back
graphs      CLIMATE-UK.COM'S  REVIEW  OF  THE  BRITISH  METEOROLOGICAL  SCENE
     MONTHLY  SUMMARY
     No. 572 For   AUGUST   2003
                     DRY AND SUNNY.   RECORD-BREAKING HEATWAVE.
Text Box: High pressure developed over the UK during the first few days and persisted with only brief interruptions until the 27th. The month ended with a northerly type in occupation. Mean sea-level pressure anomaly ranged from +5 mbar over western Scotland to +2 mbar in Sussex and Kent.

On the 1st a slow-moving cold front brought thick cloud and drizzly rain to East Anglia and southern England, but there were sunny spells elsewhere and it was generally rather warm. A developing anticyclone then settled over the British Isles where it remained for two weeks, bringing mainly sunny and hot weather to all regions although there were scattered thunderstorms on the 4th-6th and 10th-11th. Overnight 4th/5th, 93mm fell in 10 hours on Colonsay in the Hebrides, while a remarkable fall of 49mm in 15 minutes occurred at Carlton-in-Cleveland, North Yorkshire, on the morning of the 10th.  The temperature exceeded 30șC daily from the 3rd to the 12th, and reached 35șC or more on the 5th, 6th, 9th and 10th. A maximum of 36.4șC was recorded at Gravesend, Kent, on the 6th, and at Enfield (a rooftop site), north London, on the 9th, but the hottest day of all was the 10th when 38.1șC was reported from Kew Gardens and Gravesend, a new UK record for any month. In Scotland a maximum of 32.9șC was logged at Greycrook in the Borders on the 9th, a new Scottish record. There were some exceptionally high night minima, too, including 23.7șC at Guernsey airport on 4th/5th. According to government sources, the heatwave was responsible for almost 1000 deaths during the first half of August.
Text Box: It gradually turned cooler between the 11th and 14th and it was windy over Scotland overnight 13th/14th, but most central and eastern districts remained bright and warm. The weather became rather changeable between the 18th and 22nd especially in Scotland and Northern Ireland where it was wet and windy at times, but amounts of rain in southern, central and eastern England were derisory or non-existent. 

A new anticyclone developed over the UK on the 23rd and 24th, renewing the sunny and very warm weather, but this high quickly transferred to the Iceland area allowing much cooler and cloudier northerly winds to spread to the whole country during the next few days. Rain fell widely on the 28th and 29th although parts of East Anglia and the south-east Midlands had very little, and the afternoon maximum at Buxton, Derbyshire, on the 29th was just 11șC.  The month ended with two fair but cool days and ground frost occurred widely at night.

The provisional Central England Temperature of 18.3șC placed this August in 5th place in the 344-year long record; interestingly the other four all occurred in the last 60 years. Averaged over England and Wales it was the fourth driest August in the last 100 years, after 1995, 1947 and 1940, and it also ranked the ninth sunniest. Just 0.7mm of rain fell during the entire month at Royston, Herts. The summer quarter’s CET of 17.3șC put it in fourth place after 1976, 1995 and 1826, but seasonal rainfall and sunshine figures were less remarkable.
                                                                                                                                         
                       TEMPERATURE                                SUNSHINE                             RAINFALL                                                       
                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                 
                   
No. of days with grass
  minimum below 0șC
                      Highest and lowest totals    
Maximum fall in 24 hrs
   (beginning 09 h)
                Highest and lowest totals    
Days with snow or sleet
 
Days with fog
(Vis <220 yards at 09 h)
 
     
Difference from average
   
Difference from average
             
Days of no sunshine
                      on record for month                         on record for month        
                                                                                         
           
Highest maximum
   
Lowest minimum
         
Maximum duration
       
First year of record
         
Days of no rainfall
 (0.1 mm or less)
         
First year of record
         
Days with thunder
     
       PLACE  
Mean Maximum
   
Mean minimum
             
No. of air frosts
       
Total for month
                   
Total for month
                   
                               
% of average
                   
% of average
                 
                                                                     
                                   
Highest
   
Lowest
 
Year
             
Highest
   
Lowest
 
Year
       
             
Date
   
Date
         
Date
         
Year
         
Date
         
Year
           
                                                                     
      șC       șC       șC       șC             Hrs       Hrs         Hrs       Hrs       mm       mm         mm     mm          
                                                                                                                                         
