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August 2010

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

UK overview

With areas of low pressure over or near to the UK for most of the month, August was characterised by cloudy and rather cool weather with showers or longer spells of rain at times. As a consequence, it was the coolest August since 1993 even though mean temperatures were only somewhat below the 1971-2000 average. There were very few warm days, and over England and Wales the mean daytime maxima were about 1 °C below normal. Rainfall was well above normal over much of the south and east of England and south-east Wales. Over twice the normal amount fell over East Anglia and parts of the east Midlands and Sussex. In East Anglia it was the second-wettest August on record. In contrast, the month was drier than average over Northern Ireland, parts of northern England and the west of Scotland and Wales. Most areas were duller than normal, particularly south-east and central southern England where it was the fourth-dullest August on record. The sunnier exceptions were in Northern Ireland and south-west Scotland.

A maximum temperature of 26.7 °C was recorded at Lowestoft (Suffolk) on 20th and at Weybourne (Norfolk) on 21st. A minimum temperature of -1.3 °C was recorded at Altnaharra (Highland) early on 26th. In the twenty-four hours ending at 0900 on 20th, 75.4 mm of rainfall was recorded at Maerdy (mid-Glamorgan). A wind gust of 70 mph was recorded at South Uist (Western Isles) on 20th.

England diary of highlights

Changeable with plenty of cloud and days with showers or longer periods of rain. The generally westerly airstreams meant that temperatures were somewhat below the 1971-2000 average and it was the coolest August since 1993. There were very few warm days and mean daytime maxima were typically about 1 °C below normal. Over twice the normal amount of rain fell over East Anglia and parts of the east Midlands and Sussex. Rainfall was also well above normal over other parts of the south and east. Over East Anglia, it was the second wettest August in the last 100 years (although the Augusts of 2004 and 2006 were also very wet). In contrast, rainfall was somewhat below average over parts of northern England. Sunshine totals were generally below normal, particularly over south-east and central southern England. Here it was the fourth-dullest August in a series from 1929, although August 2008 was even duller.

1st to 4th:

Generally settled at first, with just a few showers and temperatures close to or above normal. Rain moved in from the west later on 3rd. On 4th heavy rain spread south-eastwards, with some thunderstorms in the south-east during the afternoon causing localised flooding in Sussex.

5th to 11th:

A mainly changeable period with showers or bands of rain moving eastwards, but some drier brighter interludes. Temperatures were close to or just above normal in the south and east, reaching around 24 °C in the London area on 8th and in many eastern areas on 9th.

12th to 14th:

An area of low pressure became slow-moving in the North Sea during 12th. This led to some heavy thunderstorms over the north-west and the Pennines, with 46.0 mm recorded at Woodford (Greater Manchester) in twenty-four hours. The thundery activity then transferred to eastern England on 13th and 14th with 34.6 mm recorded at Marham (Norfolk) in twenty-four hours to 0900 on 14th.

15th to 19th:

A rather changeable period with spells of rain or heavy showers, and some thunderstorms, but sunnier periods as well.

20th to 22nd:

An area of low pressure moved north-eastwards on 20th, causing some significant rainfall in the west; 51.6 mm of rain was recorded at Shap (Cumbria). It was also windy in the west. Meanwhile, temperatures reached around 24 °C in the more settled eastern areas with 26.7 °C at Lowestoft (Suffolk) on 20th and at Weybourne (Norfolk) on 21st. On 21st, there were very mild but cloudy and drizzly conditions in the south-west, clearing on 22nd to give fine weather with a few showers.

23rd to 27th:

A large area of heavy rain moved through southern and central areas during the early hours of 23rd, with around 25 mm widely and 42.0 mm at Thorney Island (Hampshire). The 24th was a showery and windy day. On 25th, whilst the north saw settled conditions, a further area of persistent rain moved across the south giving over 20 mm widely and more than 40 mm in places; 45.8 mm was recorded at Wattisham (Suffolk). More heavy rain arrived in the far south by the end of 25th. The 26th was an unusually cool August day across parts of the Midlands, with maximum temperatures around 14 °C widely and only 12.8 °C at Leek (Staffordshire). Persistent rain eventually cleared the south-east later on 27th, with more settled conditions spreading in from the north-west.

28th to 31st:

An area of high pressure started to build in from the south-west, creating largely settled conditions here. Some strong northerly winds brought heavy showers on 29th particularly over northern England, but by Bank Holiday Monday most areas were dry, warm and sunny. High pressure became well established by 31st.

