Looking at the grey, drizzly weather outside, you might be forgiven for thinking that we’re once again experiencing a typical August bank holiday, when instead of wandering cheerily around in the sunshine enjoying our beautiful city (and dodging the punt touts), the people of Cambridge are instead forced to sit at home making graphs to put in their blog posts. But is this really normal August bank holiday weather, or is it just our old friend confirmation bias tutting to itself and muttering “Typical!” under its breath? Thanks to the Cambridge Weather Station, which has been faithfully recording Cambridge meteorological events for more than twenty years now, we can check the data. So here’s a look at what sort of weather we’ve actually had on the August bank holiday in recent years:
This graph shows the number of millimetres of rain per day for August (blue), September (red) and the August bank holiday (green), for the last few years. I’ve had to miss out a few years – 2000, 2001 and 2008 – when the weather station wasn’t working properly for the relevant period. But you can still see the overall picture fairly clearly: most of the time the bank holiday is dry or nearly dry, with just the occasional washout. Before last year, the previous four August bank holidays totalled just 1.2mm of rainfall between them. So the chances are that we’ll do better next year. As you can see from this Met Office map, Cambridge is in one of the driest parts of the country:
So we can at least hope for a bit of reversion to the mean next year.