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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 July 2007, 18:56 GMT 19:56 UK
'Don't expect a sudden heatwave'
A cyclist navigates the floods in Tewkesbury
The UK's miserable summer could continue, forecasters say
Sun-lovers should not build up hopes that the UK will see a late heatwave, according to BBC weather forecaster Darren Bett.

After scrutinising different weather models used in France, Germany and the US he has found no evidence to suggest an Indian summer is on its way.

The best he could say was that the weather could settle down in the UK over the next few weeks with a slight improvement for the south.

He also said another extreme rain event was unlikely given the UK has seen two in quick succession, but could not rule it out.

Severe floods have hit areas such as Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire since Friday.

'Long way to go'

In June, people in South Yorkshire, East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire were among those struck by extreme flooding.

It means the UK could have already had its dose of sun for the year - in April.

He said: "Don't expect a heatwave. Don't expect it to dry off all of a sudden and the temperature to go mad.

"There are signs next week that pressure is starting to build and the jet stream will move further north.

"But it's still got a long way to go and only southern areas will see the benefit.

Catcliffe, Sheffield
Severe floods hit Catcliffe, near Sheffield, in June

"We can't really be confident there's going to be a massive improvement. There's no indication there's going to be an Indian summer.

"There were a lot of people joking in April that the hot weather we had then was our summer. Well, let's hope April wasn't our summer and it does improve in August."

The summer washout is being caused by the position of the jet stream, a ribbon of fast-moving air 35,000ft above the UK.

The stream steers depressions, areas of low pressure which bring rain. In a normal summer the jet stream is usually much further north, often over Iceland.

'One of those things'

Forecasters are at a loss to explain why the jet stream has ended up much further south than usual.

"You can find that July and August can be the wettest months of the year through local storms," Darren Bett said.

"While we have lots of rain it has not been from solely local storms. It has been down to the jet stream and areas of low pressure.

"We are not sure why the jet stream is not over Iceland. We have been scratching our heads.

"Far cleverer people than me do not really know why it's here. It may be just one of those things."

Darren Bett
Darren Bett said forecasters could not explain the extreme weather

He said the weather patterns did not suggest the position of the jet stream was down to global warming.

"Everyone asks 'is it down to global warming?' but we can't talk about events in isolation.

"In a warming world we would expect summers to be hotter and drier but with more extreme rainfall events.

"They would be down to storms triggered by higher temperatures.

"We haven't really had that. It's been down to the jet stream. The mechanisms at play don't seem quite right for it to be global warming.

"We have not seen anything to suggest the position of the jet stream is down to global warming."


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