The averaging period used for the following assessment was 1981-2010.
The weather during August was mostly unsettled and fairly cool, with the UK often under the influence of nearby areas of low pressure. Temperatures frequently struggled to reach average levels, although there were some warmer days, particularly across eastern England, with temperatures up to around 25 °C, and the London area reached 30 °C on 22 August. However, frontal systems brought heavy rain and thundery downpours, particularly during the second half of the month.
The UK mean temperature was 14.7 °C, which is 0.2 °C below the 1981-2010 long-term average. It was coldest relative to average across south-west England, south Wales and Northern Ireland. This was a very wet month across southern coastal counties of England which received double the normal rainfall amount; some locations approached three times the monthly average rainfall and it was the wettest August across south-east England since 1977. It was a fairly wet month for many other areas too, except Scotland where rainfall overall was near average. August was a dull month across central and southern England but it was sunnier across north-east England and eastern Scotland.
The UK monthly extremes were as follows: A maximum temperature of 30.9 °C was recorded at Kew Gardens (Greater London) and Gravesend (Kent) on the 22nd. A minimum temperature of 0.3 °C was recorded at Braemar (Aberdeenshire) on the 17th. In the 24 hours ending at 0900 GMT on the 14th, 68.6 mm of rain fell at Sellindge (Kent). A wind gust of 67 mph was recorded at Needles Old Battery (Isle of Wight) on the 26th.
The satellite image below on Sunday 23 August 2015 shows a day of contrasts across the UK. For the south and west it was dull and wet under a band of cloud. However, Scotland and northern England had a fine summer's day. Kirkwall, Orkney recorded 13.1 hours of sunshine and the temperature reached 25 °C on the Isle of Skye and in the Inverness and Glasgow areas. However, there was a strong south-easterly wind with a gust of 91 Kt (105 mph) recorded at Cairngorm Summit. Image copyright Met Office / NASA
On 4 August, strong winds and large swell waves affected the coast of south-west England. The public were advised not to enter the sea at a number of beaches in Devon and Cornwall due to dangerous conditions, while several vehicles were damaged by large waves at Ilfracombe Harbour (north Devon).
After this, the weather during early August was generally fairly quiet. However, during the second half there were various incidences of localised flash flooding, mostly due to torrential downpours. On 13 August, severe thunderstorms led to flooding that affected road and rail routes in the Kent and Sussex areas, and some flights were delayed and cancelled at Heathrow, Gatwick and City airports. The Arndale Shopping Centre in Eastbourne was evacuated due to flooding. On 14 August, flash flooding resulted in a number of road and rail closures in the Greater Manchester area.
On 22 August, flooding was reported in the Wrexham area, dozens of properties were reported to have been flooded across Yorkshire, with localised power cuts thought to be due to lightning, pea sized hail reported and localised flooding of road and rail routes. This was followed by further flash floods on 24 August across Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Essex and Lincolnshire, with disruption to road and rail networks. Localised property flooding was reported in Eastbourne and in Tunbridge Wells, where the railway station was flooded.
On 26 August, localised flash flooding again affected transport routes and properties in south Wales, Dorset, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex and London. Sinkholes were reported in Newport and Folkestone, and on the A27 in Hampshire.
England diary of highlights
August began unsettled with westerly winds and rain belts crossing the country at frequent intervals. The weather was then quieter until mid-month but the latter half was generally unsettled with some cloudy, wet days and torrential downpours at times. However, there were some fine days too with the best of the warmth and sunshine mostly across eastern areas.
The mean temperature for August was 0.2 °C below the long-term average. It was cooler than average in south Wales and south-west England, but temperatures were near average in the east. The overall England rainfall total was 133% of average but southern coastal counties received more double the normal amount. Several long-running stations including Hurn (Dorset) and Odiham (Hampshire) recorded their wettest August in over 50 years of records, and it was the wettest August for south-east England since 1977. It was a wet month too across the West Midlands, East Anglia and parts of north-east England. Sunshine amounts were mostly below normal, especially in the south with only around 70% in some locations, but the month was sunnier than average for north-east England.
1st to 6th:
The far north and south were mainly dry with sunny spells on the 1st but an area of showers plagued some central and eastern areas for much of the day. It was dull with outbreaks of rain in the north on the 2nd but most other areas enjoyed a bright and warm day with temperatures reaching the mid 20s in the south-east. The 3rd was again generally fine apart from some scattered showers in the far south, and temperatures reached 26 °C in Lincolnshire. The 4th was a day of sunshine and showers, the showers driven on by a fresh westerly wind, although much of East Anglia and the south-east stayed dry. The showers were more isolated on the 5th, but more general rain edged into the southwest during the early afternoon and spread slowly north-eastwards. The morning of the 6th was mainly cloudy with patchy rain in central areas but the cloud broke in the afternoon in southern areas to give a sunny and warm afternoon.
