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July 2018

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

The first half of July was dominated by high pressure and the first week in particular was very warm or hot, dry and sunny over a large majority of the country.  The second week was similar but not generally as hot or sunny.  The weather was a little less settled in the second half of the month, particularly in the north and west, but rainfall amounts remained small in many parts of the country until the last few days.  The hottest spell of the month was between the 23rd and 26th, followed by a thundery breakdown.  The last few days were more changeable with rain at times and this ensured that while the month was dry overall, it was not exceptionally so.

The provisional UK mean temperature was 17.3 °C, which is 2.2 °C above the 1981-2010 long-term average, making it provisionally the joint second warmest July (alongside 1983, after 2006) in a series from 1910.  Mean maximum temperatures were over 4 °C above average in many central and southern parts of England but less than 2 °C above in parts of western Scotland and Northern Ireland.  Mean minimum temperatures were mostly about 1 °C above average.  Rainfall was 71% of average, and it was locally a very dry July, most especially in parts of Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, but most places were not exceptionally dry.  Sunshine was 138% of average and it was provisionally the sixth sunniest July in a series since 1929, and sunniest relative to normal in England where it was provisionally the second sunniest July after 2006.

The UK monthly extremes were as follows:  A maximum temperature of 35.3 °C was recorded at Faversham (Kent) on the 26th. A minimum temperature of 0.9 °C was recorded at Tulloch Bridge (Inverness-shire) on the 7th.  In the 24 hours ending at 0900 GMT on the 29th, 89.8 mm of rain fell at Aldergrove (County Antrim). A wind gust of 57 knots (66 mph) was recorded at Needles (Isle of Wight) on the 29th.

The radar picture for 1600 GMT on the 27th shows heavy thundery showers over some eastern areas, heavy rain over parts of Wales, and a wider area of rain crossing Ireland, as the weather breaks down following the hottest days of this year.  Image copyright Met Office.

Weather impacts

Thunderstorms and heavy showers on the 5th caused surface water flooding in parts of Kent, with a few properties flooded.  Hot, dry weather from the 6th led to elevated numbers of calls to ambulance services.  Flooding on the 13th around parts of London meant some roads around Neasden were partially blocked, there were delays on the Metropolitan line, and the northbound M1 was closed due to severe flooding.  Heavy showers caused some flooding in North Wales and North Yorkshire on the 16th, and the northbound A19 had to be closed.  Heavy showers and thunderstorms broke out on the 20th across parts of Northamptonshire, Cambridge, Rutland, Lincolnshire and Norfolk, but with no impacts resulting.

Increasingly high temperatures developed across the east and south-east of England from the 23rd, culminating on the 26th with 35.3 ºC at Faversham, as the first of several thunderstorm warnings was issued for parts of eastern England; however, the main impacts were from the heat, with delays to Channel Tunnel services, and Greater Anglia cancelled some trains with speed restrictions placed on certain routes. Ozone levels were high at times for parts of south-east England. Wild fires also became a big issue across Wales and parts of southern and eastern England.

The last few days of July saw much more unsettled weather for most areas. Parts of eastern England received an amber thunderstorm warning, while various yellow warnings were issued for different areas between 27th and 29th.  Lincolnshire’s emergency services received more than 300 calls during thunderstorms on the 27th. Roads and properties were flooded, some rail services were disrupted due to lightning strikes, a number of outdoor events were cancelled, and more than 30,000 homes had power cuts due to the thunderstorms. In Yorkshire, trains from Leeds were suspended for a time due to a lightning strike, trees and houses were struck by lightning, and standing water caused delays on a number of roads. Parts of eastern and south-eastern England also suffered impacts from thunderstorms and heavy showers, with trees blocking roads in Sussex and a mini tornado and £1 coin-sized hailstones in Cambridgeshire.  The emergency services reported increased demand in Norfolk.  A band of heavy rain moved across Northern Ireland on the 28th, with an amber thunderstorm warning issued for eastern parts of the province; many roads to the south and west of Belfast were flooded, manhole covers were lifted due to the heavy rain around Lurgan and Belfast, and the Armoy road race was cancelled in the interest of safety.  Over 100 properties were flooded across eastern parts of Northern Ireland.  The 29th saw widespread disruption across the south of England: Camp Bestival was cancelled, while trees blocked roads in Dorset and Sussex. Trees falling onto electrical lines in Bournemouth caused some power outages.  Flood water blocked roads in Gloucester, and Isle of Wight ferries were affected by the adverse weather.

