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Posted at 2:00 PM ET, 11/24/2010

Weather forecast for royal wedding now, seriously?

By Jason Samenow
royalwedding.jpg
Prince William and his Kate Middleton, 2010. (Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett).

The international community is buzzing about the upcoming nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton slated for April 29, 2011 in London. But will all the pomp and circumstance be dulled by dreary clouds and dampness or radiate under brilliant sunshine and warmth?

One forecaster thinks he knows the answer more than five months in advance. As quoted in the London Evening Standard:

"It will be essentially dry with sunny spells, although there is likely to be some cloud, so glorious sunshine is unlikely," said Jonathan Powell, senior forecaster at Positive Weather Solutions.
"Mild, warm weather is more or less certain, with temperatures in the late teens or early twenties [celsius]."

In that case, it "is more or less certain" that I'll win the lottery in late April too.

Simply put, the weather is impossible to predict with any skill months into the future. This is particularly true in London where the weather is notoriously fickle. The limit of reliable weather forecasts is more like four to seven days, not months.

A much better account of what can be said about the royal wedding's weather prospects was printed in the News Mirror.

It smartly starts off stating: "The only consistent thing about April's weather [in London] is its inconsistency."

And it then it quotes Aisling Creevey, from the private forecasting company MeteoGroup, who prudently says:

"No doubt there will be lots of bets on the weather but there is just no way of knowing that sort of thing."
"There are no indications at this point."
"We can only look at climatology - average temperatures and conditions over the years."

So what does climatology say? The UK Met Office released a fact sheet that tells us the following about what has happened in London, England over the past 21 years on April 29:

* The average high was 62 F (or 16.6 C), and ranged from 50 F (9.7 C, 2004) to 74 F (23.5 C, 1994)

* Days (9am to 9pm) were dry in 15 of the last 21 years, with only 6 seeing rain. The wettest was in 1991 when 0.6" (15.6 mm) of rain fell at Heathrow.

* The sunniest days occurred in 1990 and 2000 both with 13.2 hours. 2010, 2004, 1995 and 1991 experienced no sunshine at all.

The Met Office concludes that there is a 1-in-3 chance of receiving more than 0.04" (1mm) of rain and a 1-in-30 chance of getting more than 0.4" (10mm) of rain this April 29.

By Jason Samenow  | November 24, 2010; 2:00 PM ET
Categories:  International Weather  
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Next: PM Update: Showers late, chance of sleet N & W

Comments

Any idea as to what the weather will be like in Barcelona during the last week in February? ; ))

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | November 24, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh come on. It's London England!
It will be chilly & cloudy with rain showers.
There ya go; my work here is done.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | November 24, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey there JerryFloyd1 - glad you have acknowledged this is a difficult question ;) I am going to yield to climatology, when looking that far out! 55F/42F (high/low)

What I found interesting when looking into the records? mid-February is a tad (1 degree for hi & low) warmer than late February. Huh!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | November 24, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I lived in England for two years and the saying there was, "Wait five minutes and the weather will change."

Some truth to that as I recall.

Posted by: jaybird926 | November 24, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

@Camden, thanks for the research; the discrepancy in Barcelona's mid- and late- Feb temps m-a-y because it's right on the Mediterranean Sea, and I'm guessing water temps are coolest in late February. Or maybe they get more rain later in the month? Anyway, mid 50s/low 40s works for me! (Last winter they had snow on March 8, even on the beach, but that's very rare.)

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | November 24, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Southern England in late April - probably a 10% chance it will be glorious, and a 90% chance that it will be damp, windy, and chilly, with frequent showers. Start heading north, and the odds of the latter go up to 100%.

Posted by: dickinyobooty69 | November 25, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

'Tis far too early to have a forecast, even on the model ensembles, for April 29, 2011. However, the Gruber Almanack Co. [Hagerstown] says that we ought to be fair and warmer that day...but that's for here, not London.

Using their moon phase-change table, the last quarter occurs at 9:47 pm on Sunday, April 24, which just happens to be Easter Sunday. The weather should be fair, if wind be northwest, rainy if the wind be south or southwest. The almanac says nothing about an easterly wind, though easterly winds that time of year tend to bring cool, wet and sometimes blustery raw weather around here.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | November 25, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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