back
graphs CLIMATE-UK.COM'S REVIEW OF THE BRITISH METEOROLOGICAL SCENE
MONTHLY SUMMARY
No. 601 For JANUARY 2006
DRIEST SINCE 1997. VERY DULL UNTIL THE 19TH THEN SUNNY. VARIABLE TEMPERATURES
Text Box: Although the Atlantic was active, especially during the first three weeks, the favoured depression track was past Iceland into the Norwegian Sea; as a consequence the UKs weather was influenced by continental anticyclones from the 4th-9th and 22nd-24th while high pressure covered the country for most of the last week. The main sea-level pressure anomalies were +14mbar over the Baltic and -15mbar over east Greenland.

Low pressure centred over northern England early on the 1st moved away quickly and a short-lived ridge of high pressure brought local frost and patchy fog early on the 2nd before Atlantic fronts delivered rain later that day and on the 3rd. It was briefly very mild in Cornwall and Devon with 14C at Teignmouth and Falmouth. A developing anticyclone over northeastern Europe resulted in an easterly flow becoming established over Britain from the 4th-8th. Freezing fog lasted all day in central Scotland on the 4th but most places were overcast and rather cold during this period with a few sleet or snow flurries; a spell of heavier snow affected central and southern parts of England and Wales for a few hours on the 7th, followed by rain on the 8th as temperatures began to rise. Sunshine was mostly confined to a few coastal districts, but a fairly sunny day in Scotland on the 8th was followed by a sharp frost with -8.5C early on the 9th at Aboyne (Aberdeenshire).

From the 9th-19th a mainly south-westerly flow held sway, bringing unsettled weather with frequent rain and strong winds, the heaviest of the rain and roughest winds in northern and western regions. The rain on the 9th was preceded by snow and freezing rain briefly in Scotland, but the depression of 10th-11th was the most vigorous of the month with winds gusting to 70kn in the Western Isles; 78mm of rain fell in 48 hours at Shap (Cumbria). Amounts of rain over much of central and eastern England, however, were small. It became
Text Box: very mild during the third week with 13.9C at Malvern (Worcs) on the 18th and again at Kinloss (Moray) on the 19th, while the minimum overnight 18th/19th at Newry (Down) was 11.7C. The shortage of sunshine continued especially in eastern England and the Midlands with just 16.3 hours of sunshine at Watnall (Notts) in the 31 days ending on the 19th.

A vigorous cold front swept across the country overnight 19th/20th with local hail and thunder but a small anticyclone developed over the UK on the 21st,  and this in turn developed into a strong ridge from an intense anticyclone  over northern Russia.  From the 25th-31st highest pressure lay over the  British Isles. Nearly all parts of the UK were dry from the 20th onwards, and several days were sunny (8.6 hours at Bognor in Sussex and Weymouth in Dorset on the 29th and at St Mawgan in Cornwall on the 30th), but it turned colder with widespread night frosts and a few patches of freezing fog: minima below   -10C occurred widely in northern Britain overnight 29th/30th and 30th/31st, with  -11.7C at Aviemore (Inverness-shire) on the latter night while persistent freezing fog resulted in some low day maxima, notably -2.5C at Eskdalemuir (Dumfriesshire) on the 30th. Some light falls of snow were noted  in southern England, chiefly in Kent, late on the 27th. 

Cold spells from the 4th-8th and 23rd-31st were offset by a milder period around mid-month; nevertheless, this was widely the coldest January since 2001. It was an outstandingly dry month with less than 10mm of rain reported from several places in eastern England, the Midlands, and the Moray Firth area, although averaged nationally it was not as dry as January 1997. There was a notable shortage of sunshine until the 19th but an abundance thereafter; monthly percentages ranged from 60-70 in the Central Lowlands of Scotland to 160-170 locally in Cornwall and West Wales.
                                                                                                                                           
    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   06.5   +0.1   02.4   +0.7   10.7   18   -03.5   25   17   09   10   07.6   24   059   134   1910   096   2003   020   1917   14   06.6   08   024   036   1910   131   1995   14   1914   00   02   00  
  Thorney Island   07.3   -0.4   02.8   +0.1   12.5   18   -03.8   25   16   07   09   08.3   29   059   090   1958   105   2003   035   1975   14   06.8   08   020   024   1941   160   1988   12   1987   00   01   00  
  *Coltishall   06.5   -0.5   02.5   +0.8   11.6   19   -04.8   24   16   05   11   07.6   28   053   091   1979   088   2001   027   1996   23   04.4   16   010   016   1964   109   1988   09   1997   00   01   00  
  *Wittering   06.1   +0.3   02.3   +0.7   10.8   19   -04.2   25   18   05   17   07.2   28   044   079   1950   096   1959   016   1996   15   03.4   16   017   032   1948   107   1948   12   2000   00   02   00  
                                                                     
