25C already

The thermometer reached 25C at 1115 today – that’s about 2C higher than it was at this time yesterday, which was our warmest day of the year so far. If the heat doesn’t generate too much cloud it could be yet another very warm day.

Hotter still today

Ah, well – both of the year-to-date temperature records set yesterday were broken today, with a maximum of 30.2C recorded at 1706 and an average daytime (0600-1800) temperature of 24.2C.

The average temperature for this month now stands at 18.2C, which is 0.9C below the average for July last year.

Warmest day so far in 2014

As we thought might happen, this afternoon saw a new high temperature for this year with 29.6C being recorded at 1706.

It has also been the warmest day (0600-1800) so far this year, with an average temperature of 23.7C – rather an appropriate figure for the 23rd of July!

Despite the recent high temperatures, this month is not yet a match for July 2013 – the average temperature so far this month is 18C,  compared with 19.1C for last year. Probably not our warmest July ever, then, but a firm favourite for second place.

Possible temperature record this afternoon

I’m typing this at 1315 BST and the temperature is 27.8C and rising. The highest temperature seen to far this year is 29.1C at 1643 on 17 July, and our all-time high is 31.2C on 19 July 2013 – just over a year ago.

There is a gentle north-easterly breeze today which, so far at least, has prevented a sea breeze from forming. The sea breeze is usually a limiting factor on our high temperatures, and it is when the cooler air from the sea is blocked by an offshore breeze that we see our highest temperatures.

So – keep an eye on the web site this afternoon. It seems quite possible that this year’s high of 29.1C will be exceeded. Beating the all-time high of 31.2C is less likely because the heat is already causing some cumulus clouds to form, but you never know.

While I was typing this, the thermometer topped 28C – it’s going to be a warm one.

Warmest day of the year so far

The temperature reached 29.1C at 1643 today giving us a new high for this year, and average temperatures for last night (1800-0600) and today (0600-1800) were also new highs for this year with 18.0C and 23.1C respectively.

These figures are not exceptional for July – we have topped 29C for five out of the last seven years, and the average so far this month of 17.2C is well within the normal range. It is a year ago almost to the day – the 19th July 2013, to be exact – that we recorded our all-time record high (for this weather station) of 31.2C. We saw a daytime average of 25.8C on 18 July last year, so we can see that today’s figures are some way off being record-breakers.

Still, it’s good so see some proper summer warmth. If the forecasts are right they may soon be followed by some proper summer thunderstorms and that too is a repeat of events last July.

June 2014 summary

June this year saw some big contrasts in the weather. It was a warm month, about 1.1C above normal for the time of year and the warmest June yet recorded here with an average temperature of 16.4C. The highest temperature was 26.1C on 23rd June, which is by no means a record but still a respectable high.

It may have been warm, but June was also wet. The total rainfall of 69.2mm was well above average for June, but what makes the total more remarkable is that almost two thirds of it fell on two days, with 21.6mm recorded on the 4th and 20.6mm on the 27th. That makes those two days the second and third wettest June days on record here. On the other hand there was a two week period, from the 10th to the 25th inclusive, when no rain was recorded at all. So, a very mixed month – unusually warm for two weeks in the middle of the month, but some exceptional rainfall at each end.

June began under the influence of Atlantic lows, with a particularly complex and slow-moving depression bringing prolonged rain on the 4th. Three days later a large depression south-west of Ireland drew warm, moist air up from the south, which generated a lively thunderstorm early on the 7th – as the storm passed over there was a 3hPa increase in barometric pressure in the space of 10 minutes.

By the 10th a high pressure system had formed over the UK and this soon moved off to a point to the south west of Ireland, where it stayed until the 23rd. This high blocked any more Atlantic lows from reaching the south of the country, pushing them to the north of the UK and bringing us a spell of dry, sunny and warm weather – just right for hay-making. The temperatures recorded here were often tempered by sea breezes and so were not quite as high as those seen further inland; but we regularly got into the mid-20s and, towards the end of the dry spell, we saw that reading of 26.1C.

The high pressure retreated back to the Azores from the 23rd, allowing the Atlantic weather systems to return. A complex low brought another spell of prolonged rain on the 27th and there was a good deal of cloud, but the month ended with the sun putting in a welcome appearance on the 30th.

Overall, there was something for everyone – some proper summer weather but not too dry, and some thunder and lightning to liven things up.