Monthly Summary - August 2018

 Uneventful and slightly disappointing despite being drier than average

    After the hot and sunny days of June and July, August had rather a high standard to compete with ... and it failed! Overall it was very much an average month, a quiet one that just never managed to get going.

  This was mainly due to a large chunk of the month being under the influence of a mobile south-westerly flow that did not allow any warmth to develop and which kept rainfall a constant threat.

  Yet despite rain falling on 21 days it was another drier than average month and which was also, very marginally, warmer than average. These two factors ensured that the summer of 2018 would end close to record breaking for both temperature and rainfall, however, locally, it did finish a reasonable distance from the number one spot!

  Without reaching the heights of June and July, up to the 22nd it was still relatively warm, especially by night with some very high minimum temperatures, peaking during the 12th - 22nd. However, from the 23rd there was a noticeable falling away of the temperature to below the seasonal average.

  The month did end a little brighter and drier, but with cooler nights.

  The month was totally uneventful, not one day of anything, no thunder, nothing. Eight days attained 20°c none of which even went on to attain 22°c.

  MSLP of 1015.0 Mb was +0.9 Mb above the local average for August, although pressure never ventured that high; it was at its highest at either end of the month.

  Overall a mean minimum of 11.03°c and a mean maximum of 18.26°c saw the temperature 0.05°c above the 1981-2010 average. It was the warmest since 2016 and of the ten now recorded, six have been colder and three warmer. The highest maximum temperature recorded was 21.9°c (13th), the lowest minimum 3.5°c (30th).

  Rainfall of 70.1 mm (Crosby Ravensworth School 69.5 mm  -  Castlehowe Scar 81.3 mm  -  Reagill 65.3 mm) was 64.2% of average for 2007-17 and made it the wettest August since 2016. Of the twelve now recorded, three have been drier and eight have been wetter.

  At the Met' Office site at Newton Rigg, rainfall of 89.0** mm (127%) made it the wettest August since 2016 and in a series back to 1900 (data missing in 1 year), August has been drier in 71 years and wetter in 46 years.

  A mean temperature of 15.0°c is the warmest since 2013 and in a series back to 1951, August has been warmer on 15 occasions, colder 51 times and with 1 year having the same mean temperature.

  ** provisional estimated figure due to 'a problem' with the rain gauge during the middle of the month.

  Locally, rainfall percentages were, on the whole, below average, although on a fairly random basis some sites did venture above average, in particular Seathwaite at 178% 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 74.8 mm (68.5 mm)

  Haresceugh Castle (Kirkoswald) 75.96 mm (99.2 mm)

  Brothers Water 200.62 mm (198 mm) and

  Orton (Shallowford) (not yet available) mm (114.6 mm [average for 1967-2017])

  427.0 mm at Seathwaite Farm (Borrowdale - 240 mm [average for 1981-2010]).



  Here at Maulds Meaburn it has been both the driest and warmest summer in my relatively short period of recording (12 for rainfall and 10 for temperature). The data below for Newton Rigg gives a historical look at this summer back to 1914.

  Summer 2018 at Maulds Meaburn has seen 188.4 mm of rain (Crosby Ravensworth 208.1 mm) and is the driest of the twelve now recorded, slightly beating the total from 2010 of 199.8 mm. That 188.4 mm represented 63.3% of the rainfall for those previous eleven summers.

  A mean temperature of 15.22°c is the warmest of the ten summers now recorded, 0.18°c warmer than that of 2013. That 15.22°c makes the summer of 2018 some 1.15°c warmer than the average of those previous nine.

  Just as significant is the fact that the mean maximum temperature of 20.20°c is the first time that 20°c has been surpassed in those ten years. In a record back to 1914 this fete has been achieved nine times (1933, 1947, 1955, 1976, 1983-84, 1995, 2006 and now 2018) at Newton Rigg.

  Whilst 2017 was a poor summer, 2018 has been anything but. Consider that last year only twelve days during the three months of summer attained 20°c, this year it is 43, virtually double the average! That beats the 41 of 2013, but it may surprise some that that the number of days that went on to attain 25°c wasn't the most; its nine days not matching up to the eleven of 2013.

  But then with the vagaries of our weather, summer 2018 has seen me record the first gale and hail during the season. Maybe it is no surprise that six days of thunder is the most yet recorded during the summer.

  At Newton Rigg rainfall totalled 192.3 mm (provisional due to the problem with the gauge in the middle of August) and had a mean temperature of 15.42°c. In comparison to the 1981-2010 averages this represented 96.7% of summer rainfall and it was 1.2°c warmer than average.

