The weather review: July to August

The beginning of July brought with it the tail end of a period of high temperatures driven by African air being whipped up through the Continent, landing in the UK. Many countries in Europe experienced record-breaking temperatures. In the UK, the mercury climbed to 25 degrees Celsius – for reference the climate average for July is around the 21ºC mark.

Mid July delivered some sunny spells and wind speeds that shifted between above and below seasonal norms, resulting in mixed wind performance. The order of business was muggy nights and muggier offices, alleviated by lower pressure systems coming in from the Atlantic bringing more unsettled conditions. It was around this time that the first heat-induced thunderstorms started to appear locally around the UK.

The end of July has been punctuated with record breaking temperatures. On the 25th, a temperature of 38.7ºC was measured at Cambridge Botanic Gardens and has since been confirmed as the highest temperature ever recorded in Britain. This beat the previous all-time British record of 38.5oC, recorded in Faversham during the August 2003 heatwave. With all this heat, the natural companion is thunderstorms. Storms at the end of July have brought temperatures back down and seen short-sharp showers break out across the UK.

The first couple of weeks of August could see a continuation of the end of July’s warm and sunny conditions, but perhaps not at the record-breaking levels we have seen recently; expect it to be around the low-mid 20s. The second half of the month will bring a cooler feel, with solar output returning to or slightly below normal seasonal levels. Rainfall is also set to rise – a classic British summer month there, with some sun and some rain.