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graphs CLIMATE-UK.COM'S REVIEW OF THE BRITISH METEOROLOGICAL SCENE
MONTHLY SUMMARY
No. 578 For FEBRUARY 2004
WARM WET START, BUT COLD AND VERY SUNNY AFTER MID-MONTH
Text Box: The first week was dominated by a southwesterly type, the second and third weeks were mainly anticyclonic, and the fourth northerly. The main sea-level pressure anomaly centres were +11mbar south of Iceland and -8mbar over Finland, and the anomalous flow over the UK was therefore strongly NNW-ly; indeed only eight Februarys in the last 100 years had a greater northerly component.

A broad southwesterly flow was responsible for record-breaking warmth during the first week of February, but there were also exceptional amounts of orographic rain in Wales, Cumbria, and southwest Scotland. The temperature climbed above 14C daily, reaching 16.7C at Lossiemouth (Moray) on the 3rd and 17.9C at Gravesend (Kent) on the 4th - the UKs highest on record during the first week of February. Overnight temperatures stayed above 10C on four consecutive nights over southern Britain, and Chivenor in north Devon reported a minimum of 13.2C early on the 3rd. Capel Curig in Snowdonia collected 165mm in 24 hours from 2100 GMT on the 2nd, part of a six-day downpour that dropped 417mm, and there was serious flooding on the River Conwy especially in Llanrwst. North and west Scotland were windy at times, and Fair Isle reported a gust of 72kn on the 3rd.

A brief northwesterly incursion on the 7th/8th brought wintry showers and sunny intervals, but high pressure quickly became established over the British Isles, staying there until the 21st. From the 10th to the 18th many parts of the country remained dull and damp, and a disturbance aloft brought appreciable rain
Text Box: to northeast England on the 14th/15th, but there were some sunny days in north and west Britain. From the 19th sunshine became more general, but a cold east wind affected England and Wales for a few days and a little light snow was reported in southern counties on the 20th. A northerly type prevailed from the 22nd onwards. Snow showers were heavy and frequent in northern Scotland for much of the last week with 15-20cm lying in some areas, and drifting was severe in winds gusting to 55kn. An area of heavy snow also affected Northern Ireland, Wales, and southwest England on the 26th, and another targeted northeast England on the 27th/28th. Snow showers finally penetrated SE England on the 28th/29th. Notable minima included -10.9C at Sennybridge (Powys) on the 27th, and -10.8C at Loch Glascarnoch (Wester Ross) and Braemar (Aberdeenshire) on the 29th.
 
The persistently cold weather during the second half of February failed to offset the exceptionally mild start, and mean temperature was 1.0-1.5 degC above the 1971-2000 mean over much of the country, although northern Scotland was close to normal. As measured by the CET, the first half of the month was the warmest, alongside 2002, since before 1869, while the second half was the coldest since 1986. Monthly rainfall was above the long-term mean locally in the north and west, but elsewhere it was dry, and the Portsmouth area had less than one-third of the normal. It was a sunny February except in north Scotland and Kent; an examination of available records suggests that it may have been the sunniest in the Belfast area and the Isle of Man since 1906.
                                                                                                                                         
    TEMPERATURE   SUNSHINE   RAINFALL        
                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                 
                   
No. of days with grass
  minimum below 0C
              Highest and lowest totals    
Maximum fall in 24 hrs
   (beginning 09 h)
        Highest and lowest totals    
Days with snow or sleet
 
Days with fog
(Vis <220 yards at 09 h)
 
     
Difference from average
   
Difference from average
             
Days of no sunshine
          on record for month             on record for month        
                                                                                         
           
Highest maximum
   
Lowest minimum
         
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   07.8   +0.6   02.8   +1.3   16.0   04   -04.4   27   06   13   07   07.3   26   066   098   1910   111   1988   020   1912   12   07   01   028   069   1910   124   1951   03   1959   01   06   00  
  Thorney Island   09.1   +0.9   03.5   +1.4   14.7   04   -03.1   27   07   13   05   08.0   19   078   093   1956   141   1988   034   1976   14   08   01   017   032   1941   147   1951   01   1959   00   03   01  
  *Coltishall   08.0   +0.9   03.7   +2.7   17.0   04   -05.4   27   08   11   07   09.7   25   068   097   1979   122   1988   045   1993   11   08   05   043   095   1964   093   1977   02   1985   00   06   00  
  *Wittering   07.9   +1.6   03.2   +2.0   16.2   04   -04.8   26   10   15   06   09.5   26   076   122   1950   130   1988   032   1972   14   06   05   028   063   1948   117   1977   02   1959   00   06   00  
                                                                     
