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July 2009

The averaging period used for the following assessment was 1971-2000.

UK overview

Mean temperatures were close to the 1971-2000 normal across the UK. The largest departure was 0.8 deg C above normal over Scotland, whereas Wales and parts of western England were slightly below normal. The month was similar to July 2008, but somewhat warmer than July 2007. Rainfall was significantly above normal in almost all areas, particularly in a broad swathe stretching from SW England, through Wales, the Midlands and northern England into eastern Scotland. These areas recorded over twice the average July rainfall, with SW England, south Wales and parts of NE England recording over three times the normal amount. The drier areas were in western Scotland and SE England, although these parts still received well above average. Over the UK, it was the wettest July on record (in a series from 1914), being wetter than July 2007 and July 2008, and slightly wetter than the July totals in 1936, 1939 and 1988. It was also the wettest July on record over England. Over Wales it was ranked 2nd in this series, with only July 1939 being wetter. Sunshine was close to the 1971-2000 normal across the UK, with northern and western Scotland faring best. The wettest areas were also the dullest, with SW England and Wales recording typically 80% of normal sunshine.

A maximum temperature of 32.0 °C was recorded at Hampton (Greater London) on 1st. Tulloch Bridge (Highland) recorded a minimum temperature of 1.0 °C on 10th. Cardinham (Cornwall) recorded 94.0 mm of rainfall in the twenty-four hours ending at 0900 on 17th, and Goldscleugh (Northumberland) recorded 126.2 mm of rainfall in the following twenty-four hours ending at 0900 on 18th. A wind gust of 64 mph was recorded at Needles Old Battery on the Isle of Wight on 19th.

England diary of highlights

Generally it was an unsettled month with frequent rain or showers, often thundery. Very warm at the start. Overall, a very wet month with over twice the 1971-2000 normal rainfall across many western and northern areas and over three times normal over SW England. It was the wettest July on record (in a series from 1914) but only slightly wetter than July 1936 and July 2007. Generally, temperatures and sunshine were close to normal although the wetter western areas were also the dullest with around 80% of normal sunshine.

1st to 4th: The month began with very warm weather but also some thunderstorms and high rainfall amounts. A tornado was reported near Blackpool (Lancashire) during the early hours of the 1st, whilst there were reports of flooding during the day in the Durham area with some places reporting 25 mm in an hour. Sultry during the overnight periods, and daytime maxima approached 30 °C in parts of the south-east with the top temperature being 32.0 °C at Hampton (Greater London) on the 1st.

5th to 9th: Low pressure dominated with bands of rain and showers or thunderstorms on many days. Some were particularly heavy and there was prolonged rain on the 7th with thunder, with around 90 mm reported in the Hastings area of Sussex. By the 9th the thunderstorms became more confined to eastern areas, whilst elsewhere saw drier and brighter weather. It was cooler and fresher with maximum temperatures only reaching the low-20s, whilst a minimum of 5.9 °C was recorded at Benson (Oxfordshire) on the night of the 8th.

10th to 19th: There was a good deal of drier weather from the 10th to 12th with sunshine during the day and temperatures reaching the mid-20s, although there was a band of rain overnight on the 11th. For the rest of this period, there was a return to unsettled conditions with low pressure dominating and bands of rain sweeping through or showery conditions, with the showers often heavy and thundery. An area of low pressure brought more prolonged rain eastwards on the 16th and 17th, with Cardinham (Cornwall) recording 94 mm on 16th. By 17th northern areas were wettest with Alston (Cumbria) recording 116.3 mm in 48 hours from 0900 on 16th. Windy on the 19th with frequent gusts above 30 m.p.h. across southern parts, Lee on Solent (Hampshire) reporting 51 m.p.h. in the afternoon.

20th to 31st: The driest and brightest days were the 20th, 25th, 26th and 31st with small ridges of high pressure across the country. Chilly overnight into the 25th with temperatures dipping to 3.5 °C at Redesdale (Northumberland). However, the rest of the period remained generally unsettled with low pressure dominating and fronts bringing spells of persistent rain on some days interspersed with sunny spells and widespread heavy thundery showers. Tornadoes were reported near Bolton (Lancashire) on the 28th and Guildford (Surrey) on the 30th. Some particularly heavy rain on the 29th gave 45.4 mm of rain at Liscombe (Devon).

