Monthly summary

Unsettled weather is expected to continue into the beginning of October with the best hope of any drier brighter weather in the south and east.

August was an average month in only one respect, temperatures hovered around the seasonal average.

It was a very wet month for most of us with widespread flooding in Northern Ireland and parts of eastern Scotland. Northern Ireland had its wettest August since records began back in 1914.

No surprise either that it was also an exceptionally dull month with only the far north of Scotland recording above average sunshine for the time of year.

August brought to a close the summer months (for statistical purposes the Met Office uses June, July and August as the summer months). So what about our summer as a whole?

Despite August's poor showing, the three months averaged 92% of the expected summer sunshine.

Rainfall was well above average too, although not quite as wet as 2007 (except in Northern Ireland). It was the 5th wettest on record.

Temperatures differed little from normal for the time of year but interestingly it has been a very windy summer - one of the windiest for 40 years.

The reason for the above average wind and rain is down to the southerly position of our jet stream. These are strong winds in the upper atmosphere, which act like a road steering low pressure systems across the Atlantic to our shores.

During the summer months this windy highway transfers north pushing a lot of the Atlantic depressions north of the UK.

Unfortunately because it's been such a wet summer, (many areas having nearly one and a half times their expected rainfall) when the recent Autumn low struck the ground was too saturated to absorb much more water and resulted in severe flooding in Wales and north-east England.

Monday 08 September 2008 to Sunday 14 September 2008

A brief ridge of high pressure will give a fine start to the week and in light winds it will feel pleasantly warm compared with of late.

Tuesday will bring more rain and brisk winds, potentially stalling over Northern Ireland, Western Scotland, Northwest England and Wales. As much as 20mm of rain will give a renewed risk of flood problems before clearing later.

Eastern areas will start fine before the heavy rain arrives by the end of the day.

On Wednesday the rain is expected to clear quickly to leave another window of drier brighter weather. However by the end of the day more rain will be threatening the western side of the UK.

Thursday and Friday will see more rain and strong to gale force winds crossing the UK as another deep autumnal low pressure runs east.

More significant rain is expected for all parts and the weather front may stall across eastern areas into the weekend.

Drier weather will follow later on Friday to western and central areas and may well last through Saturday but will result in some chilly nights.

However more rain is expected to sweep in off the Atlantic on Sunday.

Monday 15 September 2008 to Sunday 21 September 2008

Southern Britain could well become drier for the first half of this week, so rainfall here should stay below the seasonal average.

However by midweek the low pressure systems bringing rain or showers to the northern half of the UK will gradually extend their influence further south.

By the weekend all parts will have showers or longer spells of rain.

Temperatures will at best hover around the seasonal average but will for most be a little below with all the cloud around.

With the brief ridges of high pressure in southern areas we are hopeful for some more sunshine and a warmer feel.

Monday 22 September 2008 to Sunday 05 October 2008

Areas of low pressure are expected to track over the north of Scotland with passing ridges of high pressure further south.

Therefore southern areas have a better chance of seeing some sunnier weather during the ridges of high pressure and as a result temperatures will at exceed the seasonal average.

More northern areas in the UK with low pressure close by will more likely see further rain or showers and above average rainfall.

Temperatures will at best be around average and it will feel cool when the wind picks up.