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August 2017

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

The start of August saw a continuation of the generally westerly flow which had been in place through the second half of July.  This brought cloud and rain at times, with only brief intervals of fine weather, and it was mostly cool.  It was rather warmer for a time around the 17th to 23rd, and the highest temperatures of the month occurred in south-eastern areas during 27th to 29th which also saw some fine weather.  The close of the month saw a return to cooler showery conditions.

The UK mean temperature was 14.5 °C, which is 0.4 °C below the 1981-2010 long-term average.  Temperatures were near average in Northern Scotland and some eastern coasts, and rather below elsewhere.  Rainfall was generally above normal, with more than 150% of average in places, but South Wales, Norfolk and Northumberland were a little drier than average.  Sunshine was generally near normal, slightly below in some western areas with the brightest area being north-east England.

The UK monthly extremes were as follows:  A maximum temperature of 29.3 °C was recorded at Frittenden (Kent) on the 29th.  A minimum temperature of 0.5 °C was recorded at Katesbridge (County Down) on the 13th.  In the 24 hours ending at 0900 GMT on the 23rd, 104.3 mm of rain fell at Lochboisdale (Western Isles).  A wind gust of 57 knots (66 mph) was recorded at Needles (Isle of Wight) on the 18th.

Weather impacts

Rain on the 2nd was heavy in the south; some ferries in the south-west were cancelled due to the adverse weather, and flooding caused major disruption on certain roads.  A lightning strike in Stafford badly damaged a house on the same day.  Slow-moving heavy thundery showers in parts of eastern Scotland on the 3rd led to the suspension of the Women’s British Open Golf in Fife due to threat of lightning, while in Hampshire a falling tree crushed a man.

Parts of England saw a slow-moving band of rain with some embedded heavy and thundery bursts on the 8th and 9th. Lightning struck several buildings and caused train delays in the south-east, where the M20 was flooded, causing long delays, and heavy showers led to delays on the M25.  There was also flooding in the East Midlands with delays on the M1.  Many other roads across south-eastern and central parts of England were closed due to flooding.

The 22nd to 25th saw heavy rain over Northern Ireland and much of northern Scotland.  There was widespread flooding across north-western parts of Northern Ireland with damage to properties and infrastructure, and over a hundred people were rescued after becoming trapped in homes and cars by overnight flooding.  Derry Airport was closed due to flooding as well as many roads across the region. Landslides also closed roads; combined with swollen rivers, various bridges were damaged, some bridges collapsing and cutting off communities.  The coastguard rescued more than 30 people, with helicopters brought in from other areas to assist.  Roads in Counties Londonderry and Tyrone were impassable, with the A5 and A2 completely closed for a time. Train services to the north-west were suspended due to flooding, and there were temporary power cuts due to lightning damage to the electricity supply network.  Impacts were still being felt a week later with another bridge collapsing on the 31st after some moderate rain. The Western Isles also suffered from heavy flooding with rain falling on Barra and South Uist resulting in disruption to travel.

England diary of highlights

August began unsettled with rain or showers and mainly westerly or south-westerly winds, and this pattern continued until the 18th.  It turned warmer from the 19th, and it was often warm and sunny, particularly in the south-east, between the 25th and 29th, but the month ended cooler and showery.

The mean temperature for August was 0.5°C below the 1981-2010 long-term average.  Rainfall was 105% of average, and most regions had near or above average rainfall but it was drier than average in Northumberland.  Sunshine was 97% of average, generally below average in the south-west but above average in the north-east.

1st to 9th

Heavy showers on the 1st spread east and thunderstorms developed mainly to the east of the Pennines. The 2nd was cloudy and rain spread from the south-west, heavy across southernmost counties. The 3rd was brighter for many, punctuated by showers, heaviest in the north. There was sunshine mixed with scattered showers on the 4th.  The 5th also had sunshine and showers, these showerse thundery in some places.  It was sunny in the south-east on the 6th, but rain spread into western parts and the Midlands during the day.  Sunshine and showers over the north on the 7th, cloudier with patchy rain or showers from the Midlands southwards.  It was cool and wet for all on the 8th with showers, some thundery, or prolonged spells of rain particularly in the east and north-east, with 54.0 mm of rain at Leconfield (Humberside), and the temperature only reached 12.4 °C at Middleton (Derbyshire).  The 9th was bright across the north and far south-west, but the south-east saw persistent rain and low daytime temperatures.

