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graphs      CLIMATE-UK.COM'S  REVIEW  OF  THE  BRITISH  METEOROLOGICAL  SCENE
     MONTHLY  SUMMARY
     No. 590 For   FEBRUARY  2005
    MILD AND CHANGEABLE TILL THE 12TH, THEN GENERALLY COLD WITH FREQUENT SNOW
Text Box: The late-January Atlantic blocking high soon declined and a mainly westerly type held sway from the 4th-12th. High pressure was re-established southwest of Ireland thereafter, resulting in repeated short-lived northerly outbreaks, and from the 21st the flow veered north-easterly as the anticyclone migrated towards Iceland. The mean sea-level pressure field for February was dominated by high pressure over the Atlantic; an anomaly centre of +23mbar was located at 55N 28W. This was the most "northerly" February over the British Isles since 1889. It was also the least "westerly" February since 1994, and the most anticyclonic since 1993.

A rather mild, mostly dry, but generally cloudy northwesterly flow continued for the first three days, but there were persistent cloud-breaks to the lee of high ground and Leuchars (Fife) enjoyed 43h bright sunshine in the eight days ending on the 3rd. By contrast, Odiham (Hants) recorded a total of 1.1h in the ten days ending on the 5th. The 3rd also brought persistent rain to northwest Scotland, and rain fell more widely over the next two days although the Southeast remained largely dry. An anticyclone over Europe extended its influence over the UK on the 7th and 8th and extensive fog over England was slow to clear in places. Between the 9th and 12th it became windy and very unsettled as a deep depression tracked past Iceland, and there was heavy rain over western hills; Capel Curig (Snowdonia) recorded 51mm on the 9th and 63mm on the 11th, and it became very mild for a time in the south with highs around 13ēC.

A depression crossed Ireland and northern England overnight 11th/12th and, after a maximum of 14.1ēC at St James’s Park (London) during the morning of the 12th, a strong north-westerly brought a sharp temperature drop, snow and hail showers followed, and there was local thunder. This regime continued for the next three
Text Box: days, with snow showers increasingly confined to east-coast counties while western regions were quite sunny. A southward moving ridge of high pressure on the 15th/16th was followed by further frontal systems from the northwest bringing occasional rain followed by wintry showers, but a direct Arctic outbreak between the 18th and 20th brought heavy snow showers to eastern districts, especially to Norfolk. The next day the wind veered northeasterly and the remainder of the month was very cold with frequent snow. On the 24th a prolonged snowstorm affected chiefly upland parts of southern Scotland and northern England (52cm at Boltshope Park in Durham with drifts to 6m) but many lowland districts experienced sleet or drizzle. Frequent heavy snow showers affected East Anglia, Kent and East Sussex on the 27th, leaving 20-30cm over the North Downs in east Kent. Notable low minima included -10.2ēC at Altnaharra (Sutherland) overnight 21st-22nd, -11.4ēC at Kinbrace (Sutherland) on the 24th-25th, and -9.5ēC at Redhill airfield (Surrey) on the 27th-28th. This last was the coldest February night in some parts of England for 14 years. Weymouth reported 10.2 hours of sunshine on the 28th under a ridge of high pressure, but further rain and snow spread southwards across Scotland during the last day of the month.

The second half of February was the coldest since 1986, but the initial mildness was such that mean monthly temperatures were generally close to or fractionally above the long-term average. Rainfall was above normal in many parts of Scotland, northeast England and Norfolk, but generally below normal everywhere else especially in southern England, and less than 10mm fell locally in Hampshire and Dorset. Sunshine aggregates were very variable: excesses of 30-40% in central Scotland and parts of the West Country contrasted with deficits of 30-40% locally in northeast Scotland.
                                                                                                                                         
                       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 0ēC
   
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
           
                                                                     
      ēC       ēC       ēC       ēC             Hrs       Hrs         Hrs       Hrs       mm       mm         mm     mm          
                                                                                                                                         
  *Hampstead   06.5   -0.4   01.6   +0.5   13.3   12   -04.5   28   18   10   06   07.4   07   064   104   1910   111   1988   020   1912   10   08   10   029   075   1910   124   1951   03   1959   00   11   00  
  Thorney Island   07.6   -0.5   02.4   +0.2   12.9   12   -05.9   28   18   08   07   09.4   19   085   102   1956   141   1988   034   1976   13   04   10   012   024   1941   147   1951   01   1959   00   09   00  
  *Coltishall   06.7   -0.3   02.0   +0.9   12.1   12   -03.5   28   17   07   05   06.5   28   048   068   1979   122   1988   045   1993   9   14   11   069   154   1964   093   1977   02   1985   00   13   01  
  *Wittering   06.6   +0.4   01.6   +0.3   11.1   12   -04.3   28   21   09   05   06.5   19   079   119   1950   130   1988   032   1972   8   07   24   030   067   1948   117   1977   02   1959   00   13   01  
                                                                     
