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graphs CLIMATE-UK.COM'S REVIEW OF THE BRITISH METEOROLOGICAL SCENE
MONTHLY SUMMARY
No. 662 For FEBRUARY 2011
VERY MILD; WET ESPECIALLY IN THE WEST; THE DULLEST SINCE 1980
Text Box: The first half of February was strongly southwesterly, and the zonal index reached its highest level since November 2009. From mid-month, a blocking anticyclone prevailed over northern and/or eastern Europe, although cold southeasterlies only affected the UK during the third week. Mean monthly pressure anomaly ranged from     -18mbar near southern Greenland to +7mbar in the Russian Arctic and the anomalous flow over the British Isles was southwesterly.

Strong westerly winds accompanied a changeable start to the month, and there was heavy rain at times in some northern and western districts. A secondary depression deepened explosively as it tracked past the Western Isles late on the 3rd; peak gusts included 77kn at Stornoway (Isle of Lewis) on the 3rd and 81kn at Lerwick (Shetland) on the 4th, and 49mm of rain fell at Lake Vyrnwy (Montgomeryshire) in the 24h from 09z on the 3rd. Strong southwesterlies persisted over much of England and Wales until the 7th, though the gradient eased over northern Britain as colder air penetrated here. Heavy and prolonged orographically-enhanced rain continued to affect the Lake District and especially Wales; on the 4th 97mm fell at Shap (Cumbria), and on the 5th and 6th Lake Vyrnwy logged 97mm and 69mm respectively, with a 5-day total here (3rd-7th) of 237mm. Short-lived flooding followed on several rivers in mid and north Wales. Temperatures remained above 10C by day and night in many places, with a highest minimum of 12.2C at Credenhill (Herefs) and Newport (Salop) early on the 5th, and a highest maximum of 14.4C at Monkswood (Cambs) that afternoon. Further gusts to 73kn were noted at Aberdaron (Caernarfon) on the 7th as the final secondary in the sequence tracked across the Irish Sea.

The weather during the second week remained changeable, though without the excessive rain and wind of the first week. Nevertheless, rain fell frequently with some significant falls in southern and eastern districts - parts of the Midlands had recorded less than 1mm of rain during the 23 days ending Feb 10. But there were some sunny days too, notably the 8th when East Malling (Kent) enjoyed 9.5h of
Text Box: bright sunshine. Generally temperatures were somewhat lower than earlier in the month with some night frosts and the month's lowest temperature of -6.5C was recorded at Altnaharra (Sutherland) early on the 11th, but Cardiff (Bute Park) reported a high of 14.9C that afternoon.

The wind backed southeasterly on the 15th drawing in somewhat colder air especially to eastern and northern parts of the UK, and the weather remained generally dull and damp although some western and southern spots were favoured with occasional sunshine, notably Jersey where the airport logged 9.2h of bright sunshine on the 17th. Occasional rain, heavy in places, turned to sleet or snow, chiefly over high ground in eastern Scotland and northeast England, but snow fell to low levels in these areas for a time on the 18th and 19th with temporary accumulations of 5-10cm, and up to 15cm over hills.

Much milder southwesterlies returned overnight 22nd/23rd, and a couple of very mild days followed with 15.3C at St James's Park (London) on the 24th and 15.5C at Writtle (Essex) on the 25th, although there was a good deal of rain at times too. The month ended with a couple of cloudy, cold days over England and Wales with occasional rain and some wet snow over hills, but Scotland and Northern Irteland enjoyed long sunny spells.

Mean monthly temperatures were 1-2 degC above the 1971-2000 average in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and 2-3degC above over England and Wales where it was the warmest February since 2002. Monthly rainfall ranged from slightly below normal in parts of East Anglia and the Southeast to three times the normal locally in southwest Scotland, Cumbria and Wales. Sunshine was in short supply everywhere except Northern Ireland and at a few sites in Scotland; over England and Wales as a whole it was the dullest February since 1980, and at Wattisham (Suffolk) the total of 32h was the lowest for the month since sunshine records began in 1968.
                                                                                                                                           
    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   08.7   +1.8   04.4   +3.3   13.8   24   -03.3   01   08   01   11   07.5   08   044   073   1910   135   2008   020   1912   09   14.1   10   056   143   1910   124   1951   03   1959   00   00   00  
  Thorney Island   09.4   +1.3   04.8   +2.6   13.4   24   -02.2   08   08   03   06   06.8   17   052   068   1956   153   2008   034   1976   03   11.8   10   056   107   1941   147   1951   01   1959   00   00   00  
  *Wattisham   08.4   +2.0   03.6   +2.2   14.9   25   -03.4   01   06   03   14   08.7   08   * 032   049   1968   138   2008   041   1993   11   09.4   10   047   128   1960   091   2001   04   1998   00   01   01  
  *Wittering   09.0   +2.8   04.0   +2.7   13.9   24   -02.3   01   07   02   13   08.8   08   044   067   1950   130   1988   032   1972   12   10.4   25   044   101   1948   117   1977   02   1959   00   01   01  
                                                                     
