low pressure systems that have been spinning across us since April.

After the hideous conditions we have experienced so far this summer, if this miracle does occur, it will be impeccably timed for not just the London Olympics, but far more importantly, the annual Broughton exodus to Swanage that demands at least a hint of summer to make it an enjoyable experience rather than an ordeal that results in trench foot, exhaustion and potential mental breakdown.

I am actually writing this post from my garden, the first time I have been able to work outside since a brief three day warm spell in May, which gives a good indication to my friends in France, Australia and Canada just how bad this summer has been, the rest of you really don’t need reminding. No one seems to know why the jet stream has pushed the Azores high so far south for the last five summers, some say it is melting ice caps, others say it is lack of surface activity on the sun, whilst others like me, think it may just be bad luck.

Is Summer coming? Predicted position of the Azores High this weekend

However, if it did become the case, for whatever reason, that the Azores high stopped making its summer visits altogether and we spent the months between April and September underneath jet stream propelled monsoons, I would have to seriously contemplate my long term future in this increasingly green and and decreasingly pleasant land. Watching uninterrupted driving rain every summer is just to bloody depressing for me to contemplate!

The met office are laying claim that, because of rapidly evolving computer generated information, in years to come they will have accurate information as to where the jet stream will place itself in the summer months, which will in turn, give them the information required to confidently predict whether we will have a summer like this one, that is dominated by unsettled weather, or one where the Azores high becomes a regular summer visitor as it often did before 2008.

This may be good information for the manufacturers of barbecues, umbrellas and air conditioning units, but not for me. If I had been aware in March that April, May, June and July were going to be a non stop deluge, I would have drifted in such a state of doom I would be even more intolerable than I already am. At least with the way the forecasting is right now, we have deluded hope that things might improve, forever convincing ourselves that the law of averages will ensure a hot spell at some point.

In the meantime, if the Azores high does establish itself for the rest of July and August, we may have happy memories of the summer of 2012 after all. If you are like me and you have kids who are at school and college, when all is said and done, it is these two months of summer that really count when it comes to wishing for at least a hint of sunshine.

Watch this space!



3 Replies to "Will the Azores High Rescue our Summer?"

  • Klanger
    July 17, 2012 (6:03 pm)

    I have said I am not contemplating Swanage camping until we have two days without rain! Not had yet!

  • Nick
    July 17, 2012 (6:46 pm)

    Klanger you fairweather camper!

    I for one can’t wait to put my tent up in the gaps between the retained surface water that Burnbake is renowned for. Get yourself a stout pair of wellies girl and enjoy the fact that the lack of other campers will mean shorter queues and emptier chemical toilets.

  • Bob Lethaby
    July 18, 2012 (6:51 am)

    Living in a tent in the rain is like spending a week in a drum………… I will never forget the endearing site of seeing my socks floating in our indoor swimming pool.

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