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graphs CLIMATE-UK.COM'S REVIEW OF THE BRITISH METEOROLOGICAL SCENE
MONTHLY SUMMARY
No. 566 For FEBRUARY 2003
MOSTLY DRY AND SUNNY; FLUCTUATING TEMPERATURES
Text Box: The monthly sea-level chart shows high pressure over Europe with a south to southwesterly flow over the UK. The chief anomaly centres were +10 mbar over Sweden and -16 mbar over southeast Greenland, and over the British Isles anomalies ranged from +4 mbar in East Anglia to zero in western Ireland.

Atlantic fronts introduced milder westerly winds and a general thaw on the 1st and 2nd, but not before a fall of 5-10cm of fresh snow affected East Anglia early on the 1st. The airflow veered northwesterly from the 3rd to the 5th and it became colder again with sunny periods and snow showers. These showers were frequent and heavy in many northern districts, and 15-25cm of snow fell in the Scottish Highlands, blocking several roads. Night frosts were severe locally, and Tulloch Bridge (Lochaber) recorded -10.9C early on the 5th. Milder, moister south-westerlies returned from the 6th to the 10th bringing extensive cloud, outbreaks of rain, frost-free nights, and highs of 10-13C. Several places in East Anglia and the Southeast recorded no sunshine at all between the 6th and 12th, but western districts enjoyed occasional sunny breaks.

Strong rises of pressure began on the 9th, and from the 11th till the 27th an anticyclone controlled Britain's weather. Initially it lay over the UK, but from the 13th to the 21st it was centred over southern Scandinavia, and from the 22nd onwards over eastern Europe. An old occlusion embedded in the anticyclone brought rain and hill fog to eastern England on the 11th and 12th, but the next day an
Text Box: incursion of continental air resulted in colder and sunnier weather spreading from the east. Daytime maxima were around 2 to 6C, but upland districts of Wales and northern England remained below freezing throughout the 16th-17th. Night frosts were severe in places with -11.3C at Kindrogan (Perthshire) early on the 18th. An exceptional diurnal range of 20.2 degC (min -11.0C, max 9.2C) was noted at Aboyne (Aberdeenshire) on the 15th. Much of the country had several days of unbroken sunshine: Morecambe (Lancs) recorded 88 hours in 12 days (14th-25th) and Hunstanton (Norfolk) logged 106 hours in 16 days (13th-28th). Remarkably low relative humidity was reported on the 16th and 17th including one reading of 7 per cent at Great Dun Fell (Cumbria). 

The southeasterly flow veered southerly on the 21st and the rest of the month was very mild. Maxima in the last week were widely between 12 and 15C with 15.5C at Lochcarron (Wester Ross) on the 27th. A belt of rain moved eastwards across all areas on the 28th with falls of 25-30mm in Northern Ireland.

Although the Central England Temperature of 4.1C was only 0.1 degC below the 1971-2000 mean, only three of the last 15 Februarys - 1991, 1994 and 1996 - were colder. Rainfall over the UK as a whole was about 40 per cent below average, making this the driest February since 1998, and eastern Scotland was particularly dry with only 7.6mm at Inverbervie (Kincardineshire). It was the sunniest February since 1988 over a large part of the UK with excesses of around 40 per cent.
                                                                                                                                           
    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   07.5   +0.3   01.2   -0.3   13.9   27   -03.3   18   18   14   04   08.5   25   106   173   1910   111   1988   020   1912   11   05.0   08   025   048   1910   124   1951   03   1959   00   02   01  
  Thorney Island   07.9   -0.2   02.3   +0.1   13.0   26   -04.5   17   16   11   05   08.9   18   103   124   1956   141   1988   034   1976   16   09.2   28   032   061   1941   147   1951   01   1959   00   01   00  
  *Coltishall   07.2   +0.2   00.6   -0.5   11.8   23   -04.3   18   18   13   04   09.4   26   116   166   1979   122   1988   045   1993   19   04.6   11   015   034   1964   093   1977   02   1985   00   02   00  
  *Wittering   07.5   +1.3   00.6   -0.7   13.1   23   -05.3   18   19   14   03   08.3   15   103   156   1950   130   1988   032   1972   17   04.8   11   015   033   1948   117   1977   02   1959   00   03   00  
                                                                     