Wales diary of highlights

A generally unsettled month with frequent periods of rain or showers, some heavy. Occasional brief drier and warmer spells, especially early on. Overall, a very wet month with over twice the 1971-2000 normal rainfall generally and over three times normal in south Wales. It was the second wettest July on record, in a series from 1914 (only July 1939 being wetter). Temperatures were close to normal and sunshine was below normal.

1st to 7th: The 1st saw largely dry and very warm conditions, although with isolated thundery showers developing. Very warm again in the east on the 2nd, although rain spread to western areas, with scattered thundery showers further east. Rain spread across most parts overnight, then the 3rd became brighter and fresher with rain clearing to scattered showers. The 4th and 5th were quite unsettled with bands of showers, bright spells and temperatures nearer to normal. The 6th and 7th continued with the showery theme, with some heavy, persistent and thundery. Temperatures near normal.

8th to 14th: Conditions were cooler on the 8th with a north-westerly breeze, bright spells and a few showers. Rather cloudy and on the cool side on the 9th and 10th with some showers on 9th, and outbreaks of rain into the west on 10th. The 11th was a cloudy and misty day with rain and drizzle. Rain cleared through overnight, then 12th was brighter and fresher, but breezy with a few showers. The 13th started bright and largely dry, but with heavy showers spreading from the west, then further heavy howers on 14th.

15th to 21st: A wet day on 15th with some very heavy showers or thunderstorms, then drier later and overnight. A dry start to 16th, but further rain spread from the south later. Heavy rain on 17th with 59.9 mm at Llandeilo (Carmarthenshire) in the 24 hours ending at 0900. Rain cleared later, but a cool north-westerly wind developed. Dry at first on 18th, then cloudy with rain later. Cool and windy on 19th with further rain or showers, 22.8 mm of rain falling at Hawarden (Flintshire) in 3 hours in the early afternoon. On 20th much of Wales was dry with bright spells, then rain spread to the south later. Heavy rain spread across on 21st, clearing to bright spells and scattered showers later.

22nd to 28th: The 22nd was bright or sunny with some heavy showers developing, still with temperatures near normal. A few showers broke out on 23rd with sunny spells, then more frequent and heavy showers on the 24th. The 25th saw fewer showers and bright or sunny spells, and temperatures recovered a little. Dry at first on 26th, then outbreaks of rain later with strong southerly winds. The 27th was brighter with scattered showers. The 28th was warmer but with strong winds and rain later, turning heavy over Snowdonia where Capel Curig (Conwy) had 40.4 mm by 1800.

29th to 31st: Rain continued on 29th, occasionally heavy at times, although clearing later in the day. Conditions improved on the 30th and 31st with westerly winds and bright or sunny spells and only occasional showers.

Scotland diary of highlights

Generally unsettled with showers or longer periods of rain. Overall, a wet month especially in much of southern and eastern Scotland where twice the average July rainfall was recorded. For Eastern Scotland it was the wettest July since 1988 and ranks 5th in a series from 1914. Most southern and eastern areas had close to or below normal sunshine, whereas northern and western areas fared best with above normal sunshine. Temperatures were a little above the 1971-2000 normal.

1st to 11th: The 1st was a very warm day with long sunny spells, and a maximum temperature of 28.4 °C at Aboyne (Aberdeenshire). Some heavy thundery showers developed in the east. Very warm again on the 2nd, with 29.9 °C at Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh (a July record for this area). However, heavy thundery showers developed in the north and west, with Dalwhinnie (Highland) recording 37.2 mm of rain in less than 2 hours. The 3rd started sunny in the east but heavy and thundery rain edged northeast through the day, with reports of flooding in Glasgow where 28.2 mm of rain fell. Dry, bright weather on 4th but showers in the west and isolated thunderstorms over the north Highlands by late afternoon. The 5th saw sunny spells and showers, some of the latter heavy with thunder, and 16.2 mm was recorded at Charterhall (Borders) in one hour in the evening. Slow-moving, heavy showers with thunder on 6th resulted in localised flooding notably over parts of Fife, Perthshire and Aberdeenshire. Still a few heavy showers in the south at first on 7th, otherwise rather cloudy and cooler with light showers. Rather cloudy with occasional showers on 8th. Scattered showers in the north and east, but elsewhere dry and bright on the 9th and 10th. Dry and bright on the 11th but rain edged northeast during the evening.