  Lyneham   06.4   -0.2   01.6   +0.1   11.0   12   -03.9   28   17   10   07   09.0   19   075   105   1952   116   1988   037   1982   15   05   10   022   047   1946   140   1977   03   1965   00   10   00  
  Ross-on-Wye   07.6   +0.4   02.0   0.0   12.0   01   -03.0   28   15   08   07   08.3   15   077   118   1915   119   1934   018   1940   10   08   06   032   062   1859   170   1923   01   1891   00   08   00  
  *St Athan   07.7   +0.6   02.7   +0.2   13.1   01   -03.1   28   15   08   03   08.8   15   082   117   1954   128   1988   036   1958   12   20   11   054   085   1954   141   2002   01   1986   00   07   00  
  St Mawgan   07.5   -0.7   03.2   -0.5   11.1   08   -03.6   28   13   08   05   09.8   27   105   127   1944   143   1996   038   1958   10   09   11   041   049   1945   195   1950   04   1986   00   04   00  
                                                                     
  *Edgbaston   06.2   +0.3   02.2   +1.0   10.5   12   -02.1   28   17   09   05   06.3   19   057   097   1887   109   1949   009   1917   10   11   05   041   095   1887   149   1923   01   1891   00   11   00  
  Valley   07.8   0.0   03.5   +0.2   10.1   03   -02.6   28   14   04   03   08.7   15   082   100   1946   144   1986   039   1980   6   15   04   044   071   1941   161   1977   07   1986   00   06   00  
  *Woodford   06.7   +0.4   01.5   +0.4   12.0   03   -05.5   16   19   09   06   06.0   16   050   080   1945   104   2004   034   1980   9   16   11   052   099   1942   161   1977   04   1986   00   09   00  
  *Watnall   06.3   +0.1   02.0   +0.7   10.7   03   -02.9   28   18   08   04   07.6   20   059   090   1948   113   1988   025   1965   10   10   11   046   104   1942   198   1977   05   1959   00   12   01  
                                                                     
  Leeming   07.0   +0.5   01.9   +0.8   12.6   03   -04.9   16   19   07   03   06.4   15   070   106   1945   116   1970   026   1980   9   11   23   053   116   1945   107   1966   03   1985   00   11   01  
  *Boulmer   07.4   +1.3   02.7   +1.9   12.9   03   -00.2   16   17   01   04   07.6   10   060   100   1945   121   1997   038   1980   6   12   11   068   137   1945   144   1978   05   1946   00   10   00  
  Eskdalemuir   05.3   +0.6   01.0   +1.9   10.8   01   -05.4   16   22   12   06   07.8   01   084   133   1911   118   1970   018   1966   4   26   08   127   128   1911   402   1997   05   1932   00   15   00  
  *Bishopton   07.2   +0.6   02.0   +1.2   10.1   02   -02.3   15   20   07   05   07.2   01   077   126   1921   118   1970   015   1959   8   17   11   073   119   1921   249   2002   01   1932   00   09   00  
                                                                     
  Leuchars   07.4   +1.0   01.3   +0.5   12.4   01   -02.5   16   23   09   03   08.7   19   097   127   1922   134   1999   033   1923   16   19   28   048   102   1922   142   1932   02   1932   00   10   00  
  Dyce   06.7   +0.8   01.7   +1.6   12.0   03   -01.0   16   19   09   04   07.1   18   082   112   1941   131   1989   034   1994   11   10   11   055   089   1941   146   1959   07   1959   00   11   00  
  *Stornoway   06.7   +0.0   02.3   +0.3   09.9   02   -01.0   07   19   01   03   07.6   25   053   075   1880   106   1975   022   1943   3   13   04   084   111   1943   277   1963   10   1963   01   09   00  
  *Aldergrove   06.9   +0.1   02.3   +0.9   10.0   11   -02.0   26   18   07   04   06.7   20   068   105   1927   108   2004   030   1993   10   12   11   045   086   1927   132   1932   03   1932   01   07   00  
                                                                     
                                                                                                                                         
  Stations marked with an asterisk record sunshine electronically; comparisons      
  with earlier records are therefore somewhat speculative. Thorney Island's      
  sunshine figures are from a nearby site.