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July wettest and dullest for 22 years

Frost was seen on the ground in July in parts of the north
John Monaghan

IF you're sitting wrapped in a blanket while reading today's Irish News - not beyond the boundaries of possibility in some quarters - news that July was the coldest for over two decades is unlikely to cause you to choke on your breakfast.

However, that is the official report from the Armagh Observatory, which has concluded that the supposed high point of the summer was in fact the coldest for 22 years, and duller and wetter than average.

The downpours affected almost all of Ireland, causing cancellations to events throughout the month.

The annual climb of Croagh Patrick, in Co Mayo, normally scheduled for the last Sunday of July, was called off due to heavy rain.

The Lough Neagh rescue raft race was also cancelled, while hardy runners in the Divis 10k run, which did go ahead, ended up soaked as well as exhausted at the end of the race.

After enjoying rays of sunshine throughout late June, July brought frost to the ground in some parts of the north.

On average the north has around 45 days of frost per year, but June, July and August are normally guaranteed to be frost free.

The average temperature throughout the month was just 14°c, down from records for the preceding 30 years.

July 15 was the coldest night of the month, with a recorded temperature of 5°c, the chilliest July night in 31 years.

It was a stark contrast to the first day of the month, which saw temperatures of almost 25°c.

Rain was prevalent on all but two days during July, making it the wettest July in three years.

July also saw the least sunshine in the month for three years.

It remains a far cry from the Met Office record for the north, registered on July 12th 1983, when 30°c heat was recorded at Shaw's Bridge in Belfast.

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