Their promises of a barbecue summer and a mild winter in 2009 could hardly have been more wrong, but the Met Office is now predicting extreme droughts like the one that gripped Britain in the summer of 1976 could become much more common.
The drought of 1976 culminated in a 18-month period of below average rainfall which started in May 1975. The period was marked by daily fires and dry river beds, while agriculture suffered badly, with an estimated £500 million in failed crops.
A study by the meteorologists looked at how frequently droughts could occur in the UK by 2100 in the face of global warming.
The researchers ran a series of simulations of their climate model to see how weather patterns may change in the future, and the majority showed extreme dry spells would become more common.
There was a range of 11 different versions of the model.
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