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graphs CLIMATE-UK.COM'S REVIEW OF THE BRITISH METEOROLOGICAL SCENE
MONTHLY SUMMARY
No. 565 For JANUARY 2003
A TWO-FACED MONTH
Text Box: Two cold spells from the 4th-12th and the 29th-31st were separated by a lengthy mild interlude. Mean sea-level pressure anomalies ranged from -1 mbar in Shetland to +3 mbar in western Ireland, and the anomalous flow over the UK was weakly northerly.

The very wet weather at the end of December lasted until the 3rd as active depressions crossed southern Britain, and there was flooding on several rivers in southern England. Kenley (Surrey) collected 99mm of rain in the six days ending 09GMT on the 2nd. In Scotland, meanwhile, snow fell widely on the 1st. High pressure centred over or near northern Britain from the 4th to the 11th brought cold and mostly dry weather with long sunny periods. However, troughs in the northeasterly airflow over England and Wales brought some snow, chiefly to the eastern half of England between the 6th and 8th. Some 8-12cm of snow fell in southwest Essex and northwest Kent - the most in the area since early-December 1997. Very severe frosts occurred in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and on the 8th Aviemore reported a minimum of -18.6C and a maximum of -8.8C. 

The anticyclone slipped southwards into France during the 11th-12th, allowing a broad southwesterly flow to encroach over the British Isles. Sunny but frosty weather lasted longest in the Southeast, and Redhill airfield reported -9.9C early on the 12th, but northern Britain became mild and rainy. It stayed cloudy and mild until the 18th with prolonged heavy rain over west-facing slopes especially in Scotland, including a fall of 73mm in 48hr at Dalmally (Argyllshire)
Text Box: on the 12th-13th. Gusts over 70kn were recorded in Scotland on the 15th. A deep depression drifted slowly east across England and Wales bringing four days of heavy rain between the 18th and 21st, but a strong rise of pressure thereafter provided a few days of quieter weather.

Moist southwesterlies were quickly re-established and Dalmally collected a further 82mm of rain in 48hr on the 24th-25th. During the 26th and 27th air originating near Bermuda lifted temperatures to 12-14C generally, and several degrees higher to the lee of high ground where a pronounced foehn effect occurred. On the 26th Aboyne (Aberdeenshire) recorded 18.3C, equalling the UK record for January and establishing a new Scottish record, while 16.1C at Silent Valley (Down) was a new record for Northern Ireland. The following day, East Malling (Kent) reached 17.4C, a new January record for England. On the 28th and 29th the flow veered northerly bringing a decided drop in temperature and widespread wintry showers. Snow fell widely in eastern regions on the 30th with falls of 15-20cm in northeast Scotland, while a sudden fall of 8-12cm in north London precipitated gridlock on the capital's roads and stranded some commuters for over 12 hours.

Mean monthly temperature was generally within 1 degC of the 1971-2000 average. Rainfall, averaged nationally, was close to normal, but eastern counties were generally wet while some western districts were quite dry. Except locally in northern Scotland it was a sunny month, and the total of 121.6 hr at Weymouth (Dorset) is a new January record for the UK.
                                                                                                                                           
    TEMPERATURE   SUNSHINE   RAINFALL        
                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                   
                                  Highest and lowest totals             Highest and lowest totals        
                                  on record for month    
Maximum fall in 24 hrs
   (beginning 09 h)
        on record for month    
Days with snow or sleet
 
Days with fog
(Vis <220 yards at 09 h)
 
                                                                                         
     
Difference from average
   
Difference from average
 
Highest maximum
   
Lowest minimum
   
No. of days with grass
  minimum below 0C
   
Days of no sunshine
 
Maximum duration
       
First year of record
         
Days of no rainfall
 (0.1 mm or less)
         
First year of record
         
Days with thunder
     
  PLACE  
Mean Maximum
   
Mean minimum
             
No. of air frosts
       
Total for month
                   
Total for month
                   
                               
% of average
                   
% of average
                 
                                                                     
                                   
Highest
   
Lowest
 
Year
             
Highest
   
Lowest
 
Year
       
             
Date
   
Date
         
Date
         
Year
         
Date
         
Year
           
                                                                     
    C     C     C     C           Hrs     Hrs       Hrs     Hrs       mm     mm       mm     mm          
                                                                                                                                           