Wales diary of highlights

Changeable with plenty of cloud and days with showers or longer periods of rain. The predominant westerly airstreams resulted in mean temperatures somewhat below the 1971-2000 average, with mean daytime maxima  typically about 1 °C below normal. It was the coolest August since 1993. Rainfall ranged from about 50% above normal over south-east Wales to some 25% below normal along the west coast. Sunshine totals were somewhat below average.

1st to 7th:

A mostly dry start to the month, but rather cloudy. The 3rd was also mostly cloudy and light rain affected western coasts and hills. On 4th cloud and some rain affected the east, but the west was drier with sunshine. Scattered showers continued into 5th, heavy in places. Outbreaks of rain and drizzle spread to western areas on 6th. A north-westerly flow on 7th brought a few showers, dying out later.

8th to 14th:

The 8th was rather chilly at first, but otherwise dry with some warm sunny spells. Temperatures rose widely above 20 °C. On 9th outbreaks of rain spread to all areas during the day, turning heavy at times. On 10th, this rain cleared to leave a day of sunny intervals and a few showers. There were further light showers early on 11th, then it was dry and bright. A few showers affected northern and eastern parts on 12th, with sunshine in the south and west. On 13th it was again the north-east that had some rain at times and the south-west stayed largely dry and fine. The 14th was another unsettled day with outbreaks of rain, clearing to sunshine and scattered showers.

15th to 16th:

Both dry and quite sunny days, and although chilly by night the temperatures rose to over 21 °C in most areas; 23.1 °C was recorded at Pembrey Sands (Carmarthenshire) on 15th. Cloud increased in the west later though.

17th to 26th:

On 17th, overnight rain cleared to leave a mostly fine day with sunny intervals. After a dry and sunny start to 18th, scattered showers developed, some heavy. On 19th, it was dry and bright at first, but soon clouded over from the west with outbreaks of rain later. Outbreaks of rain continued on 20th, with 42.4 mm recorded at Capel Curig (Conwy) and 29.6 mm at St Athan (Glamorgan) in twenty-four hours to 0900. The cloudy weather with rain at times continued on 21st, some heavy across central and southern areas. On 22nd, there was some sunshine but also a few showers in the west. The 23rd was rather cloudy with rain spreading from the west, some of this heavy. The 24th saw further showers but with some sunshine. On 25th cloud and outbreaks of rain spread from the south-west to affect most areas during the day. Some of this rain turned heavy and in the twenty-four hours ending at 0900 on 26th, 64.0 mm of rainfall was recorded at Mumbles Head (Swansea). The 26th remained quite cloudy, with rain throughout the day.

27th to 29th:

The 27th was a dry day with plenty of sunshine, after a cold start. Both 28th and 29th were unsettled for central and northern areas with some showers, whereas the south stayed largely dry.

30th to 31st:

On Bank Holiday Monday, as pressure rose, it became much more settled with sunny spells. Temperatures reached 20 °C locally on 31st.

Scotland diary of highlights

Changeable weather predominated, with plenty of cloud and showers and more widespread rain at times. The mean temperature was somewhat below the 1971-2000 average and it was the coolest August since 1998, although similar to August 2007. Rainfalls ranged from more than 30% above average in Shetland and parts of the north-east to about 25% below normal in parts of the south and west. Overall, it was much drier than the last three Augusts. It was sunnier than normal over the south-west, but duller over the
Northern Isles and parts of the north-east.

1st to 9th:

The 1st was rather cloudy with showers, some heavy. Mainly dry but rather cloudy on 2nd, with patchy rain and showers. Bright with sunny spells and showers on 3rd, the showers heavy across Aberdeenshire.  The 4th and 5th were bright with some sunny spells and a few showers, locally heavy. Cloud and occasional rain edged north on 6th. Although showers affected the south-east on 7th, many places were dry and bright and 23.0 °C was recorded at Bishopton (Glasgow). Mainly dry with some sunshine on 8th, the temperature at Charterhall (Borders) reaching 21.7 °C. Rain on 9th was followed by scattered showers, with isolated thunderstorms.

