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Warm seas priming the atmosphere for wetter weather?


Sea temperatures around the coasts of the UK and near continent have warmed up in the past few weeks.

Heatwaves in Europe have certainly played their part and as the chart below showers, temperatures are now above average around much of the UK, eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean.

That heat 'loads' the atmosphere above with energy. This in turn means that any cooler air passing over these areas at higher levels increases instability (basically the fall in temperature from the surface to high levels in the troposphere) which leads to enhanced convection. This develops cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds, and can also aide the development of low pressure areas.

So we need to be watching developments closely, because any infiltration of cooler air could be enough to trigger mixed, and sometimes lively conditions.

Indeed that is what the GFS ensemble is hinting at by showing troughs close to Ireland and the western Uk in the coming couple of weeks.

We could be in for an interesting ride, especially the west of the UK and Ireland!

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