Monthly Summary - August 2014

   After what had been a decent summer thus far and after a run of eight warmer than average months, August brought all this to an end. August was often unsettled with low pressure systems in the ascendency and as a result the month was both much colder and wetter than average. At times it felt quite autumnal with winds of an Arctic origin drawn down during 16th-25th. After a very wet start to the month we saw the visit of ex tropical storm Bertha 10-11th, but despite all this and whilst never prolonged, we still got to see plenty of sun.

   With low pressure dominant MSLP of 1008.2 Mb was -5.9 Mb below average and consequently rain fell frequently, falling on 24 days and only once did we have two dry days together. The final rainfall total of 159.8 mm was the wettest in my eight years of records and 150% of average - the rain gauge at Crosby Ravensworth School recorded 171.8 mm.

   Only three days attained the 20° mark with thunder heard on three days, but the result of this poor August on the summer as a whole was to see it finish just on the good side of average.

   Overall a mean minimum of 9.15°c and a mean maximum of 17.39°c saw the temperature some 1.3°c below the 1981-2010 average, making it the coldest August since 1993. The highest maximum temperature recorded was 22.0°c (5th), the lowest minimum 3.0°c (23rd).

   At the Met' Office site at Newton Rigg a mean maximum of 17.5°c and a mean minimum of 9.1°c makes this a cold August. August has only been colder on 15 occasions in a series back to 1914, with a further two having the same mean temperature.

   Also at Newton Rigg (108.2 mm - with 2 years of incomplete data) it was the wettest August since 2004 and since 1914 only 22 have been wetter - but the summer overall has been the 28th driest since 1912 (4 years of missing data) and the 22nd warmest (9 years of missing data) since 1914.

   Rainfall locally was, like Maulds Meaburn, typically 150-155% of average.

   Figures from the Environment Agency’s rainfall sites were, (figure in brackets being the monthly average for 1961-90)   ‘Data kindly provided by the Hydrometry and Telemetry team of the Environment Agency (Penrith)’:

   Kirkby Thore 106.8 mm (68.5 mm)

   Brothers Water 303.4 mm (198 mm)

   Nunwick Hall 98.8 mm (78.4 mm) and

   253.0 mm at Seathwaite Farm (Borrowdale - 265 mm). Data is missing for 13-19th.


  1st - 9th    Apart from the 5th when a slight ridge of high pressure (HP) temporarily nudged in, the month started and continued with low pressure (LP) systems dominating. The 1st with LP sat over the UK saw spells of heavy rain brought on several occluded fronts and the 16.4 mm of rain in many ways set the tone for the rest of the month.

   LP centred over Anglesey and which would move north with a sequence of fronts extending from it, controlled through to the 4th, giving some thunder 2nd and 3rd and which saw 17.8 mm and 14.2 mm of rain respectively brought on some very heavy showers.

   That LP then moved away north during the 4th and the winds eased as the pressure gradient slackened and broadened out. The 4th was thus an improving picture, becoming sunny and then the 5th under that ridge of HP saw the month's warmest day at 22.0°c (71.6°f), although enjoying nothing better than sunny intervals.

   Heavy rain (11.4 mm) overnight into the 6th brought on a series of occluded fronts saw further rain during the day and after the fronts cleared the day improved. The 7th was the best day in the period and which did get to enjoy some good sunny spells, but which just failed to attain 20° as LP south of Iceland introduced a cooler and clearer Polar Maritime air mass.

   Yet more thunder and heavy rain (15.7 mm) on the 8th brought on a series of trough lines ahead of LP lying northwest of the UK. The thunder rumbled on throughout the afternoon and the rain when it fell (between 1730-1930 Hrs) was intense, peaking at a rain rate of 91.4 mm/ph.

   Now it was a case of awaiting Bertha and the 9th whilst starting sunny became overcast with a stiffening breeze.


  10th - 14th    Ex tropical storm Bertha arrived from the south west during the 10th and even when it cleared the UK into the North Sea it remained the dominant feature controlling our weather.

   The 10th started with drizzle with more organised bands of rain arriving later in the day, with the main belt of rain during the evening. Rain totalled 21.7 mm and the first ten days of the month had seen 101.1 mm in total.

   A further 13.0 mm came on the 11th with Bertha exiting out into the North Sea and now on its southern flank we experienced a cool and brisk westerly wind. The 11th in the wind and rain only peaked at 14.8°c and the days started to feel slightly autumnal.

