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How often does the temperature reach 30C or more in August, specifically in the south-east?

Obviously 2003 (and 2006/13?) are examples but are these exceptions to the rule?

I'd have thought August would being the potential for some very hot days due to the effect of heat from the sea.

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Don't have any hard stats for you (but I'm sure there are contributors out there who will), but on the whole the chance of reaching 30C on a day in August in SE England is probably about the same as July. My guess would be 2-3 days in each month on average in London, reducing as you go away from the city. The hottest days on record in the UK have generally been in early August, but average temperatures start to drop off during the month and in most areas averages for August are slightly below those for July (e.g. here in Reading the university's 1981-2010 averages are 22.4/12.7 for July and 22.1/12.5 for August, with similar differences at Writtle, near your location).  I suspect there will be some coastal areas where temperatures are higher in August, though.

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^^ It was also the case in early August last year when I think somewhere rocketed to 34C. But indeed it does seem that nowadays the Atlantic comes barrelling in much earlier than before. The Atlantic onslaught used to be reserved for mid-late September.

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It seems to be quite strange how the Atlantic works now. It has it's April to July dormancy before awakening in August. Then towards the end of the month it dies back again, making September a very summery month, usually more summery than August is. It then picks up again in October for it's autumn and winter activity.

 

I think that's where our climates are different. September is rarely a proper summer month here, likewise never a properly autumnal one though they have been autumnal recently than before. I think only 2008 and 2006 have managed to be more summery than the preceding August in this neck of the woods.

 

2013

August: warm, mostly sunny and dry

September: cool and wet

 

2012

August: warm, quite sunny but wet and thundery

September: cool and exceptionally wet

 

2011

August: average, rather cloudy but dry

September: average and wet

 

2010

August: cool and progressively wet

September: cool and wet

 

2009

August: warm, dry and often sunny

September: warm, dry and often sunny

 

2008

August: cool and exceptionally wet

September: cool; very wet first half, dry and settled second half

 

2007

August: average, quite sunny and very dry

September: average, rather cloudy but dry

 

2006

August: average, average sunshine and quite dry

September: warm, wet and thundery

 

2005

August: warm, dry and sunny

September: warm, mostly dry and quite sunny

 

2004

August: warm, wet and thundery

September: average (warm start), wet and often cloudy

 

So I don't often expect lengthy dry spells in September here. I do however take offence to the Atlantic's October ramp-up happening in August. This was certainly the case in the final third of August 2010 which was simply abysmal here.

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August does seem to throw up fewer hot spells these days (since 2003 maybe?). Those of us with longer memories can recall 1975, a very hot month, when the hottest day in test match history in England took place on the 4th. Not surprisingly that day coincided with cricket's first streaker, a rather chubby man who managed to leap over the stumps at the pavilion end.

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I think that's where our climates are different. September is rarely a proper summer month here, likewise never a properly autumnal one though they have been autumnal recently than before. I think only 2008 and 2006 have managed to be more summery than the preceding August in this neck of the woods.

Im not so sure, our camping trips have generally provided better weather in September than the ones taken in August, as a rule of thumb

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August's that reached 30C before 2003 in Leeds (since 1986):

 

1990 (34.4C - our record high, unlikely to be challenged for a long time)

1995

1996

1997

1999

2001

2002

 

After 2003:

 

2013

 

Says it all really.

Edited by cheese
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Im not so sure, our camping trips have generally provided better weather in September than the ones taken in August, as a rule of thumb

 

Fair enough. I'm specifically talking about my location though so can't vouch for elsewhere in the country.

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25C days in August have been as rare as hens teeth here since 2007, with only the 3rd in 2011 and 1st in 2013 topping it. May and September have done it more often since then, and the 1st of October 2011 was hotter than any August day between 2004 and 2013.

And September sunnier than August seems to have become the norm since 2006, happening 5 years out of 9 since, including in 2008 when September was the dullest since 1993.

We are seriously due a decent August!

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Just a quick look through augusts of the past suggests it is not such a good summer month at all.There has been little to cheer about since 2003,our last very good august.2002,2001 and 2000 were all pretty decent and much of the 90s were good or very good ...1999,98,97,96,95,91 and 1990 really spoiled us.The 80s were not as good 1989,1984 and 1983 were all amazing and 1981 was good too.Previous good augusts are not as common..1976 and 1975 stand out as exceptional 1959,55,53,47,33,32 and 1911 are the only ones that stand out in that period..that does seem a bit of a surprise and may describe our 11 year wait for another good one!!!!