  Lyneham   07.7   +1.0   02.7   +1.3   14.7   04   -05.3   27   12   13   04   09.3   23   078   110   1952   116   1988   037   1982   16   12   05   030   063   1946   140   1977   03   1965   00   05   00  
  Ross-on-Wye   08.6   +1.3   03.0   +1.1   16.0   04   -04.0   27   11   15   04   09.1   23   096   147   1915   119   1934   018   1940   14   07   05   031   060   1859   170   1923   <01   1891   00   04   00  
  *St Athan   08.6   +1.4   03.3   +0.9   14.0   11   -03.5   27   08   14   07   09.0   28   096   137   1954   128   1988   036   1958   17   17   03   059   094   1954   141   2002   01   1986   00   04   01  
  St Mawgan   08.8   +0.5   04.1   +0.4   14.2   04   -01.5   23   03   11   05   10.4   29   111   133   1944   143   1996   038   1958   15   15   01   052   062   1945   195   1950   04   1986   01   06   00  
                                                                     
  *Edgbaston   07.5   +1.4   03.7   +2.0   14.6   04   -02.7   27   05   14   07   08.2   20   086   146   1887   109   1949   009   1917   17   04   01   021   042   1887   149   1923   01   1891   00   06   00  
  Valley   08.1   +0.1   03.6   +0.3   11.5   03   -02.2   29   08   15   09   09.9   29   098   120   1946   144   1986   039   1980   15   11   01   061   099   1941   161   1977   07   1986   00   02   00  
  Ringway   08.5   +1.6   02.9   +1.1   16.1   03   -04.4   29   10   15   05   09.0   19   * 104   168   1945   098   1986   034   1980   13   10   07   049   093   1942   161   1977   04   1986   01   04   00  
  *Watnall   07.8   +1.5   03.2   +2.0   14.5   03   -03.3   26   08   12   06   08.5   25   086   131   1948   113   1988   025   1965   11   05   14   033   074   1942   198   1977   05   1959   00   07   00  
                                                                     
  Leeming   08.3   +1.7   02.7   +1.7   15.3   03   -03.7   29   10   13   05   09.2   23   093   142   1945   116   1970   026   1980   14   07   14   027   059   1945   107   1966   03   1985   00   08   00  
  *Boulmer   07.8   +1.5   02.9   +2.5   15.1   03   -01.8   29   06   11   04   09.5   23   077   128   1945   121   1997   038   1980   14   12   28   054   109   1945   144   1978   05   1946   00   09   00  
  Eskdalemuir   06.1   +1.1   00.6   +1.4   12.4   11   -05.8   29   15   23   09   08.8   18   095   151   1911   118   1970   018   1966   13   42   02   119   120   1911   402   1997   05   1932   00   06   00  
  *Bishopton   08.0   +1.1   01.8   +0.9   13.3   03   -05.4   29   13   20   06   09.7   29   097   159   1921   118   1970   015   1959   15   26   02   078   127   1921   249   2002   01   1932   00   04   00  
                                                                     
  Leuchars   08.2   +1.6   01.3   +0.5   14.3   03   -04.1   25   13   21   06   09.8   29   120   158   1922   134   1999   033   1923   18   05   01   020   042   1922   142   1977   02   1932   00   05   00  
  Dyce   07.2   +1.1   01.5   +1.4   15.1   03   -05.2   29   14   21   06   09.5   29   092   127   1941   131   1989   034   1994   11   09   26   038   063   1941   146   1994   07   1959   00   11   00  
  *Stornoway   07.5   0.5   02.1   +0.0   11.8   03   -03.2   28   09   13   07   07.4   29   066   093   1880   106   1975   022   1943   3   19   02   105   138   1943   277   1997   10   1963   01   09   00  
  *Aldergrove   07.7   +0.6   01.6   +0.1   14.3   03   -06.5   14   14   18   06   09.9   29   * 108   166   1927   098   1968   030   1993   23   13   01   033   064   1927   132   1990   03   1932        
                                                                     
                                                                                                                                         
  Stations marked with an asterisk record sunshine electronically; comparisons      
  with earlier records are therefore somewhat speculative. Thorney Island's   * New highest    
  sunshine figures are made at nearby Hayling Island.