A Fine Outlook for Glastonbury Festival 2024

Post by
James Peacock MSC
A Fine Outlook for Glastonbury Festival 2024

Soon after the onset of the northern hemisphere's festival season, one of its most profound events rolls around: Glastonbury.

It remains to this day the largest greenfield music and performing arts festival on the planet. Alongside Pyramid stage and top-tier performances from the biggest names in the musical arts, it's also renowned for tempestuous weather tendency. After all, it's located in the southwest of England, where the summer season is hardly known for routinely producing weeks on end of reliably dry, warm or hot weather. In fact, it can be so variable that it rains on part of the ground while the rest remains dry!

Glastonbury has known some truly torrid runs of weather over the years, the famous 'mud bath' being the result. We've all seen those pictures of festival goers slick with mud but grinning their heads off regardless.

That, though, isn't what threatens cancellation. Instead, it takes thunderstorms, and/or unseasonably strong winds, which may destabilise stages for example, or a the other end of the spectrum, very hot weather. That last one makes it very dangerous for people to gather in huge, dense crowds with little to no shelter from the blazing sunshine.

Happily, I'm not here to forecast any of those for this year's festival!

Hot Start but Nothing Exceptional

As festival goers begin to arrive on Wednesday, the weather is expected to be hot and humid, with light winds, but nothing severe. Air temperatures should reach 26-27°C, so it will be a good idea to take on plenty of water and seek shelter during the middle part of the day to help avoid heat stroke. There's just an outside chance of an afternoon heavy shower or thunderstorm.

Then: Optimal Weather!

Thursday is expected to see much fresher conditions arrive from the west by the evening, perhaps with a little light rain for a time. While hardly what most would consider optimal for hanging around outdoors, this will in fact set the stage for pretty much perfect weather as events ramp up for the weekend.

We're talking daytime highs in the range of 19-23°C with some sunny spells and a bit of a breeze, which is close to the long-term average for the time of year. These not very high temperatures can be greatly appreciated when you're in a vast crowd of people, which generates its own warmer and more humid microclimate (best not to think about exactly how when you're right there breathing it in).

A few light showers can't be ruled out for the weekend, but depending on the beverage situation - how much is being consumed versus worn - a little rain might also be well received!

James Peacock MSc
Head Meteorologist at MetSwift