Why has it been raining so much and when will it get better?

Credit: PA

Summer has been a let down so far.

The first half of June was unseasonably cool and chilly, but it cheered up a touch later in the month, albeit short-lived.

Then, a brief warm spell lifted temperatures to where you'd expect it to be in the summer months, but it was a blink-and-you-miss-it kind of scenario.

Luckily, the warmer drier weather coincided with Glastonbury - silver linings!

July has been dreadful so far and many summer events have been a washout - including a very damp Wimbledon.

The rain has been blamed for one of the lowest attendance figures in years - not to mention the struggle to get tickets even when the weather is more fitting.

Together, with brisk winds and cooler conditions than you'd expect in mid-summer, there's the added risk of thunderstorms in place for the next 48 hours.

What's happened to our summer?

The disappointing conditions have been driven by a serious lack of high pressure systems, which would usually encourage fine, settled sunny weather and in turn some much needed warmth.

With the sun so strong this time of year , it wouldn't take much for temperatures to bounce up, but sadly we've had little opportunity.

This is largely down to the jet stream sitting further south.

More often than not, it sits miles north across Iceland, allowing high pressure, and in turn pleasant settled conditions to develop.

This year, it's position is across mainland Europe and we remain in the unseasonably cool and unsettled area above it.

The weather is forecast to warm up this weekend Credit: PA

When will it get better?

At this stage, there are hints that the second half of this month looks a little more encouraging, with the chance of more sunshine and more fitting temperatures to the time of year - nothing groundbreaking, but certainly better than it has been.

Promisingly, we're not quite mid-way through summer yet, there's still time for things to improve - just in time for the summer holidays.

We've still got the whole of August, traditionally where we used to see the highest temperatures and the longest heatwaves.

That said, last year we had a prolonged 30C heatwave in September - making it warmer than July and August for many of us.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know…