A cool August could lose this summer its temperature record

In contrast to June and July, this August is turning out to be decidedly cool with an average temperature so far of 15.8C, about half a degree down on our normal figure and, so far, the second coolest August since the station was set up.

At 0339 today the thermometer dropped to 6.1C. If this sounds chilly for August, it isn’t actually that unusual – August 2011 saw a minimum of 5.2C, and in 2010 the minimum was 4.5C. On the other hand, we have yet to see a decent maximum temperature this month – the best we have seen so far is 23C, and every August we have recorded has managed better than that.

Our coolest August so far was in 2011, which was also our coolest summer overall – it was a singularly uninspiring season. This year is quite different, in that the current cool month follows a warm June and July – so warm that this summer is still, at the time of writing, our warmest on record with an average temperature of 17.1C. The gap is closing, though, because the average for summer 2013 was 17C. If the current run of cool weather continues and the average summer temperature drops a little further, this might turn out not to be our warmest summer after all – maybe just an equal-warmest.

Rainfall so far this month is 73.2mm, about average for the whole of August with a week and a half to go. We have seen some high August totals, though – 125.4mm in 2009 and 104mm in 2012 – so at the moment this month is nothing exceptional.

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.