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graphs CLIMATE-UK.COM'S REVIEW OF THE BRITISH METEOROLOGICAL SCENE
MONTHLY SUMMARY
No. 607 For JULY 2006
HOTTEST AND SUNNIEST ON RECORD. SEVERAL THUNDERY EPISODES
Text Box: Mean monthly sea-level pressure was above normal over practically the whole of continental Europe, but near to or below normal over much of the North Atlantic. The main anomaly centres were +7mbar near Stockholm and 7mbar in mid-Atlantic. For its combination of high pressure and frequent southerly winds over the UK July 2006 has no parallel during the instrumental record. It is hardly surprising that such a month should break so many records.

High pressure extended from the Baltic to Scotland until the 4th but a thundery depression moved northwards from France on the 4th/5th. A west to southwesterly airflow affected the British Isles from the 6th-12th although pressure had again become quite high over southern districts by the 10th.

It was very warm and increasingly humid during the first six days of the month, the temperature climbing to 30-32C daily in southern England and the Midlands from the 1st until the 4th, while 27C was exceeded locally in northeast Scotland on the 6th. Thunderstorms broke out in western, northern and central areas on the 2nd, and serious flooding was reported from Todmorden and Hebden Bridge (both in West Yorks), and there were also severe storms in southern and midland counties of England on the 4th when Luton (Beds) had hail and wind damage and 26mm of rain fell in 20 mins there. Further thunderstorms and heavy rain developed later on the 5th and at first on the 6th, notably in the Midlands and West Country, and 82mm fell in 24h at Yate (Glos). The next few days were somewhat cooler, changeable, and rather windy, although England and Wales again turned warmer and sunnier on the 11th and 12th. 

A large anticyclone developed over the UK on the 13th, moving little until the 19th when it retreated to Scandinavia, allowing shallow thundery troughs to move in from the south and southwest. High pressure, much weaker this time, returned from the 23rd-26th, and with a deep depression west of Ireland Atlantic fronts finally made eastward progress across the country from the 29th onwards.

Low cloud cleared slowly from eastern and central England on the 13th, and from the 14th to the 19th the weather was sunny and increasingly hot practically nationwide.
Text Box: At first this spell was characterised by low humidity, clear air, spectacular visibility, and cool nights (a minimum of 0.4C at Tulloch Bridge in Lochaber early on the 14th), but it became more humid from the 17th onwards. Hurn (Dorset) logged 147 hours of sunshine in ten days starting on the 11th. Maxima above 30C were recorded daily from the 16th-27th with the exception of the 23rd, and above 32C on eight days. On the 19th 36.5C at Wisley (Surrey) established a new July record for the UK for a standard site, while Kinlochewe (Wester Ross) logged 31.1C which is probably a record for so far north in the UK; the next hottest day was the 25th with 34.1C at Charlwood (Surrey). Exceptionally high night-time minima included 23.2C at Guernsey airport and 22.1C at St Catherines Point (Isle of Wight) overnight 18th/19th.

There was a good deal of thundery activity from the 19th-27th, with some severe storms accompanied locally by large hail and powerful squalls, notably on the 22nd, 26th and 27th. On the 22nd 75mm fell at Charlbury (Oxon), on the 26th there was 68mm at Bassingbourne (Cambs), 41mm of it in one hour, and on the 27th 55mm fell in two hours at Molesey (Surrey). By contrast, Valley (Anglesey) had no measurable rain from the 9th-28th inclusive. There was heavy frontal rain in many northern and western districts during the last four days of July, including a fall of 40mm on the 31st at Shap (Cumbria), but in eastern districts rainfall amounts were comparatively small and although temperatures declined somewhat, they remained well above average.

July 2006 was the warmest calendar month on record over a large part of the UK, the exceptions being much of southwest England, the south Midlands, south and west Wales, western and northern Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Some places in eastern England exceeded the previous record by more than 1 degC. Sunshine aggregates also set new records in many central and eastern parts of England, and although most places experienced some thundery downpours, monthly totals failed to reach 10mm in parts of Kent, East Anglia, Northumberland and Durham, and locally in the Birmingham area. It should be emphasised, however, that there were warmer and sunnier 30-day periods straddling two calendar months in 1976 and 1995.
                                                                                                                                               
    TEMPERATURE   SUNSHINE   RAINFALL        
                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                       
                                  Highest and lowest totals               Highest and lowest totals        
                                  on record for month    
Maximum fall in 24 hrs
   (beginning 09 h)
          on record for month    
Days with snow or sleet
 
Days with fog
(Vis <220 yards at 09 h)
 
                                                                                           
     
Difference from average
   
Difference from average
 
Highest maximum
   
Lowest minimum
   
No. of days with grass
  minimum below 0C
   
Days of no sunshine
 
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
           
                                                                       
    C     C     C     C           Hrs     Hrs       Hrs     Hrs       mm       mm       mm     mm          
                                                                                                                                               
