“hanging in the balance” of thunderstorms and a heatwave
With less than one week to go before Glastonbury Festival opens its big beautiful green gates to over 135,000 Glasto-goers (approximately 200,000 including staff), the weather forecast appears to be quite promising.
According to the Met office, temperatures are set to rise and could top 30°C! Although a warning has also been issued in regards to the possibility of thunderstorms hitting the festival on the Wednesday (June 26).
The news comes on the heels of an exceptionally wet June so far, as Brits have been experiencing heavy downpours and grey skies for the last couple of weeks.
Earlier this week a Met Office weather expert said it was “hanging in the balance” in regards to whether it would rain or shine.
Now, with the Met Office issuing a yellow weather warning and temperatures due to rise from Tuesday onwards – Deputy Chief Meteorologist at the national weather service, Laura Ellam, said: “With this hot and humid weather there is the potential for severe thunderstorms developing, bringing the risk of torrential downpours, hail, flash flooding and gusty winds.”
“We are carefully monitoring the situation and will update any National Severe Weather Warnings as confidence in where the greatest impacts from the thunderstorms and heavy rain increases.”
She also said that: “Whilst it will feel warmer for everyone in the UK next week, parts of southern and eastern England will see the hottest weather with temperatures here into the high 20°C, possibly exceeding 30°C at the peak of the heat by Wednesday or Thursday.”
Looking at the reports from the BBC – rain is expected in the days leading up to the festival, before things clear up for the event itself. Claiming that early arrivals on Wednesday (June 26) will be welcomed by light rain in the afternoon before sunny intervals in the early evening with temperatures around 26°C.
The prediction for the Thursday is for it to be drier with mild conditions, and periods of sunshine with temperatures peaking at 24°. Similar weather is said to follow on Friday (June 28), whilst there is a chance of light showers in the afternoon. The Beeb report that Saturday (June 29) and the closing Sunday (June 30) will see cloudy skies with cooler temperatures around 21°C.
Accuweather‘s outlook is a little more pessimistic indicating that Wednesday (June 26) will see periods of sunshine and temperatures around 26°C, before hitting 20°C with light rain showers predicted for Thursday (June 27), Friday (June 28) and Sunday (June 29), but with Saturday (June 29) remaining dry.
Glastonbury aficionado and weather forecaster, Gavin Partridge, has also released his 4th weather video update this evening – saying the general outlook is of “an upwards curve” and that it looks that it is set to be a “relatively warm Glastonbury Festival […] and it could actually get very hot”, although he does caveat that there is going to be “instability with this”. Watch his full weather forcast video below.
The leading Met Office climate scientist Professor Richard Betts said today: “The world has warmed by more than 0.5°C since the 1st Glastonbury Festival in 1970. Temperatures in Somerset rose by 0.75°C. Atmospheric carbon dioxide rose from 325 ppm in 1970 to over 410 ppm this year.
A climate Q&A will be held at this year’s festival which will be hosted by Professor Betts, who was awarded an MBE earlier this month in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. The Q&A will take place in the Green Fields area at 3pm each day.
Anyone at #Glastonbury2019 want to talk to a climate scientist about how we know that humans are heating the Earth, and what this means for the future?
Find me in the Green Fields with fellow @FestivalBugs environmental experts!
Climate Q&A 3pm daily 🌍https://t.co/kGNlXBkLEX
— Richard Betts (@richardabetts) June 18, 2019
The festival – which first started in 1970 – has seen its fair share of washouts and mud-baths, in addition to a few really (unbearable-to-some) scorchers.
Glastonbury 1984 was noted as the hottest day in the Festival’s history, coming in at a wapping 27.5°C – That all changed in 2017 when Glastonbury of that year dethroned 1984 as the hottest ever Glastonbury Festival – According to the BBC, in 2017 the temperature reached 30°C by 14:00 and was expected to rise further during the afternoon, making it the hottest day in the event’s history.
That being said, Glastonbury 1997 was one of the muddiest of all-time, making it known the world over as ‘the year of the mud’.
Glastonbury 2019 runs from Wednesday 26 June until Sunday 30, with headliners including The Cure, Stormzy, The Killers and Liam Gallagher.