Page last updated at 07:30 GMT, Tuesday, 2 September 2008 08:30 UK

Month was gloomiest 'for century'

Flooding in Ballymena - pic Shelley Garrett
The month as a whole was a wet one, but not the worst on record

It may not come as a surprise, but this August has been the worst in Northern Ireland for more than a century.

Meteorologists at Armagh Observatory said it saw the least number of hours of bright sun since sunshine records began at the observatory in 1880.

The number of hours of sunshine was only 69.0, a little more than half the average (about 133 hours) normally expected for August.

It was also very wet, with rainfall totalling 151.4mm (5.96ins).

This was nearly twice the average figure (about 81 mm) for August and it was the seventh wettest August at Armagh since rainfall records began at the Observatory in 1838.

In order to find a wetter August, staff at Armagh had to go back 52 years, to August 1956.

For the morbidly curious the highest daily rainfall, at 32.4mm (1.28 inches), occurred on 16 August, which saw the widespread flooding across Northern Ireland and the submerging of the Broadway underpass in Belfast.

However, it was no record breaker with the maximum rainfall in a day remaining 158.9 mm at Tollymore Forest in County Down in October 1968.

On the plus side, the average monthly temperature was 15.5 degrees Celsius (59.9 degrees Fahrenheit) was a little warmer than average. The maximum temperature recorded was 21.9 degrees Celsius, on 9 August.

Armagh Observatory has been recording the weather since 1795.




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