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July 2016

The averaging period used for the following assessment was 1981-2010.

UK overview

At the start of July the weather was breezy and showery, with low pressure in charge. Unsettled conditions persisted for much of the first half of the month, with fronts frequently bringing rain to the north and west, although rainfall amounts were generally small in the south. It was generally warmer and sunnier between the 17th and 23rd, with a brief hot spell from the 18th to 20th, which triggered a thundery breakdown in the north and across parts of East Anglia. Changeable weather resumed during the last week, with further frequent belts of rain, but again many southern areas often stayed dry.

The UK mean temperature was 15.3 °C, which is 0.2 °C above the 1981-2010 long-term average. Mean minimum temperatures were slightly above average in all regions, but mean maximum temperatures were slightly below average in the west. Rainfall was 101% of average, but with a strong north-south contrast. It was generally wetter than average in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Cumbria and Snowdonia, but drier than average in south Wales and the southern half of England, with less than 5 mm of rain locally in the far south. Sunshine was 91% of average, and it was cloudier than average in Scotland, Northern Ireland, west Wales and parts of western England, but sunshine was slightly above average over much of eastern England.

The UK monthly extremes were as follows: A maximum temperature of 33.5 °C was recorded at Brize Norton (Oxfordshire) on the 19th, with 33.9 °C at Jersey Airport (Channel Islands). A minimum temperature of 0.5 °C was recorded at Altnaharra (Sutherland) on the 2nd. In the 24 hours ending at 0900 GMT on the 21st, 87.2 mm of rain fell at Hungry Snout (Borders). Wind gusts of 49 knots (56 mph) were recorded at Needles Old Battery (Isle of Wight) on the 10th and 11th.

Weather impacts

July's weather was mostly benign, with significant weather-related impacts observed only on four days.

On the 11th, showers caused some localised impacts at Farnborough Air Show.  Further showers on the 12th caused flooding at the Harrow North and Pinner tube stations and on the railway between Norwich and Great Yarmouth, and a primary school closed in Stevenage due to power loss and flooding.

Hot weather on the 19th caused a few heat-related impacts on railways in the south of England.  

A thundery breakdown on the 20th caused widespread disruption away from the south.  Lightning caused power impacts in Blackpool, Carlisle, Penrith and Keswick.  Lightning also struck houses in Little Hoole (Lancashire), Ysbyty (Gwynedd), Penruddock (Cumbria) and a church steeple was badly damaged in Denny near Falkirk. Lightning also caused issues on railways in north-east England.  In Denny, a GP Surgery receptionist was hospitalised after lightning entered the building and struck her chair. Lightning also affected phone lines in Eyemouth in the Scottish Borders. There were many flooding and surface water-related impacts; a school in Cockermouth closed, Edinburgh Zoo closed, and there were other isolated flooding incidents in Cumbria and southern and central Scotland.  Large hail (2-3 cm diameter) caused some damage to caravans near Annan in Dumfries and Galloway.

England diary of highlights

July started showery and quite cool with westerly winds, and unsettled weather persisted for most of the first fortnight, although rainfall amounts were generally small in the south. It was often hot and sunny between the 17th and 24th, and especially hot on the 19th. Changeable weather with westerly winds returned from the 25th onwards, although again with little rain in the south.

The mean temperature for July was 0.4 °C above the 1981-2010 long-term average. Mean minimum temperatures were above normal in all regions, but daytime maxima were slightly below normal in parts of the west and above normal in the east. Rainfall was 63% of average, but with a marked north-south gradient, with above average rainfall in Cumbria, Lancashire and the North Pennines, but only a third to a half of normal quite widely in the south and less than 5mm in a few locations. For southern England, this was the driest July since 1999. Sunshine was 98% of average overall, with sunshine totals generally above average in the east but below average in the west.

1st to 6th:

The 1st was a day of sunshine and showers, the showers thundery in some central and northern areas, especially Humberside and north Lincolnshire. The 2nd started dry but showers developed, turning heavy and thundery in places. Patchy rain over the south-west cleared away on the 3rd, leaving a mainly dry day with isolated showers over the south and the north-west. The 4th started sunny but clouded over from the south-west, with patchy rain in the south-west and more general rain for the north. The 5th started generally cloudy, with patchy rain over the south and East Midlands, but it turned dry and sunny everywhere apart from scattered afternoon showers in the north-east. The 6th started cold with a minimum of 3 °C at Shap (Cumbria), and there was patchy rain for the north but it was dry and bright elsewhere.

