Putting East Anglia in the shade with least August sunshine since 1968

Cloudy skies over Sheringham in Norfolk on 30 August - the cloudiest August for more than half a century Credit: John Jacobs

Late summer sunshine has been in such short supply in the Anglia region that August has ended up being the cloudiest for more than half a century.

August was also cooler than normal in East Anglia but the three summer months of June, July and August together were warmer than average. In fact the summer overall was among the 20 hottest on record in East Anglia.

Across the UK, summer 2021 was the ninth hottest since records began in 1884.

According to the Met Office, East Anglia recorded 127 hours of sunshine during August 2021 which was less than two-thirds of the normal monthly total of 195 hours.

It was the lowest sunshine total since the dullest August on record in the region which was in 1968 when there were less than 120 hours of sunshine.

The sunniest day of August in East Anglia overall was on 4 August when there was 13.1 hours of sunshine at Weybourne on the north Norfolk coast and an average of 11 hours of sunshine across the region.

Shoeburyness in Essex has slightly more sunshine on 10 August with 13.4 hours but it was cloudier elsewhere so the region as a whole had only eight hours that day.

Cloudy skies at Nether Heyford in Northamptonshire on 28 August 2021 Credit: Mick Parker

Cloudy skies might have spoiled a few summer day out at the beach or in the countryside but it helped keep temperatures up during the nights. So while daytime maximum temperatures were below average during August, the minimum temperatures were slightly above normal at night.

While the past few summers have seem temperatures in the Anglia region rocketing above 32°C on several occasions during the season, the highest maximum achieved during summer 2021 was 30.6°C at Woburn in Bedfordshire. That's the lowest summer maximum in the Anglia region since 2009.

The UK's highest temperature of the summer was 32.2°C at Heathrow airport on 20 July 2021.

Two weather stations in East Anglia - Wattisham in Suffolk and Wittering in Cambridge - have been operating for more than 60 years and both recorded their dullest August on record.

Wittering had 116 hours of sunshine which was nearly 70 hours less than normal while Wattisham recorded only 125 hours of bright sunshine, a deficit of 73 hours from the average.