Rain or shine: how did your area fare during summer 2021?

·3-min read

Scotland and Northern Ireland have enjoyed one of their hottest summers on record, while parts of England saw more rainfall and less sunshine than usual.

The summer of 2021 saw a mix of weather across the UK, with the north and west experiencing a warmer, drier and sunnier season compared to the average, while parts of the South East have been duller and wetter than average.

Northern Ireland experienced its third warmest summer on record, with an average temperature of 15.06C, and also recorded its highest temperature on record with 31.3C on July 21 at Castlederg in County Tyrone.

The Met Office said some regions of Scotland – including Glasgow where the Cop26 climate summit will be held – had their hottest summer since records began in 1884.

Scotland experienced its fourth warmest summer on record with a mean average temperature of 13.76C.

Wales had its 15th warmest summer with an average temperature of 15.13C, while England had its 12th warmest summer on record with an average temperature of 16.23C.

WEATHER Summer
(PA Graphics)

The UK as a whole has had its ninth hottest summer on record, with an average of 15.28C – the hottest summer for the UK since 2018.

Eastern and north-east England had an average temperature of 15.64C and its seventh warmest summer on record, while south-east England had an average temperature of 16.78C, the area’s joint 19th warmest summer with 1959.

The Met Office said London, East Sussex and Hampshire received 140% to 150% of average summer rainfall, while the Isle of Wight exceeded 200%.

But much of the UK saw below average rainfall, and when averaged out across the whole nation, the UK received 75% of its average rainfall (181.2mm).

Summer weather July 20th 2021
People buy an ice cream at Helen’s Bay beach in County Down, Northern Ireland (Liam McBurney/PA)

The south-east corner of the UK also saw less sunshine than the long-term average, with the brightest and driest conditions in the north west of the UK.

When averaged out across the whole nation, the UK received 99% of its average summer sunshine (501.6 hours).

Forecasters said it is quite unusual for the highest temperature of August to occur in Scotland, but the suppressed temperatures in the south of England meant that 27.2C recorded at Tyndrum on August 25 was the highest temperature recorded in the UK during August 2021.

This is the lowest such value since August 2010.

Most of the UK recorded lower than average rainfall in August, with the exception of Northern Ireland and parts of eastern Scotland, with the UK receiving 73% (65.4mm) of its average.

Summer weather Aug 30th 2021
There have been contrasting conditions around the UK (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Many regions, particularly along the east of the UK, experienced a higher than average number of rainfall days (where more than 0.2mm has been recorded), which coupled with plenty of cloud and reduced sunshine may have contributed to a perception of it being wetter, the Met Office said.

The head of the Met Office’s National Climate Information Centre, Dr Mark McCarthy, said: “Summer 2021 will be remembered very differently depending on where you are in the UK, with record-breaking warm conditions in parts of western Scotland and Northern Ireland, while in the south and east it’s been much duller and wetter.

“There have been several notable weather events through the summer, including a new temperature record for Northern Ireland and Storm Evert which brought strong winds and heavy rain across England and Wales and extreme rainfall in the South East.”

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