In June Marlborough missed the rainstorms, but the sun stayed hidden - to local farmers' despair
Although the Meteorological Office - with records going back to 1910 - has declared the last month to be the wettest June on record, Marlborough missed all the storms that occurred to the north, south, west and east of this area. The total rainfall in Marlborough for June 2016 was 52.6mm, which is 2.6mm below the 32-year average.
It was a dismal month with only 11 totally dry days and 15 wet days (the average is 10 days), We define a wet day as one when at least 1mm of precipitation is recorded during a twenty-four hour period. The wettest day was June 15 with 8.3mm.
Due to the frequent cloudy, damp days it is not surprising that only 48 hours of strong sunshine were recorded. We can compare this to 2014's 142 hours and 2015's 168 hours. No wonder the farmers are complaining - their crops need sun as well as rain.
Sadly, there were seven days when no strong sunshine was recorded. However, there were many bright intervals between the showers when reflected solar radiation meant solar energy was 81 per cent of the average for June.
The month started with winds from the north that gave a maximum of only 12.2C on June 1 that is 8C below the June mean. From June 4 the wind veered into the northeast bringing dryer and warmer air with temperatures climbing into the twenties from June 5 to June 10.
The warmest day was June 8 when the thermometer soared to 26.6C. For the remainder of the month winds were predominantly from a south or southwest direction bringing frequent showers, reduced hours of sunshine and modest maximum temperatures.
Overall, the month gave a mean temperature 0.8C above the 32-year average. This was principally due to the cloudy nights that meant the warmth from the ground did not dissipate into the atmosphere and gave a mean minimum 1.5C above the long-term average. There were eight very mild nights when the minimum was at least 3C above the mean for June.
Fog was evident on three days at the beginning of the month with visibility down to 100 metres on June 9. The nearest Marlborough got to a storm was when thunder was heard to the east during the afternoon of June 25.
Will the rest of our summer season live up to the words of the American writer on architecture Ada Louise Huxtable: “Summer is the time when one sheds one’s tensions with one’s clothes and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all’s right with the world.”
With that other climate - the political climate - so much in mind, we could do with a bit of Ms Huxtable's summertime easing of tensions.