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As you were: August duller than average after Armagh basked in fourth hottest summer on record

Summer warmer than average but only slightly sunnier and drier.

July’s weather may have made us feel like someone had just whipped out the Ferrero Rocher at the Ambassador’s reception.

But it was a case of ‘as you were, Armagh, as you were’, as August has been described as “duller than average”.

Too much of a good thing and all that – normal service has resumed and back to earth with a bump!

Armagh Observatory has produced its monthly take on the weather as recorded in the city and the picture shows a typical August.

The summer as a whole – June, July and August – was much warmer than average, but only slightly sunnier and drier.

Augustrecorded a total of 118.8 hours of strong sunshine, which is approximately 83% of the long-term (1881–2010) average number of hours of strong August sunshine at Armagh, and 89% of the most recent (1981–2010) 30-year August average.

This was the dullest August at Armagh for five years, since 2013, which itself had only slightly fewer hours of strong sunshine.

Despite this, there were just two days – the 17th and 20th – with no recorded strong sunshine at all.

The sunniest day was the 16th with 10.9 hours of strong sunshine, followed by the 9th with 9.1 hours.

Owing to thin cloud, an unusually ‘blurry’ moon with apparently ragged edges was observed during the early evening of the 22nd!

The mean temperature, 15.4 C (59.7 Fahrenheit), was nearly exactly equal to the most recent (1981–2010) 30-year average August temperature at Armagh and 0.8 C warmer than the long-term (1796–2010) average.

The warmest day was 22.8 C, which occurred on the 5th, and the coolest day was 14.6 C on the 24th.

The coolest nightwas 5.4 C on the 11th, and the warmest night was 16.8 C on the 3rd.

There were three ground frosts, the coldest of which was – 1.9 C on the 11th, followed by -1.4 C on the 31st.

Total August rain was 78.85 mm – approximately 3.1 inches. The wettest day was the 18th, with 14.1 mm (nearly 0.6 inches) of rainfall, followed by the 12th with 9.3 mm.

Taking the three months June, July and August together, the meteorological summer at Armagh was much warmer than average, but only slightly sunnier and drier than average.

The mean summer temperature was 16.17 C, which is nearly 2.0 C warmer than the long-term (1796–2010) average summer temperature at Armagh and 1.17 C warmer than the most recent (1981–2010) 30-year average summer temperature at Armagh.

This was the warmest summer at Armagh for 12 years – since summer 2006 – and the fourth warmest summer on record at Armagh, since daily temperature records began around 1795.

The four warmest summers at Armagh are now 1995 (16.49 C), 2006 (16.30 C), 1983 (16.23 C) and 2018 (16.17 C), the latter closely followed by both 1826 and 2013, each with nearly the same average temperature, namely 16.16 C.

Despite its relative warmth, summer 2018 was only slightly sunnier and drier than average.

A total of 478.2 hours of strong sunshine were recorded during the three-month period, which is just 3% more than the long-term (1796–2010) average for strong summer sunshine at Armagh and 15% more than the most recent (1981–2010) 30-year average.

Total rainfall during these summer months was 189.85 mm – nearly 7.5 inches – which is approximately 13% drier than the long-term (1838–2010) average summer rainfall at Armagh and just 4% drier than the most recent 30-year average.

Thursday’s data refer to observations at Armagh Observatory, which has been recording the weather at Armagh since 1795.

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