Heat Wave

22 Sep 2018

According to Weather Eye in The Times (of London) earlier this month the recent hot weather in Europe was caused by a huge horseshe shaped pattern of sea temperatures stretching across the North Atlantic. Throughout the summer the tropical Atlantic between the Caribbean and Africa has been coller than normal - and these cool waters arched around towards the tip of Greenland. Inside the horseshoe pattern sat a large area of unusually warm water in the Mid Atlantic. This kind of pattern is well known for driving high pressure over the UK and Europe and in the summer that caused hot and dry conditions (according to the Met Office's Hadley Centre). Climate in NW Europe is normally dictated by what are called the Icelandic Lows (and this brings lots of rain). This year the horseshoe pattern became stuck - possibly as we are in a period of low sun spot numbers and therefore few blasts of solar wind that are strong enough to cause seepage through the magnetosphere (shifting the jet around). The Met Office also said that a similar thing occurred back in 1976 - a well remembered heat wave as it lasted all summer but ended in a thorough drenching in the autumn. Rain is now back on the agenda - but not to the capacity it fell in 1976.