Weather Review of August 2011

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  • Lindsay Mayland. 10, from Stoke on Trent, plays in the fountains in Trafalgar Square, London. August 01, 2011. Photo: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

    A group of Beavers erect tents in the garden of 10 Downing Street, London. August 06, 2011. Photo: Dan Kitwood/ PA Wire

    Great waves crash over the sea walls at Whitley Bay in North Tyneside. August 29, 2011. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

  • Weather Review of August 2011
    31.08.2011 13:07


    The main features of the month were:
     
    * Exceptionally low max of 8.0°C at Loch Glascarnoch on 28th
    * Widespread heavy rain on the 10th, 18th and 26th-28th
    * Sunshine aggregates 15-30% below normal in all  regions

    Although August 2011 began with three very warm days, the remainder of the month was cool and unsettled, especially after mid-month. There were several days of widespread heavy rain, and also a marked shortage of sunshine.

    Mean maximum temperature for August ranged from 22.3°C at Swanscombe (Kent) to 13.7°C at Fair Isle (between Orkney and Shetland), while mean minimum temperature varied between 14.5°C at Olympic Park South (London) and 7.5°C at Braemar (Aberdeenshire). Mean maximum temperature ranged from near normal in the Midlands and East Anglia to 1.5degC below in parts of Scotland, while mean minimum temperature was around 0.5degC below in all regions. The Central England Temperature (CET) of 15.5°C was 0.7 degC below the long-term mean, not quite as low as August 2010 but, last August apart, the lowest since 1993.

    The highest maximum at a standard site (i.e excluding rooftop and mountain sites) in the UK was 30.3°C at Swanscombe on the 3rd, while the lowest minimum was 1.1°C at Katesbridge (Co Down) early on both the 19th and 23rd. The lowest daytime maximum was 8.0°C at Loch Glascarnoch (Sutherland) on the 28th, and the warmest night was that of the 2nd/3rd with a minimum of 18.5°C at Olympic Park North (London).

    Rainfall averaged over England and Wales (including a very small estimated figure for the 31st) during August was 85mm which is 118 per cent of the average for the standard reference period 1971-2000, lower than August 2010 but higher than August 2009;  in the last 100 years 42 Augusts were wetter while 64 were drier. The equivalent figures for Scotland were 123mm and 179 per cent of the normal amount, and for Northern Ireland 49mm and 71 per cent. Monthly totals at routinely-available sites ranged from 217mm at Cluanie Inn (Wester Ross) to 19mm at Newport (Shropshire). At a more local level, much of the Midlands, Wales and Northern Ireland reported a drier-than-average August, but by contrast many places in eastern Scotland reported almost three times the normal amount of rain.

    Sunshine averaged over England and Wales (including a small estimated figure for the 31st) during August was 146 hours which is 74 per cent of the 1971-2000 mean, the lowest since the exceptionally dull August of 2008; in the last 100 years 89 Augusts were sunnier while only 11 were duller.  The equivalent figures for Scotland were 114 hours and 74 per cent, and for Northern Ireland 135 hours and 80 per cent.  Largest total in the UK was 203 hours at Jersey airport (Channel Is) and the smallest was 55 hours at Kinlochewe (Wester Ross).

    The windiest day of the month was the 28th, with a peak gust of 67mph at Wick (Caithness).

     

    Regional Breakdown

     

    Difference from the average (1971-2000)

    Mean Max

    (deg C)

    Mean Min

    (deg C)

    Rainfall

    (per cent)

    Sunshine

    (per cent)

     

     

     

     

     

    Scotland (Highlands and Islands)

    –1.2

    –0.5

    167

    78

     

     

     

     

     

    Scotland - Central Belt and east coast

    –1.4

    –0.3

    191

    70

     

     

     

     

     

    Northeast England

    –0.5

    –0.4

    147

    83

     

     

     

     

     

    East Anglia

    0.0

    –0.3

    111

    84

     

     

     

     

     

    Midlands

    0.0

    –0.3

    76

    71

     

     

     

     

     

    Southeast England

    –0.3

    –0.3

    121

    84

     

     

     

     

     

    Northwest England and North Wales

    –0.2

    –0.2

    127

    70

     

     

     

     

     

    Southwest England and South Wales

    –1.0

    –0.6

    124

    73

     

     

     

     

     

    Northern Ireland

    –1.1

    –1.0

    71

    80

     

     

     

     

     

    IrishRepublic

    –1.1

    –1.5

    93

    80

     

     

     

     

     

     

    © Philip Eden