  In a series back to 1900 (3 years of incomplete data), 51 have been drier and 67 wetter and in a complete series back to 1957 this makes 2018 the equal third warmest. Whilst 1983 shared the same mean temperature in that third place, 2018 still lagged some way behind 1995 in first place at 15.61°c and 1976 at 15.58°c.

  Rainfall at Seathwaite Farm this summer creates a curiosity, maybe even an anomaly! A summer total of 705.6 mm is 113.6% of the 1981-2010 average and since records began in 1845, 99 have been drier and only 74 wetter.



  1st - 7th    The month started somewhat mixed with no particular pattern becoming established. Whilst mainly cloudy conditions persisted, it would be broken either by the occasional sunny interval or showers, although it did remain mild.

  There was a fairly brisk SW'ly flow as HP tried to build to our east, but with low pressure (LP) to the west. Day-time temperatures were typically around 21°c and the nights were also mild, the 3rd especially at 16.6°c.

    0600 hrs 3rd -   The southerly flow that gave a very mild night 2nd/3rd 

  The 4-6th saw HP becoming dominant, the 4th enjoying plenty of sun before the 5-6th became cloudier as fronts associated to LP in the Atlantic approached the UK. When the cold front did cross the UK on the 7th it didn't bring any rain, just an overcast day.


  8th - 28th    The general theme would then become an unsettled one with a mobile SW'ly airflow. High pressure over Europe failed to gain any purchase over the UK as a succession of LP systems arrived from off the Atlantic - whilst the warm theme of this summer would continue, rain would now fall on almost every day up to the 28th.

  That rain would tend to be in the form of showers, although there were a few grey, drizzly days. However, only a few days would see longer, more organised spells of rain.

  Whilst day-time temperatures remained just above average, apart from the odd day we now started to lose the warmer days. However, under the cloudy skies, night-time minima were notably high, in particular during the 12th - 22nd when five of those nights remained above 15°c and not one fell below 10°c.

  The main rainfall during the period fell overnight 11-12th (11.3 mm), from 4 p.m. on the 15th overnight into the 16th (15.8 mm - making the 15th the month's wettest day) and overnight again into the 24th.

  Midnight 15th -   The series of fronts that brought a period of rain 15th and overnight into the 16th  

  From the 17th any sunshine became more infrequent as overcast and drizzly conditions became more prevalent, with day-time temperatures taking a sizeable dip from the 23rd. Most of the days now failed to reach 15°c and in a cool and showery NW'ly flow, the 24th was a particularly chilly day with the temperature in the mid afternoon falling below 9°c!

  The 26th was one of those grey, damp days and subsequently a cold one with temperatures during daylight hours stuck in the range of 10-12°c. Indeed at 13.8°c it was the month's coldest maximum temperature (actually recorded during the morning of the 27th, but is 'thrown back' to the 26th).


  29th - 31st    The month finished under the influence of HP ridging in from Biscay giving a couple of dry days with decent sunny spells. In the sunshine the day-time temperatures rallied slightly towards the seasonal norm', but with those clear nights it suddenly became chilly overnight.

  Both the 30th and 31st saw the temperature dip at night, at its lowest on the 30th with 3.5°c, but the summer did end without the ignominy of a ground frost.


    0600 hrs 30th -   High pressure Biscay starting to ridge over the UK 


August Rainfall Anomalies %                                                                                    August Temp' Anomaly   



   Rainfall totalled 70.1 mm for the month, with rain recorded on 21 days of which 10 were 'Wet days' (1.0mm +).

   The Mean Temperature for the month was 14.65°c      --      The Mean Max' was   18.26°c     --      The Mean Min'   11.03°c.

   We had 0 Air Frosts in the month (year 47)                --      Grass frosts totalled 0 (year 75).

   The 1 foot soil temp ranged from a low of 15.1°c on the 28th        to      a high of 17.6°c on the 14th     --      with a monthly mean of 16.6°c

   The 1 meter soil temp ranged from a low of 14.8°c on the 31st      to      a high of 15.6°c on the 1st     --     with a monthly mean of 15.4°c



   * August 2018 rainfall was 64.2% of the August average for 2008 - 2017

   * August 2018 was 0.45°c warmer than the August average for 2009 - 2017 and 0.05°c warmer than the local long term average 1981-2010

   * This makes the Jan' to August period of 2018 0.31°c warmer than the average for 2009-17 and with 79.7% of average rainfall for 2008-17



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The Oldest Inhabitant    An Inch Of Scotch Mist    But it's meant to be Summer (Summer 2017)  


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