7th to 12th:
It was mainly dry and warm on the 7th with only isolated showers in the northeast and temperatures reaching the mid 20s in the south. It was generally dry and warm on the 8th, although with some showers in the north, with a maximum temperature of 27.2 °C at Hampton (Greater London). It was mainly dry and warm again on the 9th apart from a few showers in the north, south-west and East Anglia. Heavy rain and thunder in the south-west early on the 10th slowly spread east through the day with thundery showers further north. It was dry for most areas on the 11th but a weather front brought rain to the south throughout the day. The 12th was a mostly dry, sunny and warm day apart from some rain in the south-east at first and some patchy rain in the south-west later.
13th to 21st:
Rain in the south on the 13th gradually moved north through the afternoon and evening, with thunderstorms and some heavy downpours in the south east with Teignmouth (Devon) recording 50mm and totals over 40mm in the Midlands. A band of rain on the 14th moved slowly north and east during the day with the heaviest bursts in central and north-western areas. It was mainly dry on the 15th with sunny spells for most areas. It was another generally dry day on the 16th with sunny spells and only isolated showers in the southeast. The 17th was again a mainly dry and bright day but cloud and rain edged into eastern coastal fringes later in the afternoon. An area of low pressure centred in the North Sea on the 18th brought rain to many central and eastern areas but the west stayed mainly dry. The roles were reversed on the 19th when the east started dry and bright, but a band of rain spread in from the west during the day and edged slowly east during the afternoon. The 20th was a day of scattered showers, with the best of any sunshine in the east. It was a generally cloudy day on the 21st with scattered showers in the morning and more organised rain in western areas in the afternoon.
22nd to 25th:
It was mostly cloudy in the north on the 22nd and heavy showers with thunder developed later in the afternoon in southern and central areas and slowly moved north during the evening with Bramham (South Yorkshire) recording 63mm, but it was hot and sunny in East Anglia and the southeast with Kew Gardens (Greater London) and Gravesend (Kent) recording 30.9 °C. The overnight thunder cleared to leave a dry and bright start in many areas on the 23rd but a band of rain edged in to the south-west during the morning and spread north-eastwards during the day; it remained warm with temperatures reaching the mid 20s in many areas. The north was mainly dry and bright on the 24th but rain with isolated thunderstorms reached southern areas in the morning and edged north during the afternoon. An area of rain spread in to southern parts during the morning of the 25th and became more patchy as it spread northeast.
26th to 31st:
There were isolated showers in the north on the 26th but an area of heavy showers with thunder spread east affecting many southern areas with Heathrow (Greater London) recording 52mm. The 27th was a day of sunshine and scattered showers with the showers heaviest in the West Country and Thames Valley. The 28th was again a day of sunshine and scattered showers with the heaviest of these this time in the north. There was a sunny start in many areas on the 29th but scattered showers developed in the north and rain edged into southern areas in the afternoon. Northern areas stayed mainly dry on the 30th but rain spread in to the southwest during the morning, reaching eastern areas later in the day. The 31st saw rain in many areas for much of the morning and isolated thunder in the far south, the rain becoming more patchy as it moved eastwards.
Wales diary of highlights
August started unsettled with westerly winds and frequent rain or showers. Although there were brief settled spells, mostly between the 7th and 18th, the rest of the month continued mostly unsettled, and it was cloudy and wet in the south and windy at times, particularly across high ground. Despite some brief warm spells, it was a generally cool month.
The mean temperature was 0.6 °C below the long-term average. Wales had 120% of average rainfall overall, and 89% of average sunshine. Sunshine and rainfall were close to average in the north-west, but it was duller and wetter than average in the east and south.
1st to 6th:
The 1st was generally cloudy, cool and breezy with outbreaks of rain, mainly in the north. It was much sunnier and warmer on the 2nd with 24.7 °C at Hawarden Airport (Flintshire), but with some rain over northern areas and it was breezy over the west coast. It turned cooler again on the 3rd with sunshine and scattered showers, and it was windy with gusts in excess of 45mph over north-western coasts and hills. The 4th was another day of sunshine and blustery showers with gusts up to 60mph over hills and exposed coasts in the northwest. There was a mix of sunshine and showers to start the 5th before cloud and rain moved in from the south in the afternoon with more showers later. There were scattered showers to start the 6th, clearing by lunchtime to leave dry weather with prolonged sunny spells.
