August Bank Holiday weather extremes

23 08 2013

The August Bank Holiday is always the last Monday in August, although these statistics include Saturday and Sunday, to look at the whole weekend. At this time of year it can still be quite hot, although there have been few instances of this actually being the case over the Bank Holiday weekend itself. In some years the progression of Atlantic low-pressure systems have arrived by the end of August, bringing wind and rain.

Here are the warmest, coldest, wettest and windiest August Bank Holiday weekends, as provided by the Met Office National Climate Information Centre.

Warmest

Temperatures reached 31.6 °C at London Weather Centre on Saturday 25 August 2001, and more than twenty stations exceeded 30 °C on that day, mostly in the south-east and East Anglia. Saturday 25th August 1990 was also very warm in many parts.

Coldest

Numerous Scottish stations failed to get above 10 °C on Sunday 28th August 2011, the lowest maximum being 9.1 °C at Cromdale. This excludes stations 500 metres above sea level, which may be considerably colder.

There have also been numerous instances of air frost over the August Bank Holiday, most of them in Scotland, most notably in 1977 and 1982. The lowest individual reading was -3.1 °C at Kindrogan on Sunday 28 August 1977.

Wettest

On occasions 100 mm or more of rainfall has been recorded in a day. The highest 0900 GMT – 0900 GMT figure is 152.2 mm, recorded at Glendessary on Monday 31 August 1992. Widespread heavy rainfall also came from the remnants of Hurricane Charlie on Monday 25 August 1986.

Windiest

A maximum gust of 78 mph was reported at Lerwick on Monday 29 August 2005. Strong winds were also relatively widespread in 1986 and 1992.

Check your local Bank Holiday weather forecast on our website.





No heat wave just sunshine and showers this weekend

21 08 2013

You may have seen more headlines in the newspapers today talking about a heat wave heading our way for the weekend. Once again these stories seem a little over-hyped.

The Met Office forecast for the rest of the week does, indeed, show rising temperatures, peaking in the high 20’s Celsius in south-east England on Friday. Temperatures are then expected to return to around average during the course of the weekend, so not a heat wave.

The weather is expected to turn more unsettled from the west during Friday and Saturday, with the risk of some heavy, showery rain around. The rest of the weekend should see some good dry and sunny spells of weather at times, but the risk of occasional showers remains and there is some uncertainty about which areas will see the showers and when.

The uncertainty this weekend comes from complex weather patterns developing over the Atlantic and these will ultimately determine where the showers will be from day to day. For those who like technical speak, it’s called a trough disruption and forecasting this phenomenon continues to be a major challenge to both computer models and humans alike.

So the best thing to do is keep up to date with the forecast to get the latest on how things are expected to develop over this weekend.





Typhoon Utor makes landfall in southeast China

14 08 2013

Typhoon Utor is currently a strong tropical cyclone and has recently made landfall near Yangjiang, southeast China which is approximately mid-way between Hong Kong and Zhangjiang. Utor is currently moving slowly north-northwest and is expected to continue along this track for the next three days and weaken as it remains overland.

Typhoon Utor

The impacts of Typhoon Utor have already been felt across the Philippines, with four people dead and homes and crops destroyed. The strong winds and high waves associated with Utor may have also have been a factor in the sinking of a large cargo ship off Hong Kong harbour.

Heavy rainfall is expected to lead to very heavy rainfall over southeast China where 150 – 200 mm are forecast in the next 24 hours, particularly near Zhangjiang and Yangjiang. This is likely to cause severe flooding, flash flooding and landslides.

Typhoon Utor

A significant storm surge occurred in the Phillipines and is expected to intensify flooding in southeast China. Forecasts suggest a peak storm surge of 2.4 m above normal tides between Hong Kong and Yangjiang. This will also be accompanied by very high waves which will cause over topping of harbours and coastal flood defences. Winds will continue to be very strong for at least the next 24 hours and will continue to affect power lines and transport infrastructure.

The main areas of heavy rainfall are expected to move north and east during Thursday and Friday with very large rainfall accumulations (150 – 200 mm per day) expected over northern Guandong province leading to further flash flooding and landslides.

Follow @metofficestorms on Twitter for the latest updates on tropical storms, hurricanes and typhoons.





Sorry, no heatwave in sight

8 08 2013

An article on the front page of today’s Daily Express suggests that there is a new UK heat wave in the offing for next week and temperatures could soar into the 90s °F (32-37 °C).

This is not a forecast from the Met Office and, sadly for those who enjoy the heat, there’s no sign that we will see a return to the prolonged hot and sunny weather we saw in July.

In the Express, the article talks about high temperatures on the continent – up to 104 °F (40 °C). This may be the case in parts of continental Europe, but that doesn’t mean we’ll see temperatures like that in the UK or even a heat wave of any description. For that continental air to impact us, you’d need a very specific weather pattern and – looking at several of the world’s leading weather prediction models – there is no sign of that at the moment.