7th to 13th:

The 7th was a mostly cloudy day with patchy rain, the rain most frequent in the north and west. Scattered showers for central areas on the 8th cleared to leave sunny intervals, while it was dry in the south. Rain spread from the southwest during the morning of the 9th, reaching the northeast by early afternoon with scattered showers following behind, while it remained mostly cloudy. The 10th had bands of showers, and remained wet across the north, but with some brighter intervals. The 11th was slightly cooler, remaining showery with heavy showers south of London stretching into Kent, and cloudy in the north-west. The 12th was cloudy for most, with increasingly heavy showers across the Midlands and south-east where Lingwood (Norfolk) recorded 47 mm but the north-east stayed mostly dry. The 13th was showery again, with the showers heaviest over the North York Moors, but with more sunshine.

14th to 20th:

The 14th was a dry day with plentiful sunshine, and 13.5 hours of sunshine at Morecambe (Lancashire). The 15th had a fine start in the east but it was otherwise cloudy, with patchy light rain spreading east over all parts during the day. The 16th had a slow moving band of cloud and patchy rain for the Midlands and East Anglia, but it was dry and sunny to the north, and bright with some isolated showers to the south. Early fog over the south-west, rain over the north-east on the 17th, but both cleared away to leave a bright or sunny day, and it turned very warm over the south-east. Cloud and some patchy rain for the north at first on the 18th cleared away to leave everywhere dry, hot and sunny; the temperature reached 30 °C in London and Wattisham (Suffolk) recorded 15.4 hours of sunshine. It was sunny and even hotter on the 19th with widespread maxima above 30 °C, 33.5 °C at Brize Norton (Oxfordshire) and 33.9 °C at Jersey Airport, but cloud and rain reached the south-west by evening. It was hot and sunny for most on the 20th but with thunderstorms across the north, and thunderstorms also developed across the east later.

21st to 24th:

It stayed warm in the south on the 21st, while elsewhere there were showers and sunny spells. Another warm day followed on the 22nd with patchy rain in eastern areas clearing during the morning, then showers developed over the Wirral and Cheshire. Mainly very warm and dry conditions on the 23rd, particularly for the south, with 28.6 °C recorded at Heathrow and 13.9 hrs of sunshine at Shoeburyness (Essex). It stayed warm and sunny in the south-east on the 24th, but with cloud and rain elsewhere.

25th to 31st:

It was fresher and breezier than of late on the 25th with scattered showers and sunny spells. It was dry and sunny in the south-east on the 26th, but cloudy elsewhere with patchy rain, turning wet over the northwest from mid-afternoon. Bright over the north on the 27th, cloud and rain elsewhere cleared away southwards leaving a few isolated showers over East Anglia by early evening. Dry and bright over the bulk of the country to start the 28th, before rain, heaviest over the north, spread from the west to affect all areas by evening. It was warmer but cloudy for most on the 29th with further showers, occasionally heavy, affecting mainly northern parts. Fresher conditions dominated on the 30th with showers across southern counties and East Anglia. The 31st was mostly dry with sunny spells although isolated showers broke out in northern areas later.

Wales diary of highlights

July started breezy and showery, and a changeable westerly regime persisted during the first half of the month. It turned warm and sunny between the 17th and 20th, and particularly hot on the 19th. Cooler changeable weather re-established during the last week. The unsettled spells tended to be wet in the north-west, but rainfall amounts in the south and east were generally small.

The mean temperature for July was equal to the long-term average, and it was generally cooler than average by day, but warmer than average by night. Rainfall was 93% of average, and it was a dry month in the east and south, but wet in the north-west. Sunshine was below average in the west and near average in the east, with 88% of average overall.

1st to 6th:

The 1st was breezy with a mix of sunshine, rain and hail showers. Similar conditions on the 2nd but less in the way of showers. A few early isolated showers on the 3rd died away, leaving a sunny day, and Aberporth (Ceredigion) recorded 15.1 hours of sunshine. There was a sunny start to the 4th, but it turned cloudy with patchy rain, the rain heaviest in the north. It was cloudy at first on the 5th, but became sunny by the afternoon. The 6th started dry and bright, especially in the east, but it clouded over with patchy rain for northern parts in the afternoon.

