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graphs CLIMATE-UK.COM'S REVIEW OF THE BRITISH METEOROLOGICAL SCENE
MONTHLY SUMMARY
No. 608 For AUGUST 2006
A 'NORTHWESTERLY' MONTH; COOL AND CLOUDY FROM THE 9TH, VERY WET IN EASTERN ENGLAND
Text Box: Mean sea-level pressure was below normal over most of Europe and above normal over much of the northern Atlantic. Over the British Isles, the anomaly ranged from -1mbar in western Ireland to -5mbar in East Anglia. Northwesterly winds blew remarkably frequently; in fact the northerly component of the mean flow over the UK was higher than in any other August in over 130 years of records.

A depression over Scotland early on the 1st moved slowly towards the Baltic with a northerly flow in its wake. Most regions became cooler than at any stage in July, and although maxima of 20-22C were still common in southern England, Glenlivet (Moray) reached only 12.6C on the 3rd. There was heavy rain in Scotland and eastern England: Tulloch Bridge (Lochaber) collected 57mm on the 31st/1st and Cromer (Norfolk) 59mm on the 1st/2nd with serious flooding in nearby Sheringham. It was warmer between the 3rd and 8th as a strong ridge from the Azores high extended across the UK; most places enjoyed long sunny spells and the temperature peaked at 28.2C at Aboyne (Aberdeen-shire) on the 5th and 28.9C at Church Lawford (Warwicks) on the 6th, but there were a few thunderstorms on the 6th and 7th with flooding in Eastbourne on the 7th.

High pressure took up residence in mid-Atlantic from the 9th allowing a northwest-erly flow to develop over the British Isles. It quickly turned cooler with a high of 12.5C at Altnaharra (Sutherland). A depression moving down the North Sea delivered heavy rain to most eastern districts on the 11th and 12th and ushered in a very unsettled period which, with only the briefest of breaks, lasted till the end of the month. Flooding in north Kent on the 12th followed 50-60mm of rain in the Sheppey/ Faversham/Sittingbourne area, and serious but short-lived flooding affected west Surrey the next day when thunderstorms deposited 100mm at several places between Farnham and Old Windsor including 118mm at Virginia Water. Boltshope Park (Durham) reported a maximum of just 11.2C on the 13th while Braemar (Aberdeenshire) recorded a minimum of 2.0C overnight 15th/16th. Text Box: There were further heavy falls of 50-60mm in Cornwall on the 16th/17th and in Ayrshire and Cumbria on the 18th as a new depression became slow-moving in the Southwest Approaches. The fortnight 8th-21st was exceptionally cloudy over much of Scotland and eastern England: at Aviemore (Inverness-shire) the aggregate sunshine for that period was 11.2h, of which only 2.5h was recorded between the 11th and 20th inclusive.

Atlantic disturbances tracking eastwards across the UK maintained the unsettled theme between the 21st and 26th, and it was particularly wet over England and Wales on the 23rd and at first on the 24th. A showery northwesterly flow became established between the 25th and 29th with hail and thunder occurring widely, and a number of short-lived tornadoes were reported, but sunshine was rather more plentiful in most areas. Braemar again recorded a minimum of 2.0C early on the 28th. A transitory ridge on the 30th was followed by further Atlantic fronts on the 31st: Capel Curig (Snowdonia) collected 81mm of rain in the 48h starting 09z on the 30th.

Mean maximum temperature was 0.5-1.0 degC below normal over most of the UK while the mean minimum was typically 0.5-1.0 degC above, but as measured by the CET it was the coolest August since 1999. The months absolute maximum was below 30C for the first time in August since 1993 and nowhere in the UK reached 25C after the 9th. Sunshine was in short supply almost everywhere except along the English Channel coast, over England and Wales as a whole it was the dullest August since 1986, while in northern Scotland Kirkwall (Orkney) totalled just 61h and Stornoway (W.Isles) 64h, both new low station records as far as one can judge since the change of sensor. It was a very wet August in eastern England but a dry one in the West Country, percentages ranging from over 250 at several places in East Anglia, Kent, Sussex and Surrey to less than 30 locally in Dorset.
                                                                                                                                             
    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   21.3   -0.5   12.8   +0.2   28.6   06   09.3   25   00   00   01   10.5   08   128   074   1910   282   1995   104   1958   12   20.0   23   075   121   1910   184   1975   02   1995   05   00   00  
  Thorney Island   22.0   +0.2   13.9   +0.5   27.7   06   08.4   25   00   00   00   10.1   27   242   102   1958   303   1976   143   1968   15   06.4   23   025   055   1941   141   1960   04   1976   02   00   00  
  *Wattisham   20.4   -0.6   12.1   +0.5   26.7   06   08.7   29   00   00   03   11.4   05   * 131   069   1968   285   1995   136   1968   11   29.4   23   * 130   281   1960   127   2004   03   2003   06   00   00  
  *Wittering   20.3   -0.1   12.1   +0.1   27.4   06   07.3   25   00   00   00   09.6   30   128   067   1950   258   1995   090   1971   10   07.4   17   066   120   1948   162   2004   03   1983   05   00   00  
                                                                     
