British Grand Prix weather forecast – hot, dry, maybe thundery

By Andy Darley

CalendarFriday, June 5th, 2009

 
 
Update: Current forecasts, as of Thursday evening, suggest there will be showers on Friday and Saturday, but race day should be fairly sunny with reasonable hopes of a dry day. It looks like the thunderstorms that plagued the end of the Super Eights in the Twenty20 Cricket World Cup have played out and won’t be back this weekend.

The BBC’s four-day forecast suggests light rain showers for the next two days followed by sunny intervals on Sunday and Monday. Maximum temperature on race day should be about 20c. The Met Office is more detailed, and also more pessimistic. It warns of a 60 per cent chance of light rain on Saturday afternoon, and a 20 per cent chance of rain on Sunday itself – though it doesn’t suggest during what part of the day this might happen. It suggests temperatures will be a couple of degrees lower than the Beeb is expecting.

We’re still too far away from the British Grand Prix for proper, detailed weather forecasts, but the early signs are pretty good – so long as Silverstone can dodge the bullet of scattered heavy rain or thunderstorms.

At the time of writing, June 21 is still a long way over the horizon for either the BBC weather unit or the weather channel. The BBC’s Silverstone page only looks four days ahead, while the Weather Channel’s British Grand Prix page explicitly says “this event occurs more than 10 days from today, no forecast is available”.

However, the long range forecasts give some sort of picture of what we can expect over the east Midlands in mid-to-late June, and the basic picture is warm and dry, but with occasional days of heavy rain.

The Met Office, in its forecast for June to August, says the UK is “odds on for a barbecue summer”, adding “although the forecast is for a drier and warmer summer than average it does not rule out the chances of seeing some heavy downpours at times. However, a repeat of the wet summers of 2007 and 2008 is unlikely”.

Government Services Director, Rob Varley, warned against putting too much reliance on the three-month forecast: “Our long-range forecasts are proving useful to a range of people, such as emergency planners and the water industry, in order to help them plan ahead. They are not forecasts which can be used to plan a summer holiday or inform an outdoor event.”

But over at netweather.tv, forecaster Ian Simpson was able to home in on the end of June in his monthly summary, where he suggests the overall picture is dry and sunny with an inconveniently-timed unsettled period.

He writes: “The third week is likely to be the most unsettled of the month with low pressure increasingly prevalent to the west of Britain, bringing bands of rain interspersed with brighter showery weather, especially later in the week. It will be a rather wet week in many western areas, and a thundery one in the south.

“Temperatures will reach highs of 22-25C in East Anglia and the south east but it will be closer to average elsewhere. The last week is likely to continue in a similar vein but I envisage one or two high pressure interludes, most likely the 25th-28th, which will bring dry sunny weather. ”

So, in summary, it looks like the odds are in favour of a warm dry weekend for the British Grand Prix – but the chance exists of a short, sharp burst of rain to throw everything up in the air.

We’ll update this closer to the day.

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