02/08/17: Electricity North West weather watch - August
July saw bursts of heavy rain and thunderstorms which caused a few issues on the power network - in what we'd usually hope to be a quiet period weather-wise.
Meteorologist Nick Prebble from MeteoGroup tells us what the weather has in store for us for August.
Look back: July
It was a month of mixed fortunes as the UK found itself in an alternating pressure pattern, with typically changeable week-by-week conditions across the North West. It was unsettled at times with around a third more rainfall than average for July, although this was somewhat skewed by a very wet day as torrential rainfall led to 49mm being recorded at Carlisle on the 22nd. This event was caused by a slow-moving frontal system sat over North West England into the border with South West Scotland, with surface flooding reported in places. The day prior to this (21st) also saw a period of strong winds, when S/SE’ly gusts reached between 40-50mph in places.
Temperatures were very close to the seasonal norm with a lack of any sustained hot spell through July, although temperatures did climb to 25-27C at a handful of locations in Cumbria and Lancashire on the afternoon of the 18th. In contrast, there were unseasonably low temperatures the night of the 11th into the 12th as Shap dipped to a chilly 2.1C following the passage of a front.
The main hazardous weather in July came on the handful of days when thunderstorms developed over the region, with the 19th standing out as the day with the strongest lightning intensity. A cluster of active thunderstorms drifted north along the coastline of North West England and produced over two hundred strikes (over land and just offshore) within a couple of hours.
Look ahead: August
Analysis of the long-range weather models points to a continued mixed bag through August, mainly due to the expectation of low pressure to be prevalent in the north-east sector of the North Atlantic whilst high pressure often dominates over the near continent. As the pressure pattern ebbs and flows over the UK then there will likely be areas of rain or showers accompanied by fresh winds periodically across the North West, then a few drier and more settled days in between as high pressure extends briefly from the south.
One thing to bear in mind is that August tends to be the wettest of the three summer months, so seeing spells of rain isn’t too unusual at this time of year, although temperatures don’t currently look like bring remarkable either. The predominance of broad-scale westerly air flows will probably limit the potential for any heatwave conditions to build across the UK, and as such hot days will likely be isolated and prevail from short-lived incursions of air from the south.
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