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graphs CLIMATE-UK.COM'S REVIEW OF THE BRITISH METEOROLOGICAL SCENE
MONTHLY SUMMARY
No. 624 For DECEMBER 2007
VERY MILD AND WET EARLY AND LATE; LONG ANTICYCLONIC INTERLUDE 11TH-24TH
Text Box: December comprised three contrasting episodes: a cyclonic/southwesterly type held sway until the 10th followed by a long anticyclonic period from the 11th-24th, then a changeable southwesterly regime returned for the last week. Mean monthly sea-level pressure anomaly ranged from +1mbar in the Western Isles to +6mbar in Kent, and the anomalous flow over the British Isles was south-southwesterly.

The month opened with a complex depression over Scotland and a vigorous west to southwesterly flow over southern Britain. A brief northwesterly incursion on the 3rd was followed by a broad southwesterly airstream which lasted from the 4th to the 6th. A deep depression crossed the British Isles on the 8th/9th followed by a prolonged strong pressure rise.

The first three days of December were unsettled and rather mild with a good deal of rain especially in Scotland and Northern Ireland, local thunderstorms too, but also some long sunny spells especially on the 1st and 3rd. It was windy in southern districts, and Guernsey airport reported a gust of 70kn on the 2nd. The 4th, 5th and 6th were exceptionally mild and mostly cloudy days with prolonged orographic rainfall on western upslopes. The temperature exceeded 14C widely, with 16.2C at Prestatyn (Denbighshire) on the 6th. Capel Curig recorded 56mm of rain on the 6th alone, part of a 13-day total there of 322mm between 27 Nov and 9 Dec. The 7th was quite sunny, but wet and windy weather affected all districts during the next two days. The rain cleared away eastwards on the 10th but it was now appreciably colder.

A high pressure cell formed over England on the 11th, and from then until the 21st a large anticyclone lay just to the east of the UK, and a southeasterly airflow, often very sluggish, covered the country for much of the time. The high receded eastwards after the 21st allowing weak Atlantic fronts to advance across Britain on the 22nd and 24th.
Text Box: Throughout this period the weather was dry, settled, and generally cold. There was a good deal of sunshine by day, but nights were often very frosty and there were persistent some freezing fog patches too. Temperatures in Scotland fell below -10C on six consecutive nights from the 16th/17th to the 21st/22nd, with a lowest reading of -13.0C at Aboyne (Aberdeenshire) early on the 22nd. Afternoon maxima below zero were common during this period, and were most widespread on the 21st when Aberfeldy (Perthshire) climbed no higher than       -4.2C. Patchy light rain brought a general rise in temperature on the 22nd, but many places in England and Wales had no measurable rain between the 10th and 24th inclusive.

A cold front moved erratically across England and Wales on the 25th followed by mainly southwesterly winds until the 29th, but a ridge of high pressure developed over England on the last two days. Christmas Day was wet over much of England and Wales (the wettest in London since 1989), but Scotland and Northern Ireland were cold and frosty. The next few days were mild and windy with the temperature reaching 13C locally, and there was heavy orographic rainfall in upland western districts: Shap (Cumbria) recorded 181mm between the 24th and 29th with 80mm on the 27th alone. The end of the month was generally cloudy and less mild with rain confined to northern and western Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Both mean maximum and mean minimum temperature was within 0.5degC of the long-term normal in nearly all parts of the UK. Rainfall was above average in some upland parts of western Scotland, Cumbria and Wales, but it was below everywhere else, and several sites in eastern Britain from Essex to Fife recorded less than 25mm during the month. Much of the UK was sunnier than average with aggregates of 80-90 hours in southern England, but some eastern and midland counties had rather less sunshine than usual with a monthly total of barely 30 hours in parts of Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.
                                                                                                                                             
    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   07.9   +0.2   03.3   +0.9   13.6   06   -01.6   20   13   06   08   06.3   12   080   178   1910   086   2001   008   1956   12   10.6   05   062   094   1910   175   1914   10   1933   00   00   01  
  Thorney Island   08.4   -0.2   03.7   +0.0   13.8   05   -03.2   12   11   08   06   06.7   20   081   147   1958   114   2001   037   1966   14   07.8   28   039   050   1941   165   1993   19   1953   00   00   00  
  *Wattisham   07.5   +1.0   02.9   +0.1   13.8   06   -03.7   20   13   05   08   06.7   12   058   116   1979   082   1999   022   2002   10   08.6   25   040   073   1964   120   1965   24   1988   01   00   03  
  *Wittering   07.3   +0.8   02.5   -0.1   14.1   06   -03.4   20   15   10   10   06.0   29   053   106   1950   082   2001   020   1956   16   08.0   06   032   056   1948   130   1978   07   1963   00   00   03  
                                                                     
