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graphs CLIMATE-UK.COM'S REVIEW OF THE BRITISH METEOROLOGICAL SCENE
MONTHLY SUMMARY
No. 696 For DECEMBER 2013
DULL BUT DRY DURING THE FIRST TWO WEEKS; THEN VERY DISTURBED ESPECIALLY FROM THE 23RD ONWARDS
Text Box: This was the second most south-westerly December in 140 years of records, after 1974. The weather was largely dry in eastern, central and southern parts of UK until the 14th, though westerly winds brought plentiful rain to northern and western regions, but from the 15th onwards the weather became progressively more disturbed, especially from the 23rd till the end of the month.

High pressure was established over England until the 3rd from where it moved quickly SE-wards, but a new high settled just southwest of the UK from the 4th, moving slowly into France and eventually into Austria by the 14th. A rapidly deepening depression tracked from just northwest of Scotland to the southern Baltic between the 5th and 7th, bringing the greatest storm surge to the east coast since 1953. The first couple of days of December were generally dry except in northwest Scotland, with near normal temperatures and some patchy fog over England and Wales. The 4th brought heavy rain to northern and western Scotland with 57mm at Tyndrum (Stirlingshire) but the weather remained largely dry in eastern and southern parts. As the deep depression passed on the 5th the wind gusted to 81kn at Altnaharra (Sutherland), and sea-water broke through coastal defences in Boston (Lincs), Jaywick (Essex) and Rhyl (Denbighshire) early on the 6th. In the rear of the depression the temperature fell to -6.0C at Dalwhinnie (Inverness-shire) the same morning, and only climbed to -1.7C at Lerwick (Shetland) later that day; snow fell widely in Scotland and northern England but the cold snap lasted for less than 48h even in northern Britain.

There then followed a particularly mild spell in northern and western regions courtesy of south to south-westerly winds and a fhn effect; it was very sunny along the south coast and in the Channel Islands between the 8th and 11th with 7.7h bright sunshine at Jersey airport on the 8th, but temperatures were lower in the south,
Text Box: east and midlands with extensive fog on the 10th, 11th and 12th. The highest maximum during this spell occurred at night, with 17.0C logged at Llanfairfechan (Caernarfon) early on the 11th, but temperatures remained very high in the north and west between the 10th and 13th.

A series of deep depressions tracked past northwest Scotland between the 14th and the 31st bringing heavy rain and strong winds at times to all parts of the UK - indeed over 10mm of rain fell at several sites in western Scotland daily from the 12th to the 28th. Strongest gusts were 80kn at Stornoway on the 19th, 77kn at South Uist (Western Isles) on the 21st and at Capel Curig on the 23rd, and 95kn at Aberdaron (Caernarfon) on the 27th. Meanwhile 56mm of rain fell at Shap (Cumbria) on the 20th, but the wettest day of the month was the 23rd with as much as 156mm at Postbridge on Dartmoor in less than 24h. A further 74mm fell at Loch Shin (Sutherland) the following day. Serious flooding followed the rain on the 23rd in Surrey, Kent and Sussex. Early on the 24th pressure fell to 936.8mbar at Stornoway (Western Isles), the lowest pressure in the UK in any month since December 1886. Sunshine was plentiful in some areas on the 19th, 25th, 26th, 28th and 29th, but further rain and strong winds affected the country on the 30th and 31st.

Mean temperature was between 1.0 and 2.5 degC above the 1981-2010 average in most parts of the country, and in the last 100 years there have been ten warmer Decembers. Rainfall was near or above the average in many parts of the UK with percentages approaching 175 in southeast England and 200 in western Scotland, but it was below average in eastern districts as far south as Norfolk. Sunshine percentages ranged between 70 in western Scotland and 140 in East Anglia; aggregate sunshine hours totalled just 8h at Lerwick but as much as 90h at St Helier (Jersey).
                                                                                                                                             
    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   +1.4   03.9   +1.9   11.7   16   -00.4   29   14   02   08   06.3   29   058   128   1910   086   2001   008   1956   05   29.8   23   112   181   1910   175   1914   10   1933   00   00   01  
  *Thorney Island   10.2   +2.0   04.4   +1.1   12.2   21   -02.2   05   16   03   03   05.8   09   066   120   1958   114   2001   037   1966   13   38.0   23   135   185   1941   165   1993   19   1953   00   00   00  
  *Wattisham   08.3   +2.2   03.2   +0.8   12.1   16   -01.4   29   12   04   09   06.9   29   067   135   1979   082   2008   022   2002   07   12.2   23   054   105   1964   120   1965   20   2010   00   00   01  
  *Wittering   09.0   +2.9   03.6   +1.4   13.4   16   -00.7   12   08   01   06   06.8   01   071   142   1950   082   2001   020   1956   10   11.2   23   039   073   1948   130   1978   07   1963   00   00   01  
                                                                     
