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August 2022


August 2022

Temperatures (all temperatures in degrees Celsuis; all averages 1991-2020)

Mean daily maximum: 22.6   Difference from average: +2.8

Mean daily minimum: 11.9    Difference from average: +0.6

Mean air temperature: 17.3    Difference from average: +1.7

Absolute maximum: 30.6 (11th)

Absolute minimum: 8.5 (30th)

Mean grass minimum: 10.1    Difference from average: +0.9

Absolute grass minimum: 5.8 (30th)

Mean concrete minimum: 13.0

Absolute concrete minimum: 9.1 (21st)

Number of ground frosts: 0    Difference from average: 0

Number of air frosts: 0           Difference from average: 0

Mean soil temperature at 300 mm depth: 18.9

Mean soil temperature at 1000 mm depth: 17.1

Rainfall (all totals in millimetres; all averages 1991-2020)

Total for the month: 13.0        Difference from average: -53.2

Percentage of the average:  20%

Wettest day: 6.0 (20th)

Number of rain days (>0.1 mm): 10

Number of wet days (=>1.0 mm): 3

3-month total rainfall to 31st August 2022: 102          Difference from average: -87.4

6-month total rainfall to 31st August 2022: 221.2       Difference from average: -105.2

12-month total rainfall to 31st August 2022: 551.2     Difference from average: -129.8

Sunshine (all totals in hours; all averages 1991-2020)

Total for the month: 221.6                  Difference from average: +55

Percentage of the average:  133 %

Mean daily sunshine: 7.1       Difference from average: 1.8

Sunniest day: 10.7 (12th)

Number of days with no recorded sunshine: 0

Note that the monthly sunshine total is now calculated from the UKMO E&NE regional total. Daily sunshine totals quoted here and in the data summary are uncorrected.

Wind (kph; all data from the West Building roof, Lower Mountjoy campus)

 Average wind speed: 4.8

Maximum gust: 54.7 (2nd, 10:30, W)

Comments on August 2022 – another record-breaking month

 This was the 2nd hottest August since 1843, beaten only in August 1975 (17.6 °C). There was the 4th highest mean maximum and the equal 13th highest mean minimum. 1857 holds the record (12.9 °C) for the mean minimum; other than 1857 only 1975 and 1997 are not from the present century. There were 25 days above 20 °C, a total only exceeded once before in August, in 1947 (28). As in July, 6 days had a maximum of at least 25 °C, the same total as in August 1868; seven Augusts have seen 7 days at or above 25 °C, but the top two are way ahead: 13 days in 1995 and 16 in 1975. The maximum of 30.6 °C on the 11th makes it the third warmest August day on record, and the equal 9th warmest day of any month (albeit only the 3rd warmest day this year!). This was the 3rd driest August since 1868 (13.0 mm), with just 10 rain days and only 3 ‘wet’ days. All long-period totals are well below average, just 81% of normal rainfall in the last year. Given all the warm, dry weather it is not surprising that this was the 4th sunniest August on record, 48% of possible, a third above the expected amount. For the first eight months of this year, the total sunshine received (1345 hours) is the highest since the first full year of recording in 1881.

For the summer as a whole, given the 10th hottest June, the 3rd hottest July and the 2nd hottest August, not surprisingly 2022 has experienced the hottest summer on record at Durham since records began in 1843 (16.7 °C, 1.7 °C above average). The mean maximum temperature (21.5 °C) is 2.2 °C above average, also the highest on record. While the mean minimum seems less remarkable: 11.8 °C, ‘only’ 1.2 °C above average, it is nevertheless the third equal highest value on record for a Durham summer. For the extended ‘Eglise’ temperature series back to 1784, this is the 2nd warmest summer, surpassed only in 1826 (17.3 °C). Summer 1826 was clearly exceptional, although little is known about it in terms of meteorology. For the Central England Temperature record, 1826 is the second warmest summer behind 1976; summer 2022 ranks 4th. It was also a notably dry summer at Durham (102 mm), just 54% of average.  It was the 8th sunniest summer on record since 1880, with almost 20% more sunshine than usual, nearly 100 extra hours and just two sunless days! Using the Davis Index of summer weather, which combines mean maximum temperature, rainfall and sunshine totals, 2022 ranks as the third best summer, behind 1995 and 1976.

Emeritus Professor Tim Burt

Department of Geography

Durham University

[email protected]