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

Climatological overview

Britain's changeable summers are a result of air masses from the Atlantic dominating over more continental air streams from the east. Summer depressions are less vigorous than those of winter however, so gales in June, July and August are rare. Slow moving summer depressions result in the very worst cool, dull and wet weather persisting for weeks on end like 1912, 1954 and 1956.

Air in summer can hold more water vapour, and so rainfall is more intensive than at any other time of year. Thunderstorms are relatively frequent, featuring on at least 4 days in a typical summer.

For a hot, dry summer like 1911, 1921, 1976, 1995, 2003 2006 and 2018, we need anticyclonic conditions to prevail, with an easterly air flow.

Table of our best 10 summers in England & Wales since 1945

Year

E & W temperature (C)

E & W rainfall (mm)

E & W sunshine (hr)

Rank

1976

16.9

74

745

1

2018

17.0

127

687

2

1995

16.7

72

693

3

2006

16.8

159

669

4

1959

15.9

147

671

5

1989

15.9

149

724

6

1975

16.2

136

687

7

1983

16.6

103

613

8

2003

16.7

161

589

9

1955

16.3

147

618

10

Summers 2011-19 have been 1.0C warmer than a century ago, with 2% more rainfall and 10% more sunshine.

Summer Temperatures 2020

Looking at historical records for Coventry, the warmest Summer decade in the city was the 2000s at 16.7C, and the coolest in the1960s at 15.1C.

Summer 2020 has recorded the same mean temperature (16.8C) as Summer 2017 & 2019, 0.3C higher than 30-year Bablake averages 1981-2010.

It has been the coolest summer in Coventry since 2015 (15.9C). However, it has been the 5th warmer than average Summer in the city in a row.

Only four summers have been cooler than average since the Millennium (2007 2011 2012 2015).

Two days in Summer 2020 made it into the hottest Summer days on record list:

HOTTEST DAYS IN COVENTRY SINCE 1892

35.2°C25th July 2019, 31st July 2020

35.1°C3rd August 1990

34.4°C19th July 2006

34.2°C9th August 2003, 2nd September 1906

33.9°C1st September1906

33.4°C2nd August 1990

33.3°C18th August 1893

33.0°C3rd July 1976, 19th August 1932, 13th August 1911

32.9°C1st July 2015, 8th August 1975, 12th August 2020

We recorded the lowest number of warm days (>20C) during Summer 2020 (54) in Coventry since 2015 (2015).

However, there were 5 hot days over 30C during this summer, the most in any summer since 1995 (10); the record is 13 in 1976.

Summer Rainfall 2020

The wettest Summer decade in Coventry since the late Victorian era was the 2000s with 210.2mm rain, with the 1940s the driest with 149.8mm rain.

So with 236.2mm rain, it has been rather wet this summer in Coventry, with 30% more sunshine than average at Bablake. This compares with 275.6mm of rain in Summer 2019 and just 99.2mm in 2018.

Only five Summers have been wetter than this year since the Millennium (2004 2007 2008 2012 2019).

There were 39 dry days during summer 2020 in Coventry, the lowest number since 2012 (30).

Summer Sunshine 2020

The sunniest decade in Coventry was the 1990s with 595.7hr sunshine, with the dullest the in the1950s and 1960s with 481.0hr.

With 194.9 hours of sunshine, 86% of long term Coventry averages, it has been the dullest Summer in the city since 2012 (405.3hr).

Only two Summers have recorded less sunshine than 2020 in Coventry since 1988, that is 32 years (2000 2012).

There has been an 8% reduction in summer sunshine from the1990s to this present decade (2011-19), and this trend continues!