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graphs CLIMATE-UK.COM'S REVIEW OF THE BRITISH METEOROLOGICAL SCENE
MONTHLY SUMMARY
No. 673 For JANUARY 2012
DRY, SUNNY AND MILD IN MOST DISTRICTS, BUT RATHER CLOUDY AND WET IN NORTHERN AND WESTERN SCOTLAND
Text Box: January was another 'westerly' month although the pressure gradient on the monthly chart was less steep than it had been during December. After a very disturbed opening, the westerlies continued between the 6th and 12th although with much higher pressure over southern Britain. An anticyclonic episode followed between the 13th and 17th followed by a resumption of a westerly type until the 28th. An anticyclonic/easterly regime became established during the closing days of the month.

The first five days were mild and windy with widespread rain or showers. The temperature had fallen no lower than 11C in southern England overnight Dec 31/Jan 1, and exceeded 13C locally in central and southern parts of England and Wales on both the 1st and 3rd, though it was somewhat colder in Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England. The 2nd was a sunny day in central and eastern districts, but a deepening depression swept across central Scotland on the 3rd, and a several gale battered Northern Ireland, central and southern Scotland, northern England and north Wales, with widespread disruption to transport services and power supplies. The highest gusts at low-level sites were 84kn at Port Ellen (Islay) and 81kn at Aberdaron (Caernarfon), with 91kn registered at Salsburgh (Lanarks) - 275m AMSL. The 4th and 5th were also very windy with gusts exceeding 70kn and further damage reported across northern England, Wales and the Midlands, and on the 4th 58mm of rain fell at Cluanie Inn, 51mm at Kinlochewe, and 50mm at Elphin (all in Wester Ross). The 6th and 7th were slightly colder, but with a good deal of sunshine, and with high pressure now over Biscay and France significant rain was largely confined to northwestern districts. It became very mild again from the 8th till the 12th, and although central, eastern and southern districts remained mostly dry, there was further heavy rain in the west and north, notably on the 11th when 65mm was collected at Kinlochewe and 62mm at Cluanie Inn.
Text Box: High pressure settled over the UK on the 13th and 14th, drifting slowly into the near continent over the next three days, and this brought to an end a period of 58 consecutive days with rain in parts of western Scotland. Instead, most parts of the country enjoyed prolonged sunshine and very light winds, though there was widespread severe frost at night. Minima included -9.4C at Aboyne (Aberdeenshire) early on the 15th and -10.5C at the same site the following night, while a few day maxima below zero were noted in Scotland, notably -2.8C at Loch Shin (Sutherland) on the 16th. Highest daily sunshine figures included 8.0h at Culdrose (Cornwall) and Jersey airport, also on the 16th. 

Westerly winds returned between the 18th and 28th, bringing changeable and rather windy weather. It became much milder until the 22nd, with 13.9C logged at Exeter airport (Devon) on the 18th, but temperatures returned to the seasonal normal thereafter, and there were wintry showers on many places on the 23rd, 24th, 26th and 27th. It became much colder during the closing days of the month, with widespread frost at night, and daytime temperatures just a few degrees above freezing. Prolonged rain affected Northern Ireland, Wales and the West Country on the 29th, with snow over high ground, and there were some very light snow flurries in central and eastern districts on the 30th and 31st.

Mean temperatures for January ranged from 0.0-0.5 degC above normal over Scotland to around 1.5 degC above in the Midlands, East Anglia and the Southeast. Averaged across the UK it was the warmest January for four years. Rainfall was 20-30 per cent above normal in northern and western Scotland, but 25-35 per cent below over much of eastern, central and southern England. Totals below 20mm were reported from one or two sites in southeast Scotland and northeast England. Sunshine percentages ranged from 90-95 in western Scotland and Northern Ireland to 140-150 in eastern Scotland, northeast England and the Midlands. Highest total was 93h at both Coleshill (Warwicks) and Southampton.
                                                                                                                                             
    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   08.0   +1.4   03.6   +1.7   11.8   12   -02.1   31   14   06   05   06.6   27   064   134   1910   096   2003   020   1917   08   08.6   01   047   073   1910   131   1995   14   1914   00   00   01  
  Thorney Island   09.6   +1.7   04.8   +1.9   13.3   21   -03.1   14   10   03   01   06.5   16   093   131   1958   105   2003   035   1975   10   13.8   01   049   061   1941   160   1988   12   1987   00   00   00  
  Wattisham   07.7   +1.7   02.8   +0.7   12.1   03   -02.3   31   10   07   08   07.9   27   076   123   1968   093   2001   022   1996   07   08.8   18   045   093   1960   133   1988   06   1997   00   02   01  
  Wittering   08.0   +2.0   02.7   +0.9   11.9   11   -04.6   -02   13   08   08   06.9   04   072   118   1950   096   1959   016   1996   14   05.4   03   030   057   1948   107   1948   12   2000   00   04   01  
                                                                     
