The Met Office has revised its forecast of a barbecue summer. It is now predicting the current unsettled weather will continue well in to August.
Back in April forecasters coined the phrase “barbecue summer” saying that the odds of a scorching summer were 65% and that there would be periods when temperatures exceeded 30C.
It added that the wet weather of previous years would not be repeated and that rainfall would be near or below average.
But, apart from a spell of warm, dry weather in June, long periods of rain and high winds have battered the UK.
Harvest is progressing in some areas but, for most, combines are parked up and frustration with the weather and weather forecasters is growing.
In its defence the Met Office said that it had used barbecue summer only to help newspaper headline writers.
It also added that temperatures had been close to, or above, normal and that the end of August might be better again.
It is the third summer in a row where the Met Office’s long-term forecast has proved inaccurate.
In 2007 floods devastated harvest in the wettest summer seen in England and Wales since 1912, despite Met Office predictions of average rainfalls and warmer than normal temperatures.
But the Met Office has defended its 2009 forecast, pointing out that the floods of 2007 and 2008 had not recurred.