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graphs CLIMATE-UK.COM'S REVIEW OF THE BRITISH METEOROLOGICAL SCENE
MONTHLY SUMMARY
No. 625 For JANUARY 2008
WETTEST SINCE 1995; DULLEST SINCE 1996 IN THE NORTHWEST; VERY MILD IN THE SOUTH
Text Box: Although pressure was often high over eastern Europe, especially during the first half of the month, continental air reached the UK for just one short spell - between the 2nd and 4th. From the 5th-21st cyclonic and SWly weather types dominated and though pressure was high over southern Britain for much of the last week, SWlies continued over northern regions. Mean monthly sea-level pressure anomaly ranged from -1mbar in Kent to -7mbar in the Western Isles, resulting in a SWly anomalous flow over the UK.
 
During the first four days of January the British Isles were covered by a south-easterly flow between deep low pressure on the Atlantic and a massive anticyclone over NE Europe where pressure on the 3rd reached 1064 mbar, the highest in the region since 1972. Atlantic airstreams regained control from the 5th, and vigorous depressions crossed the country at frequent intervals from then until the 17th.

The first few days were cloudy with mostly light rain at times, but it became progr-essively colder, and the 3rd was very cold with widespread snow showers, heaviest in NE England and E Scotland; the days high at Lake Vyrnwy (Powys) was -1.2C. Warmer air spread N-wards on the 4th with snow in northern regions giving way to rain, ushering in a period of milder but very unsettled weather. During the next two weeks rain fell frequently and often heavily, and although it was generally quite mild over central and southern districts, northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland were often rather cold, and there were some substantial falls of snow - chiefly over the Scottish highlands. On the 8th 62mm of rain fell at Tyndrum (Perthshire) and on the 9th 97mm at Capel Curig (Snowdonia) while a gale overnight 8th/9th brought gusts to 73kn at Machrihanish (Argyll). There was a short-lived snowfall even in southern England on the 11th, and the following night Braemar (Aberdeenshire) recorded a min of -11.3C, the months lowest. Sunny days were rare but the 6th, 9th and 12th were quite bright, and on the latter date Eastbourne (Sussex) notched up 7.6h of sunshine. The 15th was another very wet day, Ballypatrick Forest (Co.Antrim) collecting 65mm.

From the 18th-21st a broad southwesterly flow of sub-tropical origin affected southern Britain. A strong rise of pressure now occurred over Biscay, France and southern parts Text Box: of the UK, but W-lies continued to affect central and northern districts. A deep depression tracked past northern Scotland overnight 30th/31st and the flow veered NWly in its wake.

Between the 18th and 21st it became exceptionally mild over southern England, Wales, the Midlands and East Anglia with temperatures around 13-14C by day and 11-12C at night. Preston Wynne (Herefordshire) reached 15.2C on the 20th, while notably high minima included 13.0C at Gravesend (Kent) overnight 19th/20th, and at St Jamess Park (London) on 20th/21st. Meanwhile a prolonged downpour affected the Welsh hills and the Pennines resulting in serious flooding on the Severn, Wye, Conway and Aire. At Capel Curig 213mm of rain fell in little more than 84 hours. It became mostly dry with long sunny spells over England and Wales from the 22nd-30th (8.6h of bright sunshine reported by Jersey airport on the 27th), but heavy orographically-enhanced rain affected the western highlands, with 65mm at Kinlochewe (Wester Ross) on the 24th, 72mm at Tyndrum on the 25th, and 60mm again at Kinlochewe on the 26th; significant flooding affected the Tay and Tummel. Gales swept northern Britain on the 25th, and all parts of the UK on the 31st (gusts to 73kn at Carlisle) when an influx of polar air brought snow and hail showers to many places.

Mean temperature ranged from 0.5 degC above normal in northern Scotland to 3.0 degC above in SE England and the Midlands where it was one of the six warmest Januarys of the last 100 years, but even in the south most places were marginally less warm than in January 2007. Rainfall was above normal in all regions, though only by a couple of points in East Anglia, and averaged nationally it was the wettest January since 1995. New local records were established in the Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast areas. Individual totals ranged from 50mm at Shoeburyness (Essex) to 611mm at Capel Curig. Sunshine was plentiful in the Midlands and southeast England, but there was barely half the usual amount in western Scotland and northwest England where it was the dullest January since 1996; totals ranged from 82h at Kew Gardens (London) to a mere 11h at Eskdalemuir (Dumfriesshire).
                                                                                                                                           