7th to 16th:

The 7th was cloudy but warm with intermittent rain. Early rain cleared east on the 8th leaving a dry, warm day with variable sunshine before rain returned again late evening. It was warmer on the 9th although with heavy rain over higher ground, Capel Curig, (Conwy) recorded 51.8 mm. A showery day followed on the 10th with another 50 mm of rain at Capel Curig, with the showers becoming increasingly more active from afternoon onwards. A cooler, cloudier day followed on the 11th with showers heaviest over northern parts. More settled on the 12th with sunshine across the south but showers continued across north-eastern parts. There was a mix of sunshine and scattered showers on the 13th . Isolated showers in the west early on the 14th cleared to leave a dry and sunny day. It was cloudy with patchy rain on the 15th, drying up into the evening. The 16th was generally cloudy, with rain for the north and west.

17th to 23rd:

It was cloudy with showery rain for the south on the 17th, but warm and sunny elsewhere. Early cloud burnt away to leave a very warm and sunny day on the 18th. It was hot and sunny on the 19th with some places exceeding 30 °C and Porthmadog (Gwynedd) reached 32.4 °C. Thunderstorms affected the north and west early on the 20th, and it stayed very warm inland with a humid feel, and heavy showers developed across the Lleyn Peninsula, Cardigan Bay and Anglesey. The 21st was a cloudy day with scattered showers in the south but it stayed warm. It was warm again on the 22nd but with showers for western and northern counties. It stayed warm on the 23rd and was mostly dry, albeit quite cloudy, with a few showers for western coasts overnight.

24th to 31st:

The 24th and 25th were mostly cloudy and showery days but staying mild and breezier than of late. It was cloudy with patchy rain for most on the 26th, turning very wet in most places during the evening. Patchy rain in the morning of the 27th cleared away southwards, leaving a bright and dry afternoon for all parts. More rain to start the 28th, clearing away eastwards to leave a mix of sunshine and showers for the afternoon. Showers mainly affected the south on the 29th, but elsewhere it was humid with variable cloud. It was mostly dry with sunshine on the 30th but cooler than of late. Mainly dry and bright on the 31st with only some isolated showers in the north.

Scotland diary of highlights

July began with showers and longer spells of rain and westerly winds, and this unsettled regime continued through to the 18th. It was briefly hot on the 19th, followed by a thundery breakdown, and then a few days of warm weather followed, but the last week of July was unsettled and often quite cool.

The mean temperature for July was  0.2 °C below the 1981-2010 average. Scotland had 140% of average rainfall, with parts of the east coast and Western and Northern Isles being particularly wet. It was a dull month, particularly in the west, with 77% of average sunshine overall.

1st to 6th:

Sunshine and blustery showers on the 1st, the showers heaviest in the south-west, occasionally mixed with hail. There was a cold start for the north on the 2nd with a minimum of 0.5 °C at Altnaharra (Sutherland) and the north-west saw the most frequent showers. It was generally cloudy with rain or showers on the 3rd. Rain spread to most parts on the 4th, but it was brighter with showers in the far north. It was generally cloudy on the 5th with rain or showers for all parts north of the Trossachs. There was a bright start over the east on the 6th but rain spread to all areas by early evening.

7th to 10th:

The 7th was a wet day across Skye and the northwest Highlands with 20-30mm of rain, although it was quite warm near North Sea coasts. Overnight rain cleared east on the 8th to leave a largely dry day, sunniest around Fife. A cloudy wet day followed on the 9th with bands of rain pushing across the country, these particularly heavy in the Western Isles. It was slightly cooler on the 10th with bands of patchy rain spreading north-east giving high totals, especially along the Moray Firth coast.

11th to 18th:

The 11th was a cloudy, cooler day with widespread scattered showers, heaviest in the afternoon across Aberdeenshire. It was sunny across Coll, Tiree and the Shetlands on the 12th but cloudy elsewhere, cool and it turned increasingly showery across eastern parts. It was cool on the 13th with widespread sunny periods but increasingly showery across central parts. The 14th was a dry sunny day in the south but cloudier in the north, and cloud spread from the west during the evening. It was generally cloudy on the 15th with rain spreading to all parts by noon, turning lighter and patchy during the afternoon. More rain for all parts, except the Borders on the 16th, clearing away eastwards with showers following behind. Rain again spread from the west to most places away from the Borders on the 17th. It was cloudy with rain or showers for most central and northern parts on the 18th.

