Future weather will bring extremes, says Met Office

Hot summers may become par for the course in the UK by the end of the century, a new Met Office study has found.
Hot summers may become par for the course in the UK by the end of the century, a new Met Office study has found.
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SCORCHING HOT summers are likely to become the norm in the UK by the end of the century while winters turn wetter and less chilly, according to new research.

The forecast from the Met Office shows a general trend towards hotter, drier summers and milder winters.

Researchers analysed long range climate projections for the UK based on 30 year averages and found that the chances of very cold British winters or soggy summers dwindle as the world warms, but could still occur in individual years.

Lead scientist Dr David Sexton, head of scenarios development at the Met Office, said: “The future UK climate can now be described in terms of the extreme hot, cold, wet or dry seasons which could associate with floods, droughts, heatwaves and cold spells that impact society.”

The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, shows the odds of having a colder than average winter in the UK dropping from around 20 per cent in 2020 to just four per cent by 2100.

And the chance of experiencing a very cold winter is less than one per cent by the end of the century.

Over the next two decades there was still a 35-40 per cent likelihood of summers being wetter than average, but the odds fall to about 20 per cent by 2100.

But by the end of the century the likelihood of experiencing a blazing hot summer of the kind now seen every 20 years rises to 90 per cent.

Met office senior scientist Dr Glen Harris, who co-authored the research, said: “While there is a trend towards warmer winters and drier summers, there will still be a lot of variations in weather from year to year.”