Click here for the Weatherlink Monthly summary for August

Monthly Summary - August 2020

 Another poor summer month - wettest August yet recorded

    Following on from July, August was another mixed and poor month - after an unsettled start, it became warmer from the 6th, was hot 11-12th, but then wet from the 16th before finishing with a couple of cool days.

  In that second half of the month some of the rainfall was heavy at times and the month would finish as the wettest in my record of 14 years - as for temperature, apart from the final few days, during which the lowest day-time maximum for August was recorded, temperatures tended to be mild by night and above average during the day, up to the 20th.

  However, the final eleven days of the month would all fail to attain 20°c and continues the record that as seen none of the 28th-31st record 20°c in my now 12 year temperature record! We came close, but just avoided recording a ground frost on the 30th.

  August even saw a named storm 'Francis' on the 25-26th, but then it did not provide us with either the wettest or windiest days of the month!

  MSLP of 1011.7 Mb was -2.4 MB below the local average for the month and overall a mean minimum of 11.10°c and a mean maximum of 19.47°c saw the temperature 0.94°c above the eleven year average for this site.

  It was the second warmest of the twelve now recorded (to that of 2019) - the highest maximum temperature recorded being 28.8°c (12th), the lowest minimum 3.06°c (30th).

  Rainfall of 173.6 mm (Castlehowe Scar 212.0 mm) was 157.4% of average for 2007-19 and made it the wettest August of the fourteen now recorded.

  During the month the following was recorded: thunder on two days (11th and 12th) - the wind speed averaged a fairly calm 5.52 mph, with a maximum gust of 48 mph (4th and 20th).

  At the Met' Office site at Newton Rigg a mean temperature of 15.37°c is the coldest since 2018 and in a series back to 1951, (with one year of no data) 56 have been colder and 13 have been warmer.

  Rainfall totalled 164.8 mm (235% of average), making it the wettest since 2004. Since 1900 when the record began it is the equal sixth wettest.

  At Appleby in Westmorland a total of 132.6 mm represented 154.7% of its average and made it the wettest since 2018, but the 16th wettest in a record that commenced in 1856.

  At Seathwaite Farm it was the driest since 2017 and is the 24th wettest in a record that commenced in 1845.

  Rainfall totals across Cumbria were well above average, typically above 150% of normal, with the extremes being that 235% at Newton Rigg and 108% at Haresceugh Castle.

  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 ** mm (68.5 mm)

  Haresceugh Castle (Kirkoswald) 107.39 mm (99.2 mm)

  Brothers Water 325.99 mm (198 mm) and

  Orton (Shallowford) 220.0 mm (114.6 mm [average for 1967-2019])

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

  ** not available due to faults with the gauge


  General Synoptic Report for the Month

   The start of the month was a little mixed with some spells of rain, but also some sunny intervals; that bit of sun coming during the afternoon and evenings of the 2nd and 3rd. More organised rainfall (9.2 mm) arrived on the 4th as the ridge of high pressure (HP) that had been trying to establish itself gave way to low pressure (LP) from the Atlantic.

  After a drab and drizzly day on the 5th HP tried to establish itself, but it took until the 9th before it finally exerted a greater degree of control. The 6-9th remained dry, with increasing amounts of sunshine and consequently the temperature began to climb.

  It was warm by both day and night, but come mid-night on the 10th and through the night into the 11th we were duly entertained by hours of thunder and lightning. The thunder rumbled along all night and at times was strong enough to shake the house! There was also frequent lightning and this included both sheet and fork. It also included showers all night, most intense just before 0100 hrs.

  The temperature was rising. LP over France began to move north, providing a very warm SSE'ly airflow. Whilst the 11th had seen a maximum temperature of 27.5°c, the 12th would see the temperature climb higher to 28.8°c (83.8°f). The 12th could only manage a hazy sunshine though and the warmth felt uncomfortable and the thunder arrived at tea-time, but was only short-lived.

  There was more in the way of pleasant sunshine 13-14th and whilst temperatures were now dipping, it felt more pleasant. The 15th hung onto some early sunshine, but now there was to be a change in the weather.

  Overnight into the 16th saw the HP shunted away with trough lines moving up from the south and bringing rain - rain would now be the theme through to the 28th.

