August was the third successive summer month this year with daytime temperatures above average, this time by about 1.1°C nationwide. The greatest relative warmth occurred over central England and parts of Scotland where anomalies were 2°C or more. The third week was by far the warmest with the 18th and 19th recording the hottest days of 1996 at over 24°C. The year so far is now running at about 0.3°C below the 1951-80 average.
When averaged over the country as a whole, rainfall was slightly above the August average, but there were large variations from place to place. This was due to a large amount of thunderstorm activity. Folkestone, for example, recorded over 170 mm of rain, more than twice its August average, whereas Birmingham recorded less than 50% of average rain. Scotland was generally the driest region in the country during August. The wettest day was the 23rd with a nationwide average of 11mm, the third wettest day of the year. The August Bank Holiday, as often happens, was rather wet and showery over most of the country.
August was another sunny month, following a sunny June and July. The best of the sunshine was in the south and east where anomalies reached +30% or more; the far north of Scotland was quite gloomy with 25% less sunshine than normal. Poole, for example, enjoyed four times the number of sunshine hours that were recorded at Lerwick.
Dr Mike Hulme is a Research Climatologist at the University of East Anglia
|Daytime Temperature||1.1°C above average ,|
|Rainfall||8% above average;|
|Sunshine||7% above average.|
|Sunniest||Guernsey||290 hours sun|
|Cloudiest||Lerwick||65 hours sun|