England diary of highlights

The first half of July was mostly warm or hot, dry and sunny, especially so in the first week, with high pressure close to or over the British Isles.  The second half was less settled but still with plenty of hot, dry and sunny weather, especially in the south and east.  The 25th and 26th saw the highest temperatures, followed by a thundery breakdown in many areas.

The mean temperature for July was provisionally 2.6 °C above the 1981-2010 long-term average, making it the second warmest July in a series from 1910.  The positive temperature anomaly was generally much larger by day than by night, with maximum temperatures over 4 °C above average in some areas.  Rainfall was 57% of average, and north Norfolk was particularly dry.  Sunshine was 142% of average, making it provisionally the second sunniest July in a series from 1929.

1st to 8th

The weather was mostly warm/hot, dry and sunny but with occasional showers and thunderstorms in places.  The 1st was cloudier in the south-west with heavy showers and thunderstorms, but mostly sunny elsewhere with temperatures widely in the mid- to high 20s Celsius.  The 2nd and 3rd were mostly sunny and hot, but cloudier with scattered showers in the far south-west.  Showers in the south-west spread north-east on the 4th but became isolated, while it was mainly sunny elsewhere but cooler with some low cloud near eastern coastal fringes.  16.4 hours of sunshine was recorded at East Malling (Kent) on the 2nd, and at Morecambe (Lancashire) on the 4th.  The hot dry sunny weather continued over much of the country between the 5th and 8th, but scattered thundery showers broke out on the 5th, mainly in the south-east, and low cloud affected the far east and south-west on the 6th.

9th to 16th

It remained mostly hot, dry and sunny but generally a little cooler with more cloud at times.  On the 10th, cloud in the north with some patchy rain and drizzle spread southwards and broke up but it remained hot in the south.  The 11th was mostly sunny except for some low cloud in the east which burned back to coasts and cloudier weather in the far south-west, where isolated showers developed later.  The 12th started cloudy for most then brightened up but with isolated showers in the west which became more intense.  The 13th started cloudy in the north with scattered showers; the south started sunny before thundery showers broke out and headed north-eastwards.  It was dry, sunny and warm or hot on the 14th and 15th but cooler near coasts.  The 16th continued hot and sunny in the south and east but was cloudy further west and north, and scattered showers moved north-eastwards during the day with isolated thunderstorms.

17th to 24th

The 17th to 19th were cooler and cloudier than of late but still generally warm, with some sunny intervals and isolated showers, and many places had a dry day on the 19th with good sunny spells.  The night of the 17th/18th was cool in places with a minimum of 4.4 °C at Ravensworth (North Yorkshire).  The 20th started bright for most, with rain for the far south-east, while rain and drizzle in the north moved south-eastwards and turned showery, heavy and thundery in the south Midlands; Spadeadam (Cumbria) only reached 14.4°C.  From the 21st to 24th the south and east were mostly dry, sunny and very warm, and increasingly hot in the south-east, but it was often cloudier with patchy rain or drizzle in the north-west.

