One month of rain to fall in just 48 hours this weekend as UK prepares for 'washout summer'

19 July 2023, 11:14 | Updated: 20 July 2023, 10:29

The UK's unsettled conditions may be being brought on by Europe's heatwave
The UK's unsettled conditions may be being brought on by Europe's heatwave. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Parts of the UK could be hit by one month's worth of rain in just 48 hours this weekend, as it appears increasingly likely this summer will be a washout.

While the rest of Europe bakes in high temperatures, where it could reach 50C, the UK has been subject to more unsettled, wet conditions.

The two might be linked, however, with the heatwave driving up Europe's temperatures contributing to the UK being stuck under a ridge of low pressure.

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Stephen Dixon, a spokesman with Met Office, told the Mirror: "There is no real change forecast to the type of weather we've got now - sunshine and showers.

"What we've got this weekend for many is showers. I think the main weather watch this weekend is persistent rain, particularly in western areas and parts of the north of England."

On Saturday and Sunday, around 60mm could fall in certain areas, around 75 per cent of a typical month's rain.

Get ready for a washout summer
Get ready for a washout summer. Picture: Getty

It comes after the Met Office said it remains 'feasible but unlikely' that 40C heat will hit the UK this summer.

According the Met Office's Grahame Madge, there is currently "no forecast signal" for temperatures to hit 40C in the UK, though it is likely to get warmer towards the end of August.

Temperatures in the UK have largely remained in the lows 20s so far this summer, with many areas in the UK hit by periodic showers and even thunderstorms.

"There is no forecast signal for temperatures to reach last year’s threshold this year," Mr Madge said.

"The chance of reaching 40C is around one per cent, so it is unlikely in any given year, but of course, it remains feasible."

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It comes exactly one year after record temperatures hit the UK.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the UK was 40.3C on Lincolnshire on July 19 in 2022.

Before that, it was 38.7C in Cambridge in 2019.

In London last year, extreme temperatures contributed to a number of fires breaking out across the capital.

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It comes as Europe prepares for record-breaking temperatures, where the Charon heatwave has just got underway.

The previous record temperature in Europe was 48.8C in Italy in 2021, though some experts believe this may be broken.

High temperatures in Europe are being driven by settled conditions under an upper ridge sat across the continent - pushing temperatures up.

There are also "unusually high" surface sea temperatures, exacerbating the effects of the heatwave.

But, according to the Met Office, the southern shift of the Jet Stream that has pushed the high pressure southwards across this region has also led to low pressure systems being directed into the UK, bringing more unsettled and cooler weather.