10th to 18th

The 10th was largely dry and sunny although there were early showers around Kent and the Thames Estuary.  Rain across the north and west on the 11th moved south-eastwards, fizzling out in the afternoon, and it was dry and sunny for the south-east.  Variable cloud across the country on the 12th with rain/showers across the north and south-west, becoming heavy over the North York Moors and Humberside, but it stayed dry in the south-east.  After a sunny start on the 13th cloud bubbled up in most places in the afternoon.  It was wet across central parts early on the 14th, with showers across the north-west, dry in the south and east before heavy rain moved into the south-west in the afternoon. Warm and sunny across the majority of the country on the 15th, with 14.1 hours of sunshine at Whitby (North Yorkshire), but scattered showers affected the north-west in the morning. The north-west and far south-west had rain throughout the day on the 16th, with the east remaining dry and sunny. Dry for most on the 17th, with just scattered showers over the Midlands and south-west.  Sunshine and showers on the 18th, the showers heavy and thundery through the Midlands and the south-east, and winds were strong with 66 mph gusts recorded at Needles (Isle of Wight).

19th to 23rd

A dry, sunny start in the south and east on the 19th, while showers in the west spread to most regions by afternoon, dying away into the evening.  Most places started sunny on the 20th, but cloud and rain over the south-west spread slowly eastwards into central and south-eastern parts by evening.  It was chilly early on the 21st, Kielder Castle (Northumberland) falling to 2.5 °C; rain and drizzle across the Midlands moved into the north-west during the afternoon. It was sunny in the south-west on the 22nd, but generally cloudy elsewhere with isolated showers. Warm overnight into the 23rd, Bognor Regis and Shoreham (West Sussex) not falling below 18.1 °C, followed by a cloudy and wet start across northern areas with the heaviest rain for parts of Yorkshire, which cleared the east coast early afternoon, while sunny spells developed from the west with a few isolated showers.

24th to 31st

The 24th was mainly dry and cloudy with a few scattered showers across the north and south-west, and sunny spells developed through the afternoon. The 25th was mainly dry with sunny spells across the Midlands and south-east, cloudier further north with some patchy rain moving south. The 26th started cloudy with patchy rain across East Anglia and some isolated showers over the north-west, but this soon cleared and it became mainly dry with sunny spells. The 27th was fine and warm with sunny spells, although cloudier across the north with patchy rain and drizzle over Cumbria. It was cloudy across northern counties on the 28th and rain arrived in Cumbria and moved southwards, but it was warm, dry and sunny from the Midlands southwards and the maximum temperature of 28.2 °C at Holbeach (Lincolnshire) broke the record for the Late August Bank Holiday.  It was generally cloudy with patchy rain on the 29th, but it was warm with sunshine and showers in the south-east giving a maximum of 29.3 °C at Frittenden (Kent).  Central and southern parts were wet on the 30th, with sunshine and showers elsewhere.  There were showers and thunderstorms across the north-west initially on the 31st, and these became widespread into the afternoon.

Wales diary of highlights

The month was generally changeable with low pressure systems and fronts moving in from the west at regular intervals.  It was mostly cool, but it turned generally warmer from the 20th to 27th with some warm sunshine at times.

The mean temperature for August was 0.4 °C below the long-term average.  Rainfall was 104% of average, but it was slightly drier than average in Anglesey and the south-east.  Sunshine was 88% of average, with below average sunshine in the west and near average sunshine in the east.

1st to 8th

There were heavy showers on the 1st, with 10 to 20 mm of rain across Carmarthenshire.  Rain on the 2nd turned showery and Capel Curig (Gwynedd) recorded 45.4 mm. Showers almost everywhere on the 3rd, but it was brighter along Gwynedd coasts.  The 4th was a much brighter day with 10.4 hours of sunshine at Valley (Anglesey), though there were scattered showers elsewhere.  Bright spells and thundery showers on the 5th, and it was wettest through south central parts.  It was sunny in the south on the 6th, cloudy and cool in the north with a maximum of only 13.4 °C at Lake Vrynwy (Powys), and turned wet everywhere by the evening with 45.8 mm of rain at Capel Curig (Gwynedd).  The 7th was sunny over the north-west, cloudy with patchy rain/showers elsewhere.  Sunshine and showers on the 8th, some of the showers turning thundery during the afternoon.

