Belfast Telegraph

It was an average wet July in Northern Ireland despite the hot spell

Nearly 100% of month's rainfall hit in just two days

By Lauren Harte

It may have been one of the warmest months on record, but Northern Ireland still had as much rainfall in July as previous years.

Last weekend's torrential downpours led to the region receiving 99% of its average total rainfall for the month, according to the Met Office.

Last Saturday's deluge caused widespread flooding across parts of Antrim and Down.

Prior to Saturday, Northern Ireland had recorded just 37.8mm of rain.

Then almost that amount again - 37.7mm - fell that day. Despite the weekend washout, it was the eighth hottest July on record in Northern Ireland.

The Met Office data reveals it was warmer than normal by 1.7C, with an average daily maximum temperature of 20.2C.

It was also much sunnier than normal, with an above-average 178 hours of sunshine.

Provisional figures released yesterday revealed that, for the UK as a whole, last month was the third warmest July on record.

The mean average temperature across the UK was 17.2C (62.9F), behind the 2006 record of 17.8C (64.04F) and also 17.3C (63.14F) in 1983.

Much of the country endured a prolonged heatwave last month, with sizzling temperatures and weeks without rain.

However, the cooler temperatures and widespread thunderstorms at the end of the month meant no nationwide records were broken.

On the whole, the UK had 71% of its average rainfall, making it only the 16th driest July since records began in 1910.

But the summer heatwave still took its toll on many parts of the UK.

The dry spell was most prolonged in East Anglia and south-east England, where some places, including Heathrow and High Wycombe, experienced 58 "dry days" in a row.

The Met Office defines a "dry day" as one with less than 1.0mm of recorded rainfall.

Dr Mark McCarthy, manager of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre, said the UK experienced its hottest ever May this year and its second hottest June.

"For a large part of July, it looked as if we might see another record-breaking month, but lower temperatures in the north and west and the storms at the end of the month meant that was not the case.

"However, temperatures were well above average and rainfall much lower, particularly in parts of England, continuing the pattern of an unusually warm, dry summer overall."

The highest temperature measured anywhere during the month was 35.3C (95.54F), on July 26 at Faversham in Kent.

The heatwave led to the first hosepipe ban in Northern Ireland since 1995, with farmers also expressing concerns over crops.

The Met Office has forecast that the scorching weather will return to parts of the UK later this week.

Temperatures are likely to hit 30C (86F) across southern England and Wales.

However northern and western areas will escape the worst of the heat and they will instead enjoy a mix of sunshine and showers.

Belfast Telegraph

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