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Overcast Armagh hit by dullest summer in more than 30 years


Washout: shoppers in Belfast take cover from the rain last month

Washout: shoppers in Belfast take cover from the rain last month

Freddie Parkinson

Washout: shoppers in Belfast take cover from the rain last month

This summer has been Armagh's cloudiest in 33 years, official weather records show.

The past four months were also the third least sunny on record, according to the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium.

August was the ninth wettest month in the city since daily rainfall records began in 1838.

Last month Armagh also experienced the most rainfall since 2008 after storms Francis and Ellen.

The three dullest summers in Armagh are 1980 (281.8 hours of strong sunshine), 1987 (291.6 hours) and 2020 (294.1 hours).

Taking in the three months of June, July and August, it has also been the wettest summer for eight years and the coldest for five years.

The total rainfall in August was 147.15mm, which is nearly 80% more than the long-term (1838-2010) average and 93% more than the most recent 30-year average.

The wettest day was August 24, with 29.7mm of rainfall coming from Storm Francis, the second named storm of the month, arriving shortly after Storm Ellen.

Nearly 40 people had to be rescued across Northern Ireland because of Storm Francis.

Elderly residents in Newcastle, for example, had to be evacuated from their homes after the Shimna River burst its banks.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service responded to 28 flooding incidents during the downpours.

Nine people in Draperstown, Co Londonderry, were also rescued from their home, along with four other people who got into trouble while trying to help the household.

It was not all downpours, however. Following a cool July, the hottest day came on August 13, when the temperature reached 25.3 degrees Celsius.

The brief spell of hot weather continued, with 24.4C recorded on August 14 and 23.6C on August 15.

Armagh's sunniest day came on August 12, with 11.6 hours of strong sunshine. This was preceded on the August 8, with 10.6 hours of strong sunshine.

In total just 122.2 hours of strong sunshine were recorded by the observatory in August.

Twelve months ago Armagh enjoyed the sunniest August on record for 16 years.

The latest weather records from Armagh Observatory and Planetarium came after the Met Office forecast more rain across Northern Ireland today, with the weather becoming overcast later in the evening.

Those looking forward to some weekend sunshine will be disappointed because the rain is set to continue throughout Saturday and Sunday.

For further information about meteorology reports, visit http://climate.armagh.ac.uk. Armagh Observatory and Planetarium is currently closed to visitors because of the coronavirus pandemic but updates on its activities can be found online at https://www.facebook.com/armaghplanet

Belfast Telegraph