An historical perspective of the climate statistics
for Coventry during June 2019
Although June is our first summer month, it rarely lives up to expectation, nor to the image of a “Flaming June”. These days, after a more settled first few days of the month, we find that Atlantic lows, and the arrival of the “European Monsoon” through mid-June, means that “flaming June” is more often uttered as a curse rather than a prolonged heatwave in our region.
There has however been a notable warming during June in the early years of the 21st century in Coventry, with the 1990s no warmer (14.9C) than the period 1931-50, and the 1980s even a touch cooler (14.6C).
So with mean monthly June temperatures of 15.9C in the decade 2001-10, and 15.4C 2011-2020, June this year (15.8C) can be viewed as about average for the city since the Millennium.
It has not been as warm as June 2018 (16.7C) however, though warmer than June last year (14.7C). These are the warmest June months in Coventry since 1892:
16.8C 2003, 2017
16.7C 1893,1976,1992 2018
16.5C 1896, 1970
*In the first six months of 2020, mean temperatures in Coventry of 9.9C have made this January to June average temperature the highest in the city since 2007 (10.0C), the only such period warmer than this year since 1892.*
There are definite signs that June is now a much wetter month in Coventry, than was the case in the middle of the 20th century.
The warmest period of the 20th century during June in Coventry, from 1931 to 1950 (44.8 mm of rain), was also much drier than the June months so this far century.
Although the 1980's was the wettest decade for June (61.0 mm) last century, with an 80% increase on the 1920's, it has been even wetter than that so far this century (2001-2010 = 64.9 mm, 2011-2020 =74.3 mm).
So it is no surprise to find that June 2020 has been a wet month (85.6mm), with 44% more rain than 30-year averages at Bablake 1981-2010. Having said that, it has been no where near as wet as June last year (125.2mm), though look at the contrast with June 2018, when we only recorded 7.8mm of rain!
Just to show how unsettled it was through mid-June this year in Coventry, we recorded 5 days with thunder, the most since June 1982 (9), and 3 days with hail, the most since June 2011 (4).
Furthermore, a cloud burst on the 17th saw the heaviest June rainfall in the city during any June since 2001.
There was little change in average June sunshine totals during the 20th century, averaging 181.2hr of sunshine 1901-2000. As we passed the Millennium, there was an increase in sunshine duration to 204.7hr from 2001 to 2010, with a 19% increase in a century of sunshine records.
It was shortlived however, as this most recent period has seen decadal sunshine duration fall back to 178.7 hours from 2011 to 2020.
So with 179.5 hours of sunshine in Coventry during June 2010, we were very close (96%) to 30-year Bablake averages 1981-2010.
*The first six months of 2020 have seen 1015.4 hours of sunshine recorded in Coventry; this is the highest such January to June period in the city in records dating back to 1895. What is even more remarkable is that in the period in 2020, we have recorded 80 more hours of sunshine than the year in second position in this list (2010= 935.4hr).*