Dull August brought rain

IN East Anglia last month was the third successive August with miserable weather.

IN East Anglia last month was the third successive August with miserable weather.

Rainfall varied considerably and some districts recorded nearly four inches.

The outstanding feature of the weather was the marked lack of sunshine and August ranked as the dullest for nearly 40 years. Day after day a layer of strato-cumulus cloud failed to break but temperatures remained near the long-term average.

At Wattisham Airfield the total sunshine in August was only 121.6 hours - only two thirds the average.

For much of the month Atlantic depressions dominated the weather and these rain-bearing systems were again steered over or near Britain by a southward displaced jetstream.

The jetstream is a belt of high-altitude winds that contribute to the movement and intensity of surface depressions.

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Some of the depressions were of autumnal intensity with central pressure down to 985 millibars (29.09 inches).

Winds were generally from a south westerly point and on some days gusts of up to 40 mph were recorded.

It was a reasonably warm August with temperatures reaching or exceeding the daytime maximum average of 70F(21C) on no less than 21 days.

The mercury peaked at 79F(26C) on the last day of the month when most of the region registered the only notably hot day of August.

Because of the thundery nature of the rainfall, totals varied considerably.

There was measurable rain on 16 days in the Ipswich area.

Reports of August rainfall were Wattisham Airfield 3.69 inches, Colchester 3.36 in, Higham (Suffolk) 3.05 in, Felixstowe and Ipswich 2.90 in and Belstead 2.84 in.

At Colchester the August sunshine amounted to only 143.6 hours or 72 per cent of normal and at Higham near Bury St Edmunds it was 119 hours - a loss of more than 60 hours.

AUGUST AVERAGES and EXTREMES

Average maximum temperature 70F

Average night temperature 52F

Average rainfall (1903 to 2007) 2.23 inches

Days with rain 13

Average duration of rain 28 hours

Average August sunshine 183 hours

Midday sun altitude (August 15) 51 degrees

Barometric pressure (reduced to mean sea level) 1015 millibars

North Sea temperature (10 miles from shore) 62F

Highest recorded day temperature 95F on August 10 2003

Lowest recorded day maximum temperature 53F on August 27 1987

Coldest night 38F on August 20 1964

Highest recorded wind speed in a gust 53 mph on August 14 1979

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