I was just looking at the latest Lamb Weather Types [LWT] from the Climate Research Unit [CRU] and ran a comparison on the beginning of June in previous years. Interestingly on the 14 days between the 30th of May and 12th of June, 2009 tops the list of best analogs to 2016, with a match of 88.7% when you compare the indices from the objective LWT data for both years. I will stress at this point that my method is just a simple comparison using these indices, and drawing any conclusion on what the rest of the summer might bring from a short 14 day analog would be very foolish. Having said that so few people read my ramblings, and since I’m paying for the privilege of hosting the xmetman blog, I thought I would do it anyway, so if you’re reading this remember you heard it here first! Of course if you’re reading this in the future and it turned out that 2016 was a great summer, just put it down to those pesky analogs.
If you scan down the closest matches in the list many of them from recent years. Here’s a look at the daily charts for 2009 and 2016 just to see how alike they are.
Both were initially anticyclonic, with high pressure to the north of the country, before pressure fell and low pressure systems spread in from the southwest. This is how the summer of 2009 turned out as far as Central England Temperatures [CET] were concerned, a warm spell at the end of June and start of July, the rest of July was cool and August was only just slightly above average.
And below is a chart of how the England Wales daily precipitation looked through the summer of 2016. July did turn out a very cool and wet month indeed. Looking back in hindsight, the rainfall accumulations were only 120% of average for the whole summer, but I suppose that you have to set that against what a disappointment it was after all the euphoric hype and raised expectations that the seasonal forecast by the Met Office received back in the April.
I don’t recall if the north Atlantic sea surface temperatures were as cool as they are this year so I can’t say if there was a similarity there. At the start of summer 2009 we had also just exited from a minor La Niña event and just entering an El Niño, so completely the reverse of what’s happening at the moment in summer 2016. We will just have to see what the next couple of months bring and hope for the best.