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graphs CLIMATE-UK.COM'S REVIEW OF THE BRITISH METEOROLOGICAL SCENE
MONTHLY SUMMARY
No. 686 For FEBRUARY 2013
COLDEST SINCE 2010 AND LOCALLY IN THE SOUTH SINCE 1996; VERY DRY SECOND HALF
Text Box:  For the first time since May last year mean monthly sea-level pressure was above normal - by 2 to 6 mbar - over the UK. There was a prolonged snowfall on the 10th-11th, though snow depths were very altitude-dependent. An anticyclonic/easterly regime took over for much of the second half of the month.

Westerly and northerly types alternated during the first nine days of February. The month began with outbreaks of rain, though the rain had cleared all but East Anglia and the Southeast by first light on the 1st. There were scattered showers, wintry in the north, and bright intervals for the rest of the day, and on the 2nd the weather was a largely dry and bright, if rather cold with overnight frost. Rain spread across Scotland and Northern Ireland overnight, and the next two days were comparatively mild, though with strong to gale force westerly winds; the month's maximum gust of 68 kn was logged at Culdrose (Cornwall) on the 4th. It turned colder again on the 5th with afternoon highs typically between 2 and 6C and there was further rain and hill snow especially in northern and western Scotland; snow lay 14cm deep at Eskdalemuir (Dumfriesshire) that morning. Over the next few days there were sunny spells, wintry showers, occasional longer spells of rain, sleet or snow, and the wind eased back slowly. 

An active depression tracked southeastwards across the UK on the 10th and 11th, but Atlantic fronts advanced from the west  to all parts of the country on the 13th/14th. This depression entrained some rather less cold air into its circulation so that it rained for 12-18 hours over much of the country before the rain was replaced by snow thanks to steadily falling temperatures on the afternoon of the 10th. By the morning of the 11th snow lay 10-15cm deep over the Chilterns and Cotswolds and along the eastern flank of the Pennines, though snow-depths were much lower closer to sea-level. Afternoon maxima between the 11th and 13th were typically just above zero, but below zero at upland sites including -1.1C at Lake Vyrnwy (Montgomeryshire) on the 11th.  Heavy snow returned to eastern Scotland and northeast England on the 13th with 15cm at Auchterhouse (Angus) that morning, but
Text Box: the snow eventually turned to rain, and as much as 77mm fell in the 48h from 09z on the 13th at Cluanie Inn (Wester Ross).

High pressure now built across the North European Plain and southern Scandinavia, and the blocking high slipped westward towards the month's end. The weather was quiet, often sunny, and comparatively mild until the 19th, though it was frosty at night in northern Britain. The temperature climbed to 13.9C at Kinlochewe (Wester Ross) on the 17th, and the sun shone for 72h between the 14th and 21st inclusive at St Helier (Jersey). Much colder air was introduced on the 20th, and this east to northeasterly wind blew sharply across England and Wales for the remainder of the month. There were occasional snow flurries at times though amounts were mostly trivial, except on the 23rd in northeast England where 5-10cm accumulated. The lowest overnight minimum during this cold spell was -10.0C at Aviemore (Inverness-shire) early on the 22nd with a high of -1.5C at Tredegar (Monmouthshire) that afternoon. It was often sunny in western and northern districts, and Tiree (Inner Hebrides) totted up 30h bright sunshine between the 24th and 26th. It became milder by day in Scotland late in the month with 13.3C logged at Kinlochewe (Wester Ross) on the 26th.

Mean maxima ranged from a fraction below the 1981-2010 normal in northern and eastern Scotland to 2 degC below in Southeast England, while mean minima varied between 0.5 and 1.5 degC below normal in all regions. In some southern districts it was the coldest February since 1996, though elsewhere February 2010 was marginally colder. Rainfall ranged from a little above normal in western Scotland and Northern Ireland to less than half the normal at many sites in northern England; the highest rainfall total to hand is 175mm at Cluanie Inn (Wester Ross), the lowest 18mm at Topcliffe and Loftus (both North Yorks).  Sunshine percentages varied between about 85 in Southeast England and 130 across much of Scotland; the highest sunshine total to hand is 109h at Kinloss (Morayshire) and the lowest 52h at Buxton (Norfolk).
                                                                                                                                           
