Lookback - September 01, 2014
August Lookback
Coolest since 1993

By Philip Eden


The pressure for August 2014 was below normal over all parts of the British Isles, with pressure anomaly ranging from -6.5mbar at Peterhead (in eastern Scotland) to -3.5mbar in the Isles of Scilly and Channel Isles. The anomalous flow over the British Isles was north to north-easterly over northern and central Scotland but westerly over most of England and Wales. All parts of the country were decidedly cool, most of the country was wet or very wet too with percentages approaching 200 in northern Scotland. Sunshine duration over the British Isles was within 20 per cent of the average in all regions.


Mean maximum temperature during August ranged from 21.8°C at St James's Park (London) to 14.4°C at Fair Isle (between Orkney and Shetland), while mean minimum temperature varied between 14.7°C at St Catherine's Point (Isle of Wight) and 7.1°C at Braemar (Aberdeenshire). Mean temperatures were between 0.5 and 2.0 degC below normal in all regions. The Central England Temperature (CET) of 15.1°C was 1.4 degC below the mean for 1981-2010; this was the coolest August since 1993, and in the last 100 years just 19 Augusts were cooler, two had the same mean temperature, while 79 were warmer.


The highest maximum at a standard site (i.e excluding rooftop and mountain sites) in the UK was 27.2°C at St James's Park (London) on the 7th, while the lowest minimum was minus 2.1°C at Braemar (Aberdeenshire) on the 25th. The lowest daytime maximum was 10.5°C at Cluanie Inn (Wester Ross) on the 20th, while the warmest night was that of the 7th/8th with a minimum of 18.5°C at Shoeburyness (Essex).


Rainfall averaged over England and Wales during August was 117.2mm which is 155 per cent of the average for the standard reference period 1981-2010; this was the highest August rainfall since 2008. In the last 100 years 13 Augusts have been wetter while 87 were drier. The equivalent figures for Scotland were 127mm and 177 per cent of the normal amount, and for Northern Ireland 131.5mm and 191 per cent. Monthly totals at routinely-available sites ranged from 337mm at Cluanie Inn (Wester Ross) to 41.1mm at Holbeach (Lincs). The heaviest daily fall was 132.6mm on the 9th at Fair Isle (between Orkney and Shetland).


Sunshine averaged over England and Wales during August was 193.4 hours which is 101 per cent of the 1981-2010 mean, making this the sunniest August since 2007, but in the last 100 years only 32 Augusts were sunnier and 68 were duller. The equivalent figures for Scotland were 170.9 hours and 113 per cent, and for Northern Ireland 180.8 hours and also 110 per cent. Largest total in the UK was 257.8 hours at St Helier (Jersey), and the smallest was 121.0 hours at Eskdalemuir (Dumfriesshire).


Strongest winds during August occurred on the 11th as former hurricane 'Bertha' passed by, with gusts to 62mph at Tain (Cromarty) and 61mph at Lossiemouth (Morayshire).


By Philip Eden


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