View from the Rear Window - August 2023

"August sits betwixt summer and autumn - so be prepared for hot and cool, dry and wet, windy and calm" -

"Show August some respect - the clue's in the name" -

After last year's dry, hot & sunny August, this year's was back to normal. Sunshine levels were disappointing but at least it rained enough to reduce the amount of back-breaking hand-watering needed. A couple of photos of the back garden at the start and end of the month. The buddleia was in full bloom early on (Photo 1) while the second flush of roses featured towards the end (Photo 2).

While August was cool in these parts, it was the warmest August on record globally, comfortably beating the previous record holder (August 2016). As El Nino conditions continue to develop in the Pacific Ocean, the probability that 2023 will, globally, be the warmest year on record becomes ever more likely. The El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has a negligible effect on the United Kingdom's weather - even so, 2023 will still be a warm year in the UK.

Photo 1: August 4th in the Back Garden
Photo 2: August 27th in the Back Garden

A time-lapse slideshow of August's daily photographs can be found in Video 1.

Video 1: Daily Garden Photos (August 2023)

Summary of Weather Parameters for July 2023

Cooling and Heating Degree Days have been added to the list. Sunshine hours are estimated from average daily solar radiation values measured by the Davis weather station. A list of average and total weather parameters is given in Table 1.

After sizzling June, July and August were on the cool side with plenty of cloud, regular rainfall and not enough sunshine.

Table 1: Average/Total Weather Statistics for August 2023

August 2023

Weather Parameter



Average Monthly Temperature 

17 oC

Maximum Monthly Temperature

28 oC

9th & 10th

Minimum Monthly Temperature

7 oC


Number of Air Frost Days


Number of Hot Days (> 25 oC)


Monthly Precipitation

36.8 mm

Greatest 24 h Precipitation

7.4 mm

17th - 18th

Number of Dry Days


Monthly Sunshine Hours (estimated)


Average Wind Speed

3 km/h

Highest Wind Speed

34 km/h

14th & 19th

Maximum Barometric Pressure (Sea Level)

1022.3 hPa


Minimum Barometric Pressure (Sea Level)

983.4 hPa


Average Barometric Pressure (Sea Level)

1012.2 hPa

Heating Degree Days


Cooling Degree Days


Figures 1 & 2 present the daily temperature, rainfall and sunshine hours for August 2023 [to enlarge, click once on the charts]. The first week was cool and the middle two weeks were average before things started to cool down again towards the end of the month. Cool overnight temperatures meant it took time for the days to warm up even when it was sunny. And there weren't many outright sunny days  - less than a third, in fact (Figure 2). Rainfall was regular with only one significant dry period of 5 days.

Figure 1: Daily Min/Max Temperatures (August 2023)

Figure 2: Rainfall & Sunshine Data (August 2023)

In Figures 3 & 4, weather parameters for August over the last four years are compared. August 2022 was something of an outlier with regards to its maximum daily temperature. Figure 3 suggests August daytime maximum temperatures are on the rise in contrast to nighttime minimum temperatures which are decreasing. We just need another 30 years of data to see whether this trend continues before we can confirm such an effect. This paper uses a more extensive data set for England and Wales to show the maximum summer daily temperature is increasing at twice the rate of the average summer daily temperature. I'm not aware of any reason why nighttime temperatures should decrease in a warming world - hence, for the moment, I'm just putting this down to noisy data over too short a time period.
Figure 3: August Temperature Data for the Period 2020 - 2023

As a gardener, the downward trend in rainfall is worrying; as a PV electricity generator the increase in sunshine hours is welcome. I promise not to get too concerned or too excited until we have a longer time series.

Figure 4: Rainfall & Sunshine Data (August 2023)

The UK Met Office's August weather report can be found here. They summarised August as a 'rather mixed and unsettled month, similar to July, with average temperatures. Figures 5 - 7 show, respectively, average temperature anomalies, relative rainfall, and relative sunshine hours for the United Kingdom (courtesy of the UK Met Office). Herefordshire is highlighted in all three figures and confirms the average temperatures with low rainfall and sunshine for the month of August.

Figure 5: UK Mean Temperature Anomalies for August 2023 (Met Office)

Figure 6: Relative UK Rainfall, August 2023 (Met Office)

Figure 7: Relative Sunshine Hours, August 2023 (Met Office)

  • Our nearest Met Office weather station at Credenhill, about 4 miles away, reports the August mean (1991 - 2020 average) temperature to be 16.51 ℃ with a monthly rainfall of 58.42 mm. Referring to Table 1, this August was slightly warmer than normal (relative to the 1991-2020 mean) with just 63% of a typical August rainfall.

Jobs in the Garden
  • harvesting potatoes, French beans, celery, courgettes, carrots, beetroot, chard, spinach, cucumbers, salad leaves, tomatoes, onions, garlic, snap peas, raspberries, blackberries, apples, pears
  • lifted red onions (73) for curing and storage (about 15 - 20 kg)
  • lifted garlic for curing and storage
  • pruning, shredding, composting, weeding, watering, etc
Flora and Fauna
  • 3 x Blackbirds (male, female & young)
  • 1 x Blue Tit (a regular visitor to the peanuts)
  • 2 x Collared Doves
  • 20 x House Sparrows (rapidly emptying the Finches Friend birdfeeder)
  • 3 x Lesser Black-backed Gulls
  • 1 x Robin
  • 15 x Starlings
  • 3 x Swift
  • 1 x Wood Pigeon
  • Various butterflies including Red Admiral, Large and Small White, Holly Blue, Gatekeepers, Speckled Wood
  • Hummingbird Moth
  • Bats
  • Frog (by the compost bins)

And finally, a few photos from the garden:

Photo 3: Holly blue among the Raspberries

Photo 4: First of this Season Potatoes/Spuds/Murphys

Photo 5: Freshly-Picked Autumn Bliss Raspberries for Breakfast

Photo 6: Grapes ripening in the August Sunshine

Photo 7: Red Amaranth (grown for wedding flowers)

Photo 8: Cuckoo Pint/Lords and Ladies

Photo 9: Common Frog on Hunting Trip a long way from Home


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