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graphs      CLIMATE-UK.COM'S  REVIEW  OF  THE  BRITISH  METEOROLOGICAL  SCENE
     MONTHLY  SUMMARY
     No. 650 For   FEBRUARY  2010
                      PERSISTENTLY RATHER COLD WITH FREQUENT SNOW
Text Box: This was the fourth most ‘easterly’ February in 138 years of records, after 1986, 1947 and 1895. After a changeable start the second week was broadly anticyclonic, but the second half of the month was exceptionally cyclonic, the barometer remaining continuously below 1000mbar over much of the UK from late on the 15th until late on the 28th. Nevertheless, it was a gale-free month with no reported gust above 50kn.

Atlantic disturbances crossed the country during the first six days, bringing frequent rain, and in northern districts some snow. It was cold at times in Scotland, and Dalwhinnie (Inverness-shire) recorded -10.1°C early on the 3rd, but southern districts enjoyed the highest temperatures of the entire month, notably on the 5th when Kew Gardens (London) reached 12.3°C. By contrast, at Lerwick (Shetland), snow lay 14-18cm deep until the afternoon of the 4th.

Between the 7th and 14th high pressure was slow-moving between Scotland and Iceland and a cold northeasterly airflow covered the country. Many districts had slight to moderate frost each night, and snow fell frequently in eastern and southern districts though generally in small amounts; daytime highs were typically between 2 and 5°C so snow did not lie on the ground for long except in upland districts. However, it snowed heavily in east Kent and east Sussex on the 11th, with 25cm over the hills behind Folkestone. Western parts of the UK were largely dry and sunny during this week, and at Ronaldsway (Isle of Man) the sun shone for 38h during the six days ending with the 13th. Weymouth (Dorset) reported 9.5h on the 11th alone.

A deepening depression moved slowly southeast then south from Iceland to Scotland between the 14th and 16th bringing more general outbreaks of rain and snow, and there were renewed accumulations of snow over high ground. This ushered in an extended cyclonic period which delivered very unsettled weather with some rain or
Text Box: snow falling on most days; notable rainfall totals included 31mm at Kew and  Hampstead (both London) on the 15th/16th. There were some heavy and disruptive falls of snow too, notably across many parts of Wales, the Midlands, East Anglia, and the northern Home Counties on the 18th, the 21st, and the 22nd, with snow depths of 10-15cm in the worst hit areas. Over much of northern and western Britain, however, there was a good deal of sunshine between the 17th and 23rd, but with severe night frosts. Dunstaffnage (Argyll) recorded 48h of sunshine during the six days ending on the 23rd, while overnight lows were widely between -10 and -18°C in the Scottish highlands between the same dates, with -19.2°C at Braemar (Aberdeenshire) early on the 23rd the lowest.

Prolonged heavy snow also hit the Scottish Highlands between the 24th and 26th with 39cm measured at Aviemore (Inverness-shire) and an unconfirmed 80cm in Glencoe (Argyll); Scotland’s main population centres, though, escaped with nothing worse than a few centimetres of slush and Dyce (Aberdeenshire) recorded 58mm of rain in 48h. Southern districts became milder at times between the 24th and 27th with 12.1°C at Gravesend/Broadness on the 24th. A further very deep depression tracked north-eastwards from Brittany to Benelux on the 28th bringing widespread heavy rain to southern England, parts of the Midlands and East Anglia; heaviest fall was 51mm at St Helier (Jersey).

Mean monthly temperature was 1.0-2.0 degC below the 1971-2000 average over much of the UK, but close to or even fractionally above the average in southern England and south Wales. Rainfall was well above the long-term average in all eastern regions, and more than four times the normal amount fell locally in east Kent. Western regions were relatively dry with percentages below 50 at a few sites in western Scotland, Cumbria and west Wales. Similarly, eastern districts were dull and western districts quite sunny, totals ranging from 102h at Dunstaffnage (Argyll) to 39h at Luton (Beds).
                                                                                                                                           
                       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 0ºC
   
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
           
                                                                     
      ºC       ºC       ºC       ºC             Hrs       Hrs         Hrs       Hrs       mm       mm         mm     mm          
                                                                                                                                           
