UK Weather Trapped in A Jet Stream of August Heatwave Lies

Posted on July 29, 2023

What a crap summer. Okay, June was hot, but in late spring, April and May were cold. July is a write-off and so is much of August. Britain is stuck under a conveyor belt of low-pressure systems that isn’t going to shift.

Rao and August Heatwave Twaddle

When I have been out with the dog recently, I often hear people talking of a heatwave in August. I wonder where they get this misinformation from. Then I see all sorts of nonsense on social media. It’s like when people don’t want to indulge in facts that might annoy them, they buy a copy of The Daily Express or plonk themselves in front of GB News.

GB News even has former Daily Express Chief Weather Liar, Nathan Rao, working for them. He’s actually made a living making up lies about the weather. He’s been knocking around about twenty years telling tales of ‘Walls of Snow’ and 12 Week heatwaves. It’s utterly bizarre. To make it even madder, the outlets he works for, are climate change deniers.

A Stats and Data Lesson

Then, the other day I saw a long-range forecast on the Met Office website. I learned something new about data and statistics. When the forecast goes past 10 days, the accuracy drops. “No shit Sherlock”, I hear you cry. Yes, it’s obvious I know, but what else happens is this. Statistically, the percentage chance of the Jet Stream staying over us lessens. However, this is not because there is evidence of it moving. It’s because there is lower evidence that it isn’t.

So, when the forecast says that there is a 95% chance of the Jet Stream dominating our weather over the next fortnight but only a 50% chance thereafter, it doesn’t necessarily mean the weather is getting better. It means they don’t have accurate data, so the chances of being right, lessen with time.

Undeserved Ridicule

With this percentage data indicating an improvement in the weather, the media run with it and claim a heatwave is coming. Then, when it doesn’t, forecasters get ridiculed for something they have never claimed. I guess the unknown is something to cling to in a desperate period of weather. I, for one, am glad I don’t know for sure that summer is over. However, it does look like any hope of a blast of warmth is increasingly unlikely.

The truth is, once the Jet Stream is powerful, the UK summer is in big trouble. It was ever thus. A good summer needs the Azores High that develops every year, to push the Jet Stream northwards over Iceland. However, it takes some doing. If it stays as powerful as it is now, you can forget any improvement for weeks on end.

Cricket Club Weather Tales

A chap at our cricket club explained to me the other day that the heatwave in central and southern Europe is coming our way. He said it was going to push northwards and August was going to get up to 40 centigrade. The chances of that happening are extraordinarily low but he was prepared to run with it. I am not even sure if they are one percent. I tried to explain he had been indulging in misinformation but decided I couldn’t be arsed and moved the conversation on.

The weather will dry up eventually. However, anyone banking on August being a month of barbecues, sun hats, and Ambre Solaire might want to reassess their plans. There is a smidgen of hope that the Jet Stream might drift north in the second half of August, but it is by no means certain. It is just statistically possible. That’s hope of sorts, I guess.

A Smidgen of Hope Becomes Fact

I used the word ‘smidgen’ then because that is what the Met Office forecaster said in the video. He’ll regret that, as people like Rao will pick that up and say, ‘MET OFFICE PREDICTS LATE SUMMER SCORCHER!’. People I meet on my dog walks then pass this misinformation on to me as if though it’s fact. It’s like Meteorological Chinese Whispers. Spreading false news is like some sort of weird badge of honour.

The truth is this. It might well be autumn until autumn.

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