25th to 31st

The 25th was a dry day with sunny spells for all, and hot in many areas with temperatures in the high 20s and low 30s Celsius.  The 26th continued hot with sunny intervals and a high of 35.3 °C at Faversham (Kent), but with thunderstorms from mid-afternoon onwards especially across the Midlands, Pennines and eastern areas and later in central southern areas.  The night of the 26th/27th was unusually warm with Hastings (East Sussex) not falling below 21.5°C, and rain affected western parts on the 27th with thunderstorms across the north and east, especially from early afternoon, and Tibenham Airfield (Norfolk) reached 34.7 °C.  The 28th was a much cooler and breezy day with rain clearing northwards followed by sunshine and showers with some scattered thunderstorms, and Holne Priddons Farm (Devon) recorded 48.1 mm.  Cloudy, wet and windy weather spread from the south-west on the 29th with gusts to 66 mph at Needles (Isle of Wight).  The 30th had sunshine and showers for most, turning wet across the north and west from late afternoon, and the 31st was a mostly bright day with isolated showers after heavy rain and thunderstorms cleared the east Midlands, East Anglia and the south-east.

Wales diary of highlights

The first half of July was generally dry, sunny and very warm, sometimes hot inland, and, apart from some isolated thundery showers at times, rainfall was very scarce.  The second half of the month was less settled, especially in the last few days, but with a mostly dry warm sunny spell from the 22nd to 26th.

The mean temperature for July was provisionally 2.0 °C above the long-term average, provisionally the joint third warmest July in a series from 1910.  Rainfall was 68% of average and sunshine was 140% of average, making it the seventh sunniest July in a series from 1929.

1st to 10th

The 1st started off sunny but cloud increased from the south bringing showery rain with isolated thunderstorms, and Porthmadog reached 31.0 °C.  The night of the 1st/2nd was warm with Cardiff Bute Park (South Glamorgan) not falling below 19.1 °C, then the 2nd and 3rd were dry, sunny and very warm or hot, though cooler on coasts, with 16.0 hours of sunshine at Valley (Gwynedd) on the 3rd.  The 4th and 5th were also mostly very warm and sunny but cloud developed on both afternoons with very isolated thundery showers.  It remained very warm and sunny between the 6th and 9th, though cooler near coasts with some coastal low cloud on the 6th and 7th.  The 10th was cloudier inland with isolated showers but remained sunny near the west coast.

11th to 15th

The 11th was mostly bright and warm but with some isolated showers, which briefly became more widespread.  It was mostly cloudy on the 12th with scattered thundery showers but with sunny spells in the north-west and far south.  The 13th was sunnier and very warm for most parts, though with isolated thundery showers.  The 14th and 15th continued sunny and warm, very warm in the south-east on the 15th, and both days remained dry although some cloud bubbled up later on the 14th.

16th to 21st

The 16th began bright but scattered showers in the west moved north-eastwards during the day, these locally heavy and thundery.  The 17th and 18th were cooler and cloudier with some scattered showers and some sunny intervals, then the 19th was dry and generally warmer and sunnier.  The 20th started bright in the south but cloudy weather with rain and drizzle moved south-eastwards to affect most areas.  It was mainly cloudy and dry on the 21st with patchy drizzle near exposed coasts but brighter in the far south.

22nd to 26th

The 22nd was mostly dry, warm and sunny especially in the south.  The 23rd and 24th were generally cloudier with isolated showers but it brightened up in the south on both days and more widely on the 24th.  The 25th and 26th were dry with plenty of sunny spells, with temperatures widely into the mid-20s Celsius on the 25th and the high 20s Celsius on the 26th.  The intervening night was cool in some inland parts, with a minimum of 3.8 °C at St Harmon (Powys).

27th to 31st

Cloudy on the 27th with rain everywhere, particularly heavy in the south.  The 28th was windy with showers and longer spells of rain, and somewhat cooler than on recent days, with a high of only 14.5 °C at Lake Vyrnwy (Powys), 47.2 mm of rain at Tredegar (Gwent), and gusts of 68 mph at Aberdaron (Gwynedd).  Cloudy but dry initially on the 29th, turning wet from mid-morning, the rain persisting for most of the day.  Rain in the west cleared away eastwards on the 30th followed by a brighter afternoon, and the 31st had a mix of sunshine and isolated showers.

