Jet stream changes may bring warmer weather
The jet stream is on the move at last following a lengthy spell when it became lodged across southern England, bringing low pressure systems and unsettled weather.
Northern Ireland has had the wettest June on record followed by a wetter than average July.
Forecasters say the jet stream is at last showing signs of moving northwards, back to its more normal summer position, heralding sunnier, calmer weather.
However, Northern Ireland will still fall prey to changeable weather, along with most north-westerly parts of the UK.
And before the jet stream moves, we also have to brave another spate of miserable weather. Meteogroup forecaster Tom Tobler told the Belfast Telegraph: “There’s a bit of a change coming up later in the week but there is more unsettled weather to get through first for Northern Ireland.
“There’s some fairly heavy rain coming in at the minute and possibly thunderstorms too,” he said.
But there is a change on the horizon, he added. “There will be just a few showers today then high pressure is building from the west.’’
Saturday and Sunday should be mostly dry for Northern Ireland, he said.
“However, there is another low pressure system approaching on Sunday which will remain to the north west of the UK. These weather fronts will be moving in and bringing some heavy rain, especially to the west of Scotland, but Northern Ireland will get some rain on Monday.”
The second half of next week is looking drier due to high pressure, although temperatures will remain average, he said.
The jet stream is a river of fast-flowing wind powering through the upper atmosphere. It normally passes along a path from west to east across the Atlantic.
Its exact position makes a major difference to the weather impinging on Britain and Ireland, as small islands on the frontline between the Atlantic Ocean and the Continent of Europe.
The jet stream is a zone of fast moving winds, typically flowing around the globe at mid-latitudes around six miles above the Earth's surface. Sometimes, the jet stream will accelerate and when this happens, air is forced to move upwards through the atmosphere, causing areas of low pressure that bring unsettled weather.
In a normal summer, the jet stream would typically pass to the north west of Scotland, bringing rain to the north west of Britain and drier weather to the south east.
This summer the jet stream has been lodged across southern England.