Exceptional July weather coming to an abrupt end

Monday 22 July 2013, 21:58

Paul Hudson Paul Hudson

July so far has been exceptionally dry, warm and sunny, but a notable change in the weather is expected in the next 36 hours.


At Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire, less than 2mm of rain has fallen so far this month.


It’s fair to say that farmers and gardeners are now very keen for rain, although reservoir stocks are still healthy in Yorkshire following last summer’s washout.


The hot spell has, understandably, dominated the media.


It has been the only prolonged hot spell since July 2006 – which itself turned out to be the hottest July on record on Met Office figures which date back to 1910.


Temperatures at Heathrow and Northolt this afternoon reached 33.5C (93F) making it the hottest day anywhere in the UK since July 20th 2006.


But the spell of hot weather has not been in the same league as that recorded during the record-breaking summer of 1976.


That year, temperatures were higher than 32C (90F) for 15 consecutive days from late June to early July somewhere in the UK.


That said, with temperatures soaring again today, we’ve had 17 consecutive days with temperatures exceeding 28C, equalling the sequence set in 1995, but not as long as the sequence set in 1997 (19 days)


In 1976, there were 22 such days.


But with the jet stream expected to slip southwards from its current position, the weather will be more unsettled for the rest of July and into early August.


Warnings are in place for the next 36 hours, as developing thunderstorms could lead to local flooding as a result of torrential rain falling on to the sun-baked land.


After the thundery breakdown it will though remain warm into the weekend, and although more unsettled, there will still be some sunshine at times - together with a risk of further heavy showers.


Here in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire next week could feel very different, with temperatures closer to normal for the time of the year as low pressure dominates the our weather bringing rain to most areas.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Recently the importance of the jet stream in weather forecasting seems to have new significance. Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    I suspect that the jetstream has always been significant, it's just that we didn't know it was.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    From the previous blog topic:


    "US NOAA/NCDC is suggesting June 2013 was 0.64 warmer than the 20th century average for June. That would make it the 5th warmest June in the NOAA record started 1880. The official data set hasn't been updated as yet and there are usually small changes to past temperatures which might affect this.

    Based on the 1981-2010 anomaly base period, the data sets so far reporting are NOAA: 0.22; UAH: 0.30; NASA: 0.28 and RSS: 0.19. HadCRUT4 still to report."

    You didn't mention that NCDC/NOAA actually shows a fall in the global anomaly between May and June, mainly due to a fall in the SH anomaly, compared to a big rise in GISS, UAH and RSS.

    I think the difference must be due to different methods of calculating Antarctic temperature anomalies. Judging from the relative maps, GISS has far more "coverage" of the Antarctic than NCDC/NOAA and last month, large parts were below normal while this month they are mostly above normal.

    Based on the NCDC/NOAA anomaly, it is possible that HadCRUT4 will also show a global and SH fall for June.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    From the previous topic:


    "QV, have you seen an update of the UAH "zonal" data for June? Of late I have been using:-"

    That's the link I use too, it sometimes takes a while for it to be updated.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    "It has been the only prolonged hot spell since July 2006 – which itself turned out to be the hottest July on record on Met Office figures which date back to 1910."

    If the Met Office figures only date back to 1910 who is it that compiles and publishes the CET figures? Have they subbed it out? Can't understand why it is not mentioned that July 2006 was the "hottest" in 354 CET years?