7th to 18th:
The weather was much more settled on the 7th and 8th, being dry, sunny and warm with light winds. The 9th was cloudy with patchy light rain, mainly in the south. There was a cloudy start again on the 10th with widespread rain or showers, these particularly heavy and thundery in the south of the country but it became brighter and drier in the afternoon. It was sunny, warm and dry on the 11th with temperatures reaching the low 20s Celsius in the south-east. The fine weather continued into the 12th with temperatures building and a maximum of 24.6 °C at Aberporth (Ceredigion). It started warm and dry on the 13th but clouded over from the south with prolonged, heavy rain later. The wet weather continued on the 14th with rain clearing slowly from the west and the wind became gusty near south-western coasts. It was mainly cool, dry and sunny on the 15th with just a few isolated showers. The 16th was also bright with isolated showers, but it was a few degrees warmer. It remained generally warm, dry and sunny on the 17th and 18th.
19th to 24th:
The 19th was a cool, cloudy and wet day, particularly in the south. It was warmer on the 20th but mostly cloudy and increasingly showery, with isolated gale force gusts to 50mph over Snowdonia. It stayed mild on the 21st but with patchy rain and showers throughout in a freshening breeze. There was more in the way of widespread rain and thundery downpours with 40.6mm recorded at Tredegar (Blaenau Gwent) on the 22nd. Cloud and rain persisted early on the 23rd, but it became brighter with showers during the afternoon. It was warmer and less windy on the 24th but with some patchy rain, particularly over the south.
25th to 31st:
It was cooler, cloudy and wet, particularly over southern counties, on the 25th, with patchy rain further north and winds gusting in excess of 40mph over the south coast. After a wet start, the 26th was brighter with blustery showers from late morning, particularly over the Brecon Beacons with winds gusting to over 45mph in places. It turned less windy on the 27th and 28th with a mix of sunshine and showers. Windy weather returned on the 29th but it stayed warm and largely dry with plenty of sunshine. The 30th was cloudy and wet with a noticeably cooler feel. Early rain for the east on the 31st cleared away to a mixture of sunshine and showers, some of the showers heavy, particularly over the north coast.
Scotland diary of highlights
The month began unsettled with westerly winds and rain belts crossing the country at frequent intervals. During the rest of the month, brief settled spells alternated with periods of more changeable weather.
Temperatures and rainfall were generally close to the long-term average for all regions. The mean temperature for August was 0.1 °C below the long-term average, and Scotland received exactly 100% of average rainfall. Sunshine was 103% of average, and sunshine totals were generally above average in eastern Scotland, but close to average in the west.
1st to 5th:
There was a dry start on the 1st for most areas but a band of rain in the west spread east across the country through the day with blustery showers building up behind it. There was a dry start in the north on the 2nd with rain in the south but another weather system brought rain to most areas through the afternoon and evening. Rain and strong winds for most areas at first on the 3rd with the rain clearing gradually through the day but it was also warm with 22.5 °C recorded at Floors Castle (Borders). It was a wet and windy day for most areas on the 4th with the rain becoming more showery through the afternoon and a max gust of 48 mph recorded at Machrihanish (Argyll). It was another windy day on the 5th with showers or longer spells of rain for most areas and the rain was heavy at times with 25.2 mm recorded at Threave (Kirkudbrightshire).
6th to 13th:
There was rain at first in some eastern areas on the 6th clearing away during the morning but with showers developing by the afternoon in the north. It was dry and warm on the 7th for most areas with only a few showers in the north-west. There was a dry start for most on the 8th but rain in the west became patchy as it spread across the country through the afternoon. It was dry in the east on the 9th with a few scattered showers in the west. There were a few scattered showers at first on the 10th but a weather system in south-west spread north during the day accompanied by heavy rain and scattered thunderstorms with Achnagart (Highland) recording a rainfall total of 35.4 mm. It was a mostly dry and warm day on the 11th with only a few scattered showers. It was dry and warm again on the 12th apart from a few showers in the Western Isles. It was dry, bright and warm for most areas on the 13th but cloudier on the west coast with some patchy rain.
