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graphs CLIMATE-UK.COM'S REVIEW OF THE BRITISH METEOROLOGICAL SCENE
MONTHLY SUMMARY
No. 680 For AUGUST 2012
AN UNSETTLED AND RATHER CLOUDY MONTH WITH NEAR-NORMAL TEMPERATURE, EXCEPT IN EAST ANGLIA AND THE SOUTHEAST WHERE IT WAS RATHER WARM AND MAINLY DRY
Text Box: During August lowest pressure was often found to the west of Ireland, resulting in a disturbed south to SW-ly flow over the British Isles. Rain fell frequently but it was often rather warm, especially in East Anglia and SE England, though the month ended with three notably cool days and one exceptionally cold night. Mean sea-level pressure ranged from about normal over Shetland to -8mbar in western Ireland.

Pressure was low near western Ireland during the first 4 days but lowest pressure drifted east across the UK between the 4th and 7th, and this was followed by an anticyclonic spell which lasted till the 11th. There were frequent showers, some-times accompanied by thunder, during the first seven days of the month. On the 4th and 5th local flooding was reported in the Scottish Borders, West Yorkshire, Pembrokeshire, the Bristol area, and in Devon; highest rainfall totals to hand were 40mm at Chivenor (Devon) on the 4th and 38mm at Bradford (West Yorks) on the 5th, although radar returns indicated totals in excess of 60mm notably in the Scottish Borders. Temperatures during this period were generally close to or a little above the seasonal normal. There were fewer showers by the 7th, although a heavy downpour hit North Yorkshire where Osmotherly, on the western flank of the Cleveland Hills, collected 55mm, most of it within 2 hours; elsewhere the sun shone for 14.3h at Bishopton (Renfrewshire). The period 8th-11th was practically dry over the entire country although showers affected the West Country, Wales and Northern Ireland late on the 11th. It became warm with sunny periods, the temperature widely reaching 23-27C with 27.8C logged at St James's Park (London) on the 9th.

A deep low complex was located in the Southwest Approaches or to the west of Ireland between the 12th and 20th bringing a renewed period of unsettled but warm weather. Heavy rain affected much of the country on the 15th and 16th with a 48h total of 64mm falling at Dundrennan (Kirkcudbrightshire); amounts of rain in East Anglia and the Southeast were, however, quite trivial. On the 15th the wind gusted to 55kn at St Mary's (Scilly). Further rain or showers affected northern and western regions over the next few days, but it became hot and humid with sunny Text Box: periods in East Anglia, the Southeast and the East Midlands between the 17th and 19th. Highest maxima included 32.4C at Cavendish (Suffolk) on the 18th and 31.1C at Cambridge on the 19th, though shortlived thunderstorms affected the southeast corner that afternoon. High minima occurred overnight 17th/18th with 20.7C at Langdon Bay (Kent), 20.6C at St James's Park (London) and 20.5C at Weybourne (Norfolk).

After a couple of days of westerly winds, an active depression crossed Wales and England between the 24th and 26th, a further vigorous depression tracked NNE-wards to the west of Scotland on the 27th/28th, and another crossed the country on the 30th, followed by a ridge on the 31st. A heavy localised downpour hit Lerwick (Shetland) on the 21st, depositing 64mm of rain, and there were further periods of rain over subsequent days including 45mm at Porthmadog (Caernarfon) on the 24th and 43mm at St Bees Head (Cumbria) on the 30th. Thunderstorms affected many districts on the 25th. The night of 26th/27th was cold in northern Britain, with 0.6C logged at Baltasound - probably the lowest August reading on record in Shetland. It became notably cool nationwide from the 29th onwards, and the maximum at Fylingdales (North Yorks) on the 30th was just 11.3C. The night of the 30th/31st broke several local records but no national record; lowest minima included -2.4C at Braemar (Aberdeenshire) and -1.8C at Tulloch Bridge (Lochaber) while ground frost was noted as far south as Hampshire.

As measured by the CET it was the warmest August since 2004 though that is perhaps an indication of the indifference of recent Augusts. Mean temperatures were within a couple of points of the 1981-2010 average in all regions, except for Southeast England and East Anglia where they were 0.5-1.0 degC above. Over England and Wales this August's rainfall has been exceeded in four of the last ten years; twice the normal was exceeded locally in Shetland, Cumbria and Devon, but East Anglia and the Southeast were relatively dry with just 20mm collected at Shoeburyness (Essex). Sunshine totals were typically within 15 per cent of the long-term average, although southwest England and south Wales were notably dull with only 133h sunshine at St Athan (Glamorgan), a mere 64 per cent of the average.
                                                                                                                                             