    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   05.0   -1.7   00.5   -0.4   10.6   19   -01.8   03   22   12   08   07.2   19   065   089   1910   135   2008   020   1912   08   10.6   13   040   107   1910   124   1951   03   1959   00   12   00  
  *Thorney Island   06.3   -1.6   01.7   -0.3   11.7   14   -02.1   03   15   05   02   08.4   02   098   108   1956   153   2008   034   1976   14   24.8   10   047   093   1941   147   1951   01   1959   00   04   00  
  *Wattisham   04.6   -1.6   00.5   -0.7   09.6   14   -04.5   19   23   10   12   09.4   19   055   071   1968   138   2008   032   2011   07   11.0   13   033   091   1960   091   2001   04   1998   00   13   00  
  *Wittering   05.2   -0.8   00.6   -0.5   09.5   04   -04.3   13   21   09   12   09.2   19   073   093   1950   130   1988   032   1972   17   15.4   13   028   067   1948   117   1977   02   1959   00   14   00  
                                                                     
  *Lyneham   05.3   -1.1   00.2   -1.1   10.0   14   -03.0   19   18   14   10   09.7   19   069   080   1952   124   2008   037   1982   12   08.2   13   027   059   1946   140   1977   03   1965   00   11   01  
  Ross-on-Wye   06.5   -0.5   01.8   0.0   11.3   03   -03.2   19   20   05   05   07.6   19   084   108   1915   119   1934   018   1940   14   17.8   13   051   102   1859   170   1923   01   1891   00   05   00  
  *St Athan   06.5   -0.4   02.1   -0.2   09.3   14   -01.0   19   15   04   13   08.9   19   062   074   1954   128   1988   036   1958   13   16.2   13   057   093   1954   141   2002   01   1986   00   03   00  
  Culdrose   07.9   -0.8   03.4   -0.2   10.9   16   -02.2   24   11   04   08   09.5   17   090   093   1961   128   1996   039   1986   16   09.4   09   039   041   1961   193   1977   05   1965   00   01   00  
                                                                     
  *Birmingham Univ   05.3   -1.1   00.3   -0.7   10.7   19   -03.3   19   26   13   05   08.0   18   083   118   1887   124   2008   009   1917   13   14.0   13   059   123   1887   149   1923   01   1891   00   15   01  
  *Valley   07.6   -0.1   01.9   -1.3   12.3   18   -04.0   22   14   08   05   09.5   18   108   110   1946   144   1986   039   1980   10   20.0   13   060   100   1941   161   1977   07   1986   00   03   00  
  *Rostherne   06.4   +0.2   00.5   -0.5   10.1   28   -03.9   28   21   14   08   09.3   28   077   101   1945   115   2008   034   2009   15   14.6   13   045   088   1942   161   1977   04   1986   00   07   00  
  *Watnall   05.4   -0.6   00.6   -0.5   10.0   19   -02.3   13   20   12   12   08.9   17   077   097   1948   122   2008   025   1965   16   17.8   13   044   103   1942   198   1977   05   1959   00   13   01  
                                                                     
  *Leeming   05.9   -0.4   00.2   -0.7   10.4   15   -06.3   19   22   14   10   09.4   27   070   089   1945   116   1970   026   1980   18   06.2   13   020   045   1945   107   1966   03   1985   00   12   00  
  *Boulmer   06.0   0.0   01.7   +1.0   10.5   03   -01.4   19   14   04   06   09.0   27   076   106   1945   121   1997   038   1980   15   04.0   05   021   043   1945   144   1978   05   1946   00   14   01  
  *Eskdalemuir   04.9   +0.2   -01.0   -0.1   08.4   27   -06.5   19   24   18   08   09.4   27   085   113   1911   118   1970   018   1966   11   25.5   04   079   081   1911   402   1997   05   1932   00   16   04  
  *Bishopton   06.6   0.0   00.6   -0.2   10.5   17   -03.6   19   20   12   08   09.7   25   091   124   1921   118   1970   015   1959   11   31.4   13   078   132   1921   249   2002   01   1932   00   07   01  
                                                                     
  *Leuchars   06.6   +0.3   00.6   -0.1   10.0   27   -03.5   27   22   09   07   09.5   26   089   098   1922   134   1999   033   1923   16   11.7   13   027   059   1922   142   1977   02   1932   00   11   00  
  *Dyce   06.3   +0.5   00.3   +0.3   10.3   27   -04.9   27   18   08   08   09.8   27   080   081   1941   131   1989   034   1994   10   06.6   13   046   078   1941   146   1994   07   1959   00   12   00  
  *Stornoway   07.0   +0.3   02.1   +0.1   09.4   28   -02.8   22   11   07   09   09.1   26   072   086   1880   106   1975   022   1943   06   11.4   04   070   096   1943   277   1997   10   1963   00   02   00  
  *Aldergrove   06.9   +0.1   01.7   +0.3   10.7   28   -03.8   24   16   06   09   09.9   25   080   103   1927   108   2004   028   2012   11   08.0   08   055   108   1927   132   1990   03   1932   00   05   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.