Monthly Report – December 2018

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.

December 2015 – Freakishly mild, but wild and wet.

December 2015 was easily the mildest December on record. The mean of 7.8 degC was 3.9 degC above average. Nationally it was also the wettest calendar month on record. At Durham it was the wettest December since December 1978.

Storms propelled by the jet stream were mainly to blame, it says, with contributions from the El Nino weather phenomenon and man-made climate change.

The raging River Tees at High Force on 6th December 2015. I’ve never seen as much water coming over there in my life.

Numerous species of plants flowered months early, believing it to already be Spring. There were 4 nights when the temperature remained above 10 degC.

Christmas Day was the wettest day of the year in Durham in 2015. Indeed it was the wettest Christmas Day on record here since records began. There was 45.4mm of rain recorded over the Christmas Day and Boxing Day period. This was all due to Storm Eva.

Met Office : Further rainfall and flooding across north of the UK

Met Office : Exceptional warmth in December 2015

river wear flooding in durham 5th december 2015

River Wear flooding in Durham, 5th December 2015. Photo: SUZY GIBSON-CUMMINGS

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