Monthly Summary - July 2018

 Warm and the driest yet recorded at this site - hot at times with drought conditions by mid month

River run dry - The Lyvennet just above Crosby Ravensworth on the 18th

    In many ways it was a very quiet month, but July saw the warm and dry start to summer continue. It was a consistently warm month although there were only a few truly hot days. However, coupled with virtually no rain up to the 20th, 'drought' became a frequently used word.

  'Drought' though is what we had - from the 20th June through to 11th July we had no recordable rainfall. In total it was 22 consecutive days without any rain and easily a new record for this site.

  It was the second warmest July (of 10) now recorded at this site and also the second warmest of any month (July 2013 being the warmest) and whilst the final rainfall total does not seem particularly low, it was easily low enough to make this July the driest of the twelve now recorded at this site.

  The first half of the month was very dry with no rain falling in the first eleven days and up to the 15th only one day, marginally so, failed to hit 20°c. The heat at the start of the month was a continuation from the hot end to June and the first ten days were relentlessly warm and this period had a mean maximum temperature of 24.5°c.

  Thereafter it became less settled, but still with some hot days before the last few days of the month saw the first significant rainfall for sometime - one curiosity was that the month's warmest day (27th) was immediately followed by it coldest (daytime maximum) on the 28th.

  The month saw: two days with thunder (26-27th), one day with fog (24th) and 22 days attained 20°c of which four went on to attain 25°c.

  MSLP of 1017.0 Mb was +2.5 Mb above the local average for July although pressure never ventured that high, 1028.8 Mb at its highest.

  Overall a mean minimum of 10.90°c and a mean maximum of 22.13°c saw the temperature 1.4°c above the 1981-2010 average. It was the warmest since 2013 and of the ten now recorded, eight have been colder and one warmer. The highest maximum temperature recorded was 28.6°c (27th), the lowest minimum 6.7°c (18th).

  Rainfall of 47.6 mm (Crosby Ravensworth School 46.3 mm  -  Castlehowe Scar 60.7 mm  -  Reagill 50.0 mm) was 45% of average for 2007-17 and made it the driest July yet recorded at this site (Of the twelve now recorded).

  At the Met' Office site at Newton Rigg, rainfall of 53.4 mm (76.1%) made it the driest July since 2014 and in a series back to 1900 (data missing in 3 years), July has been drier in 42 years and wetter in 73 years.

  A mean temperature of 16.65°c is the warmest since 2013 and in a series back to 1951 (data missing in 1 year), July has been warmer on 4 occasions with 3 years having the same mean temperature.

  Locally, rainfall percentages were, on the whole, well below average, tending to be in the range of 50-70%. A few locations experienced thunderstorms on the 27th and at these sites the percentage fall was far greater.

  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 (39.8 mm)

  Haresceugh Castle (Kirkoswald) 43.32 mm (78.2 mm)

  Brothers Water 100.9 mm (142 mm) and

  Orton (Shallowford) 52.2 mm (97.9 mm [average for 1967-2017])

  127.4 mm at Seathwaite Farm (Borrowdale - 204 mm [average for 1981-2010]).

  ** data not yet available


  1st - 15th    The fine conditions from June continued for the first half of July with high pressure (HP) dominant throughout the period. The Jet Stream was much further to the north than normal and this allowed the 'Azores High' to push into the mid Atlantic and ridge strongly over the UK. This brought fine, settled conditions that saw warm, dry and sunny days ... again ... and again ... and again!


    1200 hrs 1st -   High pressure over the UK 

  The days were long and hot with hardly a cloud in the sky (the 3rd especially), excellent visibility (quite rare for mid-summer) and just perfect.

  The down side to such beautiful weather though is the ensuing drought. Well before the weather broke the gardens were looking brown as opposed to full of colour and the ground was parched. The previous record for 'most consecutive days of no measurable rain' at this site stood at 18 - that record was well and truly consigned to history as from the 20th June to the 11th July (22 days) we had no rain. Whilst a hosepipe ban was muted it seemed a while before the announcement finally came and then it would only take effect from 5th August ... but would then be suspended after rain at the end of the month.

  But if you like hot and sunny this was heaven for you, but an often heard quote was "I've had enough now", yet conversely many lamented that the weather would end 'soon as they break up from school'.

  Apart from days of no rain, every day up to the 12th attained at least 70°f (21.1°c) and the 'coldest' day in the period was the 6th with a paltry 22.8°c - this was indeed a 'Warm Spell'.

  However, it never quite attained the heat endured at the end of June, with only the 1st and 4th rising above 25°c, the 1st being particularly hot at 27.5°c (81.5°f).

  It became a little fresher around the 10-12th with a light easterly and that bit more cloud, but once the sun broke through in the afternoon the temperature soon spiked upwards.


    1200 hrs 9th -   The weak cold front that brought slightly cooler conditions, 9th 

  The final few days of the period saw the 13th just fail to attain 20°c, the first such day since 23rd June and there was also a little rain!

