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Comes Rain And Shines

If the Weather Doc and Mother Nature had a fight over the climate, not only would he beat the crap out of her (not that we'd condone that), he'd also end up making sweet love to her afterwards. Over to the man who spunks rainbows...

"The official start of the festival summer is heralded by the sale of Glastonbury tickets, & now that we've all snapped those up
the thoughts of every serious Glasto loving festival head turn to one thing and one thing only: will they be showing the football? And the weather.

The weather can make or break a Glastonbury, and while there's something to be said for the Dunkirk spirit & camaraderie that a
good mudfest can induce, there is nothing, simply nothing, quite so good as simply messing about in hot sunshine befuddled by the

So, what will the weather hold for us this year? The long range forecasts are still to be nailed down, and up until a few days ago Metcheck were still going with its "Might rain, might not" forecast, but the key this year, as with all others, is a phenomenon we scientists call
"The European Monsoon". This seasonal effect has only relatively recently been marked out as a distinct event, having previously
been masked by the UK's propensity to have summer weather than can best be described as 'a bit shit'.

The monsoon phase of our weather starts around the end of May & is caused by the European landmass, of which sadly we must count
ourselves part, warming up in the longer days of late Spring. It takes a while for the oceans to catch up with this warming, & as the heated land causes warm air to rise, it sucks in the weather from the west, bringing with it unsettled, windy & rainy conditions. The end of this monsoon period varies, but it is usually around, you guessed it, Glastonbury festival weekend. So, the chances of us wading round in 4 feet of water or basking in glorious sun depends on whether the monsoon phase is still with us, or whether the oceans have heated up sufficiently to start generating the fabled Azores highs that gives us those wonderful July & August heatwaves we love so much.

When will the monsoon end this year? Annoyingly, Metcheck are predicting it will coincide exactly with Glastonbury weekend, which could explain their metaphorical wobbly hand gesture as to what's going to happen to us. Just as GFF are busy poring over the runes & small animal entrails to work out what this all means, they have updated their prediction to a 55% chance of rain, which is a little more definite than the unequivocal & decisive 'meh' that it was before but not entirely what we want to hear.

That said, the maximum temperature they're looking at is 23 degrees, which suggests that it will be warm, & any rain will be of the 'short sharp shock' variety - possibly with some thunder & relatively strong breezes - there could be some sticky puddles if that falls on hard sun-baked ground. On a brighter note, the Met Office (peace be upon them, and their families) are slightly more hopeful. They suggest that the annual warming trend will continue this year & we could be in for a nice Summer. We'll look forward to more of that kind of forecast from them!

At the moment though, any variation in the weather (however slight) is a bonus to us because it means we get to play about with The Slideometer. Look! It's moved a tiny bit towards the rainy cloud. It's fucking moved!

So anyway, back to the weather... Metcheck aren't yet being specific as to when this Summer will start though, so don't pack away your cagoules just yet. In the mean time we could always fall back on some folklore. One bright spot in the legends is this little gem: "If February brings drifts of snow, There will be good summer crops to hoe". If you cast your minds back to February, you'll remember it did in fact snow, so that heralds a nice growing season. Other things to look out for are the flowers on oak & ash trees: “When oak is out before the ash, ‘Twill be a summer of wet and splash, But if the ash before the oak, ‘Twill be a summer of fire and smoke." Watch for those blossoms! Next month, keep your eyes out for bees: “A swarm of bees in May, Is worth a load of hay.” You'd need to ask a farmer as to whether a good growing season for hay and the like is lots of sunshine or lots of rain - anyone know a farmer near Glastonbury?

It's still early days for weather prediction this Summer, but don't waste too much time fretting about it. Sit back in your garden, relax with a beer, and keep checking back to Glasto Festival Forecast and we'll do all the hard work for you."

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  1. Anonymous Anonymous | 10 April 2007 at 16:38 |  

    do you think it will rain cats and dogs? or maybe mice with squashed heads??