29 August 2008
Forecasters at the Met Office are predicting that that final day of the summer could end with heavy rain and thunderstorms affecting some parts of the country this weekend.
Very warm conditions with temperatures peaking at 27 °C in some southern and eastern areas of England are expected, although thunderstorms are likely to develop, mainly during Sunday.
The return to unsettled weather will mark the end of the meteorological summer which has been one of the wettest on record across the UK.
The National Climate Information Centre at the Met Office has provided the following figures that show the extent of the rain around the country so far this summer.
|Region||Total summer rainfall |
1 June - 26 August 2008
|Long-term average |
1 June - 31 August
|Current ranking for summer 2008 rainfall||Year of wettest summer on record|
|Wettest summer total rainfall|
|UK||317.7 mm||226.9 mm||7th||1956||358.4 mm|
|England||261.9 mm||183.9 mm||10th||2007||325.3 mm|
|Scotland||371.5 mm||284.9 mm||10th||1985||453.6 mm|
|Wales||411.7 mm||270.6 mm||9th||1927||499.5 mm|
|Northern Ireland||392.7 mm||236.3 mm||2nd||1958||404.0 mm|
Within the UK some local rainfall records have been broken, especially across parts of Northern Ireland and Scotland where flooding severely affected road and rail transport. Provisional rainfall figures show that Northern Ireland had its wettest August since 1914.
The Met Office is now able to pinpoint extreme rainfall more accurately, thanks to improvements of its research and development programme.
A combined team of hydrological and Met Office forecasters based in Exeter used the latest technology to deliver integrated warnings for emergency responders, including those in Northern Ireland during the August flooding.
The high rainfall totals have been mirrored by low sunshine figures, with the UK on course to record one of its dullest August months. There were some chinks of light for what is usually one of the UK's least sunny spots, as Shetland faired well with over 150 hours of sunshine recorded so far this month. This compared to some other parts of the country which have so far failed to exceed 100 hours during August.
Meteorologically, summer is regarded as the months of June, July and August.