  *Lyneham   08.8   +2.0   03.8   +1.4   12.4   15   -00.1   26   15   01   11   06.3   29   058   116   1952   083   2001   017   1956   04   45.6   23   145   198   1945   159   1959   13   2010   00   00   03  
  Ross-on-Wye   10.3   +3.3   03.5   +0.5   14.3   15   -02.2   26   15   05   01   05.5   17   077   157   1915   078   1948   012   1989   06   16.2   23   088   124   1859   197   1929   11   1991   00   00   00  
  *St Athan   10.0   +2.4   05.7   +2.0   13.8   15   00.9   29   04   00   10   06.3   09   048   103   1954   072   2008   003   1956   09   11.8   18   074   079   1954   216   2012   28   2010   00   00   00  
  *Culdrose   10.6   +1.4   06.6   +0.9   12.8   12   01.4   01   05   00   10   05.9   09   049   094   1961   088   2009   021   1988   08   21.6   23   110   097   1961   246   1978   27   1975   00   00   00  
                                                                     
  *Birmingham Univ   08.9   +2.2   03.6   +1.5   12.8   15   -01.2   29   14   02   02   04.4   25   061   138   1887   090   1891   005   1890   12   23.2   23   081   125   1887   166   1965   10   1926   00   00   01  
  *Valley   10.1   +1.6   07.1   +2.1   12.3   15   01.8   25   02   00   07   05.3   04   035   071   1946   080   1960   021   2011   07   19.6   29   131   142   1941   179   1964   17   1963   00   00   00  
  *Rostherne   09.2   +2.8   04.1   +2.2   13.2   15   -00.9   26   09   01   07   05.4   29   056   125   1945   075   2001   016   1947   09   14.6   23   076   096   1942   180   1965   11   1963   00   00   01  
  *Watnall   08.8   +2.7   03.7   +1.5   12.8   15   -00.5   26   11   01   07   06.1   01   064   128   1948   078   2009   012   1956   14   10.2   23   037   069   1941   180   1965   19   1963   00   00   03  
                                                                     
  *Leeming   08.5   +1.9   03.4   +1.5   12.7   15   -03.5   01   11   02   12   05.6   04   044   105   1945   077   1967   014   1972   10   15.2   23   064   107   1945   125   1978   16   1988   00   00   02  
  *Boulmer   08.7   +2.2   03.8   +1.8   12.9   09   -01.3   26   08   02   08   06.1   04   064   142   1945   082   2006   021   2002   15   09.0   21   054   089   1945   205   1978   17   1975   00   00   00  
  *Eskdalemuir   07.0   +2.0   02.8   +2.4   10.9   13   -02.7   06   08   05   22   05.0   01   019   050   1911   074   1967   003   1912   04   47.8   29   * 390   244   1911   351   1993   33   1933   00   02   05  
  *Bishopton   08.3   +1.5   04.7   +2.9   12.9   12   00.2   07   07   00   14   05.3   01   026   082   1921   072   2001   009   1956   03   42.6   29   292   273   1921   295   2006   15   1933   00   00   01  
                                                                     
  *Leuchars   08.3   +2.0   03.6   +1.9   12.7   13   -00.8   04   15   03   10   05.6   04   042   083   1921   082   1967   016   1934   08   11.6   29   093   148   1921   155   1978   08   1926   00   00   00  
  *Dyce   08.5   +2.5   03.9   +2.8   13.9   09   -01.4   07   12   03   12   05.5   04   040   088   1941   088   2006   016   2002   14   16.6   30   070   088   1941   164   2012   20   1991   00   01   00  
  *Stornoway   08.1   +1.0   04.4   +1.5   12.3   11   -01.1   06   05   01   14   02.4   04   012   050   1880   057   1995   006   1884   02   20.6   23   * 249   199   1943   222   1985   29   1977   00   00   00  
  *Aldergrove   08.4   +1.7   04.6   +2.1   14.0   12   00.0   26   06   00   09   05.7   04   040   115   1927   078   2010   017   1954   10   17.8   29   083   092   1927   195   1978   15   1963   00   01   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.