  Lyneham   20.7   +0.3   12.6   +0.7   27.0   06   09.1   22   00   00   00   11.6   08   184   091   1952   297   1995   125   1958   15   09.2   23   036   063   1945   136   1951   02   1995   04   00   00  
  Ross-on-Wye   21.5   +0.6   13.0   +0.8   28.0   06   08.0   25   00   00   00   12.9   08   174   097   1915   307   1995   107   1922   14   47.0   18   123   229   1859   202   1878   04   1936   06   00   00  
  *St Athan   19.8   -0.3   13.5   +0.9   22.8   03   08.6   25   00   00   00   13.2   03   142   067   1954   325   1995   133   1958   14   07.2   17   033   046   1954   202   1997   22   1955   02   00   00  
  St Mawgan   18.8   -0.3   14.1   +0.8   22.2   05   11.2   30   00   00   00   13.6   02   210   097   1945   323   1976   125   1958   13   15.2   15   052   086   1944   189   1958   04   1981   02   00   00  
                                                                     
  *Edgbaston   19.9   +0.2   12.7   +1.0   27.0   06   09.4   25   00   00   00   09.0   08   127   072   1887   282   1995   085   1896   06   15.0   23   072   119   1887   173   1912   06   1940   05   00   00  
  *Valley   18.4   -0.6   13.1   +0.3   21.8   05   08.5   08   00   00   03   12.5   07   147   072   1946   291   1976   123   1948   15   16.6   18   088   150   1941   210   1956   05   1959   01   00   00  
  *Woodford   19.1   -0.7   12.1   +0.8   25.7   06   06.1   25   00   00   03   09.4   24   112   064   1945   284   1995   089   1948   07   17.6   23   132   179   1942   201   1956   07   1976   04   00   00  
  *Watnall   19.8   -0.6   12.2   +0.2   27.3   06   07.9   25   00   00   00   08.7   27   123   065   1948   261   1995   098   1963   11   23.8   23   116   212   1942   154   2004   04   1995   06   00   00  
                                                                     
  *Leeming   19.6   -0.5   11.7   +0.3   25.7   06   08.0   25   00   00   01   11.6   28   109   065   1945   246   1995   086   1954   15   18.2   01   080   105   1945   165   1971   07   1947   05   00   00  
  *Boulmer   18.4   +0.5   12.0   +0.5   25.9   06   09.1   29   00   00   04   12.0   09   140   083   1945   273   1995   096   2004   13   36.4   18   105   156   1945   199   1956   03   1947   02   00   00  
  *Eskdalemuir   17.7   +0.0   09.3   +0.2   22.1   03   02.8   25   00   00   03   12.5   03   099   067   1911   260   1947   044   1912   06   16.8   18   076   075   1911   345   1985   01   1947   04   00   00  
  *Bishopton   19.1   +0.0   10.9   +0.3   23.2   14   07.2   08   00   00   02   12.2   14   149   093   1921   254   1995   085   1942   10   10.8   18   065   094   1921   213   2004   00   1947   01   00   00  
                                                                     
  *Leuchars   19.6   1.1   10.8   +0.2   27.1   05   06.6   12   01   00   02   11.7   14   158   090   1922   242   1995   097   1963   18   14.6   18   045   079   1922   213   2004   07   1955   01   00   00  
  *Dyce   18.0   +0.1   11.4   +1.4   26.0   05   06.3   25   00   00   04   07.4   05   081   050   1941   257   1947   076   1963   12   21.4   18   050   074   1941   162   1962   00   1947   01   00   00  
  *Stornoway   16.1   +0.0   11.6   +1.5   19.2   05   07.9   30   00   00   05   09.0   17   * 065   043   1880   262   1899   075   1942   06   12.6   25   059   095   1943   203   1982   13   1947   00   00   00  
  *Aldergrove   17.9   -0.6   12.0   +1.0   23.0   05   07.3   24   00   00   02   08.8   24   087   057   1927   276   1976   082   1942   09   20.2   18   085   132   1927   161   1956   09   1947   02   00   00  
 
                                                                                                                                             
  Stations marked with an asterisk record sunshine electronically; comparisons      
  with earlier records are therefore somewhat speculative. Thorney Island's   * New lowest   * New highest  
  sunshine figures are from a nearby site.