12th to 20th: Rain moved northwards early on 12th, becoming confined to the north. Showery weather from the 13th to 15th with the showers heavy and thundery at times; Strathallan (Perth & Kinross) reported 13.4 mm in one hour on 15th. Sunny intervals and showers on 16th, these showers still heavy and thundery with flooding reported in the Western Isles and the Inverness area. On 17th the west was bright with scattered showers, while the east was cool and wet, the rain heaviest in east Borders and East Lothian. The 18th was cool and cloudy in the north with showery rain while the south was brighter but with scattered heavy showers, and local hail and thunder. The 19th was mostly bright with showers, these heavy and thundery in the far north, with Kinbrace (Highland) recording 16.8 mm in 1 hour in the afternoon. Bright with showers on 20th.

21st to 31st: After a dry, bright morning on 21st, rain moved north with thundery showers following to the south during the evening. Showery conditions on 22nd and 23rd with some thundery downpours. The showery theme continued on 24th, these again thundery and mostly falling over central and eastern Scotland. Sunny intervals and isolated light showers on the 25th. Rain crossed Scotland on 26th followed by sunny intervals and showers. Sunny spells and showers on the 27th, the rain heavy and thundery especially in the northeast. Sunny spells and locally heavy thundery showers on 28th with more persistent rain moving northeast later. Sunny spells and some showers on 29th, a few thundery showers in the south during the evening with 17.4 mm in one hour at Charterhall (Borders). Sunny spells on 30th with showers affecting most places. A dry, bright morning on 31st but wet, windy weather edged in from the west.

Northern Ireland diary of highlights

Generally unsettled, with showers or longer outbreaks of rain. Overall, a wet month with rainfall ranging from about 150% of the 1971-2000 normal across the north and west to twice the normal over southern areas; July 2009 was slightly wetter than both July 2008 and July 2007. Temperatures were close to normal and sunshine was a little above normal.

1st to 10th: On the 1st cloud and outbreaks of rain cleared northwards through the morning to leave sunny spells and a few showers. Locally heavy and thundery rain moved north during the morning of the 2nd, with 21.8 mm of rain in 2 hours at Aldergrove (County Antrim), to leave a rather cloudy afternoon with further showers. The 3rd saw outbreaks of thundery rain clearing to occasionally thundery showers. Some sunshine on 4th but heavy showers developed with scattered showers in the west during the afternoon and early evening. Sunny spells and further showers on 5th and 6th, the rain heavy at times with thunder, mainly in the south and west. Some sunshine and a few light showers on 7th and 8th with fresh north-west winds. Mainly dry with bright or sunny spells on the 9th and 10th.

11th to 20th: Dry and rather cloudy for much of 11th but rain crossed all parts during the evening. A mainly dry, bright start to 12th before showers broke out, some heavy and thundery, mainly in County Antrim during the evening. The 13th, 14th and 15th were also showery with local thunder although with some sunny spells. Sunny intervals and scattered showers on the 16th, some of the showers thundery. The 17th was mainly sunny with isolated showers. The 18th was bright with a few heavier showers, locally thundery. The 19th and 20th continued the bright, showery theme.

21st to 31st: Rain crossed all parts on 21st, followed by heavy thundery showers in the west. Ballykelly (County Londonderry) had 16.2 mm in an hour in the evening. Another showery day on the 22nd. The 23rd and the 24th also saw a mixture of sunshine and showers, some of the showers heavy and thundery. Bright with scattered light showers on 25th becoming cloudier later. Cloudy with rain then brighter with showers later on 26th. Sunny spells and showers on 27th. A bright start and end to the 28th with a few showers but more persistent rain moved north-eastwards during the afternoon. Mainly dry, bright weather on 29th but thundery showers developed during the evening, particularly in the south and east. Some sunshine on 30th but showers affected many places. The 31st was mostly cloudy with outbreaks of rain and fresh or strong southerly winds.

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