  Lyneham   07.4   +0.8   01.3   -0.4   12.8   27   -05.9   18   15   13   04   09.0   18   092   130   1952   116   1988   037   1982   17   07.2   08   028   057   1946   140   1977   03   1965   00   04   01  
  Ross-on-Wye   08.1   +0.9   00.8   -1.2   13.0   23   -05.0   18   18   14   05   08.5   15   088   135   1915   119   1934   018   1940   13   09.9   28   049   088   1859   170   1923   01   1891   00   02   00  
  *St Athan   07.6   +0.5   02.5   -0.2   11.1   23   -02.8   17   15   06   06   08.8   15   079   113   1954   128   1988   036   1958   15   13.2   28   043   069   1954   141   2002   01   1986   00   02   00  
  St Mawgan   08.6   +0.4   03.9   +0.1   12.0   07   -02.6   15   11   05   02   09.0   21   119   144   1944   143   1996   038   1958   09   14.8   26   076   090   1945   195   1950   04   1986   00   01   00  
                                                                     
  *Edgbaston   06.8   +0.7   01.9   -0.3   11.9   23   -03.5   15   19   11   06   08.2   15   088   149   1887   109   1949   009   1917   13   07.4   28   020   041   1887   149   1923   01   1891   00   02   00  
  Valley   08.7   +0.9   02.5   -0.8   13.9   26   -04.2   16   13   08   07   09.5   18   108   132   1946   144   1986   039   1980   14   17.8   08   037   060   1941   161   1977   07   1986   00   03   02  
  Ringway   07.7   +1.0   01.3   -0.5   12.8   26   -04.7   17   17   12   02   09.0   15   * 098   157   1945   098   1949   034   1980   15   12.2   08   041   077   1942   161   1977   04   1986   00   04   00  
  *Watnall   06.8   +0.6   00.5   -0.8   12.1   23   -04.7   18   18   12   03   08.6   15   097   148   1948   113   1988   025   1965   15   07.4   10   025   056   1942   198   1977   05   1959   00   03   00  
                                                                     
  Leeming   07.0   +0.5   -01.1   -2.2   12.2   23   -06.6   15   22   17   03   08.8   19   095   144   1945   116   1970   026   1980   15   12.8   10   039   085   1945   107   1966   03   1985   00   02   01  
  *Boulmer   06.7   +0.6   01.3   +0.5   11.1   25   -04.1   15   18   09   04   08.5   17   090   150   1945   121   1997   038   1980   18   07.4   10   020   039   1945   144   1978   05   1946   00   02   00  
  Eskdalemuir   05.9   +1.1   -01.5   -0.7   11.0   24   -09.1   18   23   18   07   08.5   18   105   167   1911   118   1970   018   1966   14   15.6   10   069   070   1911   402   1997   05   1932   00   04   01  
  *Bishopton   06.8   +0.1   00.8   -0.1   10.6   24   -05.6   15   18   10   05   08.7   18   094   155   1921   118   1970   015   1959   15   18.0   10   063   103   1921   249   2002   01   1932   00   03   01  
                                                                     
  Leuchars   06.8   +0.4   00.1   -0.7   10.7   23   -07.5   18   21   13   05   08.2   17   103   135   1922   134   1999   033   1923   20   03.2   01   015   032   1922   142   1932   02   1932   00   03   00  
  Dyce   06.4   +0.5   00.8   +0.7   11.1   24   -06.7   15   23   12   05   08.7   15   085   116   1941   131   1989   034   1994   21   05.2   03   011   019   1941   146   1959   07   1959   00   03   00  
  *Stornoway   08.0   +1.3   03.6   +1.6   11.4   26   -01.6   20   15   06   05   08.0   18   056   079   1880   106   1975   022   1943   12   13.4   07   054   071   1943   277   1963   10   1963   01   04   00  
  *Aldergrove   07.1   +0.3   02.2   0.0   11.0   23   -03.8   15   17   07   04   08.8   15   087   116   1927   098   1968   030   1993   12   21.2   28   050   098   1927   132   1932   03   1932   00   03   01  
                                                                     
                                                                                                                                           
  Stations marked with an asterisk record sunshine electronically; comparisons      
  with earlier records are therefore somewhat speculative. Thorney Island's   * New record highest    
  sunshine figures are from a nearby site.