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July 1988

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  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

July 1988 was very poor with a succession of Atlantic low pressures steam rolling in, there were very few dry days and there was not one day where an anticyclone sat over the country. It was also cool with many places having their highest maxima being less than 20C and not one place recorded a maxima of >25C, the highest anywhere was at Margate on the 21st and 23rd with 24.7C. The overall CET for the month was 14.7C. The inclement weather badly affected outdoor events, the men's singles final at Wimbledon was practically washed out and had to be carried onto the Monday, the Royal Agricultural Show at Stoneleigh had to be suspended because of a waterlogged ring and the Saturday round of the Open Golf Championship at Royal St Lythams had to be abandoned because of flooded greens and bunkers. The 25th was a particularly bad day across northern parts with gales bringing down trees and blocking roads. A 78 mph gust was recorded at Invergordon and Leuchars and a 77mph gust at Leuchars. Here's some data from that month


Mean Max: 20.0C (-2.0) Highest Max: 23.0C Sunshine: 162hrs (85%)

Rainfall: 76mm (149%) Number of dry days: 8


Mean Max: 17.6C (-1.9) Highest Max: 19.7C Sunshine: 164hrs (81%)

Rainfall: 144mm (200%) Number of dry days: 6


Mean Max: 16.5C (-2.6) Highest Max: 18.3C Sunshine: 181hrs (85%)

Rainfall: 98mm (151%) Number of dry days: 14


Mean Max: 18.4C (-2.0) Highest Max: 21.6C Sunshine: 147hrs (82%)

Rainfall: 104mm (200%) Number of dry days: 6


Mean Max: 17.8C (-1.6) Highest Max: 21.5C Sunshine: 124hrs (78%)

Rainfall: 134mm (172%) Number of dry days: 8


Mean Max: 17.2C (-1.5) Highest Max: 20.5C Sunshine: 125hrs (76%)

Rainfall: 147mm (216%) Number of dry days: 9


Mean Max: 17.2C (-0.4) Highest Max: 22.6C Sunshine: 167hrs (107%)

Rainfall: 84mm (111%) Number of dry days: 6


Mean Max: 17.1C (-1.1) Highest Max: 19.3C Sunshine: 123hrs (87%)

Rainfall: 120mm (169%) Number of dry days: 4

I remember the organisers of the Open Championship at Lytham were not impress by the weather forecast for that Saturday!

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  • Location: Shrewsbury
  • Location: Shrewsbury

Yes I remember this month fairly well; it was absolutely dire from start to finish. It seemed to rain virtually every day, and was cool and dull along with it with as I recall no hot days- those statistics support that memory. I remember the rain being autumn and winter-type steady rain a lot of the time, not summer-style thundery showers which you assume to be the cause of a wet July.

June as I recall wasn't too bad, but it is this abysmal July that overrides most memories I have of summer 1988. It's hard to imagine a summer month nowadays where not one place in the country reaches 25C; forget about the southeastern hotspots, it's a poor summer month that doesn't achieve it here.

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  • 11 months later...
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet


To me, July 1988 does not look all that zonal, to me it looks like a stangnant low just stayed in one location for much of the first half of the month as the chart above shows, it was only in the final days of the month that the weather became zonal...


Though even then the lows took a southerly track, which is why maxima was suppresed and the weather so wet.

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  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

Perhaps surprisingly, it seems that north-eastern Britain didn't fare too badly during July 1988, with Durham recording 163 hours of sun (about normal) and Aberdeen, as shown above, exceeding the long-term normal. These areas may well have been among the sunniest in the whole of Britain, given the exceptional cloudiness of the month in most other regions.

(Indeed, at Durham there was no duller than average July from 1988 to 1997 inclusive)

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