March 2020 Report – A strange month indeed!

March 2020 came in like a lion, with strong winds continuing to batter the country due to the proximity of low pressure systems. This was pretty much the theme of the winter, but at least the extreme wetness and flooding that we experienced in February abated.

The month actually ended up being very dry when compared to the March average. Only 21.9mm of rain was recorded, the majority of which fell in the second week. The wettest day was the 11th; 7.1mm fell. By the end of the month the soggy ground had managed to dry out nicely from the previous month’s waterlogged state. There were 13 dry days, which is OK for March.

Temperatures were unremarkable for March, but did peak out at 18.1 degC on the 25th (the one standout day). The mean maximum was 10.3 degC and the overnight minima were still on the chilly side, with 3 air frosts recorded on the 5th, 6th and 20th. The mean minimum was 2.8 degC and the absolute minimum was -1.9 degC on the 6th.

The lowest atmospheric pressure was recorded on 1st of the month. This was in the wake of Storm Jorge. 973.4mb was a very low value, but not unprecedented. There was a strong rise in pressure from mid-month, reaching 1049.9mb on the 29th, the second month this year we’ve come close to 1050mb (January was the other). The High Pressure was mainly in the wrong place for extreme mildness though, and cold blustery Northerlies were a feature of the last few days, with dew points remaining around freezing.

Although it came in like a lion, March left us in a shellshocked state as a National lockdown due to Coronavirus COVID-19 confined people to their homes. This is forecast to continue for the foreseeable future, so it is hoped the later Spring months will at least allow us all to enjoy some time in our gardens as the days grow longer and warmer.


Growth of the website over the last year.

Hi there to all of our visitors!

We’re a couple of days into March and we’re all looking forward to Spring starting aren’t we? Although we haven’t seen much snow here in Durham, it seems to have been a long winter. Rain and wind mainly.

Because of the hot summer last year and continuing focus on climate change in the media, the website has really been booming in the last 12 months. Here is the traffic graph showing visitors and views over the last 12 months.

As you can see, from the early days of 2019, views have gone up from 296 in March 2019 to just over 4,000 in February 2020. Visitors have gone from 191 to just under 2,500. Those are huge increases. A factor of 11/12X.

Almost all of this is a result of organic traffic coming from search engines and my promotions on Twitter and Facebook. The Durham Weather Shop is attracting a lot of interest as people are being  increasingly drawn into cutting the ‘fake weather news’ propaganda peddled by the likes of the Daily Express by choosing to take their own measurements instead.

I have recently got to grips with an excellent plugin that now allows me to display live data from my own NetAtmo Weather Station here on the site. It updates every 10 minutes and you can see the data here on the Durham Weather Today page.

I’d like to thank everyone for supporting me at Durham Weather and I hope in 2020 I can continue to grow the site by providing you with more varied and interesting content.



February 2020 Monthly Report – Wet and Wild

There was a very wild start to February, although it was relatively mild.

Storm Ciara over the weekend of 8th/9th brought damaging gusts and flooding. The worst of it passed to the South of us, but there was major flooding in Yorkshire and winds gusted to 93mph in Wales.

The River Wear rose dramatically during the morning of Sunday 9th to peak at 3.05m late on the evening, flooding riverside paths.

Wintry showers on 10th-12th. Snowfall for the Midlands, Scotland and Pennines 15-20cm on high ground. Severe drifting on high ground.

The next storm (Storm Dennis) arrived on 15th/16th and was similar to Ciara. The river in Durham peaked at around the 3m mark again and the wind was very strong from the West. It stayed above 3m for many hours this time, with riverside flooding again causing problems. Once again, the south of the country was hit hard, particularly South Wales.

Some snow arrived in Durham late in the month on the 24th, but it lasted less than a day. From waking to a 2” covering on the morning, it had all gone by mid-afternoon.

The third and last big storm of the month (all at weekends!) was Jorge, named by the Spanish Met Office which duly arrived on the 29th (Leap Year this year).

People around the Ironbridge area in Shropshire are in a desperate situation with flooding on the River Severn. There was also extensive flooding in Yorkshire around the Doncaster area.

The mean temperature for February was 5.4 degC by the traditional method of max+min/2 method. The highest absolute maximum was 10.5 degC during the passing of Storm Ciara. There were no air frosts at all recorded during the month.

The 9th was also the wettest day with 23.0mm of rain recorded. We also had yet another monthly total over 70mm in the last 12 months (this was the 7th time). The final total was 88.4mm.

On the last day of February, the barometer fell to 970.9mb during the passing of Storm Jorge (named by the Spanish Met Office). Heavy snow fell on the Pennines and there was a report in the Northern Echo about people being rescued from their cars in the Upper Teesdale area.

