Lookback - August 01, 2014
July 2014 Lookback
Not quite as warm and sunny as last year

By Philip Eden


The pressure for July 2014 was above normal only in Shetland with pressure anomaly ranging from +1.5mbar in Shetland to -2.5mbar in southeast England. The anomalous flow over the British Isles was weakly south-easterly over much of Scotland and Northern Ireland but weakly north-easterly over most of England and Wales. All parts of the country were rather warm, most of the country was dry except for East Anglia and southeast England, while sunshine duration over the British Isles was above normal except in the Irish Republic.


Mean maximum temperature during July ranged from 25.8°C at Heathrow airport (London) to 14.7°C at Fair Isle (between Orkney and Shetland), while mean minimum temperature varied between 15.8°C at St Catherine's Point (Isle of Wight) and 8.3°C at Braemar (Aberdeenshire). Mean maxima were between 1.0 and 3.0 degC above normal in all regions, while mean minima where between 0.0 and 1.2 degC above, nationwide. The Central England Temperature (CET) of 17.8°C was 1.1 degC above the mean for 1981-2010; this was the warmest July only since last year but in the last 100 years just nine Julys were warmer, one had the same mean temperature, while 90 were colder.


The highest maximum at a standard site (i.e excluding rooftop and mountain sites) in the UK was 32.3°C recorded at Swanscombe (Kent) on the 18th, while the lowest minimum was 1.2°C at Braemar (Aberdeenshire) on the 6th. The lowest daytime maximum was 11.6°C at Baltasound (Shetland) and Fair Isle (between Orkney and Shetland) on the 5th, while the warmest night was that of the 18th/19th with a minimum of 19.9°C at Heathrow airport's second site (London).


Rainfall averaged over England and Wales during July was 54.7mm which is 82 per cent of the average for the standard reference period 1981-2010; this was the lowest July rainfall since July 2006. In the last 100 years 25 Julys have been drier while 75 were wetter. The equivalent figures for Scotland were 55mm and 75 per cent of the normal amount, and for Northern Ireland 55mm and 70 per cent. Monthly totals at routinely-available sites ranged from 128mm at Achnagart (Wester Ross) to the low figure of 11.2mm at Benson (Oxon). The heaviest daily fall was 75.7mm on the 20th at Canvey Island (Essex).


Sunshine averaged over England and Wales during July was 258.2 hours which is 127 per cent of the 1981-2010 mean, making this the sunniest July only since last year, but in the last 100 years just nine Julys were sunnier and 91 were duller. The equivalent figures for Scotland were 216 hours and 132 per cent, and for Northern Ireland 205 hours and 126 per cent. Largest total in the UK was 336 hours at St Helier (Jersey), and the smallest was 100 hours at Lerwick (Shetland).


Strongest winds during July occurred on the 18th with gusts to 57mph at Warcop (Cumbria).


By Philip Eden


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