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    #4. QuaesoVeritas

    " it sometimes takes a while for it to be updated"

    Thanks QV, I get the impression it is later than normal, always out long before any Had data and HadSST2 & 3 are both already posted. Maybe the MO are on a charge or you have been progress chasing again:-)

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    I have been looking at the July CET figures and indeed July 2006 was the hottest since 1659, followed by 1983, the only two years with a mean above 19c.
    There has been an increasing trend in July CET recently and for a while it looked like this year would see another figure above 19c and possibly challenge 2006, but I don't think so now.
    My estimate now is a mean for the month of 18.5c, which would be lower than 1852 and 1784.
    It's hard to say how much of the increasing trend is due to two exceptional years of 2006 and 1983.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    It still looks like we will be in the 20's but with more rain. We needed the rain to water the garden and because our greedy foreign owned water companies would have called for a hose pipe ban, rather than upgrade the network with all the profits they make.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    5. greensand

    The Met Office's UK-wide (England, Scotland, Wales, N. Ireland) start in 1910. Regional data, such as CET, go back further.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    Re UAH version 5.6.

    This has now been released: http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/temp-and-precip/upper-air/uahncdc.lt

    There are minor differences, especially between late 2009 and early 2010, when the new version is consistently slightly cooler than the old one. But in general, V5.6 shows slightly more recent warming than V5.5. For example, the five year (60 month) global trend is now flat (0.00), whereas in V5.5 it was -0.03.

    Roy Spencer attributes this slight warming to corrections for spurious cooling due to orbital drift in one of the NOAA satellites used in the previous version.

    I can't see that any of the longer term global trends have changed, or that any record years or months, etc have changed. I haven't looked closely at the regions yet. Perhaps someone else will spot something?

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    Come on Paul warm weather in July is not unusual. I remember 1976 well but you are not old enough. Perhaps a little rain will keep the gardeners happy and drier weather by the end of the month will help the grain harvest.

    Before the alarmists climb onto their high horse 30C plus is not common but not outside the spread of our local temperatures and is thus included into the average. Humid days and nights give the impression of being hotter than the temperature would have us believe but that is just latent heat and our inability to loose heat through evapourating sweat in humid conditions.

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    9. newdwr54

    "The Met Office's UK-wide (England, Scotland, Wales, N. Ireland) start in 1910. Regional data, such as CET, go back further."

    Well swipe my brow! You don't say!:-)

    The statement in the post was "the hottest July on record on Met Office figures which date back to 1910."

    No mention of "UK" or "Regional". To the best of my knowledge and as you have just stated CET is still "Met Office figures".

    So I wonder why there is no mention that July 2006 was the "hottest" in 354 CET years?

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    10. newdwr54

    "Re UAH version 5.6."

    Thanks DW, been looking for that, still not posted in the usual place.

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    13. GS

    They're keeping 5.5 going for contractual reasons until the end of the year, so it looks like the 5.5 site will stay where it is.

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    14. newdwr54

    Thanks DW, maybe the intro of 5.6 has resulted in the delay posting Jun 5.5.

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.


    "Re UAH version 5.6."

    Thanks for the link.
    I think I have had it before, but lost track of it.
    I will try not to lose it again.

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.


    "Here is the real villain:"

    I'll keep an open mind on this but:

    "The change in global surface temperature after the removal of the solar effect has shown zero correlation with CO2 but a nearly perfect linear correlation with CFCs - a correlation coefficient as high as 0.97.”

    I find it hard to believe that ther is "zero" correlation between temperatures and CO2.

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    Ha, what did I say! Bang on schedule. Who needs a supercomputer when you have school holidays! Horribly humid now though.

    Meanwhile, in deepest Arctica, things are looking ominous (for warmists that is).


  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    19. JaimeJ

    ".... I would happy to place a wager that 2012 will not reach a record minimum [Arctic sea ice] extent. I take it you are willing to make that bet? "

    [Steven Goddard, July 4, 2012 at 2:46 am: http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/nsidc-arctic-ice-extent-normal-for-the-first-time-in-at-least-seven-years/#comment-98057 ]

    You think he'd have learned by now?


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I worked as a forecaster with the Met Office for nearly 15 years locally and at the international unit, after graduating with first class honours in Geophysics and Planetary physics at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1992. I then joined the BBC in October 2007, where I divide my time between forecasting and reporting on stories about climate change and its implications for people's everyday lives.

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