This is why the UK weather has been so disappointing this summer (01202) 558833. Pic: ZacharyCulpin/BNPS Wet Summer - Weather input There was a wet, grey start to the day at Weymouth beach this Tuesday morning. The blue skies of summer seemed like a world away on the coast in Dorset
People hoping to spend their days sunbathing and swimming at the UK’s beaches will be sorely disappointed (Picture: ZacharyCulpin/BNPS)

So far, the great British summer has been a bit of a let down.

While we did have a few days of warm and sunny weather last month, with a heatwave declared and highs of 31°C reported, our luck hasn’t held out and instead we’ve been subjected to rain and clouds.

There have even been yellow Met Office weather warnings for rain and thunderstorms in place in recent days – just to rub it in.

Wimbledon has even seen lower than average attendance figures as queueing fans and Centre Court got drenched.

With the school summer holidays fast approaching, it’s not surprising that the question on our minds now is when the weather will actually get better.

But what’s causing this rubbish weather in the first place?

Tennis spectators shelter under their umbrellas at Wimbledon in southwest London.
Wimbledon spectators have been hiding under their brollies throughout the tournament (Picture: HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP)

Why is the weather so bad in the UK?

The blame for the UK’s current rubbish weather can be solely placed on the jet stream.

The stream of air high up in the atmosphere has flowed either across the UK or further south, allowing areas of low pressure to move in which bring wind and rain with them.

This means the UK and north west Europe have been stuck with cooler and more changeable weather conditions, while southern Europe has seen heatwaves and even wildfires on some of the Greek islands.

Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist David Hayter said: ‘The position of the jet stream, which is a ribbon of air high up in the atmosphere, is often the driving force behind the weather we experience in the UK.

‘Just small shifts in the position of the jet stream can lead to big differences in the weather we experience on the ground.

‘In recent weeks, the jet stream has been either directed towards the UK, or shifted further south, which has predominantly brought cooler air over the UK, with frequent incursions of some unseasonable winds and rain.

‘For warm weather in the UK in summer, you’d tend to see the jet stream shifted further north, which allows the possibility of warmer air to drift over the UK from the south, though this isn’t always the case.

‘Unfortunately for those who like the warmth, we have only had brief periods where this pattern has been present in summer so far.’

When will it improve?

Metro weather warning map 09/07
There are two yellow weather warnings for rain in place today (Picture: Metro graphics)

Thankfully some relief from the dreary, grey weather is on the cards as a ridge of high pressure is set to sweep across the UK from Thursday.

This will increase temperatures, but only up to around the July average – but the increased heat won’t stick around for long, with unsettled weather due back again towards the end of the weekend and beginning of next week.

Is there a heatwave on the way?

It’s difficult to know the answer to this question for sure, as it’s extremely difficult to predict the weather more than a couple of weeks in advance.

But there are currently encouraging signs that the weather will start to get drier and warmer towards the second half of July.

David added: ‘While there’s much uncertainty in the forecast at this range, there are some subtle signs of a more settled spell possibly developing, at least for a time, in the second half of July.

‘It’s far too early to give any details on how this could develop, so it’s important to stay up to date with the latest forecast.

‘There also remains an ongoing chance of unsettled periods of weather and much will depend on the dominant conditions day-to-day as the forecast takes shape.’

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