9th to 19th

It was largely dry and sunny on the 9th. The 10th started cool, with an overnight minimum of 2.5 °C at Swyddffynnon (Dyfed), but was a sunny day.  It was cloudy with rain on and off on the 11th.  The 12th started cloudy with widespread showers, but became brighter and drier by the afternoon.  After a sunny start to the 13th, cloud increased during the day with rain in the south-west by evening.  The rain continued into the 14th, which became drier with showers for at time before turning very wet in the evening. Dry and sunny on the 15th, Aberdaron (Gwynedd) recording 13.2 hours of sunshine, but with blustery winds on coasts and on high ground.  The 16th began dry but a large area of rain moved north-eastwards late in the afternoon to all parts and became heavier by the evening.  Scattered showers affected most parts on the 17th, with some strong winds especially in exposed locations, gusts exceeding 40 mph. Sunshine and frequent, blustery heavy showers for the 18th, the showers turning thundery in the south for a time in the afternoon, and winds gusted to 58 mph at Mumbles (West Glamorgan).  The 19th saw sunshine and mainly light showers. 

20th to 27th

Starting bright on the 20th but turning cloudy and wet everywhere by mid-afternoon.  The morning of the 21st was wet in central and northern parts, but it turned drier and brighter in the afternoon.  It was generally cloudy on the 22nd with isolated showers in the afternoon, but warm nonetheless with Prestatyn (Clwyd) reaching 25.4 °C. It stayed warm overnight into the 23rd, Hawarden (Clwyd) not falling below 17.3 °C, and after clearance of some patchy rain it was a day of sunshine and showers. The 24th was mainly dry and cloudy with a few scattered showers through the morning and some sunny spells developing by the evening. The 25th was again mainly dry with sunny spells, although it clouded over from the north with some patchy rain. The 26th started cloudy with a few isolated showers, soon becoming mainly dry with sunny spells and feeling warm. The 27th was mainly dry but cloudy with some patchy rain for the north-west, with sunny spells spreading from the south late in the day.

28th to 31st

The 28th was mainly cloudy and dry, the best of any sunshine across the south-east, with rain arriving across the north in the evening.  Cloudy with patchy rain/drizzle on the morning of the 29th, drier in the afternoon.  Rain in the south-east cleared away on the 30th followed by sunshine and showers.  There were showers and thunderstorms across the north early on the 31st, which cleared, then all parts had a mix of sunshine and widespread showers.

Scotland diary of highlights

August was a predominantly unsettled month with mainly westerly winds and low pressure systems moving in from the North Atlantic at regular intervals, and only brief fine interludes.  It was generally warm between the 20th and 26th but the rest of the month was mostly rather cool.

The mean temperature for August was 0.2 °C below the long-term average.  Rainfall was mostly near or above normal, with 126% of average overall.  Sunshine was 94% of average, with generally below average amounts in the south-west but near or slightly above average in the east and far north.

1st to 8th

There were showers on the 1st, heaviest north-west of the Great Glen. It remained unsettled on the 2nd with longer spells of rain spreading north from late morning. Showers again on the 3rd, particularly wet across the North Highlands and Shetland, but with brighter spells in the south and east. It was wet on the 4th with rain or showers, heaviest across the North-west Highlands.  The 5th had a mixture of sunshine and showers.  It was sunny over the east on the 6th, cloudy elsewhere with rain crossing central and southern areas during the day, followed by widespread showers later on.  Sunshine and widespread showers on the 7th.  After a bright or sunny start in most places on the 8th, showers developed and became widespread during the afternoon.

9th to 19th

It was dry and bright on the 9th, the west getting the best of the sunshine with 13.6 hours at Bishopton (Renfrewshire). Dry and bright on the 10th before rain reached the Western Isles in the evening.  It was wet and windy on the 11th, with gusts of 51 mph recorded at Loch Glascarnoch (Ross & Cromarty) and Drumalbin (Lanarkshire) before turning brighter with sunshine and showers in the afternoon.  Rain over the east and the Borders on the 12th cleared southwards followed by sunshine and showers.  It was sunny in the south and east to start the 13th, then showers in the west spread to all parts during the afternoon.  It was wet everywhere on the 14th, turning drier with showers by afternoon before more rain reached the south-west by evening. Showers affected mainly the central belt and west coast throughout the day on the 15th, warmer and drier to the east. Rain moved eastwards through the day on the 16th affecting all parts, and it was windy with gusts of 51 mph recorded at both Loch Glascarnoch and Drumalbin. After a dry start for most on the 17th, a slow-moving band of rain came into the west, but it was warm and sunny to the east of this.  Wet and cool for most on the 18th, when Dalwhinnie (Inverness-shire) only reached 12.0 °C, with prolonged rain or showers, turning thundery across the south-west in the evening.  The 19th began dry and sunny, but frequent showers spread from the west to all parts by the afternoon.