There were only 5 days that could be described as anticyclonic. Four of these were in the first week.

The First Snows Arrive!

Well, after a winter composed almost entirely of wind, rain and relatively mild temperatures, the first snow arrived in Durham five days before the end of February.

Amounts aren’t huge (2-3”), but at least it stopped the winter from being thrown on the ‘No snow’ pile.

It’s melted rapidly though after turning to rain. By mid-afternoon, the snow had completely gone and air temperatures were up to about 6 degC.

The Weather at Durham UK versus Durham, North Carolina USA

Photograph by permission of Estlin Haiss and Discover Durham

If you search for ‘Durham Weather’ in Google, you’ll likely get a mixture of results from the UK location and the one in the USA. In fact, it’s quite annoying and doubly so because optimising a website for traffic is difficult enough in the very competitive weather niche, but when there’s a competing site on the other side of the Atlantic with the same name it’s a complete pain!

However, I decided that trying to fight against it was futile, so I thought it would be fun to compare the weather (and other things) in Durham UK with that of Durham, North Carolina, USA.

I’ve got to admit, I didn’t know much about the American city, so took to Wikipedia to do some research.

North Carolina is bordered by South Carolina to the south, Georgia to the southwest, Tennessee to the west, Virginia to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean is 130 miles to the east.

The History of the Durhams

Obviously, Durham UK is a lot older than Durham USA. The Cathedral has been here since it was started in 1093 AD. Settlement around the Cathedral followed.

Durham, North Carolina didn’t really exist until a railroad depot was established by Bartlett S. Durham in 1849. It was known as Durham Station for it’s first 20 years of existence.

Both Durham UK and Durham NC are University cities. Durham NC has Duke University and North Carolina Central University.

Downtown Durham. Photograph by permission of Estlin Haiss and Discover Durham.

Durham NC grew rapidly after the railroad came and the main employment at the turn of the 20th Century was Tobacco. The Bull Durham Tobacco Company and Duke’s Tobacco Company established a monopoly in the USA. By 1910, Duke’s was broken up under anti-trust laws. The Duke’s then moved their money into Electric Power Generation.

Durham NC was surrounded by smoky, dirty power plants, not unlike Durham UK in the first part of the 20th Century in fact. Today, Durham NC is a modern city (as can be seen in the main photo above), and a lot of the buildings from the Tobacco days have been renovated and brought back to use. The area is also a noted Research Triangle in the Medical Sector.

How far apart are Durham UK and Durham NC?

According to Google, there is a distance of 3,754 miles between the two cities. Durham NC is a lot further South than Durham UK.

This would lead us to believe that Durham NC is a much warmer place, and that is true. The climate of Durham NC is one which a lot of UK people would probably desire, but the humidity may well be the thing that makes it challenging for those accustomed to the British climate.

The Climate of Durham NC vs Durham UK

Durham NC has a Humid Subtropical Climate, with hot and humid summers, cool winters, and warm to mild spring and autumn. Durham NC receives abundant precipitation, with thunderstorms common in the summer and temperatures from 26 to 38 degC. The region sees an average of 6.8 inches (170 mm) of snow per year, which usually melts within a few days.

Obviously very different to Durham UK, which is classified as Temperate!

Downtown Durham. Photo by permission of Estlin Haiss and Discover Durham.

Looking at the average data here, the average high temperatures for Durham, North Carolina in summer would be regarded as extreme for Durham UK. In Winter, there’s not as much to choose between the two, although North Carolina is a little cooler due to the Continental Influence of Mainland USA.

Durham NC

Average High : 31.4 degC (July)  Extreme High : 41 degC

Average Low : -2.3 degC (Jan)  Extreme Low : -23 degC

Average Rainfall : 100mm per month

Durham UK

Average High : 20.1 degC (July)  Extreme High : 32.9 degC

Average Low : 0.9 degC (January and February)  Extreme Low : -18.3 degC

Average Rainfall : 54mm per month

Do you live in Durham NC? 

I’d love to hear from anyone in North Carolina. If you’re living there right now, please tell us all about your city below.

Just added 3 new Weather Station Products to the Store

Just added another 3 weather station products to the Durham Weather Store today. I’m always trying to make the latest, best products available to you, so here’s a few details and the links to the products (just click the pictures to view them in the Store).

This time we have two products from Sainlogic and one from Aercus Instruments

Sainlogic WS3500 Weather Station

sainlogic 7 in 1 weather station

Sainlogic 7 in 1 Weather Station

Aercus Instruments WS2083 Weather Station

Aercus Instruments WS2083 Professional Weather Station

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