Barbecue summer forecast - but not by Met Office
After the Met Office gave up on long range weather forecasts, a small company is sticking its neck out
A new long-range weather forecast promises this summer's temperatures could rival or even surpass those of 1976, the hottest on record.
Thankfully, the company doing the predicting is not the much-criticised Met Office, but the little-known Positive Weather Solutions (PWS), who unlike their larger rival correctly predicted both last year's washout summer and the big winter freeze from which we have only recently emerged.
According to PWS, average temperatures in June, July and August are on course to exceed those of 24 years ago, which saw one 15 day spell of heat exceed 32°C. Almost frighteningly, a two week spell at the start of this August could even surpass 2003's highest temperature ever recorded (38.5°C).
Of course those fretting over the possibility of a rain-free Wimbledon need not worry as, reassuringly, a patch of heavy rain is predicted for the fortnight of the grand slam - and the weekend of the Glastonbury Festival.
Jonathan Powell, PWS's senior forecaster, said: "There will be stifling temperatures this summer, making it possibly the warmest UK summer on record and placing it at least among the top three warmest summers recorded.
"A very warm summer like this has been on the cards for some years, and the Met Office believed it was likely to happen last year. But now it is time to get the barbecue out – and people should be able to find a good deal on one after last year's Met Office forecast."
The fledgling forecaster is really sticking its neck out using the fateful words "barbecue" and "summer". The Met Office, which has now given up on long range forecasts, was roundly criticised after its own prediction of a "barbecue summer" last year turned out to be wildly optimistic. Now there is talk of the BBC dropping the organisation that provides its weather forecasts.