  The 12th had started fine and sunny, but the afternoon began to cloud over and after a brief shower at 1515 hrs, there was a further shower in the evening that saw 0.4 mm in total - drought broken!

  The 13th was overcast throughout and with a band of thundery showers pushing north from east Wales. However, they did not get as far north as expected and we just saw a few showers in the afternoon that gave another 0.4 mm.

  The warm spell then ended with two decent sunny days (14-15th), both just over 22°c and going into the final few days before the schools broke-up for the summer holidays, what would become of the weather?


  16th - 27th    The 16th saw the first notable rain since 19th June, but it wasn't enough and then it turned dry again.

  Cold fronts associated to low pressure (LP) over Iceland moved in from the Atlantic during the 16th, yet there was no organised spell of rain and that what fell came in fits and starts throughout the day, totalling 6.4 mm. It did freshen things up though, a little, and both it and the 17th also saw the temperature struggle to just over 17°c under the overcast skies.

  The following days saw an area of HP over northern Europe sit loosely over the UK bringing a quietness to the weather - dry, reasonably warm at just over 20°c and with cloud clearing later in the day.

  Through the 20-27th it remained warm, becoming hot at the end of the period, but there were now a few days with some rain, starting with 4.5 mm on the 20th and which would only attain 17.2°c. The 20th saw a period of steady rain through the morning and into the afternoon and then the 21st was an overcast day and another that failed to hit 20°c (just one of nine in the entire month).

  From the 22nd we were back above 20°c, but the days were uninspiring and then the 24th recorded a day of fog. The 23rd and 24th had been very mild overnight, staying above 15°c and with a cold front becoming semi-static just to our east, the conditions were humid and cloudy. With the rain (1.8 mm) starting virtually at 10 a.m. the murkiness of the morning saw visibility significantly reduced, all the way down to moderate fog (code 3).

  With HP just managing to hold back LP systems that were building in the Atlantic and with a significant feed of southerly air, the 25/26th saw warm and sunny conditions. The 25th attained 23.3°c, with the 26th going even higher at 27.2°c, but later in the day the humidity and cloud began to build.

  There was a brief spell of thunder at 8 p.m. on the 26th and whilst it became overcast and humid, nothing developed. However, that LP in the Atlantic was inching ever closer, but we still had a large pool of hot air over the UK that was being fed by that SW'ly flow. With a sunny morning and afternoon the temperature rose to a month's high of 28.6°c (83.5°f) and it was uncomfortably hot and humid. Come late afternoon a cold front ahead of the LP had reached the western half of the UK and it became overcast - but whilst we saw some lightning, again there was no storm to accompany it.

  That is unless you lived in the NE of the county which took the full force of a thunderstorm and on the NE coast around Middlesboro' and North Yorks someone had switched a large strobe light on and forgot to switch it off.


  28th - 31st    The month finished under the influence of LP. It was the most unsettled period of the month and with the first notable rain for over a month.

  Overnight into the 28th the cold fronts moved across the UK, the LP staying just off the west coast, which would slowly track north and then be replaced by other LP systems from the SW. There were frequent showers in the early hours of the 28th, giving 9.7 mm (credited back to the 27th) and then it was a day of further frequent and heavy showers.

  However, it was a little bitter sweet in that the really one bad day in the month fell on a Sunday and the dip in temperature was more that noticeable. Whilst the day was a cool one, barely touching 14°c, in those showers it dipped down to 10°c - what difference a day makes! The maximum temperature for the day was actually 17.0°c, recorded just after 10 a.m. that morning.

  The 28th would finish as the month's wettest day with 15.3 mm, topped up with rain that fell overnight into the 29th, the rain continuing through to 1 p.m. before brightening up.

  The last two days of the month saw an improvement to sunny spells and only a brief shower on the 30th, although maintaining a much fresher feel.


Surface pressure charts, 27th (left - 1800 hrs) (right - 28th 1200 hrs)

Low pressure over Cumbria and the trough lines to the east that brought the thunderstorms (27th) followed by the cooler conditions on the 28th.



July Rainfall Anomalies %                                                                                    July Temp' Anomaly   



   Rainfall totalled 47.6 mm for the month, with rain recorded on 11 days of which 7 were 'Wet days' (1.0mm +).

   The Mean Temperature for the month was 16.51°c      --      The Mean Max' was   22.13°c     --      The Mean Min'   10.90°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 16.8°c on the 21st        to      a high of 18.6°c on the 28th     --      with a monthly mean of 17.8°c

   The 1 meter soil temp ranged from a low of 14.5°c on the 1st      to      a high of 15.7°c on the 29th - 31st     --     with a monthly mean of 15.3°c



   * July 2018 rainfall was 45.0% of the July average for 2008 - 2017

   * July 2018 was 1.71°c warmer than the July average for 2009 - 2017 and 1.4°c warmer than the local long term average 1981-2010

   * This makes the Jan' to July period of 2018 0.28°c warmer than the average for 2009-17 and with 83.1% 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)  


© Darren Rogers 2010-18

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