UK has sixth wettest July on record, figures suggest

It was the wettest July since 2009.

Last month was the UK’s sixth wettest July on record, and the wettest ever July in Northern Ireland, Met Office figures suggest.

A succession of low pressure systems brought long periods of damp and windy weather to much of the country, making it feel at times more like autumn than summer – a sharp contrast to July 2022, which saw heatwaves and temperatures as high as 40C.

The UK had an average of 140.1mm rain last month, the sixth highest total for July since records began in 1836, according to provisional data.

The year 1988 holds the record for the UK’s wettest ever July, with an average of 150.5mm of rain, followed by 2009 (145.5mm), 1939 (143.5mm), 1936 (142.6mm), 1888 (142.2mm) and now 2023.

Northern Ireland had an average of 185.4mm of rain last month, just above the previous record of 185.2mm set in July 1936.

This figure could be revised once all rainfall data for July is collected and reviewed, the Met Office said.

It was provisionally the eighth wettest July on record in Scotland (an average of 155.1mm of rain), the 10th wettest in England (120.4mm) and the 11th wettest in Wales (176.7mm).

Some parts of England also set new rainfall records.

Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside all saw their wettest July.

Lancashire was the wettest county compared to average, with 234.6mm of rain falling in the month.

Mike Kendon of the Met Office said: “It has been a significantly wet month for much of the UK, particularly for those in Northern Ireland.

“The jet stream has been shifted to the south of the UK for much of the month, simultaneously allowing extreme heat to build in southern Europe for a time, but also allowing a succession of low pressure systems to influence the UK, with long periods of winds and rain that many more typically associate with autumn weather.”

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