Next summer will be a scorcher, say weathermen

You might imagine that after the Michael Fish hurricane debacle and this year's 'barbecue summer' rumours, the Met Office might steer clear of making any long-term predictions. But it hasn't stopped them as they declared yesterday that the summer of 2010 is set to be a 'scorcher'. In fact, forecasters say that it will be the hottest year (globally, that is) since records began nearly 160 years ago.

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Apparently it's all down to El Niño – the weather phenomenon which provides warmer than usual water in the Eastern Pacific and plays a part in world weather. However, since they also announced in April of this year that we were "odds on for a barbecue-summer", you'll have to forgive us if we take it with a pinch of salt, since what we actually got was 40 per cent more rain than usual.

The Met Office, which claims its global weather forecasting track record is good, appeared to then hedge its bets a little by saying: "A record warm year in 2010 is not a certainty – especially if the current El Niño was to unexpectedly decline rapidly near the start of 2010 or if there was a large volcanic eruption which would cool the planet."

Oddly, though the final temperature data for 2009 won't be available until March, both the Met Office and the World Meterological Organisation have released estimates – just in time for the big climate change talks in Copenhagen, prompting sceptics to accuse the Met Office of political lobbying.

So far the 'noughties' have been the warmest decade on record, with 2009 the fifth warmest year since records began. For now though, it might be best to stick to white Christmas predictions before planning a summer 'staycation'.

What do you think? Are we in for a scorching summer or will it be, as this year has been, a bit of a washout?
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