However, we do expect to see periods of decent, sunny weather over the next ten days or so (including today and tomorrow for some parts of the country). These will be mixed in with periods of more unsettled, wetter and windier weather. In fact, it looks like fairly typical mixed weather for the UK at this time of year.

In terms of temperatures, currently it looks like our highs will continue to be in the mid 20s °C – with the warmest weather being in south eastern parts of the country. Elsewhere temperatures are likely to peak in the high teens to low 20s °C.

You can see the outlook to the end of August and in to September on our website.





24 hour rainfall totals

6 08 2013

High rainfall totals were recorded yesterday as a band of heavy rain crossed the country.

Libanus in Powys saw the most rain, with 58.8 mm recorded in a 24 hour period. The highest hourly total was 15.4 mm recorded in Tredegar, Gwent between 11 am and 12 pm yesterday.

24 hour rainfall figures from 7 pm 4 August to 7 pm 5 August 

Site Name Area Rainfall (mm)
Libanus                         Powys                58.8
Levens Hall                     Cumbria              56.2
Aberdaron                       Gwynedd              55.6
Porthmadog                      Gwynedd              55.4
Tredegar  Gwent                53
Morecambe                Lancashire           51.2
Capel Curig              Gwynedd              49.8
Mumbles Head                    West Glamorgan       48.6
Camborne                        Cornwall             43
Cardinham, Bodmin           Cornwall             43
Warcop Range           Cumbria              42
St Athan                        South Glamorgan      40.6
Shap                            Cumbria              39.6
Boulmer                         Northumberland       38.8
Culdrose                        Cornwall             36.4
Chivenor                        Devon                35.6
Valley                          Gwynedd              35
Carterhouse                     Roxburghshire        34.2
Charterhall                     Berwickshire         32.8
Durham                          Durham               32.8
Mona                            Isle Of Anglesey     32.4
Walney Island                   Cumbria              32.2
Albemarle                       Northumberland       32
Liscombe                        Somerset             31
Cardiff, Bute Park              South Glamorgan      31
Whitechurch                     Dyfed                30.6




July finishes in top three sunniest and warmest

2 08 2013

Met Office figures show that, with a mean temperature of 17 °C, July 2013 was the third warmest in the national record going back to 1910, behind 2006 (17.8 °C) and 1983 (17.3 °C).

This July’s heatwave was more notable for its duration than its intensity, although it is not particularly unusual in a historical context. The last year in which 30 °C was not recorded at any station was in 1993. However, this July stands out in contrast to the run of unsettled summers from 2007 to 2012, and was the most significant UK heatwave since July 2006.

Through the month we saw high pressure sitting over the UK bringing a prolonged period of high temperatures between Saturday 6 July and Thursday 24 July, when a maximum of 28 °C was recorded at one or more locations on each of those 19 days.

The last time the UK saw such a long period of hot weather was August 1997 which also had a 19- day run of high temperatures. The highest temperature for July 2013 was recorded jointly at Heathrow and Northolt on 22 July (33.5 °C). (Although this high temperature has already been surpassed in August, with 34.1 °C recorded at Heathrow on 1 August.

July 2006 still stands as the hottest month on record in the UK with a mean temperature of 17.8 °C and also saw the record July temperature of 36.5 °C at Wisley (19 July 2006).

The heatwave broke on 22 July with thunder and some very heavy downpours. The wettest day in July was in Cumbria, when 79.8mm of rain fell at Carlisle on 28 July (97.4 mm on a 48 hour rainfall total between 0900 GMT 27 July to GMT 29 July 2013).

Looking at the individual countries, the hottest day in Scotland was on 20 July (30.5 °C) at Glenlee, with Castlederg in Northern Ireland and Porthmadog in Wales recording their highest temperatures on 19 July (30.1 °C and 31.4 °C respectively). England’s hottest day was also the aforementioned UK’s hottest day (33.5 °C on 22 July Heathrow and Northolt).

July’s UK rainfall total was 64mm, with Scotland receiving near normal levels at 83.1 mm and the whole of England drier than average at 52.3 mm (but with Northern England registering above average rainfall with 75.8 mm and Southern England below average at 39.8 mm). Wales (58.0 mm) and Northern Ireland (78.2 mm) were slightly drier than average.

Statistics:

Mean Temperature Sunshine hours Rainfall  
July Actual Diff from Avg Actual % of Avg Actual % of Avg
  degC degC hours % mm %
UK 17.0 1.9 250.7 145 64.1 82
England 18.1 1.8 274.1 142 52.3 83
Wales 17.2 2.0 288.9 161 58.0 63
Scotland 15.2 1.9 205.8 146 83.1 84
N Ireland 17.0 2.4 227.3 162 78.2 96







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