   The 12th would see Bertha's progress north stall and then she retreated south east towards Denmark on the 13th and in doing so now drew down a cool and unstable north-westerly airflow, bringing overcast and showery conditions.

   Throughout the period night-time minima were on the mild side, typically slightly above the 11°c mark due to the extensive cover of cloud, but which gave a narrow diurnal range of temperatures, especially the 11th, which with a minimum of 11.4°c saw a range of just 3.4°.


  15th - 23rd    After a weak ridge of HP failed to cheer things up on the 15th, LP continued to dominate. The LP in question originated south of Iceland and became static over Scandinavia and with a blocking HP in the mid Atlantic resulted in a continual feed of cool Arctic air.

   It now really did have an autumnal feel with temperatures hovering around the 15°c mark and whilst rainfall totals were slight and mainly in the form of showers there were some sunnier moments.

   Both the 16th and 17th failed to attain 15°, with the 16th (14.4°c) decidedly cool under overcast skies and a brisk WSW'ly wind.

   At least those two days had seen mild nights, but come the 19th night-time minima fell away and the 20th started with a low of 3.2°c as the pressure gradient slackened and broadened as the LP over Scandinavia now tracked further nort east, but maintaining the north-westerly flow.

   This brought the months coldest spell with the 21st, 13.9°c (57.0°f) the coldest day and the 23rd just avoided a ground frost, but was the months coldest night at 3.0°c. That northerly flow continued through to the 24th as the UK sat in a Polar Maritime airflow and temperatures continued to struggle although we did see more in the way of sun.


  24th - 27th    HP the ridged in from the Atlantic, migrating to the continent during the period with the 24th again starting on the chilly side and after an overcast and breezy day 25th when LP gave most of the UK south of Cumbria a soaking, HP north of the UK extended a strong ridge south.

   This resulted in two decent days, the 27th especially which after another cool start was cloudless with big blue skies.


  28th - 31st    The month ended with a return to unsettled conditions as LP from the south west arrived overnight into the 28th, tracked north bringing 7.5 mm of rain and anchored itself to the northwest of the UK.

   The 29th saw some heavy rain in the early hours followed by some short, sharp showers to give another 13.7 mm of rain before it and the rest of month fell quieter with HP ridging in on the 31st.


   Rainfall totalled 159.8 mm for the month, with rain recorded on 24 days of which 15 were 'Wet days' (1.0mm +).

   The Mean Temperature for the month was 13.27°c      --      The Mean Max' was   17.39°c     --      The Mean Min'   9.15°c.

   We had 0 Air Frosts in the month (year 12)                  --      Grass frosts totalled 0 (year 49).

   The 1 foot soil temp ranged from a low of 14.0°c on the 23rd        to      a high of 17.6°c on the 1st     --      with a monthly mean of 15.5°c

   The 1 meter soil temp ranged from a low of 13.5°c on the 28th-31st     to      a high of 15.0°c on the 1st - 4th and 9th     --     with a monthly mean of 14.3°c



   * August 2014 rainfall was 150.6% of the August average for 2007 - 2013

   * August 2014 was 0.99°c colder than the August average for 2009 - 2013 and 1.3°c colder than the local long term average 1981-2010

 * The 3 month mean for June/July/August 2014 is                    TEMP'    14.41°c         --          RAIN    268.8 mm

* June/July/August 2013 was TEMP'    15.04°c -- RAIN    291.2 mm

* June/July/August 2012 was TEMP'    13.38°c -- RAIN    402.4 mm

* June/July/August 2011 was TEMP'    13.17°c -- RAIN    244.1 mm

* June/July/August 2010 was TEMP'    13.97°c -- RAIN    199.8 mm

* June/July/August 2009 was TEMP'    14.34°c -- RAIN    349.6 mm

* June/July/August 2008 was     -- RAIN    325.2 mm

* June/July/August 2007 was     -- RAIN    355.7 mm


* 2014 To Date TEMP     9.96°c -- RAIN    959.9 mm

* 2013 Jan - August TEMP'     8.55°c -- RAIN    634.9 mm

* 2012 Jan - August TEMP'     8.97°c -- RAIN    744.8 mm

* 2011 Jan - August TEMP'     9.20°c -- RAIN    777.6 mm

* 2010 Jan - August TEMP'     8.26°c -- RAIN    373.2 mm

* 2009 Jan - August TEMP'     9.44°c -- RAIN    760.3 mm

* 2008 Jan - August TEMP'     -- RAIN    861.7 mm


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   © Darren Rogers 2014

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