Weather Watch: 'Basking in warmth' and devoid of summer storms
PUBLISHED: 00:04 04 September 2019 | UPDATED: 09:03 04 September 2019
Although the British Isles are a small land mass, just offshore of the continental mainland, and dominated by a mainly maritime climate, our position in the south-east corner is often embraced by conditions prevailing over the continent.
August 2019 provided a good example of this division. Whilst Scotland and north-west England in particular were the recipients of frequent heavy rainfalls and mediocre temperatures, south eastern counties of England basked in warmth throughout the month, and suffered a marked deficit in rainfall.
The monthly mean maximum for August 2019 was unusually high at 24.2C, over 3C above normal, and the mean monthly temperature of 18.6C made the month the warmest August locally since 2003 - and a hotter month than August 2018.
The conclusion of the summer ended in magnificent Bank Holiday weather with maxima exceeding 30C on August 25, 26, and 27.
The monthly rainfall total of 29.4mms was barely half the long-term average, with nearly half this amount falling on a single day, August 14, when 13.2mms was measured.
Thunder was heard on only two days, yet another summer month devoid of any significant storm.
Although odd days or brief spells of very hot weather can occur even in a poor summer, a maximum of 30C is a good measure of truly hot weather in our locality.
Looking back over the past seventeen years, the average annual number of such days is less than three, but there is much variation from year-to-year.
This is well-illustrated by the following summary;
Days with maxima 30.0C or above: 2003 - 3; 2004 - 0; 2005 - 3; 2006 - 10; 2007 - 0; 2008 - 0; 2009 - 0; 2010 - 3; 2011 - 2; 2012 - 1; 2013 - 3; 2014 - 0; 2015 - 1; 2016 - 3; 2017 - 2; 2018 - 8; and 2019 - 7.
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Statistics for August 2019:
- Total rainfall - 29.4mms, 57pc of average;
- Wettest day - 13.2mms, August 14;
- Days with rain - seven;
- Coolest day - 19C, August 16;
- Hottest day - 32.5C, August 25;
- Lowest minimum - 8C, August 14;
- Average temperature - 18.6C, 2.2C above normal.
Weather Watch, by Norman Brooks