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I recall finding that in the Met Office's UK national sunshine series, no Augusts recorded between 200 and 240 hours of sunshine, but three (1947, 1976 and 1995) had between 240 and 260 hours.  This statistical quirk is largely drowned out by regional variations when we look at regional totals though- for example August 1975 was very close behind August 1976 in the northern England sunshine series, and August 1989 wasn't far short of 1947, 1976 or 1995 in the southern England sunshine series.

 

What the stats do show is that exceptionally sunny Augusts are less common than exceptionally sunny Mays, Junes and Julys.

 

There is a quirk regarding hot weather in that hot spells tend to be more common in July than in August, but our record high temperatures have generally fallen in early August, notably in 1990 (in most parts of northern England, the 2nd or 3rd August 1990 still holds the record, with values between 32 and 34C commonplace) and 2003 (10th August 2003 in the south-east holds most of the national records).

Edited by Thundery wintry showers
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I went to the Lake District on me mo'bike 11th August 1995 and made the mistake of wearing a black helmet and black leathers. Thought my head was going to liquify I did, and could not remove the leathers cos' of sweat... definitely 30c+ that day.

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Been a long time since we've had anything like a scorcher of an August. Been some very wet Junes and Julys in recent years but they've also brought the most summery weather. August lately has been a consistently mediocre month at best for summery weather.

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Guest HectorTheAwesome

Whoops! I was supposed to post my first post in here, regarding August. Well anyway it basically says that August is the first month of winter here, we rarely even reach 22°C here in the frozen north. 

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right now the UK is a very uncomfortable place to be, the heat and high humidity is unbearable, usually august is cooler and provies "some" relief.

 

Although what you guys are wishing for seems to be happening tho this hot air over the country is simply refusing to budge like its stuck with superglue.

 

Does hot air always win fights?

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A quick scan of the Areal series shows that prior to July 2006, Scotland's hottest ever month was August 1947 followed closely by the Augusts of 1995 and 1997. Scotland's hottest temperature (32.9C) was recorded on 9 August 2003, a day before the UK's hottest temp. So in terms of heat (if not sunshine hours) it has historically been quite a good month to us here, but not since 2003. In the 90s the weather always seemed to be warmest coming back from school holidays.

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right now the UK is a very uncomfortable place to be, the heat and high humidity is unbearable, usually august is cooler and provies "some" relief.

 

Although what you guys are wishing for seems to be happening tho this hot air over the country is simply refusing to budge like its stuck with superglue.

 

Does hot air always win fights?

 

Was that a joke? 

 

Heat and humidity is the last thing that comes to mind in the UK - Louisiana maybe. 

 

August looks average to me, a typical cool British summer month. We'll be lucky if it gets over 20 degrees now in NW England. 

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We'll be lucky if it gets over 20 degrees now in NW England.

On the contrary, we'll be unlucky if it doesn't get over 20C at least once.Even August 1986 managed one 20C at Manchester Airport. Edited by Weather-history
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Down here in the SE we'll be lucky to see a day (daytime max) under 20ºC for a considerable part of the month. Even the CET max last month only dipped to 19.4ºC on the 8th with most days above 20ºC. Today was a typical day down here - whilst a lot of the rest of the country had considerable rainfall we avoided this and had warm sunny spells with temps in the low to mid 20's. I suspect August will continue in the same vein.

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August on average is a much cloudier month than May, June and July, this has been very notable in recent years. Also the atlantic tends to gain the upper hand in August pulling in moist westerly airstreams and associated cloud, whereas atlantic aistreams in May-July bring sunshine shower type weather.

 

SST's however, reach there peak in August and minima tend to be at there highest in the first half of August.

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August on average is a much cloudier month than May, June and July, this has been very notable in recent years. Also the atlantic tends to gain the upper hand in August pulling in moist westerly airstreams and associated cloud, whereas atlantic aistreams in May-July bring sunshine shower type weather.

 

SST's however, reach there peak in August and minima tend to be at there highest in the first half of August.

 

Any idea why this might be? More stable airmasses perhaps?

 

I've always wondered why it has a tendency to go t*ts up in August. One would think that a much smaller temperature gradient in the northern hemisphere would promote a weak jet stream. August and September must be similar to February and March in terms on temperature gradients - seasonal differences apply of course. So why such a change?

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August on average is a much cloudier month than May, June and July, this has been very notable in recent years. Also the atlantic tends to gain the upper hand in August pulling in moist westerly airstreams and associated cloud, whereas atlantic aistreams in May-July bring sunshine shower type weather.

 

SST's however, reach there peak in August and minima tend to be at there highest in the first half of August.

Its a bit of a statistical anomaly that we've had quite a few less sunny Augusts in recent years.

 

In regards to raw sunshine hours, you have to remember that there's less daylight in August than in May. The length of the day from 1st-31st August is the same as 12th April - 12th May. May is sunnier on average simply because it has more daylight available.

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