19th to 24th:

The 19th was a dry sunny day, with Floors Castle (Borders) and Motherwell (Lanarkshire) recording 29.8 °C. There were widespread thunderstorms and heavy showers on the 20th, and Nunraw Abbey (East Lothian) recorded 98 mm of rain from heavy thunderstorms in the morning and evening. There were further thunderstorms early on the 21st across the Northern Isles, before further showers for Lewis, Harris and Uist, but there were also sunny intervals for most places. The 22nd was quite warm, and rain in the west spread slowly east, developing into heavy showers over Aberdeenshire during the afternoon. There was patchy rain for the Western Isles, Orkney and Borders early on the 23rd, but otherwise it was warm and mostly dry, albeit mostly cloudy. It stayed quite warm on the 24th but it was wet across all parts.

25th to 31st:

The 25th was quite warm in the east but cooler in the west, and it was mostly showery and breezy. It was generally cloudy with patchy rain on the 26th, turning wet everywhere from mid-afternoon onwards. Dry and bright over most parts early on the 27th but rain over the north-west spread east, turning showery by early afternoon. There was a sunny start in the north-east on the 28th, cloudy elsewhere with rain moving eastwards but staying confined to the Borders area. The 29th was showery across the north-west Highlands but it was otherwise dry and warm, and sunny in the south-west with 14.5 hours of sunshine recorded at Glasgow. There were scattered showers on the 30th, heaviest in the east and a fresher feel in a northwest wind. The showers were more widespread on the 31st with the showers most frequent and heaviest in the north-west.

Northern Ireland diary of highlights

July started cool and breezy with sunshine and showers, and generally cloudy and changeable weather persisted through the first half of the month. It was warmer in the third week, and briefly hot and sunny on the 18th and 19th. Cloudy changeable weather then resumed for most of the rest of the month. The last three days were brighter but showery.

The mean temperature for July was equal to the long-term average. It was a cloudy and wet July, with 121% of average rainfall and 77% of average sunshine overall, and it was particularly cloudy in the north-west.

1st to 6th:

The 1st and 2nd were cool and breezy with sunshine and showers, and some of the showers were heavy with hail and thunder. It was generally cloudy with patchy, light rain on the 3rd. The 4th was a wet day, but it turned drier from the west during the evening. The 5th was cloudy with patchy light rain. The rain was more persistent and heavy on the 6th, before turning drier in the evening.

7th to 16th:

The 7th began dry and warm with sunny spells but became cloudy and increasingly showery later. The 8th was dry and warm on the whole with showers returning late evening. The 9th was a warm day with temperatures widely above 20 °C, although with bands of showers, and Killowen (County Down) recorded 33 mm of rain. The 10th was a wet day for most with the heaviest rain in the east. It was mostly dry if cloudy on the 11th with scattered showers restricted to the north and clearing early in the day. The 12th was a showery day, the showers heaviest over the Antrim hills, but with sunny spells elsewhere. Sunshine and showers on the 13th, the showers particularly heavy in the south-east, but the showers decayed by evening. The 14th was dry during the morning, before patchy rain moved in from the west late afternoon with continued rainfall overnight. There was a wet start to the 15th, but it turned brighter in the afternoon with some showers. It was dry and bright in the south on the 16th, but cloudier with some rain for the north.

17th to 21st:

It was cloudy at first on the 17th with some rain for the north coast, but turned sunny and warm by late morning. Similar conditions persisted on the 18th but it was warmer, and the temperature exceeded 25 °C in several places. It was dry, sunny and very warm on the 19th with a maximum of 28.0 °C at Magilligan (County Londonderry) and 13 hours of sunshine at Aldergrove (County Down). Early rain for Antrim cleared on the 20th leaving a largely dry but cloudy day, and it was quite warm in the east but much cooler than the previous two days. It remained quite warm on the 21st but it was a showery day after a bright start, particularly in the north and west.

24th to 31st:

Early showers cleared soon on the 22nd to leave a dry but cloudy day, and it was cooler than of late. The 23rd remained cloudy with showers, the showers heaviest in the east. The 24th started dry but rain spread in from the west during the morning. The 25th was a cloudy and increasingly showery day. It was cloudy with patchy rain at first on the 26th, and then turned wet everywhere from mid-afternoon. It was still cloudy for the 27th but with just light showery rain. There was a very wet start to the 28th, the rain turning lighter and patchier into the afternoon. The 29th was a much brighter day, and it was warm near the east coast. It turned cooler on the 30th with sunny spells but afternoon showers became increasingly frequent. There was a mix of sunshine and widespread showers on the 31st, after a chilly start with a minimum of 3.3 °C at Katesbridge (County Down).

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