The last 5 Augusts in the UK according to Trevor Harley

2016 A warm month – at 17.0C, the warmest since 2004 in the CET series. It was particularly warm in the east. The highest temperature of the month (and year) was 34.1C at Faversham in Kent on the 24th; the 10th was a cold night, with -1.5C at Kindrogan (Perthshire). The month was changeable in the first half, and warmer and more settled in the second. Rainfalls was very close to the long-term average, although it was wet in parts of the north. It was quite a sunny month, with 110% of average.

2017 Unsettled. The CET temperature was 15.6 (-0.6C), the coolest since 2011. Temperatures were generally slightly beneath average in the south. The month saw a new record high for the late August Bank Holiday Monday, which fell on the 28th this year: 28.2C at Holbeach (Lincs.) – the previous record was set in 1984. The same day it reached 28.9 at Jersey. There was a notable cold front passing through on the 30th; it reached 27C in locations in Kent on the 29th but only 13C on the 30th. Rainfall was about average across mainland Britain, although Northern Ireland was very wet (130% of the average), with severe flooding in places – some areas saw 200%. The 9th was a wet day in the south, with some places seeing 40 mm, and South Uist received 72 mm in thunderstorms overnight on the 22nd. Sunshine was close to average in England and Wales (187 hours, 105%), although it was duller further north and west.

2018 A disappointing month to end a great summer. Overall slightly warmer than average, particularly in the southeast. The highest temperature of the month was 33.2C at Kew on the 3rd, the lowest -1.3C at Braemar on the 7th. Rainfall was 95% of average although there were wide regional variations, some places having half the the average and parts of the SE over 150%. Sunshine was 90% of average, but Shetland had 150% of average. The first week continued the fine, settled weather, but it turned more unsettled from the 8th on.

2019 Mostly unsettled but with a hot sunny in spell in the south 21 – 27th giving a very hot late August Bank Holiday: it was 30.7C at Heathrow on Saturday 24th. The record late Bank Holiday temperature then occurred on Sunday 25th, with 33.3C recorded at London (Heathrow). It was the hottest late Bank Holiday Monday on record by some way, beating 2017, with 33.2C at London Heathrow (on the 26th). It was then 33.4C at Heathrow on Tuesday 27th, the highest temperature of the month – an extraordinary late spell. A thundery breakdown was followed by a cool end to the month. It was slightly warmer than average, but very wet, with 153% of average, and more than twice the average in the north and northwest. It was very slightly sunnier than average across the country. 69.8 mm of rain fell in 24 hours on the 30-31st at Tyndrum (Perthshire).

2020 After an unsettled start, it became very hot, particularly in the southeast. There was a notable heatwave midmonth, peaking with 36.4C recorded at Heathrow on Friday 7th, the highest August reading since 2003. It was 30.1C at Kew on the 6th, then 34.5C at Herstmonceux on the 8th,  34.0C there on the 9th, 35.5C at Heathrow on the 10th, 35.7 at Heathrow on the 11th, and 35.4 at Heathrow on the 12th, giving seven consecutive days above 30C, and six above 34C. St James Park in London recorded six consecutive days over 34C. The very hot spell, mostly localised to the SE, saw five “tropical nights”, with minima above 20C, making six for the year, the highest being a minimum of 22.3 on the 8th at Langdon Bay (Kent). Before recent years these were very rare – yet beween 2008 and  2017 there were only 12 tropical nights in total. It became more unsettled mid-month, and often wet and windy. Overall it was mostly much warmer than average, and slightly duller, with 88% of the expected sunshine. It was a wet month, with 135% of average rainfall. 103.8 mm of rain fell in the meteorological day ending on the 13th at Hollies (Staffs.), and a provisional massive 239.9 mm at East Wretham (Norfolk) on the 16th, which when confirmed will beat the 1924 record.

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