  *Hampstead   05.4   -1.5   01.0   -0.1   11.4   05   -02.5   20   17   12   05   06.9   01   053   078   1910   135   2008   020   1912   02   22.4   16   108   282   1910   124   1951   03   1959   00   12   00  
  Thorney Island   06.6   -1.5   02.0   -0.2   10.3   05   -03.8   20   13   09   04   08.3   17   065   077   1956   153   2008   034   1976   07   15.0   21   098   191   1941   147   1951   01   1959   00   05   00  
  *Wattisham   05.0   -1.5   -00.2   -1.6   10.3   05   -05.3   18   17   14   09   08.3   01   055   076   1968   138   2008   041   1993   01   12.0   16   089   245   1960   091   2001   04   1998   00   15   00  
  *Wittering   04.9   -1.3   00.3   -1.0   09.7   25   -03.8   20   21   09   10   08.9   20   051   068   1950   130   1988   032   1972   02   08.6   02   072   166   1948   117   1977   02   1959   00   19   01  
                                                                     
  Lyneham   05.8   -0.8   00.6   -0.9   10.0   24   -03.2   11   20   12   09   07.0   11   064   080   1952   124   2008   037   1982   07   22.4   18   057   121   1946   140   1977   03   1965   00   13   01  
  Ross-on-Wye   06.9   -0.3   00.7   -1.3   11.7   24   -03.7   20   24   09   09   08.1   21   067   092   1915   119   1934   018   1940   12   15.6   18   044   085   1859   170   1923   01   1891   00   13   00  
  *St Athan   06.9   -0.2   01.8   -0.7   10.9   24   -03.5   11   17   07   07   08.2   19   075   094   1954   128   1988   036   1958   11   07.0   20   046   074   1954   141   2002   01   1986   00   06   00  
  Culdrose   08.1   -0.8   02.7   -1.1   11.0   23   -04.5   12   17   07   07   08.5   26   100   111   1961   128   1996   039   1986   10   16.8   03   066   067   1961   193   1977   05   1965   00   03   00  
                                                                     
  *Edgbaston   05.1   -2.0   00.9   -1.1   09.4   24   -02.5   11   25   09   04   06.3   20   047   067   1887   124   2008   009   1917   06   17.0   19   055   114   1887   149   1923   01   1891   00   18   00  
  *Valley   06.8   -1.1   01.0   -2.4   10.3   04   -03.4   11   23   12   03   08.9   17   092   100   1946   144   1986   039   1980   11   08.8   20   039   063   1941   161   1977   07   1986   00   05   00  
  *Woodford   05.4   -1.0   -01.0   -2.2   10.1   06   -06.9   01   23   15   09   08.5   11   056   078   1945   115   2008   034   2009   08   11.8   25   059   113   1942   161   1977   04   1986   00   11   00  
  *Watnall   04.8   -1.4   00.3   -1.0   09.3   05   -03.2   21   18   09   13   06.1   11   041   054   1948   122   2008   025   1965   03   10.8   25   049   114   1942   198   1977   05   1959   00   18   01  
                                                                     
  *Leeming   04.6   -1.9   -00.4   -1.5   07.4   14   -05.2   21   20   12   13   08.1   11   048   065   1945   116   1970   026   1980   05   14.4   26   057   127   1945   107   1966   03   1985   00   17   00  
  *Boulmer   04.9   -1.3   00.9   0.0   07.2   14   -05.5   21   16   10   08   06.6   20   044   066   1945   121   1997   038   1980   05   25.2   26   081   166   1945   144   1978   05   1946   00   15   00  
  *Eskdalemuir   03.7   -1.2   -02.1   -1.4   07.0   06   -08.5   03   27   20   07   06.1   20   052   074   1911   118   1970   018   1966   04   09.1   26   049   050   1911   402   1997   05   1932   00   21   02  
  *Bishopton   04.6   -2.2   -01.1   -2.1   08.0   15   -06.2   23   18   14   07   08.2   21   075   108   1921   118   1970   015   1959   14   35.2   25   078   130   1921   249   2002   01   1932   00   15   00  
                                                                     
  *Leuchars   05.0   -1.5   -00.8   -1.7   07.4   12   -07.0   21   21   13   08   09.1   22   082   095   1922   134   1999   033   1923   10   19.4   25   054   118   1922   142   1977   02   1932   00   18   00  
  *Dyce   04.5   -1.5   -00.8   -1.0   07.0   14   -10.2   21   21   11   10   09.3   22   078   094   1941   131   1989   034   1994   12   33.2   25   088   146   1941   146   1994   07   1959   00   20   00  
  *Stornoway   05.5   -1.5   01.0   -1.2   09.1   14   -04.2   22   20   05   06   08.0   23   050   063   1880   106   1975   022   1943   06   08.6   03   057   076   1943   277   1997   10   1963   00   13   00  
  *Aldergrove   05.4   -1.6   -00.2   -1.8   09.2   05   -05.0   11   20   13   10   08.0   10   057   077   1927   108   2004   030   1993   10   16.8   26   056   110   1927   132   1990   03   1932   00   10   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.