When the UK Climate Projections 2009 (UKCP09) were released, I was really keen to understand them and work out what changes they predicted for my home town of Reading. Following this through in detail, I dig into the spatial and seasonal differences we can expect. As well what is underneath these big shifts in long term average temperature, rainfall, etc.
Seasonal climate changes in 2050s Reading
There is a significant amount of difference expected between the individual seasons, which you cannot understand from the crude estimates of change to average annual temperature. In Reading, we will see summer temperatures increasing more relative to the rest of the year, although it will be milder in all seasons. It looks like winter will be wetter and summer will be drier: there is more uncertainty about how rainfall will change for spring and autumn.
The table is explained in more detail in the following post…
Spring (March – May) – looks like it will be warmer, with a bit less cloud and lower humidity. There is uncertainty as to whether rainfall amounts are likely to change to be drier or wetter.
Summer (June-August) – will be hotter, with temperatures increasing relatively more in this season than at other times of the year. Notice that day & night temperatures look like they increase more in the earlier summer months than we saw in the detailed analysis of August temperature changes. There is a notable reduction in the amount of cloud and expected humidity levels. It also looks likely that it will be significantly drier on average (the low scenario predicts 73% chance that it will be drier); more research will need to be done to see if there are changes to extremes.
Autumn (September-November) – seems to change in a similar way to the Spring. There does appear to be slightly wider uncertainty bands for many of the climate variables, and it looks like there is a higher chance that it will be wetter in the future rather than drier.
Winter (December-February) – will be milder, more research will need to be done to check that cold snaps are less frequent and / or less extreme (I would expect so). Whist cloud and humidity look like they will remain similar to what we are used to, there is a very noticeable expectation of that we will see more rainfall. Further research will need to be done to check whether future rainfall events are expected to be more extreme, and / or more prolonged.