14th to 23rd:
It was a wet day in the east on the 14th but it was drier in the west with just a few showers or patchy rain. Generally dry in the south on the 15th apart from a few scattered showers but with rain in the north. It was mostly dry on the 16th apart from a few scattered showers, especially in the north. A dry, bright and warm day followed on the 17th for most of the country with 22.6 °C recorded at Strathallan (Perthshire), but it was cloudier in the west with the occasional shower. There was an east-west split on the 18th with rain in the eastern side of the country but it was dry and bright in the west. It was generally dry and warm at first on the 19th, and sunny in the east, with 24.4 °C recorded at Kinlochewe (Highland), but a weather front brought rain into the west during the morning before spreading across the country through the day and reaching the east by evening. It was a generally dry day on the 20th apart from a few scattered showers and some rain in the Northern Isles. Scattered showers affected most areas on the 21st but some areas were mainly dry. There was a dry start on the 22nd but rain spread into the south of the country through the morning and then further north later. Overnight rain quickly cleared to the west on the 23rd and the rest of the day was dry, sunny and warm with 25.8 °C recorded at Prestwick (Ayrshire).
24th to 31st:
There was rain in the north on the 24th, especially in Caithness and Aberdeenshire, but it was mainly dry in the south and Northern Isles. Dry and bright in the south on the 25th, but with rain in the south-west in the evening, and it was cloudier in the north with some rain at times. There was rain for most areas on the 26th but it became brighter and more showery in the south. Sunshine and showers on the 27th, with the heaviest and most frequent in western and northern areas. The showers were more widespread on the 28th driven on by a fresh westerly wind. There were scattered showers for much of the country on the 29th with more persistent rain in the western and central Highlands. It was generally cloudy on the 30th with isolated showers but feeling cooler in a northwest wind. There was bright start on the 31st but it soon clouded over with isolated showers mainly in northern and central areas.
Northern Ireland diary of highlights
August began with an unsettled, wet and windy spell and it was a generally cool and changeable month, although there were some warm, sunny days between the 7th and 18th.
The mean temperature was 0.7 °C below the long-term average, and rainfall was 123% of average. Sunshine was close to average in the east and below average in the west, with 99% of average overall.
1st to 6th:
The 1st was a bright, breezy but cool day with a mixture of sunshine and showers. It was cloudy, cool, wet and rather windy on the 2nd. It was also windy on the 3rd, particularly over northern coasts with gusts in excess of 40mph and sunshine and showers. The 4th was another day of sunshine and blustery showers with gusts around 40mph, especially on exposed north coasts. It was generally cloudy and wet on the 5th, and the rain cleared in the evening but a few showers followed. The 6th was a day of sunshine and scattered showers.
7th to 18th:
It was much more settled on the 7th: dry, sunny and warm with light winds. There was a bright start on the 8th but it clouded over with rain in the afternoon. The 9th was mild, but cloudy with isolated showers. It was cloudy again on the 10th with frequent rain or showers locally heavy with occasional thunder. It became brighter, more settled and stayed dry on the 11th following overnight showers. Skies cleared after a cloudy start on the 12th and it stayed warm and dry. The 13th was also warm and sunny. There was sunshine mixed with light showers in a westerly breeze on the 14th. The 15th was another day of sunshine and showers, with the showers most frequent and heaviest in the north of the Province, clearing by late afternoon. It was much drier, brighter and warmer on the 16th with just a few very isolated showers. The weather turned cloudy and mild on the 17th with showery outbreaks of rain particularly over western parts. It was dry, sunny and warm on the 18th.
19th to 25th:
The 19th was a cloudy and humid day with gusty winds and rain clearing away from the south-west. It was a fairly windy day on the 20th, but warm with sunshine and showers. It was still warm but breezy with sunshine and isolated showers on the 21st. It started dry and mild on the 22nd but there was widespread rain late in the day with some places seeing totals in excess of 30mm. It was wet again on the 23rd but still mild, and fairly windy particularly over eastern coasts. It was cooler but much drier, sunnier and less windy on the 24th. There was a dry, bright start to the 25th, but rain, locally heavy, reached all parts by early afternoon with some places reporting totals in excess of 30mm.
26th to 31st:
There was a wet start on the 26th, particularly over northern parts, becoming brighter but with blustery showers from mid-morning and winds gusting to over 40mph over northern coasts. It was wet again early on the 27th but brightened up later in the morning with sunshine and showers, remaining breezy. Sunshine and showers were the order of the day on the 28th and again on the 29th. It turned cooler on the 30th with showers in the north but it stayed largely dry elsewhere. There were showers again on the 31st, moving south in a cool northerly wind, clearing the Province by mid-afternoon.