Blink and you may have missed it, but the 'barbecue summer' we were all promised is officially over

Unless you’re cruising abroad this year you can wave goodbye to daydreams about sunbathing on deck, as summer is officially over, according to the Met Office.

Despite forecasts back in April that this year the UK would experience a long, hot summer, the Met Office has cooled its predictions and now says that for the rest of summer rainfall is likely to be near or above average all over the UK and northern Europe.

The Met Office has come in for criticism for its optimistic weather predictions back in April but some critics believe it was not the forecasts themselves where the Met Office fell down, but the emphasis placed on them.

Philip Eden, vice president of the Royal Meteorological Society, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “They should be doing research into long-range forecasts. The problem is that we don’t actually know very much about the forcing factors, the outside influences which affect the weather during a period of, say, a month or three months ahead.

“The big problem with these forecasts was the spin that was put on it by the Met Office’s press office – the ‘barbecue summer’ bit.”

So if you’re heading out on the water prepare to get very wet indeed, but then again they’ve got it wrong before, so here’s hoping they’ve got it wrong again.