Scotland diary of highlights

The first week of July was generally very warm, dry and sunny with high pressure dominant, but the second week was slightly less settled.  The second half of the month was more changeable but still with some warm sunny weather at times, especially on the 25th and 26th when it turned hot in some regions.

The mean temperature for July was provisionally 1.7 °C above the long-term average, making it the fourth warmest July in a series from 1910.  Rainfall was generally near or below average, with 81% of average overall.  Sunshine was 131% of average, provisionally the eighth sunniest July in a series from 1929, and well above average in most areas but closer to average in the Western Isles.

1st to 9th

High pressure dominated bringing mostly dry, very warm and sunny weather but it was often cloudier in the far north-west.  Temperatures were mainly in the mid-20s Celsius on the 1st, and Edinburgh Gogarbank recorded 16.1 hours of bright sunshine, but it was cooler and cloudy with patchy rain in the far north-west.  The 2nd started cloudy in central and eastern areas, and the 3rd was cloudy in the far north, but otherwise both days were also dry, sunny and very warm.  The 4th was also mostly dry, sunny and warm but isolated showers developed later.  It turned cooler on the 5th, but stayed dry and mostly sunny, and the 6th was also mostly dry and sunny but cloudier in the north and west with isolated showers in the far north.  The night of the 6th/7th was cold in some places with a minimum of 0.9 °C at Tulloch Bridge (Inverness-shire), followed by another warm dry sunny day for most.  The 8th and 9th were generally cloudier, with isolated patches of light rain, but it remained very warm and sunny in some southern parts.

10th to 16th

High pressure remained quite dominant but the weather turned more unsettled.  The 10th and 11th were mostly cloudy with showers and longer spells of rain in the north-west with 50.2 mm of rain at Kinlochewe (Ross & Cromarty) on the 10th and a maximum of only 12.8 °C at Strathy East (Sutherland) on the 11th, but it was warmer and brighter in the south.  The 12th was sunny in the south-west with isolated showers but it remained cloudy with patchy light rain and drizzle in central and eastern areas.  The 13th was mostly warm and dry with some sunny intervals, but scattered showers affected some southern and central areas in the afternoon.  The 14th was mostly dry, sunny and very warm in the south and east but cloudier with some rain in the north, with isolated heavy thundery bursts, and cloud and rain became more widespread on the 15th.  After a cloudy start the 16th brightened up with sunny spells, but showers moved into the far south later.

17th to 21st

The 17th was mainly bright but showers spread north-eastwards and became more frequent and intense in the north-east, and it was cloudier in the far north with rain.  The 18th was cloudy for most with some showers after a sunny start in central and north-eastern areas.  The 19th was mostly dry and sunny but cloud and heavy rain moved into the far north-west.  The 20th started cloudy and wet, then brightened up from the west with isolated showers.  The 21st was mostly cloudy and dry, with some brighter spells in the south but patchy rain spreading from the west, most persistent in the far north.

22nd to 26th

The 22nd was mostly warm and sunny in the north and east but cloudier in the west with rain moving into the far north-west later.  After a bright start on the 23rd, again especially for the north and east, patchy rain and drizzle spread from the south-west and became increasingly persistent and widespread.  The 24th was brighter but cooler with isolated showers in parts of the north.  The 25th and 26th were cloudy in the north-west and Western Isles with some rain at times but it became warm and sunny elsewhere with temperatures widely into the mid-20s Celsius.  Heavy showers developed across the eastern Borders late on the 26th.

