First half of July continues wet and gloomy theme

Provisional mid-month statistics from the Met Office show that, after an exceptionally wet and gloomy June, the first half of July has continued the disappointing theme.

Normally at the halfway stage of a month we’d expect sunshine and rainfall to be somewhere around 50% of the average for the whole month, but the figures show a very different story.

Looking at the UK, we’ve already had more than the average rainfall we’d expect for the entire month – with 71.8mm (103% of the 1971-2000 average) falling up to the 15th of the month.

Within that there are some big variations, however. Northern Ireland and Scotland have seen close to normal levels of rain, with 35.9mm (49%) and 56.4mm (61%) respectively. England and Wales have seen much more relative to their monthly averages, with 81.2mm (150%) and 95.8mm (122%) respectively.

Looking in even more detail at Scotland, however, you can see bigger variations in rainfall patterns: Mid Lothianshire in south east Scotland has seen 105.8mm (167%) of rain, while the Western Isles in the far north west of Scotland have seen just 10mm (10%).

This illustrates how rainfall patterns have really bucked their usual trend, with the far north west – which is usually one of the wettest places in the UK – continuing to be one of the driest areas. This is partly due to the position of the jet stream, as discussed in previous articles.

Looking at sunshine, there is a more consistent pattern across the regions. The UK has seen 45.5 hours of sunshine, just 26% of the average for the whole month, so around half what we would normally expect to see by this time. So far, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have all seen about a quarter to a third of their monthly quota – making for a very dull month thus far.

Temperatures have also been on the disappointing side – with the UK seeing an average temperature so far of 13.7 deg C, which is 1.1 deg C below the monthly average.

With figures only going up to the 15th of the month, it is of course impossible to say how the month could finish overall. It’s certainly too early to say whether this month will be a record-breaker, as that will depend on how the second half of the month plays out.

While more rain is expected in parts of the UK today there will also be some dry and sunny weather too.  The good news is that the weekend is set to bring drier and brighter weather to many parts of England and Wales – while the far north west of Scotland is likely to see some much-needed rain.

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