Jet stream to blame as the rain keeps Islanders off the beach

APRIL was cold but dry, May has been milder but thoroughly wet – and the bad news for sun worshippers is that Jersey’s miserable spring weather is set to continue for the foreseeable future.

A deserted St Brelade's Bay on Friday. Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (30844761)
A deserted St Brelade's Bay on Friday. Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (30844761)

This time last year locked-down Islanders were slapping on the suncream during a seemingly never-ending run of warm and dry days, with temperatures regularly rising into the 20s.

This month, however, we’ve been reaching for the coats and umbrellas, as the Island has been lashed with heavy downpours, and temperatures have struggled to hit the mid-teens.

And on Thursday the mercury only just made it to 10°C as a weather front dumped 13mm of rain on the Island – 1mm more than Jersey saw during the whole of April.

The culprit is the jet stream – a band of winds high up in the atmosphere which moves low pressure systems across the Atlantic and is the dividing line between the cold air to the north and warmer air to the south.

Fraser Ralston, duty forecaster at Jersey Met, said: ‘The jet stream has been running further south than it would typically be at this time of the year. It has been close to southern parts of the UK and France, and so low-pressure systems have been coming over us from the Atlantic.

The bay in busier, sunnier times. Picture: JON GUEGAN. (30843964)

‘Normally at this time of the year the jet would be towards northern parts of the UK.’

Jersey entered an absolute drought – where there is no measurable rain for 15 consecutive days – on 26 April.

By contrast, May has been so wet that by yesterday the Island had notched up 47.2mm of rain – just 7mm less than the average for the whole month.

And it looks as though that long-awaited beach day will have to be put on hold for a while yet.

Mr Ralston said: ‘There is a hint that there will be a brief spell of better weather towards the middle and end part of next week but generally the outlook for the next ten days is looking mixed.

‘Longer-range forecasts hint that there may be a shift towards a more normal climatic situation, with high pressure building in, as we go into June. But whether that will happen is an unknown – it is just a signal.’

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