Category Archives: Monthly Summary
February started very cold, with the first 3 days averaging below freezing. Rain was plentiful until the 9th, but then the dry weather of February returned, accompanied by increasingly warm unseasonal temperatures.
The airstream was coming from the Canary Islands. The all-time February record was smashed in England and Wales on 26th and 27th, topping 20 degC for the first time in a winter month.
Here at my site in Durham, the maximum got to 17.1 degC on 26th, which is a very close to the February record at Durham Observatory, 17.4 degC observed on the 28th February 2012. I wait with baited breath to see whether that has been beaten.
Temperatures returned to normal for the last day, the maximum dropping 10 degrees from 27th. The average for the month was 6.3 degC based on hourly values, and 6.8 deg on the more traditional (max+min)/2 method of calculation. This made February 2018 very warm.
The rainfall total was below average again – only 33.6mm in total, with the two wettest days being the 7th (8.7mm) and the 3rd (6.6mm).
The New Year opened much the same as the old one ended, with dry benign weather and extraordinarily persistent High Pressure for the first half of the month. The high was a cloudy one, so temperatures stayed above freezing, with no fog or frost. It’s very unusual for a January to have such a high average pressure and not be cold and frosty.
Alarmist headlines were again plentiful in the tabloids, with lots of doom laden promises of snow-bombs and Polar vortices, the writers not really having a ‘scooby’ what they were writing about. All done to generate paper sales.
By 17th we got a strong Northerly flow and this drove snow showers inland along areas exposed to the wind. A slight covering of snow resulted.
Conditions continued generally cold in the second half, with the coldest weather reserved for the final day. Temperatures fell overnight 30th/31st to -5.9 degC, which is pretty impressive without any snow cover. The snow did arrive the following night though, with a 2″ powdery covering going into February.
Mean temperature for the month was 4.1 degC, which is slightly above the long term average for January (3.8). There were 10 days with air frost altogether.
The low level of rainfall was remarkable for a January total. 10.1mm is about 20% of what is normally expected here.
December started quite wet, then mostly dry later. The second half of the month was quieter with a lot of High Pressure influence. Rainfall total was 41mm, which is only 72% of normal for December.
In late afternoon/evening of 15th December there was a fall of snow/sleet/freezing rain. A right hogs breakfast with strong south easterly winds. Precipitation total was 8mm overnight. It was all gone by morning as temperatures rose.
Temperature was well above normal for Durham, but not as high an anomally as the CET area, which recorded the 15th warmest December. In Durham, the mean was +1.6 degC above normal. The warmest day of the month was the last at 9.2 degC.
I had a data outage on Christmas Eve, resulting in one day of missing data. It did have a frost, so the total for the month was 6.
As is usual at this time of year, there is much speculation about the winter to come. After the brief episode of snow at the end of October 2018, the usual suspects were predicting a snowy November. As is nearly always the case, the snowy November didn’t happen.
Temperatures were mild in the first half of the month, and stayed that way until the 18th, when an Easterly component was pulled in and colder, wetter weather ensued. Rainfall came in hefty showers blown in from the North Sea, peaking on 20th-22nd when over an inch fell. The thermometer stayed around the 5-6 degree mark during the day, but with the wind felt much colder. There was an air frost around midnight on 21st/22nd after skies cleared following the rain.
Milder temperatures returned at the end of the month, but it became very windy as the Atlantic low pressure rolled in from the West, with more rain to finish. November is normally the wettest month of the year in Durham and November 2018 wasn’t far from the average overall.
A very average October this one, mean temperature was +0.1 degC compared to the average in Durham (9.8 degC) and rainfall was spot on average (60.9 mm) for the month. The bulk of the rainfall came in two spells, around the 12th-13th and 27th-30th.
There were several ground frosts late in the month as the air flow came from the northerly arctic source. Sleet was observed to fall on the morning of 27th.
A very average September temperature wise, there were some warm days at the start of the month and another on 26th.
Rainfall total was slightly above average, mainly due the extremely wet 2 day period of the 20th and 21st. The total for these 2 days was 44.6mm, which contributed more than half of the final total for the month.