An historical perspective of the climate statistics for Coventry during August 2020

Climatological overview

In the past century, there has been a 1.0C increase in average temperatures during August in Coventry, with a 4% decrease in rainfall, though a 12% increase in sunshine.

Temperature

The 1960's must have been a miserable decade temperature-wise, with an average temperature for August in Coventry of just 15.3C! Those years recorded the coldest decadal mean for the city, with a definite recovery by the 1980's (16.6C) back to the levels of the 1930's (16.4C). By the 1990’s, August saw a further rise in average monthly temperatures (17.2C), and so far the mean since the Millennium for August has been 17.0C (2001-2019).

Looking at this more recent period however, the average August temperature from 1991-2000 was 17.2ºC, compared to the 2011-2019 average of 16.7ºC – a pronounced cooling trend of 0.5ºC.

There have been so signs of any cooling during August 2020, with an average monthly temperature of 18.1C, 1.1C higher than 30-year Bablake averages 1981-2010. It has therefore, been the warmest August in Coventry since 2003 (18.8C).

Only six August months have been warmer than this year in the past 65 years (1975 1984 1990 1995 1997 2003).

August 2020 ranks 12th warmest in Coventry since 1892.

12ththe warmest day of the month (32.9C) was the hottest August day in Coventry since 2003 (34.2C).

12th the warmest night of the month (18.6C) was the warmest August night in the city since 2004 (19.5C).

29ththe coolest day of the month (15.0C) was the coldest August day in Coventry since 2015 (14.6C).

Rainfall

The 1970’s was the wettest decade for August in our records in Coventry dating back to 1892 (82.6mm), with the 1930s the driest (54.2mm). As comparison, the August months between 2001 and 2010 averaged 71.9mm of rain, with 67.9mm between 2011 and 2019.

So August 2020 has been a relatively wet month (94.4mm) with 50% more rain than normal for August, and the wettest in Coventry since 2010 (126.8mm).

Only six August months have been wetter than this year in the past 40 years (1986 1992 1999 2004 2008 2010).

There were six days with thunder heard during the month, the most in any August since 2006 (9), the highest incidence of August sunshine found in our Coventry archives dating back to 1892.

27ththe wettest day of the month (19.4mm) was the wettest August day in Coventry since 2015 (21.8mm).

Sunshine

We seem to have ‘lost’ 19% of monthly sunshine during August in Coventry over the past 30 years or so! We recorded an average of 198.9 hours of August sunshine per month between 1991 & 2000, but only 161.2 hours from 2001 to 2019.

So, despite its relative warmth, August 2020’s sunshine total (147.0hr) was disappointing again, just 79% of Bablake 30-year averages 1981-2010.

Only six August months have recorded less sunshine than 2020 in the past 34 years back to 1986 (2006 2008 2010 2011 2012 2015).

It’s quite damning to think that each of the Spring months (March April & May) have recorded more sunshine than August 2020 in both of the last two years!

# Just as a footnote, August 2020 has been the windiest August in Coventry since 1998, with two named storms late in the month, no less!