Flaming June breaks all recent records for rainfall and sunshine
June was the driest month ever recorded since the Windrush weather station started over thirty years ago. The average for a 'normal' June since 1984 was 54.5mm, but this year's June didn't even see one tenth of that with only 5.3mm recorded. As a comparison, the previous record for the driest month was set in 1995 with 12.5mm but in contrast June 1998 gave us a deluge with 143.2mm.
There were twenty two totally dry days but that obscures the fact that on four days there was very little rainfall to record from drizzle or from brief, light rain showers. The wettest day brought us just 1.8mm.
The lack of rainfall is only half the picture for this dry month as evaporation from ground sources and plant life meant the equivalent rainfall of 110.4mm was lost to the atmosphere. That was 16mm above the 10-year average.
June was also memorable for the strong sunshine that totalled 235 hours. The average over the past four years, when this instrument was installed, was 135 hours. June followed the sunny May that gave us 237 hours of sunshine.
The sunniest day occurred on June 27 with 16.88 hours of ‘wall to wall’ sunshine that followed 16.72 hours and 16.68 hours on June 26 and June 25 respectively. There were no days when the sun did not trigger the sunshine recorder, however, it appeared briefly for only 1 minute on June 17 and 5 minutes on June 4.
The many hours of strong sunshine meant that UV reached into the Very High level on 23 days.
The month started on a warm note with three days of above average temperatures, peaking at 25.1C on June 3, which was 5C above the 34-year average. The middle of the month saw temperatures cooling off a little but by June 21 the many hours of sunshine meant that the last 9 days in June were well above average, June 26 being the hottest with a maximum of 28.7C when the 34-year average was 19.96C.
The mean temperature for the month was 1.7C above the average principally down to many hot days as the daytime mean was +2.5C and the night mean +0.8C.
There were several chilly nights when the thermometer dropped into single figures, the coolest being 4.5C in the early hours of June 22.
The many hours of strong sunshine, high temperatures and lack of rain has meant that the soil temperature at a depth of 5cm rose to 21.4C at 08.00 on the morning of June 26.
James Dent wrote “A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.” However, the conscience need not be troubled this week as the grass is browning and not needing a cut due to the current heatwave.
Link to Windrush weather station: www.windrushweather.co.uk