  Lyneham   06.1   -0.1   01.9   +0.1   11.7   18   -05.1   25   19   09   11   08.2   29   066   122   1952   088   1952   027   1996   20   05.0   10   023   034   1945   132   1995   06   1997   00   02   00  
  Ross-on-Wye   07.0   +0.1   02.2   -0.3   12.0   18   -04.0   23   17   07   14   07.2   29   052   095   1915   096   1952   017   1996   10   04.0   09   017   024   1859   161   1943   07   1898   00   01   00  
  *St Athan   07.1   +0.1   03.2   +0.2   10.1   10   -04.0   25   17   06   13   07.3   29   055   105   1954   085   1959   021   1996   13   08.0   10   023   025   1954   172   1995   09   1997   00   00   00  
  St Mawgan   07.8   -0.7   03.8   -0.7   10.7   10   -02.4   25   13   07   11   08.6   30   093   151   1945   114   1963   029   1973   60   16.6   13   046   039   1944   217   1974   14   1987   00   00   00  
                                                                     
  *Edgbaston   05.8   -0.6   02.7   -0.6   11.4   18   -01.5   25   18   03   12   06.5   28   050   108   1887   077   1952   007   1917   19   04.0   10   016   025   1887   153   1960   13   1888   00   02   00  
  *Valley   07.9   0.0   03.9   -0.4   11.0   18   -03.2   08   12   05   07   07.8   28   077   131   1946   094   2001   024   1983   18   15.6   09   061   068   1941   195   1948   07   1997   00   00   00  
  *Woodford   06.5   +0.5   01.9   +0.4   11.2   19   -03.1   04   18   09   09   07.0   29   055   126   1945   074   2003   011   1953   16   07.4   10   028   039   1942   170   1948   08   1997   00   01   00  
  *Watnall   06.0   +0.2   02.6   +1.0   11.1   19   -01.8   25   18   03   15   07.0   28   038   067   1948   083   2000   013   1996   16   09.2   10   024   044   1942   149   1948   10   1997   00   02   00  
                                                                     
  *Leeming   06.3   +0.1   01.5   +0.1   11.9   19   -06.8   29   21   11   10   05.5   20   044   078   1945   091   1959   018   1996   16   06.0   18   016   026   1945   129   1948   06   1997   00   01   00  
  *Boulmer   06.9   +0.2   02.6   +1.0   12.4   10   -06.0   31   16   06   10   07.2   31   043   078   1945   104   1959   010   1996   12   07.8   18   028   039   1945   189   1948   09   1989   00   00   00  
  *Eskdalemuir   04.9   +0.1   01.0   +1.2   09.3   19   -07.0   30   23   10   18   07.2   29   028   064   1911   096   1959   009   1996   15   32.8   10   129   091   1911   390   1928   38   1997   00   00   00  
  *Bishopton   06.3   -0.1   02.3   +1.0   11.4   10   -04.8   30   17   06   18   05.7   14   030   071   1921   069   1972   009   1940   14   16.0   12   096   093   1921   241   1928   18   1963   00   00   01  
                                                                     
  *Leuchars   06.6   +0.5   02.0   +0.7   12.6   10   -04.0   31   19   07   13   07.2   31   041   067   1922   101   1959   014   1996   15   04.0   10   018   028   1922   167   1993   12   1953   00   00   00  
  Dyce   06.9   +1.3   02.6   +1.9   12.5   19   -08.2   31   12   05   16   07.4   30   046   086   1941   089   1959   010   1996   16   04.6   19   021   024   1941   157   1970   13   1989   00   00   00  
  *Stornoway   08.1   +1.2   04.4   +1.7   11.6   18   -01.4   26   08   01   14   06.7   30   039   104   1880   079   2001   012   1907   12   19.2   15   099   081   1943   274   1993   26   1963   00   00   00  
  *Aldergrove   07.1   +0.7   03.0   +1.1   12.1   10   -06.2   30   13   07   11   07.6   19   047   101   1927   082   1959   024   1996   15   05.0   16   * 022   026   1927   150   1984   22   1997   00   00   00  
                                                                     
                                                                                                                                           
  Stations marked with an asterisk record sunshine electronically; comparisons      
  with earlier records are therefore somewhat speculative. Thorney Island's     * Equals previous record  
  sunshine figures are made at a nearby site.