Yes, it was the hottest summer for seven years – and the driest too for a decade – according to Marlborough’s weather man Eric Gilbert, whose Windrush weather station has been operating since 1984.
The temperature was 0.6C above the long-term average since 2006 and the fifth warmest over the past 30 years. The record summer occurred in 2006 when the mean was nearly 2C higher than the average.
“There were several hot days when the thermometer soared above 30C, namely 31.7C and 30.7C in July and 30.2C on August 1,” he told Marlborough News Online.
“This is an event that never occurred during the poor summers of 2011 and 2012.
“The record temperature of 35.9C was set on July 19, 2006.
“Another contrast was the low rainfall of just 141mm, which is just 77 per cent of the long-term average and 43mm below the mean of 184mm.
“It was the driest summer since 2003 and contrasts with the very wet summer of 2012 when a total of 328mm was recorded.”
There were in fact three days of substantial rainfall in July, namely 18.2mm, 17.6mm and 17.1mmalso 16.8mm on August 3.
“Altogether we had 61 days without rainfall, which, combined with strong sunshine and high temperatures, meant that gardens became drier and the river level to drop,” added Mr Gilbert.
“Evapo-transpiration amounted to the equivalent of 289mm of moisture returning to the atmosphere from plants and ground sources giving a deficit of 145mm of rainfall.
“Bright sunshine during the summer totalled 1015 hours, some three per cent above the average for recent years. However, in 2013 June and July each produced in excess of 30 hours above the totals for 2012.
“The hottest day, on average, over the past thirty years is the 1st August.”
Pic: Lockeridge, 1st Sept