  It all became quite mixed - when the rain came it tended to be heavy, but wasn't often prolonged and there were some brighter moments. However, the weather was unsettled with nothing to hang your hat on and indeed on the 21st and 22nd that hat would have been blown away as a deep area of LP to our west and extended north of Iceland became dominant.

  Apart from a spell of rain that was briefly quite heavy during the morning of the 25th, 'Storm Francis' didn't present us with any issues (25-26th). Numerous days had exceeded 10 mm of rain, but our wettest day of the month (31.0 mm) would fall on the 27th and then be followed by several quite cool days!

  From the 21st there had been a general dip in the temperature and whilst the cloud cover kept night-time minima in double figures, until the last few days of the month, day-time temperatures fell below average. The 28-30th were especially disappointing. An area of LP arrived at tea-time on the 27th and would become slow moving over the UK, pivoting around on itself and then introducing a NE'ly flow.

  This brought heavy rain from 1600 hrs on the 27th, continuing overnight into the 28th, before dying away mid morning. As the rain died out, the northerly flow then only provided for a maximum temperature of just above 15°c on the 28th and which was then followed by a decidedly chilly 13.3°c on the 29th, a new lowest day-time maximum in August at this site.

  There was only a slight improvement on the 30th and which just avoided a ground frost at 0.3°c. However, these final few days whilst being chilly did stay dry with the 31st managing some sunshine.




 At Seathwaite Farm - in a record that commenced in 1845 it was the wettest yet recorded. Overall a very wet summer

    Summer of 2020 is only going to be remembered for having been a poor one - the wettest in my records with rainfall in each month being above average, although July didn't break the 100 mm mark.

  As for the temperature it finished only slightly warmer than average, July mainly off-setting the warmth of the other two months. During the season there was no sustained warm spell and even the highest temperature on the 31st July was a 'one day heat-wave'!

  Summer 2020 at Maulds Meaburn has seen 409.0 mm of rain and is now the wettest of the fourteen recorded. That total represents 137.8% of the rainfall for those previous thirteen summers.

  A mean temperature of 14.45°c is the coldest since 2017 and of the twelve summers now recorded four have been warmer and seven colder with the summer of 2020 being 0.21°c warmer than the average of those previous eleven.

  And of course this all followed a fairly decent and dry spring when we were under restrictions for Covid-19, and of course when those restrictions were lifted ... the weather turned!

  At least we have had a few decent thunderstorms. These were mainly in June, the one on the 16th being quite impressive and whilst July was boring, the early hours of the 11th August were very entertaining.

  At Newton Rigg the mean temperature was 14.59°c, this being 0.4°c warmer than average. Unfortunately due to the rain gauge breaking down in July there is no rainfall total!

  In a series back to 1952 (1 year of incomplete data) 14 summers have been warmer, 51 have been colder and two have had the same mean temperature.

  At Appleby in Westmorland the summer saw rainfall of 325.2 mm, this represents 148.6% of its average. This makes 2020 the driest summer since 2018 and since the record began in 1856 it is now the equal 11th wettest.

  However, this summer it is Seathwaite Farm that has created the news. Rainfall of 1312.0 mm (51.65 In.) (189.8%) makes 2020 the wettest summer in its history and that is in a record that commenced in 1845!

  Additionally, all three months of summer recorded in excess of 400 mm, a 'fete' never before seen!


August Rainfall Anomalies %                                                                                    August Temp' Anomaly   



   Rainfall totalled 173.6 mm for the month, with rain recorded on 21 days of which 20 were 'Wet days' (1.0mm +).

   The Mean Temperature for the month was 15.29°c      --      The Mean Max' was   19.47°c     --      The Mean Min'   11.10°c.

   We had 0 Air Frosts in the month (year 21)                --      Grass Frosts totalled 0 (year 78).

   The 1 foot soil temp ranged from a low of 14.3°c on the 30th        to      a high of 18.7°c on the 14th     --      with a monthly mean of 16.8°c

   The 1 meter soil temp ranged from a low of 14.2°c on the 1st      to      a high of 15.3°c on the 19th and 22nd     --     with a monthly mean of 14.8°c

   This makes the Jan' to August period of 2020 0.60°c warmer than the average for 2009-19 and with 143.2% of average rainfall for 2008-19



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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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