July wasn’t quite hot enough to cook an egg on Sheffield pavements – but it had the most dry days since the legendary summer of 1976.
New figures show that last month had the fewest number of rain days – classed as those where more than 0.2mm falls – since that famous heatwave.
In total just over 30mm of rain fell last month – when the average is 51mm – making it the second driest July since the mid-1990s.
But luckily there was no chance of the severe drought of 1976 being repeated as there was also a series of heavy downpours during the month.
The sizzling heat was good news not only for sun-worshippers and Sheffield’s packed calendar of events but also for businesses.
Eddie Andrew, of the Our Cow Molly ice cream parlour and dairy in Stannington, said: “We’ve been dead busy all the time since the schools broke up, it’s just about keeping up with them.
“When we are out and about delivering, I have never seen the grass as burned off for a long time.
“I’m glad we aren’t having to feed the cows in the city, as the grass up here is a bit more lush.
“As for getting all the crops in it has been absolutely perfect weather conditions too, we can’t complain. Last year for the first time ever we had to bring the cows in because it was so wet.”
The sun shone brightly for most of the Tour de France in Sheffield, but it was during the Tramlines festival when the hottest day of the year was reached.
Saturday, July 26, was 27.7C according to the data from Museums Sheffield’s weather station at Weston Park and the average July maximum is 20.8C.
But it still rained on six days of the month, with up to 9.1mm coming down.
Alistair McClean, curator of natural sciences at Museums Sheffield, said: “All of these big downpours happened in an hour or two, they were pretty consistent with cloudbursts.
“Prior to about 1973, the number of occasions when we had more than 50mm of rain in one day was only about nine in 90 years.
“After then we have had around 11 occasions in 30 years, so it is happening more often.
“The data that we collect in Sheffield is bearing out what the national picture shows.”
The coldest day in July was 8.7C and the mean temperature was 18.1C, slightly down on last year’s 18.7C.
There were 233.6 hours of sunshine compared to the average of 195 hours.
n Pouring rain could dampen the rest of this week. Heavy downpours are expected today – and there could even be thunder – before it turns into scattered showers with a highest temperature of 21C.
Meteo Group said there would also be some spells of rain on Thursday and Friday would be ‘unsettled’ with rain and potentially thunder.
The temperature over the weekend is set to be 20C.