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graphs CLIMATE-UK.COM'S REVIEW OF THE BRITISH METEOROLOGICAL SCENE
MONTHLY SUMMARY
No. 602 For FEBRUARY 2006
COLD EARLY AND LATE, RATHER MILD MID-MONTH; GENERALLY BELOW AVERAGE RAINFALL
Text Box: High pressure lay over or near the British Isles until the 11th, but a much more disturbed spell - westerly at first then cyclonic - followed between the 12th and 20th. During the rest of the month a large blocking anticyclone lay to the northwest of Britain with a rather cold north-easterly flow covering the country. Mean monthly sea-level pressure was almost uniform over the UK, while anomalies ranged from zero in southeast England to +5mbar in northwest Scotland.

A large, flat area of high pressure covered the UK for the first five days. Most areas were dry but dull and very cold at first. Although the temperature remained below zero for upwards of 48 hours in many places the absence of frozen ground was widely remarked upon; this was a rare example of heat flux from below being the dominant factor in the energy balance at the surface of the ground during a period of thick cloud and no wind. Lowest maxima included -2.3C at Thorncliffe (Staffs) on the 1st, -2.7C at Little Rissington (Glos) on the 2nd, and -2.9C at Dunkeswell (Devon) on the 3rd. Cloud-breaks in northeast Scotland allowed the temperature to drop to -11.5C at Braemar (Aberdeenshire) early on the 1st, and   -11.3C at the same site the following morning. It became less cold from the 4th to the 7th with occasional sunny breaks, although fog formed widely early on the 5th.

A cold front swept south-eastwards across the UK on the 7th bringing some rain to all areas, and Kinlochewe (Wester Ross) recorded 59mm in the 48hrs ending 21GMT on the 7th. At Northolt (London) this was the first significant rain for 22 days. During the next few days scattered snow showers fell in northern and eastern districts, but nearly all areas enjoyed long sunny periods with Weymouth (Dorset) logging 9.3hr sunshine on the 10th. There were sharp night frosts and Benson (Oxon) recorded -8.2C overnight 9th/10th.
Text Box: A southwesterly flow developed later on the 10th lifting temperatures above the seasonal norm, but Atlantic fronts brought outbreaks of rain from time to time. The system which crossed the country late on the 14th delivered several hours of moderate to heavy rain to all parts of the UK (Capel Curig in Snowdonia collected 56mm in 36hr), followed by squally showers accompanied by hail and thunder over the next three days. A developing depression brought almost 24hrs of steady rain to the southeastern corner of England during the 19th and 20th, and Hastings (Sussex) recorded 40mm. 

A cold north-easterly wind blew across the British Isles almost without a break from the 20th until the end of the month. There were frequent wintry showers in eastern and central districts at first, and a larger area of rain and snow travelled south-westwards across England and Wales on the 23rd and 24th; snow on the ground melted quickly at low levels, but 5-10cm fell over land above 200m. A southward moving cold front brought a spell of rain and sleet on the 27th, and the month ended with strong northerly winds, frequent heavy snow showers in northern Scotland and on exposed coasts elsewhere (up to 20cm in northeast Scotland and on the eastern flank of the North York Moors), but other regions had long sunny spells.

Mean maximum temperature was 1 degC above normal in the north and west of Scotland, but 1 degC below in some southern counties of England. Mean minimum temperature ranged from 1.5 degC above in northern Scotland to 0.5 degC below in southwest England. It was a generally rather dry month with rainfall totals typically between 60 and 100% of the normal and less than 40% at Wick (Caithness), but there was a 60% excess in both Hastings and Herstmonceux in East Sussex. Sunshine totals ranged from 91 hours at Ronaldsway (Isle of Man) to 39 hours at Boulmer (Northumberland) where it was the dullest February since 1980.
                                                                                                                                         
    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   06.2   -0.7   01.2   +0.1   11.8   15   -03.7   03   21   09   08   07.5   25   071   117   1910   111   1988   020   1912   15   11.0   14   047   109   1910   124   1951   03   1959   00   04   00  
  Thorney Island   06.7   -1.4   02.0   -0.2   10.9   14   -04.0   10   20   06   12   08.5   10   076   092   1956   141   1988   034   1976   10   13.6   14   045   077   1941   147   1951   01   1959   00   01   00  
  *Coltishall   06.4   -0.6   02.2   -1.1   11.5   18   -02.6   18   18   04   09   07.2   18   047   068   1979   122   1988   045   1993   10   11.8   14   056   110   1964   093   1977   02   1985   01   07   00  
  *Wittering   06.3   +0.1   01.5   -0.2   11.9   13   -03.5   02   21   06   10   08.1   09   062   095   1950   130   1988   032   1972   13   07.4   14   034   069   1948   117   1977   02   1959   01   07   00  
                                                                     
