Varied summer climate leaves media stumped

Summer 2015 has got quite a bad press over the past couple of weeks but it hasn’t really been that bad overall in this area. And, as ever with the weather, it wasn’t without interest.

Though the summer was wet overall it was very dry well into July
Though the summer was wet overall it was very dry well into July

Two extreme records were broken: The maximum on the 1st of July of 36.1C and the minimum on the 30th of July of 6.9C. There were also a couple of cracking thunderstorms.

Mean temperature for the three months was the lowest since 2012, the same year that saw more rain than this summer’s 167.7mm. Both 2012 and 2011 were a fair bit wetter than this summer and this season’s rainfall wasn’t a patch on some of the washout summers of my youth – both 1985 and 1987 were at least 150% wetter than summer 2015.

More notable was the lack of sunshine – it was the dullest summer since 2002.

Looking beyond Wanstead the perceived poor summer elsewhere was largely caused by cooler than normal sea temperatures west of Ireland, together with warmer water around the Azores. Simon Keeling explains this well here.

Three months ago I predicted that summer would be broadly average temperature-wise with average to slightly below average rainfall and average sunshine. So how did the forecast do?

In terms of temperature my predicted figure of 17.4C was 0.5C lower than the result. My rainfall prediction was only 76% of what actually fell and I over-estimated sunshine by 16%.

Despite some of the dire reviews of summer elsewhere in the UK there were some fine spells

With the Daily Telegraph reporting that the Met Office predicted a “dry, hot season” it’s probably not a bad effort.


* The 1981-2010 average mean for summer in this region is 17.6C, with 144.9mm of rain and 564 hours of sunshine


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