Unstable in June but then hotter and drier. This is what the summer is going to be like according to Vattenfall's meteorologist.
Long-range forecasts are by their nature uncertain. What the weather is going to be like in a specific location can only be predicted with a few days' notice. Nevertheless, as far as possible Vattenfall needs to ascertain the weather several weeks or months ahead in order to plan for electricity production and price trends.
This year, the summer weather is a bit easier to have an opinion on than is normally the case, according to Johan Sohlberg, Vattenfall's meteorologist in Stockholm.
Johan Sohlberg, meteorologist at Vattenfall
"The conditions for predicting the weather vary throughout the year and unfortunately are generally at their worst during May. However, this year there are a number of useful signals when comparing the atmospheric conditions with previous years. It enables us to at least have an opinion about the summer weather up to August."
Warmer in July
The seasonal models, combined with statistics, indicate that the summer will start with unstable weather in Northern Europe during June. In July it will start to get warmer in continental Europe and the heat will also spread northwards to Sweden during the month and into August, when it might however become unstable again in the far north.
As the groundwater levels are already low in many places, there is also a risk of a problematic situation with wells running dry.
Sohlberg estimates the probability of the forecast being correct at about 60 per cent.
The weather is increasingly important
For an energy company like Vattenfall, the ability to predict the weather is becoming increasingly important. Rain, sun, wind and temperatures are all factors that have a massive influence on power production and energy requirements. Vattenfall therefore employs a number of meteorologists in Sweden, Germany and the UK to tailor forecasts and to develop new forecasting models.
"The weather is one of the factors that has the greatest effect on the price of electricity. We therefore have to keep a check on what the weather is going to be like both in two weeks’ time and two hours from now. Otherwise there is a risk that we will end up entirely at the mercy of the elements," says Sohlberg