Whatever happened to our weather?

IN his monthly review, Evening Star weatherman KEN BLOWERS looks back on a very wet June with a pronounced lack of sunshine and an absence of hot days.

IN his monthly review, Evening Star weatherman KEN BLOWERS looks back on a very wet June with a pronounced lack of sunshine and an absence of hot days.

AFTER one of the wettest Mays for more than 100 years, 'flaming June' was nothing more than a damp squib.

In fact June was wet, warm and cloudy. Rainfall amounted to nearly twice the long term average and there was a marked deficit of sunshine.

The major cause of the inclement weather was the southward displacement of the jetstream that controls the movement of surface depressions. This summer it has steered slow-moving depressions into the British Isles and changeable weather has persisted for eight weeks.

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June was, however, a warm month and temperatures reached or exceeded the average on 17 days. But there were no hot days and the highest temperature reached only 75F(24C) on June 12.

After a dry start with long sunny spells the weather slowly deteriorated and slow-moving shallow depressions lingered over the British Isles. They produced torrential downpours and caused serious flooding in parts of the country.

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Suffolk escaped most of the deluges and total rainfall was 4.35 inches at Higham, 3.52 ins at Ipswich, 3.26 ins at Wattisham Airfield and 3.01 ins at Belstead.

Some of the heaviest of the rain was on June 24-25 when 1.04 in was recorded at Ipswich.

A prolonged spell of wet weather in early summer is known as the European monsoon and it features a long run of warm and moist air from the Atlantic which has the potential for rain of tropical intensity in slow-moving cumulonimbus shower clouds. These clouds, of great vertical extent, also produce thunder and hail.

Exceptionally high rainfall in June is not unusual and in 1997, 1998 and 1999 totals of five inches were measured in Suffolk.

The coldest day of the month was June 26 with a maximum temperature of only 58F(14C) and the coldest nights were June 27 and 28 with a low of 45F(7C).

Sunshine during June was well below average and the total at Wattisham Airfield, measured by a solar radiation sensor, was a mere 148.3 hours - some 64 hours below the average for the month.

Over the last 160 years the driest June in the region was 0.15 of an inch in 1921 and the wettest was 5.50 inches in 1997.

Maximum daytime average 66F

Minimum night temperature 49F

Rainfall (1903 to 2007) 1.82 inches

Days with rain 11

Duration of rain 30 hours

Average month's sunshine 212 hours

Maximum possible daily sunshine 16.5 hours

Midday sun altitude (June 15) 61 degrees

Barometric pressure (reduced to mean sea level) 1016 millibars.

North Sea temperature (ten miles out) 58F

Highest daytime max temperature 91F on June 26 1976

Lowest daytime max temperature 50F on June 3 1975

Maximum recorded wind speed in gusts 62 mph on June 6 1974

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