27th to 31st

The 27th was wet in the west, hot further east with a maximum of 30.4 °C at Lossiemouth (Morayshire) with thunderstorms developing during the evening.  The night of the 27th/28th was warm with Kinloss (Morayshire) not falling below 18.0 °C, and it was wet on the 28th, the rain heaviest and most persistent in the south.  Sunshine and heavy blustery showers on the 29th, and winds gusted to 58 mph at Stornoway (Western Isles).  Sunshine and showers again for the 30th, the showers heaviest in the west, and turning wet from the south from late afternoon.  Cloudy and wet in the west on the 31st, drier and brighter in the east.

Northern Ireland diary of highlights

July started with a spell of notably warm dry sunny weather which lasted until the 10th.  The rest of the month was slightly more unsettled but still with some warm sunny days, especially on the 25th and 26th, with the last five days being the most unsettled part of the month.

The mean temperature for July was provisionally 1.2 °C above the 1981-2010 average, which made it provisionally the sixth warmest July in a series from 1910.  Rainfall was 99% of average and sunshine was 123% of average, with the east generally sunniest relative to normal.

1st to 10th

High pressure dominated and brought generally warm and sunny weather.  The 1st and 2nd were mostly dry, sunny and warm but it was cooler and cloudier in the north-west.  The 3rd and 4th were sunny in most regions and hot in places, with 15.9 hours of sunshine at Aldergrove (County Antrim) on the 3rd and a maximum of 29.1 °C at Giants Causeway (County Antrim) on the 4th, but the 4th was cooler on south-eastern coasts and turned cloudier in the west.  The 5th and 6th started off cloudier but some sunshine broke through, especially on the 5th.  The 7th began warm and mostly sunny but it was cloudier by the afternoon with scattered showers, these mainly in the north and west.  The 8th and 9th were generally warm, dry and sunny although the 9th started cloudy in many places.  It was cool in places overnight into the 10th with Katesbridge (County Down) falling to 1.4 °C, followed by another warm dry sunny day, albeit cloudier in the west.

11th to 15th

Although high pressure remained dominant early in this period it turned cooler and cloudier with bands of rain spreading from the west.  The 11th and 12th were mostly cloudy and cooler, with some scattered showers in the north and east on the 11th, when Ballypatrick (County Antrim) only reached 13.3 °C.  The 13th was cloudy in the south-west but sunny in the north and east, and some places started warm and sunny on the 14th but cloud increased from the west bringing some outbreaks of rain into the west and north.  The 15th was mostly cloudy and wet but the rain turned more showery during the afternoon.

16th to 24th

It was generally unsettled and cooler.  The 16th-18th had a slack, showery westerly flow, and the 16th and 17th both started off sunny but cloud and scattered showers spread from the west.  The 18th was sunnier with only isolated showers.  It started off bright and dry on the 19th but cloud spread from the west later followed by a band of rain.  The 20th was a cloudy day with some patchy rain and drizzle, but this cleared through the afternoon leaving just isolated showers.  The 21st was cloudy, with some patchy rain which mostly died out later.  The 22nd was a very warm day with some sunny intervals, and this was followed by a warm night with Killowen (County Down) not falling below 17.9 °C.  The 23rd got off to a bright start but cloud and patchy rain and drizzle spread from the west, which became more persistent and intense for a time.  The 24th was cooler, bringing a cloudy start with isolated patches of light rain or drizzle followed by sunny spells, with isolated showers towards the end of the day.

25th to 31st

There was a brief warm sunny interlude on the 25th and 26th, with temperatures into the mid-20s Celsius on both days, although the 26th had a few afternoon showers in the west.  The rest of the month was somewhat more unsettled.  The 27th was a cloudy and wet day, and the 28th was very windy with showers, longer spells of rain and some thunderstorms, giving 89.8 mm of rainfall at Aldergrove (County Antrim) and gusts to 49 mph recorded at Orlock Head (County Down.)  The 29th and 30th were brighter, with relatively few showers on the 29th but some scattered heavy showers on the 30th.  The 31st was dull and wet but became more showery during the afternoon.

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