  Lyneham   07.3   +0.1   02.7   -0.1   13.2   06   -04.9   20   19   09   11   06.4   03   052   104   1952   083   2001   017   1956   21   16.0   24   044   058   1945   159   1959   16   1988   01   00   03  
  Ross-on-Wye   08.2   +0.8   02.9   -0.5   15.0   06   -06.0   17   00   07   09   05.3   10   044   089   1915   078   1948   012   1989   14   15.5   24   067   089   1859   197   1929   11   1991   00   00   03  
  *St Athan   08.3   +0.3   04.1   +0.0   13.6   04   -02.2   23   13   04   10   05.8   10   042   092   1954   072   2001   003   1956   13   22.2   01   131   133   1954   208   1965   31   1988   00   00   00  
  St Mawgan   09.8   +0.5   06.2   +0.6   13.7   04   -00.4   19   04   01   08   07.6   17   068   124   1945   103   2001   027   1988   18   17.0   24   094   076   1944   233   1959   30   1991   00   00   00  
                                                                     
  *Edgbaston   06.8   -0.6   03.1   -0.2   14.2   06   -03.7   20   10   07   12   04.5   11   044   100   1887   090   1891   005   1890   19   13.0   24   049   062   1887   166   1965   10   1926   00   00   02  
  *Valley   09.3   +0.4   04.7   -0.7   13.1   04   -04.5   21   11   06   09   05.9   17   061   124   1946   080   1960   025   1998   11   15.8   01   090   092   1941   179   1964   17   1963   00   00   00  
  *Woodford   07.4   +0.6   02.4   +0.1   13.6   06   -07.8   21   16   08   11   05.8   10   059   131   1945   075   2001   016   1947   08   23.6   06   090   107   1942   180   1965   11   1963   00   00   02  
  *Watnall   06.8   +0.3   02.8   +0.2   13.9   06   -02.4   17   16   11   17   05.0   13   033   067   1948   075   2001   012   1956   14   14.0   24   063   110   1941   180   1965   19   1963   00   00   04  
                                                                     
  *Leeming   06.7   -0.3   02.1   -0.2   14.2   06   -05.1   23   19   10   14   06.2   11   041   098   1945   077   1967   014   1972   14   10.4   28   054   085   1945   125   1978   16   1988   00   00   05  
  *Boulmer   07.0   +0.1   02.3   -0.1   13.6   04   -04.9   22   13   08   10   05.9   11   051   114   1945   082   2006   021   2002   14   19.4   09   034   053   1945   205   1978   17   1975   00   00   01  
  *Eskdalemuir   05.3   -0.1   00.6   -0.2   10.8   06   -08.0   22   19   09   16   05.6   10   037   099   1911   074   1967   003   1912   11   36.6   27   178   105   1911   351   1993   33   1933   00   00   02  
  *Bishopton   06.6   -0.6   02.2   +0.0   12.7   04   -04.5   17   19   10   17   05.8   10   027   084   1921   072   2001   009   1956   11   16.0   27   087   076   1921   295   2006   15   1933   00   00   03  
                                                                     
  *Leuchars   06.6   -0.1   01.5   -0.6   13.2   04   -05.5   17   24   10   11   05.3   10   048   094   1921   082   1967   016   1934   17   09.8   27   025   037   1921   155   1978   08   1926   00   00   02  
  *Dyce   06.6   +0.2   01.4   -0.1   13.1   04   -06.1   22   20   11   07   05.2   02   062   137   1941   088   2006   016   2002   15   14.2   08   042   050   1941   160   1978   20   1991   00   00   01  
  *Stornoway   08.1   +0.6   04.0   +0.7   12.4   04   -01.0   18   12   02   16   04.5   21   033   131   1880   057   1995   006   1884   05   22.4   04   133   100   1943   222   1985   29   1977   00   00   00  
  *Aldergrove   08.2   +1.1   03.8   +0.9   13.8   04   -03.6   25   14   03   11   05.9   10   043   123   1927   077   2001   017   1954   13   09.0   27   054   057   1927   195   1978   15   1963   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 a nearby site.