  *Hampstead   27.1   +5.7   15.7   +2.8   34.4   19   10.5   14   00   00   00   12.7   01   250   135   1910   321   1911   109   1913   22   23.9   05     043   091   1910   193   1924   05   1921   06   00   00  
  Thorney Island   25.0   +2.9   15.4   +2.2   34.1   19   11.1   01   00   00   00   14.2   12   * 336   142   1958   322   1959   153   1978   20   07.2   04     024   057   1941   122   1945   06   1949   02   00   00  
  *Wattisham   26.7   +5.7   14.6   +2.9   31.4   26   08.5   15   00   00   00   15.0   18   268   141   1968   295   1976   131   1978   22   04.0   08     011   024   1960   101   1987   05   1977   03   00   00  
  *Wittering   26.3   +5.8   14.2   +2.2   32.2   19   09.4   14   00   00   00   14.6   18   * 283   150   1955   265   1955   115   1965   21   12.8   31     027   060   1955   153   2004   06   1977   02   00   00  
                                                                       
  Lyneham   25.1   +4.2   14.4   +2.3   34.4   19   09.3   14   00   00   01   15.5   17   * 314   146   1952   288   1971   129   1965   20   48.8   05     092   212   1945   125   1950   04   1955   05   00   00  
  Ross-on-Wye   26.9   +5.8   14.5   +2.1   35.0   19   09.0   12   00   00   00   14.4   14   * 311   167   1915   305   1990   095   1944   19   19.6   06     029   066   1859   197   1872   06   1935   05   00   00  
  *St Athan   23.7   +3.7   14.9   +2.4   31.4   18   10.4   12   00   00   01   14.6   17   258   121   1954   319   1955   131   1965   18   12.6   31     044   073   1954   168   1965   13   1977   00   00   00  
  St Mawgan   22.2   +3.4   15.0   +2.0   29.2   18   12.0   12   00   00   02   15.1   17   255   120   1945   317   1955   111   1954   16   10.8   08     034   061   1944   143   1988   01   1955   02   00   00  
                                                                       
  *Edgbaston   26.0   +5.6   15.4   +2.1   34.5   19   10.6   14   00   00   00   14.6   01   283   155   1887   285   1990   067   1888   21   03.2   22     011   026   1887   167   1936   07   1911   06   00   00  
  *Valley   21.8   +3.5   14.1   +1.6   33.6   19   09.9   13   00   00   00   15.0   14   278   138   1946   341   1955   115   1986   24   07.6   08     011   023   1941   114   1957   09   1983   00   00   00  
  *Woodford   25.4   +5.6   13.2   +1.8   31.3   19   07.5   14   00   00   01   14.7   15   * 280   166   1945   280   1955   102   1954   23   14.0   05     037   058   1942   187   1973   10   1999   04   00   00  
  *Watnall   26.0   +5.5   14.4   +2.4   31.3   19   09.6   14   00   00   00   14.6   15   * 273   144   1948   260   1990   087   1965   20   25.2   22     045   100   1942   148   1973   11   1982   04   00   00  
                                                                       
  *Leeming   25.2   +5.0   12.4   +0.7   30.6   17   05.6   14   00   00   00   15.3   15   * 276   165   1945   262   1955   091   1965   22   06.8   22     021   048   1947   139   1973   09   1984   03   00   00  
  *Boulmer   20.6   +2.5   12.1   +0.3   25.5   26   07.7   13   00   00   00   15.4   15   251   140   1945   268   1955   105   1957   24   02.2   08     * 007   013   1945   118   1988   11   1989   00   00   00  
  *Eskdalemuir   22.0   +4.1   11.0   +1.8   28.6   19   03.9   13   00   00   00   14.7   15   202   134   1911   266   1989   075   1931   18   31.0   08     081   091   1911   269   1988   25   1913   01   00   00  
  *Bishopton   22.0   +2.8   12.1   +1.3   28.0   18   06.4   14   00   00   00   14.7   14   193   111   1921   297   1989   086   1931   16   22.4   08     054   095   1921   147   1988   11   1984   01   00   00  
                                                                       
  *Leuchars   21.6   +2.8   11.9   +1.1   28.1   17   06.6   13   01   00   02   15.7   15   203   106   1922   262   1955   091   1931   19   12.0   02     023   042   1922   181   1940   13   1983   00   00   01  
  *Dyce   21.6   +3.5   12.3   +2.2   29.8   17   05.8   14   00   00   02   15.4   15   199   121   1941   263   1955   078   1968   22   11.4   02     018   030   1941   198   1957   13   2003   01   00   01  
  *Stornoway   18.2   +2.4   12.4   +2.1   23.5   20   08.8   08   00   00   03   15.4   14   137   101   1880   227   1917   057   1939   10   07.8   29     049   082   1943   165   1988   14   1955   00   00   00  
  *Aldergrove   22.1   +3.5   12.8   +1.6   28.6   19   03.9   14   00   00   00   15.5   15   220   154   1927   274   1955   086   1986   16   27.2   19     089   114   1927   155   1950   12   2000   01   00   00  
                                                                       
                                                                                                                                               
  Stations marked with an asterisk record sunshine electronically; comparisons      
  with earlier records are therefore somewhat speculative. Thorney Island's   * New high record   * New low record  
  sunshine figures are from a nearby site.