June 2016: Sunshine in the UK

I’ve just done a quick bit of coding to allow me to produce graphics for the sunshine totals for June from across the UK. The daily sunshine totals I parse from each day’s 0600 UTC SYNOP reports which I download from the OGIMET site. Top of the shop across the British Isles in June was Valley on Anglesey in Wales, with 218.8 hours of sunshine (43.2% of possible), closely followed by a whole host of other stations from western parts.

Daily sunshine 1 June - 1 July 2016

Daily sunshine 1 June – 1 July 2016

Daily Bright Sunshine 1 June 2016 - 1 July 2016

Daily Bright Sunshine 1 June 2016 – 1 July 2016

Across Europe Valley’s 218.8 hours couldn’t quite match the 404.1 hours (90.4% of possible) from Toledo in Spain. Oh to have a field full of solar panels in southern Spain.

Daily Bright Sunshine 1 June 2016 - 1 July 2016

Dearth of sunshine in the east

I thought that I would just take a look back at the sunshine totals from across the UK and Ireland during the last month to see how bad it’s been recently in the east. It’s another case of the had’s and the had not a lot.

The had’s

Sunshine at 03005 Lerwick - United Kingdom 82 AMSL [16 May - 15 June 2016]

Sunshine at 03005 Lerwick – United Kingdom 82 AMSL [16 May – 15 June 2016]

Sunshine at 03962 Shannon - Ireland 14 AMSL [16 May - 15 June 2016]

Sunshine at 03962 Shannon – Ireland 14 AMSL [16 May – 15 June 2016]

Sunshine at 03100 Tiree - United Kingdom 11 AMSL [16 May - 15 June 2016]

Sunshine at 03100 Tiree – United Kingdom 11 AMSL [16 May – 15 June 2016]

Sunshine at 03302 RAF Valley - United Kingdom 11 AMSL [16 May - 15 June 2016]

Sunshine at 03302 RAF Valley – United Kingdom 11 AMSL [16 May – 15 June 2016]

And the had not a lot’s

Sunshine at 03240 RAF Boulmer - United Kingdom 22 AMSL [16 May - 15 June 2016]

Sunshine at 03240 RAF Boulmer – United Kingdom 22 AMSL [16 May – 15 June 2016]

Sunshine at 03772 London Heathrow - United Kingdom 24 AMSL [16 May - 15 June 2016]

Sunshine at 03772 London Heathrow – United Kingdom 24 AMSL [16 May – 15 June 2016]

Sunshine at 03382 Leconfield - United Kingdom 8 AMSL [16 May - 15 June 2016]

Sunshine at 03382 Leconfield – United Kingdom 8 AMSL [16 May – 15 June 2016]

Recent sunshine totals

Daily sunshine 24 May - 6 June 2016

Daily sunshine 24 May – 6 June 2016

Excuse the rant

I saw one of the BBC forecasters today show some sunshine statistics for the UK and the stark difference between the totals from the east and the west. That got me to thinking that I’ve never really done very much with sunshine stats from SYNOP observations, so I set myself a little task to knock up an application to do just that this afternoon. <rant>The reason why I haven’t done it before is probably due to the lack of sunshine reporting stations in the UK which are released by the Met Office! It might have its headquarters in Devon, but there is just one sunshine reporting station in the whole of Cornwall and Devon, have a look at the coverage in France and Germany and see the difference. There are many climatological stations out there that the Met Office are just never going to release the data for – this side of hell freezing over – which I think is a very great shame, in fact it’s worse than that, it’s a scandal, after all it’s our – the public of this country’s – data. My plea to the Met Office is to please release as much climatological data as you can, you might not want to do much with it, but I certainly can. The sad thing is that I wouldn’t even be able to process this data and present you with these maps, charts and tables if it wasn’t for a Spanish web site, if I depended on the Met Office I would have no observational SYNOP data, they would rather just sit on it </rant>.

The sunshine data

Anyway getting down from my soapbox and back to the sunshine totals from the last two weeks, below is a tabulated ranked list of the 52 sites across the UK, and as you can see Tiree tops the list with over 170 hours in 14 days, or 12.2 hours per day and 72.6 of the theoretical maximum available – if my astronomical functions are working correctly. Bottom of the list is poor old Leconfield on Humberside with just 21.3 hours in the two weeks, or just over 20% of the possible maximum. Having said that there are a great many cloudy stations at the bottom of the list, and all in the east of the country, all in all a very interesting spell of weather. Most of the southern and central European countries support the reporting of daily sunshine data in their SYNOP/BufR observations. The trick is because of the various time zones across Europe there are some countries that report sunshine at midnight rather than 06 UTC, so I still have some work to do for the more eastern countries to get the maximum coverage.

Daily Bright Sunshine 24 May 2016 - 6 June 2016

Daily Bright Sunshine 24 May 2016 – 6 June 2016