    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   09.2   +2.8   04.4   +2.7   13.3   20   -00.3   03   09   01   07   07.1   27   071   161   1910   096   2003   020   1917   10   11.4   11   085   129   1910   131   1995   14   1914   00   02   00  
  Thorney Island   09.4   +1.7   05.6   +2.9   12.4   19   -01.0   06   05   01   06   07.4   27   068   112   1958   105   2003   035   1975   06   15.8   14   100   123   1941   160   1988   12   1987   00   00   00  
  *Wattisham   08.6   +2.8   04.1   +2.2   14.1   20   -01.1   28   11   03   11   06.3   06   050   089   1968   093   2001   022   1996   11   10.8   19   067   135   1960   133   1988   06   1997   00   02   00  
  *Wittering   08.9   +3.1   04.2   +2.6   13.5   18   -01.1   03   12   01   09   07.2   27   061   109   1950   096   1959   016   1996   10   17.6   11   074   136   1948   107   1948   12   2000   00   02   00  
                                                                     
  Lyneham   08.8   +2.6   04.5   +2.7   12.2   18   -00.7   03   17   01   10   06.9   27   052   095   1952   088   1952   027   1996   14   25.8   11   095   139   1945   132   1995   06   1997   01   02   00  
  Ross-on-Wye   10.5   +3.6   03.9   +1.4   14.0   18   -01.5   28   00   01   10   07.2   27   045   082   1915   096   1952   017   1996   13   28.1   11   099   137   1859   161   1943   07   1898   00   02   00  
  *St Athan   09.3   +2.3   05.9   +2.9   12.0   18   00.5   03   08   00   12   06.8   30   030   057   1954   085   1959   021   1996   10   13.4   14   100   109   1954   172   1995   09   1997   01   00   00  
  St Mawgan   10.0   +1.6   06.6   +2.2   12.9   18   02.3   03   02   00   09   08.0   27   045   073   1945   114   1963   029   1973   06   17.0   13   118   099   1944   217   1974   14   1987   01   00   00  
                                                                     
  *Edgbaston   08.2   +1.5   04.6   +2.2   13.5   18   -01.0   03   10   01   07   06.0   30   054   110   1887   077   1952   007   1917   07   26.9   11   106   141   1887   153   1960   13   1888   00   02   00  
  *Valley   09.3   +1.5   06.3   +2.1   11.3   18   -00.2   04   07   01   11   05.7   03   043   072   1946   094   2001   024   1983   09   29.6   09   123   137   1941   195   1948   07   1997   01   00   00  
  *Woodford   08.5   +2.6   04.0   +2.6   13.1   18   -02.1   12   09   05   16   04.9   06   029   054   1945   074   2003   011   1953   07   17.4   20   150   211   1942   170   1948   08   1997   00   01   00  
  *Watnall   08.4   +2.6   04.1   +2.5   12.9   18   -01.4   03   11   02   08   05.7   27   051   090   1948   083   2000   013   1996   08   19.6   15   113   209   1942   149   1948   10   1997   00   03   00  
                                                                     
  *Leeming   08.2   +2.0   03.9   +2.5   13.9   18   -01.8   03   09   04   10   06.0   30   049   086   1945   091   1959   018   1996   11   22.2   21   116   195   1945   129   1948   06   1997   00   05   00  
  *Boulmer   07.9   +1.3   03.4   +1.9   13.5   23   -00.9   17   03   01   15   05.9   06   041   075   1945   104   1959   010   1996   07   22.0   21   110   159   1945   189   1948   09   1989   00   04   00  
  *Eskdalemuir   05.4   +0.9   02.0   +2.3   10.6   18   -05.3   12   11   07   21   05.4   16   011   025   1911   096   1959   009   1996   03   31.4   13   286   179   1911   390   1928   38   1997   00   12   00  
  *Bishopton   06.8   +0.6   03.1   +2.0   12.4   18   -02.5   22   15   02   19   05.1   16   022   053   1921   069   1972   009   1940   02   34.0   12   * 255   248   1921   241   1928   18   1963   00   06   00  
                                                                     
  *Leuchars   07.0   +1.0   02.4   +1.2   12.9   23   -03.6   12   20   06   13   05.3   06   049   081   1922   101   1959   014   1996   06   19.4   03   137   214   1922   167   1993   12   1953   00   07   00  
  *Dyce   06.8   +1.3   01.7   +1.1   12.7   25   -05.0   12   18   08   13   05.3   31   047   088   1941   089   1959   010   1996   10   20.2   04   119   141   1941   157   1970   13   1989   00   08   00  
  *Stornoway   07.3   +0.6   03.3   +0.8   10.8   28   -00.4   07   14   03   13   03.5   03   022   059   1880   079   2001   012   1907   02   13.0   18   146   119   1943   274   1993   26   1963   00   05   00  
  *Aldergrove   07.3   +1.1   03.7   +2.0   12.6   23   -04.0   04   11   02   15   04.5   06   038   082   1927   082   1959   024   1996   07   20.4   04   * 151   178   1927   150   1984   22   1997   00   04   00  
                                                                     
                                                                                                                                           
  Stations marked with an asterisk record sunshine electronically; comparisons      
  with earlier records are therefore somewhat speculative. Thorney Island's     * New highest  
  sunshine figures are made at a nearby site.