  Lyneham   08.0   +1.6   03.5   +1.5   11.4   21   -03.2   16   15   06   07   06.7   16   077   130   1952   088   1952   027   1996   11   12.2   02   056   086   1945   132   1995   06   1997   00   04   02  
  Ross-on-Wye   09.0   +1.9   03.5   +0.8   14.2   18   -05.0   17   16   08   00   06.0   16   082   136   1915   096   1952   017   1996   04   14.0   02   052   075   1859   161   1943   07   1898   00   01   00  
  St Athan   08.8   +1.6   05.0   +1.8   12.1   03   -01.5   14   10   04   06   06.1   16   053   092   1954   085   1959   021   1996   03   19.6   18   120   137   1954   172   1995   09   1997   00   01   00  
  Culdrose   09.9   +0.9   06.4   +1.2   11.9   03   01.5   29   07   00   13   08.0   16   062   096   1961   107   2010   029   1982   07   14.8   29   049   042   1961   255   1984   22   1964   00   00   01  
                                                                     
  Edgbaston   07.8   +0.9   03.8   +1.2   11.6   11   -02.9   16   11   05   01   06.0   16   * 088   165   1887   077   1952   007   1917   10   07.2   04   044   061   1887   153   1960   13   1888   00   06   01  
  Valley   08.7   +0.6   05.0   +0.5   11.3   24   -03.1   16   09   04   08   06.9   16   056   085   1946   094   2001   024   1983   06   13.2   29   061   070   1941   195   1948   07   1997   00   01   00  
  Woodford   07.6   +1.4   02.4   +0.7   10.5   11   -04.6   17   17   11   11   07.5   16   060   102   1945   074   2003   011   1953   02   13.2   04   095   138   1942   170   1948   08   1997   00   02   00  
  Watnall   07.7   +1.7   03.1   +1.3   11.8   11   -04.2   14   11   07   07   07.3   16   075   122   1948   083   2000   013   1996   13   13.4   04   042   080   1942   149   1948   10   1997   00   05   02  
                                                                     
  Leeming   07.1   +0.7   01.5   -0.1   12.1   11   -06.7   14   21   13   09   05.7   16   062   101   1945   091   1959   018   1996   09   13.6   02   046   079   1945   129   1948   06   1997   00   04   02  
  Boulmer   07.2   +0.3   02.8   +1.0   10.9   11   -05.0   15   13   05   06   06.5   14   089   147   1945   104   1959   010   1996   10   04.6   29   020   030   1945   189   1948   09   1989   00   05   00  
  Eskdalemuir   05.2   +0.4   00.7   +0.7   09.3   08   -07.0   17   17   10   14   06.2   16   044   092   1911   096   1959   009   1996   00   27.0   04   159   104   1911   390   1928   38   1997   00   09   03  
  Bishopton   06.4   -0.2   02.4   +0.9   10.3   08   -02.6   16   15   08   13   06.0   23   039   087   1921   069   1972   009   1940   00   27.8   04   150   152   1921   255   2008   18   1963   00   03   01  
                                                                     
  Leuchars   06.7   +0.4   01.4   -0.1   10.2   25   -06.3   16   22   13   08   06.9   27   080   120   1922   101   1959   014   1996   10   07.0   02   026   041   1922   167   1993   12   1953   00   04   00  
  Dyce   06.3   +0.5   01.5   +0.6   10.6   08   -04.4   15   14   10   05   06.1   23   083   144   1941   089   1959   010   1996   14   07.0   02   046   058   1941   157   1970   13   1989   00   06   00  
  Stornoway   07.2   +0.1   03.3   +0.4   10.7   08   -01.1   27   08   03   11   04.8   27   031   075   1880   079   2001   012   1907   00   21.0   04   145   124   1943   274   1993   26   1963   00   03   00  
  Aldergrove   07.6   +1.0   03.8   +1.7   10.6   25   -00.9   28   08   02   12   06.1   13   043   084   1927   082   1959   024   1996   02   15.8   04   074   091   1927   151   2008   22   1997   00   01   00  
                                                                     
                                                                                                                                             
  Sunshine is recorded electronically at all sites except Ross-on-Wye.      
  Thorney Island's and Edgbaston's sunshine records come from nearby sites.   *New highest    
  All averages are for 1981-2010