  *Hampstead   25.8   +4.0   14.6   +2.0   37.4   10   07.6   30   00   00   02   11.6   03   208   121   1910   282   1995   104   1958   29   11   28   013   022   1910   184   1975   02   1995   01   00   00  
  Thorney Island   24.5   +2.4   14.8   +1.7   30.7   10   09.0   31   00   00   01   14.5   02   261   124   1958   303   1976   143   1968   27   18   28   022   040   1941   141   1960   04   1976   01   00   00  
  *Coltishall   22.6   +1.6   13.3   +1.5   31.1   10   07.7   31   00   00   01   13.3   02   197   116   1979   290   1995   149   2002   29   02   01   004   007   1964   160   1996   04   1983   00   00   00  
  *Wittering   23.9   +3.2   13.4   +1.7   33.1   10   06.3   30   00   00   01   13.2   02   198   117   1950   258   1995   090   1971   28   04   28   010   015   1948   123   1956   03   1983   01   00   00  
                                                                     
  Lyneham   23.9   +3.2   13.8   +2.2   32.7   09   06.8   31   00   00   00   14.3   03   226   125   1952   297   1995   125   1958   28   04   28   004   007   1945   136   1951   02   1995   01   00   00  
  Ross-on-Wye   24.2   +3.0   13.4   +1.5   33.0   09   05.0   31   00   00   00   13.8   03   218   134   1915   307   1995   107   1922   27   06   28   010   016   1859   202   1878   04   1936   00   00   00  
  *St Athan   22.4   +2.0   14.8   +2.5   30.6   09   09.2   31   00   00   01   14.0   03   182   096   1954   325   1995   133   1958   26   16   28   024   028   1954   202   1997   22   1955   01   00   00  
  St Mawgan   21.1   +1.7   14.9   +1.9   27.3   08   08.9   31   00   00   00   14.0   03   217   112   1945   323   1976   125   1958   23   13   28   023   032   1944   189   1958   04   1981   03   00   00  
                                                                     
  *Edgbaston   23.8   +3.3   13.2   +1.7   33.8   09   09.0   30   00   00   02   13.5   03   188   118   1887   282   1995   085   1896   25   13   28   017   023   1887   173   1912   06   1940   01   00   00  
  Valley   20.4   +1.1   13.3   +0.8   33.0   05   07.8   30   00   00   00   13.8   14   228   125   1946   291   1976   123   1948   21   07   29   011   015   1941   210   1956   05   1959   01   00   00  
  Ringway   22.1   +1.8   13.6   +1.6   31.6   09   04.5   30   00   00   02   13.2   09   192   122   1945   284   1995   089   1948   23   03   10   011   014   1942   201   1956   07   1976   01   00   00  
  *Watnall   22.8   +2.1   13.4   +1.6   32.1   09   07.2   31   00   00   02   13.4   02   185   109   1948   261   1995   098   1963   25   10   28   021   032   1942   152   1956   04   1995   01   00   00  
                                                                     
  Leeming   21.9   +1.5   11.7   +0.6   30.5   09   02.7   31   00   01   03   12.2   04   207   138   1945   246   1995   086   1954   24   26   10   038   042   1945   165   1971   07   1947   02   00   00  
  *Boulmer   19.3   +1.0   12.2   +0.9   23.4   04   07.5   30   00   00   04   12.5   04   170   113   1945   273   1995   096   1954   24   11   18   022   028   1945   199   1956   03   1947   01   00   00  
  Eskdalemuir   19.8   +1.7   10.2   +1.1   28.7   09   02.6   31   00   02   02   13.5   08   206   156   1911   260   1947   044   1912   20   16   21   034   028   1911   345   1985   01   1947   01   00   00  
  *Bishopton   20.6   +1.1   11.2   +0.5   27.8   07   05.5   30   00   00   01   13.3   08   219   152   1921   254   1995   085   1942   21   13   21   034   041   1921   163   1992   00   1947   01   00   00  
                                                                     
  Leuchars   19.6   +0.7   11.2   +0.8   22.4   04   06.1   23   00   00   01   12.7   23   202   129   1922   242   1995   097   1963   18   03   17   012   017   1922   192   1930   07   1955   02   00   03  
  Dyce   19.9   +1.6   11.7   +1.9   23.9   09   05.0   16   00   00   00   13.1   14   221   153   1941   257   1947   076   1963   22   05   28   017   021   1941   162   1962   00   1947   00   00   00  
  *Stornoway   17.7   +1.1   11.7   +1.7   24.3   06   06.7   30   00   00   01   13.7   05   144   106   1880   262   1899   075   1942   13   10   17   049   066   1943   203   1982   13   1947   00   00   01  
  *Aldergrove   20.2   +0.9   11.5   +0.0   26.0   06   04.7   30   00   01   00   13.1   08   173   108   1927   276   1976   082   1942   23   10   17   017   022   1927   161   1956   09   1947   01   00   00  
                                                                     
                                                                                                                                         
  Stations marked with an asterisk record sunshine electronically; comparisons      
  with earlier records are therefore somewhat speculative. Thorney Island's      
  sunshine figures are made at nearby Hayling Island.