The warmest day!

The 24th July may not have seen any temperature records broken here (see Not the warmest day!), but today did. The thermometer reached 29.9C shortly before 5pm and the average temperature from 6am-6pm was 24.3C, so the records set on 25 May were exceeded on both counts – indeed, today’s maximum temperature was the highest since July 2009.

Although today is now our warmest day so far this year, the temperatures recorded in May were still exceptionally high for that time of the year.

Not the warmest day!

After another day of unbroken sunshine, we are told by the media machine that today has been the hottest day this year. Now, it may well be that today the highest temperature of the year has been recorded somewhere in the UK, but that doesn’t make it the hottest day everywhere – and, for the record, the hottest day so far this year here is still 25 May. Today the thermometer reached a maximum of 28.1C (compared with 28.5C on 25 May), and the average daytime temperature today (from 6am to 6pm) was 21.3C – but on 25 May that figure was 23.7C.

Today could have set a new record for this year but for a sea breeze that sprang up at about 3.30pm. The thermometer was rising steadily and there was still plenty of time to reach the 28.5C mark, but then came a Westerly breeze that brought cooler air in from the Bristol Channel. The humidity rose sharply as well, so it may not have felt much cooler, but the thermometer dropped 5C in less than an hour.

Today was the hottest day so far this July, but the hottest this year? Close, but no cigar. Maybe tomorrow.

Summer at last

Summer has finally arrived in the south of the UK, with blue skies and some warm sunshine. Today’s maximum temperature was 24.1C, and after many weeks of cloud and rain it has felt really warm. It’s worth remembering, though, that temperatures were higher in late May, when we saw a high of 28.5C on the 25th. The average daytime temperature that day was 23.7C, whereas today’s average was a modest 19.9C. Perhaps some of the perceived warmth of today arises out of the contrast with the gloomy start to summer.

While we are enjoying the sunshine, spare a thought for Scotland where there has been heavy rain today. The July rainfall total here now stands at 79mm, with a little over a week to go to the end of the month. Unless we see heavy rain in the next week or so, the July total will be above average but not significantly high: this part of the country has escaped the really heavy downpours that afflicted places only a few miles away.

Lets hope the current fine spell lasts long enough for some successful haymaking.

Mid-July update

July has continued the depressingly wet weather that we saw throughout June, but however wet it might seem in this neck of the woods we haven’t suffered the extreme rainfall totals that have been seen in some parts of the country. At the half-way point in the month we have recorded 74.2mm of rain, which is around the average for the whole of July. There are places not too far away that saw their average July total fall in just a few days, so perhaps we should count our blessings.

The wettest July recorded here since the station was set up was in the wet summer of 2008 when we recorded 122mm, and in July 2009 the July total was 103mm, so there is still some way to go before July 2012 becomes a record-breaking month. Like June, this has been a cool month as well as a wet one: the average temperature so far is 14.7C which is around 2C below normal, and the maximum temperature so far this month is 21.5C which is way below the July highs for previous years.

There is still time for things to change – let’s hope we get at least a little summer weather for the school holidays.

Rain update

The heavy rain that affected much of the country yesterday arrived here during the afternoon, and continued throughout the evening and night. Yesterday’s rainfall total here (up to midnight) was a modest 6.4mm, but considerably higher totals were seen only a few miles to the north – for much of the afternoon we were just missing the bulk of the rain as it passed down the Bristol Channel.

By 6am today, though, we had already passed the total for the whole of yesterday, with several hours of rain yet to come. The rain is moving up from the south, and some weather stations to the south of us had already recorded 50mm or more by 9am: so today looks like being very wet indeed.

Swallows feeding their young

Thought people might enjoy these photos of a family of swallows, taken this afternoon. They are a healthy-looking bunch, and the chicks look as if they will be flying soon. There are five chicks, but the nest is too small for all of them: one was sitting on a ledge about a foot from the nest. I’m glad to say it seemed to be getting a fair share of the food.