The last 5 July’s in the UK according to Trevor Harley

July 2016 Slightly warmer than average overall. Unsettled first half, then with a fine spell, and a hot spell from the 18th to 29th, before turning thundery, the month finishing unsettled. Rainfall was about average overall (104%) bit better in the NW and drier in the SE, and very dry in the south.

It was quite a dull month, with 92% of average sunshine. The highest temperature of the month was 33.5C at Brize Norton (Oxon), and 33.9C at Jersey Airport on the 19th. 97.9 mm of rain fell at Nunraw Abbey (East Lotion) on the 20th.

July 2017 An unsettled month, with a few brief fine spells. It was fairly warm in the SE in the first half of the month, then cooler and wetter. It was quite a thundery month. The CET was 16.8C, close to average. Sunshine was above or below average in the south, and above in the far NW. Unusually, July 2017 was sunnier in the Shetland Islands than in Cornwall (the 8th such occasion since 1929),

It was wetter than average, with nearly twice the long-term average in the south and southeast. The highest temperature of the month was 32.2 at Heathrow on the 6th. 78.0 mm of rain fell at Okehampton (Devon) on the 30-31st.

There was devastating flash flooding in the Cornish coastal village of Coverack, on the Lizard Peninsula, with a 1m surge of water, following heavy rain in a thunderstorm on the 18th, when 170mm may have fallen locally.

July 2018 Overall very warm: at 19.1C CET it was better than July 1976, but not as good as July 2006 or 1983. It was particularly warm in the South and East. The first half was anticyclonic and was dry, sunny, and warm everywhere.

It was more unsettled in the second half, particularly in the north. There was a notable heat wave towards the end of the month. It was 33.3C at Santon Downham (Suffolk) on the 23rd. There was a maximum of 35.3C at Faversham and 35.1C at Wisley on the 26th, a minimum of 21.0C at London St James Park overnight on the 26-27, and a maximum of 34.1C at Gravesend on the 27th; and then down to 24.0C at Weybourne on the 28th.

The passing through of the cold front came with some severe thunderstorms. 99mm of rain was recorded at Belfast on the 28th. On average rainfall was 71%, but it was very dry in East Anglia. It was a sunny month with 138% of average (the sixth sunniest July since 1929). Morecambe Bay in Cumbria recorded 111.9 hours of sunshine from 1st to 7th July, which is a new weekly sunshine record.

July 2019. Very warm overall. A cool start, followed by high pressure building, particularly giving fine weather overt he south and west. The second half of the month was more unsettled, but there was an exceptional hot spell 22 – 26 July.

A new July record was set on the 25th with 38.1 in Cambridge in an exceptional heatwave. It was later confirmed that 38.7C (101.7F) was reached at Cambridge Botanical Gardens the same day, beating 2003 and setting a new overall UK record high temperature.

Overall rainfall was 114%, but it was relatively dry in the SW and Wales. Sunshine was exactly average. There was an interesting pheneomenon on 25 July at Donna Nook (Lincs.) when during a “heat burst” at 10.20 pm the temperature briefly rose from 22°C to 32°C.

July 2020 Unsettled until mid-month, then with high pressure mid-month, especially in the south, for a while. There was a very brief heatwave right at the end, but the UK recorded its third highest temperature, with 37.8C at Heathrow on the 31st.

Overall cooler than average, wet (122%, and very wet in southern Scotland and NW England), and dull (83%). SE England tended to be warmer, drier, and sunnier. 101.8 mm of rain fell at Aberllefenni, Cymerau Farm (Gwynedd), on 3-4th.

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