  *Hampstead   06.8   +0.2   01.8   +0.1   15.7   27   -04.8   12   13   11   01   07.6   27   * 096   227   1910   086   2001   020   1917   06   16.1   21   085   134   1910   131   1995   14   1914   00   06   00  
  Thorney Island   07.9   +0.2   02.8   +0.1   13.6   27   -06.1   12   18   11   03   07.7   27   * 105   166   1958   103   1959   035   1975   11   19.4   01   079   105   1941   160   1988   12   1987   00   03   00  
  *Coltishall   07.1   +0.1   02.7   +1.0   12.4   27   -05.4   07   20   08   07   06.7   09   049   090   1979   088   2001   027   1996   09   09.7   29   068   122   1964   109   1988   09   1997   00   08   00  
  *Wittering   06.6   +0.8   02.3   +0.7   13.2   27   -04.4   07   14   09   04   06.0   23   059   110   1950   096   1959   016   1996   10   14.8   18   059   116   1948   107   1948   12   2000   00   09   00  
                                                                     
  Lyneham   06.4   +0.2   02.1   +0.3   11.6   26   -06.2   08   16   11   03   07.9   23   071   137   1952   088   1952   027   1996   15   20.6   01   081   126   1945   132   1995   06   1997   00   05   00  
  Ross-on-Wye   07.5   +0.6   02.3   -0.2   15.0   27   -06.0   12   18   11   03   07.4   23   095   179   1915   096   1952   017   1996   12   19.1   01   064   094   1859   161   1943   07   1898   00   06   00  
  *St Athan   07.3   +0.4   03.3   +0.4   11.7   26   -05.7   08   15   10   05   07.0   23   083   162   1954   085   1959   021   1996   12   26.0   01   067   078   1954   172   1995   09   1997   00   04   00  
  St Mawgan   08.0   -0.4   04.7   +0.3   13.1   01   -01.8   12   11   07   03   07.9   23   094   160   1945   114   1963   029   1973   10   13.4   01   078   069   1944   217   1974   14   1987   00   04   00  
                                                                     
  *Edgbaston   06.2   +0.5   03.2   +0.6   13.6   26   -04.7   12   16   09   03   05.9   23   067   148   1887   077   1952   007   1917   10   11.8   02   061   105   1887   153   1960   13   1888   00   06   00  
  Valley   07.7   -0.1   04.3   +0.1   11.5   01   -03.0   12   10   08   05   07.2   23   091   159   1946   094   2001   024   1983   10   08.8   16   063   074   1941   195   1948   07   1997   00   02   00  
  Ringway   07.3   +0.9   02.6   +0.4   12.9   26   -05.2   05   14   08   05   07.3   23   * 074   175   1945   074   1991   011   1953   14   11.8   02   059   088   1942   170   1948   08   1997   01   05   00  
  *Watnall   06.4   +0.6   02.4   +0.8   12.9   26   -04.2   07   14   10   05   05.3   23   042   078   1948   083   2000   013   1996   13   20.6   18   062   121   1942   149   1948   10   1997   00   06   00  
                                                                     
  Leeming   06.8   +0.6   02.0   +0.6   12.9   26   -06.0   07   16   11   04   07.0   25   068   126   1945   091   1959   018   1996   12   07.4   02   043   077   1945   129   1948   06   1997   00   06   00  
  *Boulmer   07.2   +0.6   03.3   +1.8   14.6   26   -02.1   07   11   08   04   06.5   26   046   086   1945   104   1959   010   1996   11   26.0   16   096   147   1945   189   1948   09   1989   00   07   00  
  Eskdalemuir   04.6   +0.2   00.7   +1.1   11.1   26   -08.3   05   19   14   12   06.3   30   061   146   1911   096   1959   009   1996   08   20.6   24   156   104   1911   390   1928   38   1997   00   11   00  
  *Bishopton   06.0   -0.2   01.6   +0.5   11.7   26   -07.4   07   18   14   11   06.6   30   057   143   1921   069   1972   009   1940   08   16.0   16   109   112   1921   241   1928   18   1963   00   05   00  
                                                                     
  Leuchars   06.5   +0.5   01.9   +0.7   14.1   26   -05.0   07   17   13   09   07.4   30   067   115   1922   101   1959   014   1996   15   15.4   01   059   098   1922   167   1993   12   1953   00   04   00  
  Dyce   06.5   +1.0   02.1   +1.5   17.2   26   -08.1   08   16   12   10   06.2   25   069   136   1941   089   1959   010   1996   10   25.2   28   094   119   1941   157   1970   13   1989   01   10   00  
  *Stornoway   06.9   +0.2   02.9   +0.4   11.7   26   -02.0   09   15   09   12   05.0   07   028   077   1880   079   2001   012   1907   02   23.0   20   153   133   1943   274   1993   26   1963   01   07   00  
  *Aldergrove   06.8   0.0   02.5   +0.3   12.9   26   -07.2   05   17   12   09   06.5   30   066   114   1927   082   1959   024   1996   10   11.8   02   078   114   1927   150   1984   22   1997   00   05   00  
                                                                     
                                                                                                                                           
  Stations marked with an asterisk record sunshine electronically; comparisons      
  with earlier records are therefore somewhat speculative. Thorney Island's   * New high record    
  sunshine figures are made at a nearby site.