We may still have a 'real' summer!
Date published: 17 July 2012
The jet stream is likely to change course soon, ending the country's spell of miserable weather, forecasters say.
Drier and warmer weather is expected next week but only after more rain hits an already record wet summer.
This year has seen the wettest April, the wettest June and the wettest April-to-June period on record.
The cause has been the unusually southerly location of the jet stream, a high-altitude belt of wind; but it is expected to move northwards soon.
This should bring more normal summer weather - probably in time for the Olympics.
But changeable weather can be expected until that point, especially in north-western parts of the country.
The anticipated change would put an end to an intense period that has seen serious flooding in most parts of the country, with several areas experiencing an entire month's rain in a single day.
At one point earlier this month, the Environment Agency issued flood warnings in 171 locations simultaneously.
The trend has continued in early July, with England and Wales both experiencing above average rainfall.
The jet stream's path is far from uniform and its location can vary.
In summer it usually sits to the north of the UK, making our weather a slightly cooler version of what continental Europe is experiencing.
But for much of 2012, it sat much further south. The high-velocity wind effectively sucked moisture from the Atlantic Ocean and kept the country cool and wet.
As the jet stream moves northwards, as it is expected to do, the UK's weather should return to a more conventional pattern.
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