No break seen for UK’s wet weather

LONDON — The best advice for visitors to Britain — pack an umbrella — is more vital than ever.

Weather scientists said Tuesday that a country that has been unusually soggy in recent years is not likely to dry out soon, and a warm Atlantic Ocean may be to blame.

Meteorologists and climate scientists from around Britain met to discuss why the traditionally temperate country has recently experienced icy winters, the coldest spring in a half-century, and a string of washed-out summers.


Stephen Belcher, a University of Reading meteorology professor who chaired the workshop organized by Britain’s weather-forecasting agency, Met Office,said evidence suggests Britain may be in the midst of a 10- to 20-year cycle of wet summer weather that started in 2007 and should end ‘‘in the next five to 10 years.’’

Get Today's Headlines in your inbox:
The day's top stories delivered every morning.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

The culprit is the jet stream, the narrow band of fast-moving wind which flows west to east across the Atlantic. It has dipped to the south, hovering over Britain and bringing soggy weather with it.

Adam Scaife of the Hadley Centre climate-change research facility said that for the past few summers ‘‘we had conditions in the northernmost Atlantic that were much warmer than normal.’’

‘‘That shifts the odds slightly in favor of this summer being wetter than the historical average,’’ he said.

Associated Press