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graphs CLIMATE-UK.COM'S REVIEW OF THE BRITISH METEOROLOGICAL SCENE
MONTHLY SUMMARY
No. 580 For APRIL 2004
RATHER WARM BUT VERY WET. MARKED SHORTAGE OF SUNSHINE IN SCOTLAND.
Text Box: The month opened with southeasterly winds followed by a spell of northwesterlies from the 5th-10th. High pressure then developed over the country for a time, but the weather became very cyclonic between the 17th and 21st before high pressure returned. The month ended with a northerly type in occupation.

The first three days were mild, changeable and rather windy with widespread rain; 35mm fell at Sennybridge (Powys) on the 3rd. The wind veered westerly on the 4th then northwesterly, and the weather became appreciably colder with frequent showers which were often heavy with hail and thunder. The showery activity diminished on the 8th as pressure rose, and the following night was fine with local frost; Sennybridge recorded -4.0C.  The Easter holiday (9th-12th) was largely dry with variable cloud and it turned a little warmer again, then from the 14th-16th many eastern, central and southern districts were dry and warm with sunny periods, the temperature reaching 20C in London on the 16th, but the north and west became less settled and cooler. Aboyne (Aberdeenshire) reported -4.1C early on the 16th.

A depression now tracked south-eastwards from near Iceland, becoming very deep and complex over the British Isles during the 18th/19th. Aberdeen recorded 971 mbar early on the 19th, and over much of southern Britain this episode produced the lowest April pressure for a decade. Eskdalemuir (Dumfriesshire) recorded 47mm on the 17th/18th and highs of 7 to 9C were typical; it was brighter on the 19th, but vigorous showers were accompanied by thunder and hail, notably in Cornwall and Surrey. Further belts of rain crossed the country on the 20th/21st, and the wind gusted to 60kn in the Western Isles.

High pressure brought warm and mainly sunny weather which lasted from the 23rd-25th with maxima of 20-23C reported widely. A few thunder-showers broke out in Yorkshire late on the 25th, and although some places stayed fine and warm thunderstorms developed more widely over the next two days. Tyneside, York, Sheffield, the Black Country and Worcester were badly hit on the 26th, and south London was seriously affected on the 27th. Northerly winds had already brought a sharp drop in temperature to western and northern Britain, and all areas became colder during the last three days of the month with highs of just 7-9C even in the south on the 29th. There was further heavy rain, thundery in places, in eastern, central and southern England, but western and northern parts of the UK were dry and sunny; Tiree (Inner Hebrides) logged 46 hours of sunshine from the 27th onwards.

This was the third consecutive warm April and it ranked 13th warmest in the last 100 years, but in marked contrast to 2002 and 2003 this one was generally wet and dull. Rainfall exceeded twice the normal over a large swath stretching from Cambridgeshire to Northumberland, and also in the southwest Midlands, but several places along the west coast of Britain reported a shortfall. Sunshine slightly exceeded the average in southern England, but Scotland had a very dull April  Leuchars (Fife) had its lowest April sunshine since 1961, and Kinloss its lowest since the station opened in 1952.
Text Box: 19th, but vigorous showers were accompanied by thunder and hail, notably in Cornwall and Surrey. Further belts of rain crossed the country on the 20th/21st.
High pressure brought warm and mainly sunny weather which lasted from the 23rd-25th with maxima of 20-23C reported widely. A few thunder-showers broke out in Yorkshire late on the 25th, and although some places stayed fine and warm thunderstorms developed more widely over the next two days. Tyneside, York, Sheffield, the Black Country and Worcester were badly affected on the 26th, and south London was hit on the 27th. Northerly winds had already brought a sharp drop in temperature to western and northern Britain, and all areas became colder during the last three days of the month with highs of just 7-9C even in the south on the 29th. There was further heavy rain, thundery in places, in eastern, central and southern England, but the west and north were dry and sunny; Tiree (Inner Hebrides) logged 46 hours of sunshine from the 27th onwards.

This was the third warm April in succession and it ranked 13th warmest in the last 100 years, but in contrast to 2002 and 2003 this one was generally wet and dull. Rainfall exceeded twice the normal over a large swath from Cambridgeshire to Northumberland, and also in the southwest Midlands, but several places along the west coast of Britain reported a shortfall. Sunshine slightly exceeded the average in southern England but Scotland had a very dull April - Leuchars (Fife) had its lowest April sunshine since 1961, and Kinloss its lowest since the station opened in 1952.
                                                                                                                                         
