There’s a lot of talk at the moment by weather presenters about how unseasonable the weather is this August (2019) as an unusually deep low pressure system tracks across the country. Yes it will get windy, and yes it has brought a bit of rain with it but how unseasonable is it for this time of year? Presenters probably don’t care too much about climate statistics except when there’s a chance of a new record high occurring, but August on average is the wettest month of the meteorological summer, and the fifth wettest month of the entire year. So here’s a close look at a graph of rainfall totals in England and Wales since 1766.
The month of August has not become any wetter or drier in the last 252 years, with a flat lining linear trend and an average total of 82.8 mm. That’s not to say there haven’t been some notable wet August’s in the recent past, August 2004 is a prime example of that, it was in that month the Boscastle flood occurred. But looking at the EWP record there are only three years this century that feature in the top forty wettest.
In a list of the driest Augusts on record, it’s very noticeable that just one August this century features in the list, that of 2003. It almost seems that at least where rainfall statistics are concerned, August has become a more well behaved kind of month in recent years. That last sentence is of course tempting fate as the coming few weeks are set to remain cyclonic and mobile.