August provided a real contrast to June and July as far as temperatures were concerned. The first two months of the summer were warm, with our highest June recorded average and second-highest for July. August 2014 produced an average temperature of 15.6C, sharing the title of coolest August with 2011.
Recorded rainfall was 94.4mm, but a fault on the weather station on 6 August means that figure is lower than it should be. The true figure is probably about 100mm, which is well above average but not unprecedented – August rainfall exceeded 100mm in 2008 and 2012.
Although a short spell of high pressure put in an appearance in the middle of the month, August was dominated by low pressure systems. The average pressure was 1011.2hPa, our second lowest August figure – the lowest was in 2008, when we also recorded 125.2mm of rain.
The remains of Hurricane Bertha passed up the Bristol Channel on 10 August, but fortunately for us this deep low pressure system hadn’t really got going when it passed – there were some gales and flooding further east. We saw a few thunderstorms, with one on the 14th producing 10.6mm of rain in 10 minutes.
While the positioning of low and high pressure areas in July often drew in warm, moist air from the south, in August we saw the opposite – a deep low pressure system passed north of the country on 18 August, and then parked itself over Scandinavia while a blocking high pressure system formed to our west. The result was a stream of polar air making it feel decidedly chilly, with a minimum of 6.1C on 21 August – in Dorset it got down to around 3C. Finally, August was quite a windy month, but there were no exceptional wind speeds.
At the end of July were heading for a record summer temperature, but August took the edge off that – the summer of 2014 has to settle for second place with an average temperature of 16.9C, against the summer of 2013 with 17.0C. The rainfall total for summer 2014 was 205.6mm (or about 211mm if we take account of the error on 6 August), which is on the high side but not exceptional.