  Lyneham   05.7   -0.9   00.9   -0.6   10.7   14   -04.4   10   22   10   11   08.0   10   078   110   1952   116   1988   037   1982   15   14.0   14   048   089   1946   140   1977   03   1965   00   06   01  
  Ross-on-Wye   06.6   -0.6   01.5   -0.5   12.0   15   -05.0   10   20   07   14   08.0   09   058   090   1915   119   1934   018   1940   11   08.9   15   026   044   1859   170   1923   01   1891   00   05   00  
  *St Athan   06.2   -0.9   02.3   -0.2   09.9   13   -03.8   10   18   05   10   09.0   25   075   109   1954   128   1988   036   1958   15   12.2   11   039   053   1954   141   2002   01   1986   00   02   00  
  St Mawgan   07.0   -1.2   03.1   -0.7   11.2   13   -01.9   04   13   04   09   07.9   21   069   084   1944   143   1996   038   1958   12   19.0   14   064   068   1945   195   1950   04   1986   00   02   00  
                                                                     
  *Edgbaston   05.5   -0.5   01.9   -0.5   10.1   15   -03.5   02   18   06   08   07.5   09   059   100   1887   109   1949   009   1917   14   09.4   14   034   052   1887   149   1923   01   1891   00   08   00  
  Valley   07.6   -0.3   04.0   +0.6   09.9   14   -01.5   10   09   01   10   08.6   19   084   104   1946   144   1986   039   1980   14   10.8   23   044   064   1941   161   1977   07   1986   01   02   00  
  *Woodford   06.4   0.0   01.8   +0.6   10.7   15   -04.7   10   17   10   08   07.9   09   073   118   1945   104   2004   034   1980   12   12.6   23   052   087   1942   161   1977   04   1986   00   03   00  
  *Watnall   06.1   -0.1   01.8   +0.5   10.5   14   -02.9   02   19   09   11   09.2   18   057   087   1948   113   1988   025   1965   12   09.2   14   040   080   1942   198   1977   05   1959   00   07   00  
                                                                     
  *Leeming   06.9   +0.4   01.1   0.0   10.8   07   -04.8   11   23   08   08   07.8   08   063   097   1945   116   1970   026   1980   11   10.0   20   039   075   1945   107   1966   03   1985   00   06   01  
  *Boulmer   06.9   +0.7   02.4   +1.5   10.7   06   -03.0   01   14   04   07   05.4   20   042   071   1945   121   1997   038   1980   10   04.2   23   027   047   1945   144   1978   05   1946   00   06   00  
  *Eskdalemuir   05.6   +0.7   00.5   +1.2   08.0   18   -06.1   10   24   07   10   08.6   28   062   100   1911   118   1970   018   1966   12   26.2   14   088   079   1911   402   1997   05   1932   00   08   00  
  *Bishopton   07.5   +0.7   02.0   +1.0   10.3   03   -04.6   10   18   07   08   09.0   28   072   120   1921   118   1970   015   1959   9   10.6   14   056   082   1921   249   2002   01   1932   00   04   00  
                                                                     
  *Leuchars   07.0   +0.5   01.6   +0.7   10.1   06   -04.3   01   20   09   06   08.1   28   061   082   1922   134   1999   033   1923   14   08.0   14   026   049   1922   142   1977   02   1932   00   04   00  
  Dyce   06.7   +0.7   01.1   +0.9   12.1   06   -06.4   01   22   09   09   07.6   22   059   082   1941   131   1989   034   1994   12   07.8   28   055   080   1941   146   1994   07   1959   00   08   00  
  *Stornoway   07.9   +1.0   03.6   +1.4   10.8   06   -00.5   28   13   03   10   08.2   22   059   084   1880   106   1975   022   1943   9   13.8   06   061   071   1943   277   1997   10   1963   01   05   00  
  *Aldergrove   07.2   +0.2   01.9   +0.3   11.5   13   -02.9   27   18   08   06   08.1   03   084   131   1927   108   2004   030   1993   12   05.2   11   022   038   1927   132   1990   03   1932   00   02   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.