    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   22.4   +1.0   13.9   +0.8   29.8   18   05.4   31   00   00   00   09.9   11   147   079   1910   282   1995   097   2008   13   09.9   25   037   057   1910   184   1975   02   1995   01   00   00  
  Thorney Island   20.9   -1.2   14.3   +0.6   25.0   19   06.9   31   00   00   00   11.6   10   204   096   1958   303   1976   117   2008   13   05.8   24   034   072   1941   141   1960   04   1976   01   00   00  
  *Wattisham   22.4   +1.1   13.1   +1.2   30.8   18   06.5   31   00   00   00   12.1   18   176   094   1968   285   1995   122   2008   09   08.2   05   048   101   1960   147   2010   03   2003   03   00   00  
  *Wittering   21.8   +1.1   12.7   +0.4   28.8   19   06.7   31   00   00   00   11.7   09   155   083   1950   258   1995   090   1971   14   12.0   05   065   114   1948   162   2004   03   1983   03   00   00  
                                                                     
  *Lyneham   20.5   -0.2   12.7   +0.5   25.3   10   05.1   31   00   00   00   13.0   10   141   072   1952   297   1995   111   2008   09   23.4   15   * 136   227   1945   136   1951   02   1995   02   00   00  
  Ross-on-Wye   21.2   0.0   12.6   +0.1   25.7   10   05.2   31   00   00   00   09.8   10   147   083   1915   307   1995   107   1922   09   11.0   15   062   111   1859   202   1878   04   1936   02   00   00  
  *St Athan   19.9   -0.5   14.4   +1.5   25.0   10   07.7   31   00   00   03   13.0   10   133   064   1954   325   1995   089   2008   10   19.6   24   105   137   1954   202   1997   22   1955   00   00   00  
  Culdrose   18.5   -0.7   14.3   +1.0   22.4   09   08.4   31   00   00   02   12.9   10   161   077   1961   312   1976   105   2008   09   15.6   17   092   151   1961   208   1997   04   1981   00   00   00  
                                                                     
  *Edgbaston   20.3   -0.9   13.3   +0.2   23.7   10   08.0   31   00   00   00   11.5   09   162   089   1887   282   1995   085   1896   09   11.0   15   068   141   1887   173   1912   06   1940   02   00   00  
  *Valley   18.9   -0.3   13.8   +0.8   24.9   11   08.9   31   00   00   01   13.7   09   176   088   1946   291   1976   086   2008   10   38.2   24   098   160   1941   210   1956   05   1959   01   00   00  
  *Woodford   20.3   +0.2   11.3   -0.2   24.7   10   05.5   31   00   00   00   10.2   09   146   086   1945   284   1995   079   2008   09   11.1   15   057   079   1942   201   1956   07   1976   03   00   00  
  *Watnall   21.1   +0.4   12.7   +0.4   26.2   19   05.7   31   00   00   01   12.2   09   126   068   1948   261   1995   098   1963   12   10.0   21   061   107   1942   154   2004   04   1995   03   00   00  
                                                                     
  *Leeming   20.5   +0.1   11.3   -0.4   24.3   14   01.2   31   01   00   01   12.5   09   141   086   1945   246   1995   086   2008   12   16.6   15   074   094   1945   165   1971   07   1947   02   00   00  
  *Boulmer   18.3   +0.1   11.6   -0.1   22.9   18   05.1   31   00   00   02   11.6   08   142   087   1945   273   1995   072   2008   14   11.8   25   052   074   1945   199   1956   03   1947   01   00   00  
  *Eskdalemuir   18.0   +0.1   09.9   +0.5   25.9   10   -00.6   31   01   01   04   10.3   08   113   078   1911   260   1947   041   2008   06   36.6   27   202   190   1911   393   2009   01   1947   02   00   01  
  *Bishopton   19.4   +0.1   11.0   +0.2   23.8   10   04.2   31   00   00   03   14.3   07   157   100   1921   254   1995   068   2008   05   33.4   27   140   192   1921   213   2004   00   1947   00   00   00  
                                                                     
  *Leuchars   18.4   -0.4   11.3   +0.4   22.9   18   03.5   31   01   00   03   10.3   28   131   076   1922   242   1995   095   2008   11   19.0   05   086   143   1922   213   2004   07   1955   00   00   00  
  *Dyce   17.8   -0.4   10.8   +0.5   23.5   18   02.3   31   01   00   08   11.4   03   098   062   1941   257   1947   076   1963   11   23.0   13   086   123   1941   162   1962   00   1947   00   00   00  
  *Stornoway   16.7   +0.3   11.3   +0.9   21.6   14   05.5   30   00   00   03   13.4   11   112   075   1880   262   1899   065   2006   08   19.0   28   093   143   1943   203   1982   13   1947   00   00   00  
  *Aldergrove   19.4   +0.7   12.6   +1.4   22.8   10   08.5   08   00   00   02   12.1   08   150   102   1927   276   1976   061   2008   08   10.6   15   081   120   1927   181   2008   09   1947   00   00   00  
 
                                                                                                                                             
  Stations marked with an asterisk record sunshine electronically; comparisons      
  with earlier records are therefore somewhat speculative. Thorney Island's     * Equal highest  
  sunshine figures are from a nearby site. Woodford's data are estimated.      
  Averages are for 1981-2010.