20th to 26th

Sunny across the east on the 20th, cloudier elsewhere with a few showers.  Bright or sunny on the 21st, but cloud increased from the south with some rain by evening.  Bands of rain crossed the country on the morning of the 22nd, drying up for a time in the afternoon before heavy, thundery rain moved into the west in the evening giving 76.4 mm of rain at South Uist (Western Isles), and it was warm with a maximum of 24.1 °C at Threave (Kirkcudbright). The 23rd started wet with heavy, thundery rain moving north-east across the country, clearing by lunchtime with some bright spells but with a few showers across Argyll and Bute. The 24th started mainly dry and cloudy, but scattered showers developed by mid-morning ahead of another band of heavy rain which moved across Argyll and Bute in the afternoon and spread from Skye to Dumfries & Galloway. The 25th was mainly cloudy with heavy rain or showers, but drier across the Western and Northern Isles. The 26th started cloudy, with scattered showers across the north-east and through the central belt, then became mainly dry in the afternoon with a few isolated showers across the south and east.

27th to 31st

The 27th was a mainly dry but cloudy day with some patchy rain across the North-west Highlands and the Borders, and a more organised band of heavy rain moving in across the north-west in the evening. It was warm and windy early on the 28th, with Grangemouth (Stirlingshire) and Edinburgh Botanical Gardens not falling below 17.0 °C, and gusts to 51 mph at Loch Glascarnoch and Drumalbin, then a band of heavy rain moved across the country from north-west to south-east and cleared the Borders after dusk.  It was cloudy with some rain on the 29th, turning brighter but showery from the north in the afternoon.  There was a cold start to the 30th, the minimum only 1.6°C at Aboyne (Aberdeenshire), with showers becoming widespread by afternoon.  The 31st was similar with showers becoming widespread again in the afternoon.

Northern Ireland diary of highlights

Much of August continued with a changeable and cool westerly type, but it was warmer for a time between the 21st and 27th.

The mean temperature for August was 0.4 °C below the long-term average.  It was a rather wet month in the west of the Province, with 127% of average rainfall overall.  Sunshine amounts totalled 93% of average.

1st to 12th

Heavy showers spread east on the 1st and turned thundery for some. Further rain spread northwards during the 2nd, turning more showery later. Showers on the 3rd became increasingly frequent across northern districts towards evening. The 4th was much brighter, with only isolated showers. Staying bright on the 5th with showers again, but a cooler day.  The 6th was wet in the morning, brighter but very showery in the afternoon.  The 7th brought sunshine and showers, as did the 8th but with a dry sunny end to the day, Magilligan (County Londonderry) recording 10.8hrs of sunshine. The 9th was largely dry and bright, and the 10th was too until cloud and rain advanced into western parts by dusk.  The 11th had a cloudy morning with patchy rain, but turned brighter with showers in the afternoon, and Murlough (County Down) reached 22.5 °C.  The 12th was a day of sunshine and showers. 

13th to 20th

After a bright but cold start to the 13th, Katesbridge (County Down) falling to 0.5 °C overnight, cloud increased in the afternoon with rain into the west by evening.  The 14th started very wet but became brighter with showers by midday. Light showers during the morning of the 15th cleared eastwards by the afternoon. The 16th was wet, the rain moving eastwards to be followed by scattered blustery showers with and winds gusting to 46mph at Orlock Head (County Down). Sunshine and showers throughout the day on both the 17th and the 18th.  Similar on the 19th, the showers at their worst around the middle of the day.  After a bright start on the 20th it became cloudy with rain for a time in the south-west.

21st to 27th

The 21st was cloudy and wet.  Mild overnight into the 22nd, Castlederg (County Tyrone) not falling below 16.4 °C, but turning very wet in the afternoon with heavy rain and thunderstorms producing a total of 61.6 mm at Lough Fea (County Londonderry). After a dry and bright start on the 23rd, scattered heavy showers developed from lunchtime. The 24th started off dry and cloudy but a band of rain then showers soon moved across all areas from the west. The 25th was mainly cloudy with a band of heavy rain moving slowly south through the morning and heavy, thundery showers developing in the afternoon and evening. The 26th began cloudy with some scattered showers, soon clearing to leave a mainly dry and cloudy afternoon and evening. The 27th was a mainly dry and cloudy day with patchy rain or drizzle in the south-east.

28th to 31st

The 28th was another cloudy day, with a band of rain moving across the Province from north-west to south-east clearing in the evening.  Cool and cloudy with showers on the 29th, a little brighter later, but maximum temperature only 13.5°C at Glenanne (County Armagh).  Sunshine and widespread showers for the 30th, and similar on the 31st albeit with less in the way of showers.

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