  Lyneham   08.9   +2.3   04.3   +2.8   12.4   11   -01.6   01   11   03   13   08.1   08   040   056   1952   124   2008   037   1982   04   16.0   13   070   146   1946   140   1977   03   1965   00   01   01  
  Ross-on-Wye   09.8   +2.6   04.4   +2.4   14.0   11   -06.3   01   07   03   12   07.1   12   051   079   1915   119   1934   018   1940   07   09.1   18   038   074   1859   170   1923   01   1891   00   00   00  
  *St Athan   09.5   +2.4   05.7   +3.2   13.2   11   -00.9   08   06   01   12   06.1   17   040   057   1954   128   1988   036   1958   07   15.0   25   071   113   1954   141   2002   01   1986   00   00   00  
  Culdrose   10.2   +1.3   06.3   +2.5   11.6   10   -00.3   08   06   01   12   08.9   28   057   072   1961   128   1996   039   1986   04   12.4   18   080   082   1961   193   1977   05   1965   00   00   00  
                                                                     
  *Edgbaston   08.7   +1.6   04.8   +2.8   13.1   24   -01.1   01   08   01   07   07.8   08   036   058   1887   124   2008   009   1917   11   09.2   25   027   056   1887   149   1923   01   1891   00   00   02  
  *Valley   09.4   +1.5   05.7   +2.3   10.6   09   00.8   15   04   00   07   08.9   28   072   088   1946   144   1986   039   1980   06   15.8   05   093   149   1941   161   1977   07   1986   00   00   00  
  *Woodford   09.1   +2.7   04.1   +2.9   12.8   25   -01.2   18   12   03   10   08.0   08   044   069   1945   115   2008   034   2009   05   29.0   05   139   263   1942   161   1977   04   1986   00   00   00  
  *Watnall   08.7   +2.5   04.2   +2.9   13.9   24   -01.7   01   07   01   16   08.8   08   041   062   1948   122   2008   025   1965   07   11.4   25   071   161   1942   198   1977   05   1959   00   00   02  
                                                                     
  *Leeming   08.6   +2.1   03.3   +2.2   14.0   25   -02.5   15   10   02   10   07.5   16   060   091   1945   116   1970   026   1980   10   06.8   03   053   115   1945   107   1966   03   1985   00   01   03  
  *Boulmer   08.2   +2.0   03.6   +2.7   13.1   25   -00.8   11   07   02   10   07.5   10   049   082   1945   121   1997   038   1980   05   09.4   22   065   129   1945   144   1978   05   1946   00   00   02  
  *Eskdalemuir   06.3   +1.4   01.6   +2.3   09.8   24   -02.1   11   10   06   16   07.6   28   037   059   1911   118   1970   018   1966   02   52.6   04   259   261   1911   402   1997   05   1932   00   02   05  
  *Bishopton   07.6   +0.8   02.5   +1.5   12.7   04   -01.7   28   10   04   12   09.3   28   053   087   1921   118   1970   015   1959   03   26.0   03   182   298   1921   249   2002   01   1932   00   00   03  
                                                                     
  *Leuchars   07.7   +1.2   01.9   +1.0   13.3   24   -03.5   15   19   05   11   09.1   28   049   065   1922   134   1999   033   1923   05   13.6   06   085   182   1922   142   1977   02   1932   00   01   03  
  *Dyce   07.4   +1.4   02.3   +2.1   13.3   25   -04.0   11   13   06   12   08.2   28   055   076   1941   131   1989   034   1994   07   17.0   11   089   147   1941   146   1994   07   1959   00   01   04  
  *Stornoway   08.0   +1.1   03.7   +1.5   11.7   24   00.1   14   10   00   09   07.0   15   066   093   1880   106   1975   022   1943   04   12.4   11   081   107   1943   277   1997   10   1963   00   00   01  
  *Aldergrove   09.1   +2.1   03.8   +2.2   13.0   23   -02.1   28   08   01   07   08.7   28   070   108   1927   108   2004   030   1993   04   19.0   06   086   166   1927   132   1990   03   1932   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 from a nearby site.