Heatwave helps mark fifth warmest July on record
The mid-month heatwave has helped the UK to its joint fifth warmest July on record according to provisional Met Office figures, with Scotland and Northern Ireland recording their third warmest July, in a month where Northern Ireland also broke its all-time high temperature record, exceeding 31C multiple times.
The mean temperature for July 2021 in the UK was 16.6°C, which put it level with July 1995’s figure, although still some way short of the record figure of 17.8C in 2006. Northern Ireland (16.4° C) and Scotland (15.1°C) saw their third warmest Julys, Wales (16.5°C) its ninth warmest and England (17.5°C) its eleventh warmest.
July 2021 mean temperature map
While the high mean temperatures were spurred on by the mid-month heatwave, the figure was helped to its elevated position in the standings with notably high night-time temperatures recorded across the month, with the average minimum temperature for the UK putting it at joint-second for the warmest recorded in July, at 12.1°C.
Of course, most people will remember July 2021 for the heatwave during the middle of the month, which saw the Met Office issue its first ever extreme heat warning. Western areas in particular got the most consistently hot conditions, and Northern Ireland even broke its all-time temperature record with a figure of 31.3°C recorded at Castlederg on 21st *.
Both Scotland and Northern Ireland had average maximum temperatures for the month in their top 10 ever recorded, with 21.2°C in Northern Ireland being the fifth highest and 19.2°C in Scotland being their sixth highest.
On a similar theme, Scotland and Northern Ireland were also far drier and sunnier than average for July. Both countries saw 25% more sunshine hours than average, with 175.6 sunshine hours for Scotland, and 175.5 for Northern Ireland. Scotland got 67% (66.4mm) of average rain in the month, while Northern Ireland got just 53% (43.3mm).
July 2021 average sunshine hours map
Despite the dry month for western areas in particular, intense summer downpours affected some areas of the country and resulted in some places exceeding twice their average rainfall for July. The Isle of Wight had its seventh wettest July on record – and its wettest since 1920 – with 115.4mm of rain, while parts of London recorded more than double the average rainfall they’d expect in the month. The localised nature of some of the summer downpours meant there could be some sharp contrasts with, for example, some parts of London receiving much closer to average rainfall.
July 2021 rainfall amount map
In addition, despite the mid-month heatwave, some unsettled and thundery conditions were in force for much of the second part of the month, which even saw Storm Evert named and sweep across southern areas of England and Wales, bringing with it gusty winds and some persistent rain.
Tim Legg of the National Climate Information Centre yesterday said:
“Early July was relatively unsettled, with frequent heavy showers, especially over parts of England. The early subdued temperatures were replaced with a very warm spell for much of the UK as a high pressure system moved in and settled down, resulting in temperatures regularly getting in to the low 30s Celsius by day and remaining warm overnight.
“The hot spell is largely responsible for the above average temperatures recorded for the UK, with western areas in particular reporting temperatures well above their July averages. This warm period broke down later in the month, bringing with it rain, thunderstorms and even the first storm we’ve named in July when Storm Evert crossed our shores from the 30th.”
|Provisional July 2021||Mean temp (°C)||Sunshine (hours)||Rainfall (mm)|
|Actual||Diff from avg (°C)||Actual||% of avg||Actual||% of avg|
* A provisional temperature of 31.4 C was recorded at Armagh on 22nd July, which did not pass all subsequent verification checks.
Latest News from
Cold weather with snow08/12/2022 10:05:00
With cold air from the Arctic crossing the UK a number of national severe weather warnings for snow and ice have been issued.
Cold week with some snow expected05/12/2022 16:05:00
An arctic maritime airmass will push across the UK from the north this week bringing us some cold days, overnight frosts and a risk of wintry showers and snow.
How cities can become climate resilient29/11/2022 15:15:15
Climate change is a major global challenge, and is already having a noticeable impact in the UK with the summer of 2022 being one of the hottest and driest on record.
How can we respond to the dangers of extreme heat in UK cities?18/11/2022 13:43:00
As the planet warms, we are seeing a steady increase in average global temperatures, the impacts of which we are already experiencing.
Amber warning for rain issued17/11/2022 16:35:00
An amber warning for rain has been issued by the Met Office, with an ongoing chance of flooding and travel disruption for many.
1.5 °C still alive, but most likely in 210016/11/2022 15:25:00
Overshooting 1.5°C is the most likely scenario, says a Met Office study
Single actions on climate change can have multiple benefits14/11/2022 14:38:00
When it comes to climate change the science is very clear: to restrain global warming we must rapidly cut our emissions of greenhouse gases.
Climate extremes from the Poles to the Tropics11/11/2022 12:15:00
Over the last decade the world has witnessed many extreme weather events including record-breaking temperatures this summer in England and devastating wildfires in Australia in 2019 and 2020.