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03/05/17: Electricity North West weather watch - May

Electricity North West weather watch

The weather can have a big impact on the local power network. We work hard to make the network as resilient as possible by investing more than £130m every year, but there are some things we can’t control.

We’ve certainly enjoyed some lovely weather over the Bank Holiday, but have we said farewell to the wintery weather and can we expect a lovely May now that we are well in to the spring season? Meteorologist Nick Prebble from MeteoGroup is here to tell us.

Look back: April

The second month of the meteorological spring was most notable for the prevalence of high pressure around or to the west of the British Isles, a pattern that wasn’t too dissimilar to April 2016. The main feature for the North West (and the UK as a whole) has been for below-average rainfall, with numerous dry days occurring in the past month and just modest precipitation totals from fronts passing North West to South East.

Temperatures were rather variable with a few cold nights occurring due to a combination of northerly air flows and clear skies, with several night frosts even during the latter stages of the month. Furthermore, there was a lack of any particularly warm days with temperatures rarely climbing above the mid-teens.

Winds were never especially strong either with just a few breezy days, and gusts largely kept below 50mph even during the brief windy spell around the middle part of the month. Showery conditions did, however, result in a few thunderstorms moving across the North West at times, conditions that are of course very typical of the time of year.

Look ahead: May

The first few days of the month have continued with the dry theme from April, with barely a drop of rain measured across the network of weather stations across the North West. This pattern will continue through the first week or so of May, with high pressure leading to a lot of fine weather and much of the low cloud and drizzle restricted to areas east of the Pennines.

However, there does appear to be a change on the cards during the second week of May and around mid-month, with the likelihood for the return of low pressure in and around the UK bringing the threat of rain and fresh winds at times. Temperatures are also expected to take a tumble close to or a little below average for a time, with not much sign of any developing warmth. The latter stages of May are proving difficult to forecast due to opposing signals from weather models, but there are some signs that it could turn mild, breezy and showery.

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