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Monthly Summary - August 2021

 Often cloudy, dry, settled from the 23rd - a quiet month

     Apart from being a quiet month, August was also a fairly underwhelming one as well. Yes it was dry, yes it finished averagely warm, but it was often grey with sunshine a rare commodity and apart from a few days around the 23rd-25th there was never anything that could be described as a warm spell, but apart from a few days at the close of the month it was never chilly - shall we just say that August was ...Uninspiring.

  The month started dry under a slack pressure gradient and did enjoy some sunshine, but it then became unsettled with low pressure prevalent, bringing rain on most days and temperatures tending just below average by day and just above by night. From the 23rd high pressure became dominant through to the month's end (and beyond) when Cumbria benefitted from an east-west split and saw quite respectable amounts of sunshine and day-time temperatures. The end of the month remained dry, but cooler and cloudy.

  Whilst only a 12 year temperature record exists at this site, August is yet to provide the year's warmest day (June and even May have done so in the same period) and just as surprising is the fact that it only has two entries in the top ten warmest days!

  MSLP of 1016.1 Mb was +2.0 MB above the local average for the month and overall a mean minimum of 10.42°c and a mean maximum of 18.91°c saw the temperature 0.23°c above the twelve year average for this site.

  It was the coldest since 2018 and of the 13 now recorded, five have been warmer, six have been colder and one had the same mean temperature - the highest maximum temperature recorded during the month being 23.7°c (25th), the lowest minimum 3.8°c (3rd).

  Rainfall of 49.2 mm (Maulds Meaburn North 41.7 mm -- Castlehowe Scar 66.5 mm) was 42.9% of average for 2007-20, making it the driest August of the 15 now recorded.

  During the month the following there was no thunder or other 'events - the wind speed averaged 4.42 mph, with a maximum gust of 36 mph (13th).

  At the Met' Office site at Shap a mean minimum of 9.2°c and a mean maximum of 18.1°c saw the monthly mean temperature 0.15°c above the average and made it the coldest August since 2017.

  Rainfall of 73.0 mm represents 64.8% of its average. It was the driest August since 2003 and in a record that commenced in 1989 it was the sixth driest.

  At Appleby in Westmorland rainfall of 64.2 represents 74.7% of its average (1856-2020) and made it the driest since 2017 - in a record that commenced in 1856, 54 have been drier and 111 wetter.

  All apart from the north-east corner of the county where Spadeadam (124.8% of average) and Bewcastle (118%) had rainfall totals above the average, percentage totals across Cumbria were below average. These lower than average falls showed no particular geographical split and did vary quite widely; Aisgill Moor being the driest location with just 49% of average followed by Walney at 55%.

  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 47.6 mm (68.5 mm)

  Haresceugh Castle (Kirkoswald) 72.63 mm (99.2 mm)

  Brothers Water 151.45 mm (198 mm)

  Orton (Shallowford) 74.2 mm (114.6 mm [average for 1967-2019])

  207.0 mm at Seathwaite Farm (Borrowdale - 240 mm [average for 1981-2010]) - making it the driest since 2010 and since the record commenced in 1845, 49 have been drier and 127 have been wetter.


  General Synoptic Report for the Month

   A weak cold front moved south on the 1st with a slack pressure gradient following on for the next three days. This saw a dry start to the month with some sunshine and temperatures gradually increasing from 17.8°c on the 1st to just over 21°c on both the 4-5th. From the evening of the 5th the month would become unsettled with spells of rain through to then 22nd when high pressure (HP) would finally develop and come to the fore.

  Whilst temperatures remained broadly close to the seasonal average both by day and night throughout the period and rainfall was never too excessive, the prominence of cloudy and grey days was notable - summer felt as though it was on hold or even possibly finished!

  Low pressure (LP) became semi stationary over Eire from the 6th and didn't clear away until the 10th during which its associated fronts brought heavy showers on the 6th (14.6 mm) with more organised rain overnight into the 7th which saw a further 9.1 mm with a mix of drizzle, rain and showers.

  After these two higher totals, daily falls were then relatively small, but with rain falling virtually every day; day-time maxima becoming stuck in the range of 17-19°c under those cloudy and often grey skies.

  By far the best period of the month fell during the 23rd - 28th which became pleasantly warm and with some sunny days as high pressure would build and become dominant, initially over the UK, then west of Scotland, moving to Shetland and then the west coast of Norway.

  On the whole Cumbria benefited with an east-west split across the UK. Eastern parts tending to get stuck under grey skies with the airflow coming off the North Sea, whilst Cumbria and western parts enjoyed the sunshine and corresponding temperatures. It was never too warm though, 23.7°c (74.7°f) on the 25th being the month's warmest day.

  There were a couple of chilly nights 27-28th and then the month closed with three cloudy but dry days.


August's Rainfall Anomalies %                                                                      August's Temp' Anomaly   



   Rainfall totalled 49.2 mm for the month, with rain recorded on 16 days of which 11 were 'Wet days' (1.0mm +).

   The Mean Temperature for the month was 14.66°c      --      The Mean Max' was   18.91°c     --      The Mean Min'   10.42°c.

   We had 0 Air Frosts in the month (year 61)                --      Grass Frosts totalled 0 (year 88).

   The 1 foot soil temp ranged from a low of 16.0°c on the 14th and 31st        to      a high of 17.6°c on the 26th     --      with a monthly mean of 16.6°c

   The 1 meter soil temp ranged from a low of 14.7°c on the 18th and 21st      to      a high of 15.3°c on the 1st and 25th     --     with a monthly mean of 15.0°c

   This makes the Jan' to August period of 2021 0.42°c colder than the average for 2009-20 and with 101.9% of average rainfall for 2007-20




 Dry - modestly warm

    Following the very wet summer of 2020 this year has provided a very dry one - last year was the wettest in my records (and at Seathwaite as well, since 1845) and now 2021 is my driest.

  The 17th - 23rd July provided the only hot spell of the season and which with seven consecutive days above 25°c became quite oppressive, otherwise it has just been steady away, never too warm nor chilly (apart from a ground frost on the 22nd June).

  Rainfall has been patchy, although parts of eastern Cumbria were wet at times during July, yet Grasmere recorded its second driest June in a record that commenced in 1890.

  Summer 2021 at Maulds Meaburn has seen 138.5 mm of rain and is now the driest of the fifteen recorded and includes the driest June and August in that time. That total represents 45.4% of the rainfall for those previous fourteen summers.

  A mean temperature of 15.03°c is the warmest since 2018 and of the thirteen summers now recorded one has been warmer, ten colder and with one being the same. Summer 2021 has finished 0.77°c warmer than the average of those previous twelve.

  At Appleby in Westmorland the summer saw rainfall of 171.9 mm, this represents 78.4% of its average. This makes 2021 the driest summer since 2006 and since the record began in 1856, 121 have been wetter and 44 drier.

  However, Seathwaite Farm always seems to have a story to tell - after 2020 was its wettest summer on record 1312.0 mm (51.65 In.) with all three months recording in excess of 400 mm, now 2021 has recorded its sixth driest with just 365.0 mm (52.8%), this being the driest summer since 1983.



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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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