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Thundery showers to hit UK amid cold and wet start to summer

Tennis fans shelter against the weather on day four of the Rothesay Open in Nottingham (Mike Egerton/PA)
Tennis fans shelter against the weather on day four of the Rothesay Open in Nottingham (Mike Egerton/PA)

Thundery showers are set to sweep across the UK on Friday amid a cold and wet start to summer.

The weather is expected to remain gloomy over the weekend, the Met Office said.

It comes after the UK experienced its coolest first 10 days of June since 2020 due to the jet stream dragging unsettled weather across the UK.

“It’s a sad, very showery picture really,” said Dan Stroud, a spokesperson from the Met Office.

Outbreaks of rain are expected to move slowly across northern Scotland and Shetland on Friday morning, where there will also be gusts from the north.

Elsewhere, it will be a bright start with showers developing widely, with a risk of thunder in the afternoon.

“Everywhere else really is a generally unsettled day, with showers initially from the south west becoming widespread during the course of the afternoon and some of those showers heavy and perhaps thundery,” said Mr Stroud.

This is due to the jet stream, a ribbon of high velocity wind in the atmosphere which dictates how the weather flows across the country.

At the moment, it has been “dragging the weather down from the north”, said Mr Stroud.

He said: “The jet stream has been helping to pull a lot of unsettled weather southwards across the country.

“We’ve had wind persistently from the north, which is quite a cold direction whatever time of year it is.

“It’s allowed temperatures to be a good few degrees below where they should be for the time of year.”

Rainfall this summer has so far been “above average”, Mr Stroud added.

“In much of England and Wales, rainfall has been above average. We’ve had between 125 and 150% of the long-term average of the first five months.”

Temperatures have reached at least 30C every summer since 1993, but for three out of the last 10, this has not been until July, the Met Office said.

The first days of June 2024 have also been unsettled and cold in comparison to 2023.

“We have had a run of Junes where the weather has been settled and particularly warm. This time last year we had already hit temperatures of plus 30C,” Mr Stroud said.

“But we did have a bit of a cool start to June in 2020, so it’s not that unusual and it certainly doesn’t dictate the whole summer.”