10th to 20th:

Showers for most parts on 10th, some heavy and thundery, with 18.8  mm recorded at Carterhouse (Borders). The 11th was similar with 21.2 mm at Loch Glascarnoch (Highland). The 12th saw a mixture of sunshine and showers, these heaviest in the south-east, while the north-west was cool and cloudy. The 13th was mostly cloudy in the north, while the south had sunny spells, the temperature at Millport on Great Cumbrae (Ayrshire) reaching 21.6 °C. The 14th and 15th were mainly dry with some sunshine, with 23.3 °C recorded at Bishopton and 24.5 °C at Strathallan (Perthshire) on 15th. The 16th was dry and bright in the east, but cloudy with rain in the west during the afternoon, edging eastwards later. On 17th, this rain became confined to the Northern Isles, with sunny spells and heavy showers developing elsewhere. A chilly start to 18th, with temperatures down to 3.5 °C at Braemar (Aberdeenshire) and 3.0 °C at Eskdalemuir (Dumfries and Galloway). Sunny spells and showers on 18th and 19th before rain edged northwards, turning heavy on 20th, followed by brighter showery weather. Eskdalemuir recorded 41.0 mm of rain in the twenty-four hours to 2200, while severe gales affected the north-west, with a gust of 70 mph on South Uist (Western Isles). Temperatures over 22 °C were recorded in sunshine in the east, with Fyvie Castle (Aberdeenshire) reaching 24.5 °C.

21st to 29th:

Gales became confined to Shetland on 21st, with sunshine and showers affecting most areas into 22nd. A dry, bright start to 23rd in the north but outbreaks of heavy rain spread from the south, with 14 mm in one hour at Bishopton in the afternoon. Mostly cloudy start to 24th with showers, some heavy in the north, then drier and brighter in the afternoon. Scattered showers on 25th, but most areas were dry with sunny spells. Cold start to 26th, with the temperature at Altnaharra (Highland) falling to -1.3 °C, then sunny intervals and scattered showers with thunderstorms in Moray. Sunny intervals and scattered showers, some heavy and thundery, on 27th. Sunny intervals and some heavy showers again on 28th. Strong to gale force north-westerly winds on 29th brought a day of showers, wintry on the highest summits, the showers dying out from the west as winds eased later.

30th to 31st:

Most places were dry and sunny, with the temperature reaching 21.3 °C at Eskdalemuir on 30th. The nights were rather cold, with pockets of ground frost across the Highlands.

Northern Ireland diary of highlights

Changeable weather predominated, with plenty of cloud and showers or more widespread rain at times. The generally westerly airstreams meant that temperatures were somewhat below the 1971-2000 average and it was the coolest August since 1994. Rainfalls were typically 30% below normal. It was much drier than the last three Augusts, and the driest since 2003. Sunshine totals were about 20% above average, making it the sunniest August since 2003.

1st to 10th:

The 1st was rather cloudy with bright spells and a scattering of showers. Mostly dry on 2nd, but again rather cloudy. Mainly cloudy on 3rd with some outbreaks of rain.  Sunny intervals and a few showers on 4th and 5th. The 6th was cloudy with outbreaks of rain. A few showers at first on 7th, especially in the east, but much of the day was dry and bright. The 8th was also dry for much of the day with sunshine, before rain edged eastwards during the evening. Rain at first on 9th then sunny spells and scattered showers, with 14.2 mm recorded at Ballypatrick Forest (County Antrim). Heavy showers cleared during the morning of 10th, to leave a mainly dry and bright day.

11th to 19th:

The11th and 12th were rather cool and cloudy across the north with occasional showers, and some sunshine across the south. The 13th and 14th were mainly dry with the best of the sun in the east, the temperature at Murlough (County Down) reaching 20.1 °C on 14th. The 15th stayed dry with plenty of sunshine and temperatures in many inland areas reached 23 °C. The 16th started dry and bright but rain, heavy at times, affected the west during the morning and all parts in the afternoon. The 17th was bright with sunny spells and scattered light showers. Bright spells and heavy showers on 18th, some of the showers thundery. Sunshine and showers again on 19th, before rain moved northwards later.

20th to 29th:

Sunshine and showers from 20th to 22nd.  Cloudier on 23rd with rain, then brighter in the afternoon. Scattered heavy showers died away during the afternoon of 24th leaving a few showers along the north coast. The 25th and 26th were mainly dry with sunny spells and only isolated showers. Sunny intervals and scattered showers on 27th and again on 28th when a few of the showers were sharp. Blustery showers died out through the morning of 29th, becoming dry with sunny spells as the strong north-westerly wind eased.

30th to 31st:

Fine and dry with plenty of sunshine and light winds. The temperature reached 20.7 °C at Castlederg (County Tyrone) and 20.8 °C at Ballykelly (County Londonderry) on 31st.

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