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13 November 2014

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You are in: Wiltshire > Weather > Has it been the worst Wiltshire Summer ever?

Has it been the worst Wiltshire Summer ever?

We've had just over 24 hours of sunshine this month and a month's worth of rain in two weeks... so what's going on?

Lacock Proms, 2008

It grounded the Royal International Air Tattoo, sank the Stourhead Fete Champetre, put a damper on the Lacock Proms and almost scuppered the annual Devizes to Westminster canoe race.

So, as yet another wet grim weekend comes and goes, it has to be asked:

Are we having the worst summer ever or does it just seem like it?

Well according to Roger Partridge, whose been recording the weather from his garden weather station in Yatesbury every day since 1979, it ain't breaking any records:

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Summer 2008 has been mixed to say the least.  But surprisingly June was an unusually dry month with less than two thirds of the rainfall we'd normally expect.

Summer Solstice at Stonehenge 2008

Sunrise was sun-less at the solstice at Stonehenge

Temperatures, however, were below average making it the coolest June since 2002.

Temperatures in July were around average but what was exceptional was the amount of rain - well over double what we'd expect in a typical July.

August, of course, isn't over yet so there's still plenty of time for the weather to improve.  But in the first 12 days we've already seen 68mm  - which is a full month's rainfall already.

Summer Solstice at Stonehenge 2008

Umbrella optional?

So exactly how bad has this summer been?

It's been pretty bad by anyone's standard although not outside the usual range of British summers as August is usually one of the wettest months of the year anyway.

But will it break any records?

It won't be breaking any records unless something exceptional happens in the next two weeks (which looks unlikely) and then the only possible record to fall would be the sunshine record.

Lightning Strorm in Wiltshire 2008

One of Wiltshire's summer lightning storms

Unofficially though, assuming August continues in the same vein, it looks as if this could be an even duller summer than 2007.

Below is an unofficial league table (based on data from Yatesbury, Wiltshire) of summer sunshine since 2003:

Year      Hours of sunshine

2006            651
2003            542
2004            460
2007            442
2008            388?

Lacock Proms, 2008

The art of picnicing in a downpour

I suspect the actual August total will be just over 400.

So why do we think it's been so bad?

Although 2007 was also a poor summer, we've been spoilt in recent years with exceptionally warm and sunny summers in both 2003 and 2006.

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What about the rest of the summer?

If we consider summer as June, July and August, then until the end of the month it looks slightly more settled although it is unlikely that we will see more than an occasional fine day.

Well we did ask...

last updated: 19/08/2008 at 15:30
created: 19/08/2008

Have Your Say

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

its all Gordon Brown's fault, under the tories we had regular hose pipe bans, Ah the good old days!!

Your right glen, Ive never worn a Jumper in July and August before, fingers crossed for a blinding September, ha ha ha!!!

are you mad, every time we look outside its raining or cloudy, this has got to be the worst summer ever. Its so depressing

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