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Stand By For Another DECADE Of Wet Summers, Say Met Office Meteorologists

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Tom Bawden, The Independent & BBC News

Britain faces ten more years of wet summers, after the Met Office revealed the country is in the midst of a rare weather cycle that increases the prospect of summer rain and could last for two decades.

Since the cycle began in 2007, six of the past seven summers have been wetter than average – with last summer seeing the heaviest rainfall in a century at almost double the seasonal average.

Although the cycle does not guarantee wet summers, it “loads the dice” in favour of increased rainfall each year, making wet summers more likely for the next five to ten years. The prediction is based on the last two times the cycle – known as Atlantic multi-decadal oscillation – occurred, in the 1950s and early 1960s and in the 1880s.

“This is a really new and exciting finding,” said Professor Stephen Belcher, head of the Met Office Hadley Centre, of the research by the University of Reading.

“Up to ten years from now the cycle could persist and therefore there is a higher possibility of wet summers,” he added.

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‘More hot and drier summers’ for parts of UK

The simulations found that milder winters and drier summers will also become more likely

Scorching summers such as the one in 2003 look set to become more common in England and Wales, a study suggests.

And devastating rains such as in Britain’s worst winter in 2013-14 may be less likely in the decades ahead.

Work by the Met Office has calculated the odds of particular weather scenarios striking in future years.

The computer simulations-based study, in journal Nature Climate Change, finds that milder winters and drier summers will also become more likely.