Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 2 August 2014

July crowned sunniest since 2006

Day trippers enjoy the sun on West Wittering beach near Chichester, West Sussex
July was Britain's sunniest in seven years, according to new figures
Only five Julys were warmer in the last 100 years

July was the warmest, driest and sunniest since 2006.

The Central England Temperature of 18.4C was 1.7C above the long-term average and the highest since the record-breaking July of 2006, said Philip Eden, a weather and climate expert.

In the last 100 years only five Julys were warmer, while 95 were cooler.

The month began with a few days of changeable weather, but a two-and-a-half-week spell followed featuring prolonged sunshine and high temperatures. From the night of July 22/23 onwards, the weather became very thundery, though it remained warm and humid until July 27, after which temperatures returned to near average.

Average maximum temperature ranged from 26.9C at Heathrow to 13.9C at Fair Isle (between Orkney and Shetland), while average minimum temperature varied between 15.6C at Mumbles (near Swansea) and 9.5C at Aboyne (Aberdeenshire).

Average maximum temperature was 2.5-3.5C above the 1981-2010 normal over most of the UK except northern Scotland, which was 1C above. Average minimum temperature was 0.5-1.5C above normal in all regions.

The highest maximum at a standard site (excluding rooftops and mountains) was 33.5C recorded at Heathrow and Northolt (both London) on July 22, while the lowest minimum was 3C at Tulloch Bridge (Lochaber) early on July 19. The lowest daytime maximum was 11.3C at Quidnish (Isle of Harris) on July 2, while the warmest night was July 22/23 with a minimum of 20.7C at Heathrow.

Rainfall averaged over England and Wales (including an estimated figure for July 31) was 60mm, 90% of the average for the 1981/2010 period. The equivalent figures for Scotland were 76mm and 108% of the normal amount, and for Northern Ireland 57mm and 80%.

Sunshine averaged over England and Wales (including an estimated figure for July 31) was 291 hours, 143% of the 1981/2010 average, making it also the sunniest July since 2006. In the last 100 years, only one July was sunnier.

The equivalent figures for Scotland were 214 hours and 132%, and for Northern Ireland 242 hours and 151%. Largest total in the UK was 320 hours at St Helier (Jersey) and the smallest was 96 hours at Lerwick (Shetland).

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