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Met Office figures reveal Northern Ireland’s dry July, with province receiving just 43% of typical rainfall for month

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People enjoying the hot weather on the beach. Picture date: Wednesday July 20, 2022.

People enjoying the hot weather on the beach. Picture date: Wednesday July 20, 2022.

PA

People enjoying the hot weather on the beach. Picture date: Wednesday July 20, 2022.

Northern Ireland experienced just 43% of the average rain for the month of July, according to the latest data from the Met Office across the UK.

The early provisional statistics for the month show it has been the driest July across the UK since 1984 so far, with an average of 37.7mm (1.5in) of rain, and it is the eighth driest in records stretching back to 1836.

Meanwhile the statistics show England has had its driest July since 1911, with the data revealing there has only been 15.8mm (0.6in) of rain averaged across the country, just 24% of the amount that would be expected in an average July.

Overall, Scotland has had 71% of the average rain for the month, Wales has had 39% and the most extreme dry conditions are in East Anglia and south-east England.

Of course the figures come just days after Northern Ireland saw a deluge of rain in the north-west with around 40 homes having been internally flooded when 70mm of rain fell in just a few hours on Saturday in Drumahoe and Eglinton.

Last week, Northern Ireland saw its hottest day of the year so far, with temperatures in some places reaching around 31 C.

Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre, said: "It is not just July that has been dry.

"Since the start of the year, all months apart from February have been drier than average in the UK too.

"The result of this is that the winter, spring and summer of 2022 have all seen less than the UK average seasonal rainfall.

"England has seen the lowest levels during these periods and rainfall totals for the first six months of the year are around 25% below their long-term average, with the driest regions in the east and south-east."

July has also experienced above-average temperatures for much of the month, including heatwave conditions around July 10-13 and from July 16, with exceptional heat during July 18-19 - when temperatures soared above 40C for the first time on record.

Early provisional statistics for July show the average maximum temperature for the month is 21.7C - 2C higher than the average for the month and one of the five warmest Julys on record.

Heatwaves are being made increasingly frequent, longer and more intense as a result of climate change, which is also set to bring other changes such as hotter, drier summers and warmer, wetter winters to the UK.

Mr McCarthy said: "Met Office climate change projections highlight an increasing trend towards hotter and drier summers for the UK, with the driest regions anticipated to be in the south and east.

"While trends in summer temperature and heatwaves are very apparent in the climate records of recent decades, the large variability in our rainfall means that it is too soon to be able to detect the pattern in summer rainfall."


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