    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   14.2   +1.8   06.0   +1.6   21.6   24   01.4   08   00   08   02   10.6   24   136   106   1910   240   1912   087   1920   14   22   27   077   138   1910   123   2000   02   1912   01   00   00  
  Thorney Island   13.5   +0.1   05.5   +1.1   19.3   26   01.5   09   00   06   01   11.2   24   184   104   1956   262   1990   101   1966   13   19   28   078   174   1941   111   2000   <01   1984   01   00   00  
  *Coltishall   14.0   +2.4   05.0   +1.0   20.2   24   00.1   09   00   05   02   12.4   24   141   097   1979   257   1990   125   1981   13   14   29   051   123   1964   107   1981   04   1974   00   00   00  
  *Wittering   13.7   +1.9   05.4   +1.6   20.4   24   00.1   20   00   06   04   12.5   23   117   080   1950   221   1984   077   1978   14   21   18   081   203   1948   142   1998   05   1954   01   00   00  
                                                                     
  Lyneham   13.2   +1.2   05.6   +1.7   20.2   25   -00.3   09   01   09   03   13.3   24   158   102   1952   243   1984   084   1961   14   17   18   084   186   1946   153   2000   01   1984   00   00   00  
  Ross-on-Wye   14.1   +1.8   05.8   +1.1   22.0   25   -02.0   09   02   08   03   10.9   24   146   101   1915   226   1984   072   1920   14   15   18   079   179   1859   173   2000   00   1957   00   00   00  
  *St Athan   12.8   +0.8   06.7   +2.2   19.3   25   00.5   09   00   04   01   13.0   24   127   076   1954   253   1984   091   1966   14   11   18   054   102   1954   125   2000   03   1957   00   00   00  
  St Mawgan   12.0   +0.3   07.0   +1.5   18.4   25   02.3   09   00   02   01   13.1   25   177   093   1944   266   1984   125   1966   15   12   15   056   108   1945   142   1998   03   1984   00   00   00  
                                                                     
  *Edgbaston   13.2   +1.8   06.2   +2.0   20.7   25   -00.2   09   01   05   04   10.6   23   120   091   1887   235   1893   061   1891   12   22   18   066   151   1887   137   1998   03   1938   01   00   00  
  Valley   11.6   +0.1   07.2   +1.9   14.3   01   -00.2   17   01   01   01   11.9   22   141   076   1946   247   1974   123   1996   13   09   17   030   057   1941   103   1961   07   1980   00   00   00  
  Ringway   13.3   +1.3   06.6   +2.2   21.1   25   -00.7   09   01   01   03   11.0   24   108   077   1945   216   1984   095   1961   11   17   03   084   167   1942   107   2001   04   1980   02   00   00  
  *Watnall   13.6   +1.8   05.9   +2.1   21.2   25   01.0   09   00   02   05   12.8   24   110   075   1948   220   1984   071   1971   13   14   18   083   208   1942   135   2000   06   1957   01   00   00  
                                                                     
  Leeming   13.1   +1.3   05.6   +2.0   21.5   25   -02.0   09   01   04   04   11.6   25   105   078   1945   199   1984   088   1971   14   14   18   077   197   1945   140   2000   05   1954   01   00   00  
  *Boulmer   11.7   +1.5   05.6   +2.0   18.4   25   02.2   09   00   01   04   11.6   25   092   064   1945   218   1984   083   1974   13   18   18   056   139   1945   156   1998   03   1980   00   00   01  
  Eskdalemuir   10.8   +0.4   04.0   +2.4   18.1   26   -03.0   17   03   07   04   12.7   25   097   072   1911   197   1942   059   1996   7   32   17   155   180   1911   254   1947   17   1980   01   01   00  
  *Bishopton   12.7   +0.7   05.5   +2.1   17.6   26   00.5   08   00   11   02   12.0   25   099   065   1921   205   1962   073   1937   7   14   17   091   182   1921   159   1947   05   1974   01   00   01  
                                                                     
  Leuchars   12.6   +1.5   05.3   +2.0   19.2   25   -01.2   17   02   11   05   12.3   25   108   067   1922   217   1990   098   1937   6   08   18   058   149   1922   117   1934   02   1938   00   00   00  
  Dyce   11.5   +1.0   05.4   +2.8   17.1   25   -35.0   17   01   07   06   13.1   20   117   079   1941   212   1942   085   1941   6   26   18   114   228   1941   131   2000   10   1946   01   00   00  
  *Stornoway   10.8   +0.8   05.8   +2.2   13.3   26   01.2   18   00   04   05   13.3   25   105   067   1880   230   1962   095   1944   1   14   13   087   132   1943   144   1947   01   1974   00   00   00  
  *Aldergrove   12.0   +0.1   05.4   +1.4   16.7   25   00.8   11   00   02   01   13.0   25   139   094   1927   220   1974   057   1937   11   11   14   062   129   1927   117   1986   06   1938   00   00   00  
                                                                     
                                                                                                                                         
  Stations marked with an asterisk record sunshine electronically; comparisons      
  with earlier records are therefore somewhat speculative. Thorney Island's      
  sunshine figures are made at nearby Hayling Island.