The Met Office has admitted it was caught with its brolly down after forecasting a ‘near normal’ summer for the rain-soaked South West.
Devon experienced 74 per cent more rain than normal last month.
And the South West as a whole got a gloomy 70 per cent of its average sunshine.
Predictions earlier this year of a ‘drier than average’ season now look half-baked.
So it perhaps should come as no surprise that the Exeter-based organisation’s chief scientist has admitted that they failed to “capture the signal for unsettled weather over the UK” – even though it was on the cards – and confessed: “Much more research needs to be done.”
Professor Dame Julia Slingo spoke out after the damp squib summer left many in the Westcountry feeling disappointed and despondent.
She said: “No one can deny that we have had a pretty disappointing summer with a lot of unsettled weather and only a few warm spells, especially through July and August.
“Our weather has been dominated by low pressure over and to the west of the country that has brought us periods of heavy rain from the south.”
According to Dame Julia, the villain of the piece was El Niño – the phenomena which occurs in the Pacific every two to seven years, as east to west trade winds drop, heating up the ocean surface temperature and triggering global weather changes.
She added: “El Niño is in full flight, disturbing weather patterns around the world.
“Looking back over past El Niños, you could have expected that a more unsettled summer season might be on the cards for the UK.
“So could all this have been anticipated? Seasonal forecasts for this summer suggested that temperatures and rainfall would be near normal.
“However, as the season progressed all the leading models around the world failed to capture the signal for unsettled weather over the UK.”