Meteorological Spring has arrived!

The last day of meteorlogical winter was another wet and warm day as the thermometer rose to 9.1C being 1C above my 40-year average. However, I was surprised to see that the temperature had dipped after midnight to a low of 1.9C at 02.26 early Friday, just above average.

There was considerable rainfall in the early hours thanks to yet another depression approaching, and then crossing the west of the UK as the day progresses, currently over west Wales. The automatic rainfall gauge was triggered at 05.00 measuring 12.8mm by 08.00. This took the monthly total to 155.4mm, which was 237% of my 40-year average or+ 89.7mm.

February 2024 Review

A flow of warm, moist air from off the Atlantic gave a mild start to February. This was due to air circulating clockwise around a large area of high pressure, centred over the Bay of Biscay.

From the 2nd to the 6th maxima were in double figures with a peak of 12.8C on the 6th being 4.7C above my 40-year average.

A significant change in our weather occurred late on the 6th as a cold front arrived from the north that saw the temperature drop from a high of 12.8C to a low of 3.8C. The weather front dropped 19.5mm of precipitation. As the weather front departed the wind veered from the southwest to come from the northeast.

The cooler air on the 7th, from a north-easterly direction, gave us the coldest day of the month with a maximum of just 5.5C being 2.6C below my 40-year4 average.

It was all change on the 8th as a warm front moved north across the country lifting the temperature again into double figures. The wide rain band also deposited 23.9mm of precipitation. This was the wettest day since 4th January (29.3mm).

After a very brief dry spell on the 12th, the very warm and moist air, drawn on a long track from far south originating around North Africa and the Western Mediterranean, saw temperatures rise again. The morning of the 13th started with a temperature of 5.7C that slowly rose all day and night, continuously, reaching 11.7C at 08.00 on the 14th making it the warmest start to a day since 24th December.

This unseasonably warm, moist weather was due to a very large area of high pressure over the continent with its air moving clockwise and a depression far west of Ireland with the air mass rotating anticlockwise.

Overnight of the 17th and 18th fourteen hours of continuous rainfall dropped another 27.1mm of precipitation that made it the wettest day since 4th January.

In the early hours of the 22nd the Tornado and Storm Research Organisation (TORRO) issued an alert for Southern England that mini tornadoes might occur as a very active weather front crossed the area. None were observed, fortunately. In a squall at 08.40 small hail was observed very briefly.

A much colder period arrived at the end of the month producing night air frosts, a minimum of -2.1C in the early hours of the 25th was the coldest night since 20th January. The high of 7.6C on the 23rd was the first below average maximum since 7th February.

It has been an exceptionally warm and wet month with the average temperature a record 3.25C above my 40-year average. Analysing the day and night data reveals that the average maximum was +3.0C and the average minimum was +3.5C.

There were five days with a daily rainfall total in double figures. The wettest day occurred on the 17th with 27.1mm. The monthly rainfall amounted to 155.4mm. This was a record for my station being 238% of my 40-year average or plus 89.7m.

Not surprisingly, the soil temperature at a depth of 5cm was 3.3C above my 15-year average.

The record-breaking rainfall and warmth were the result of a succession of depressions crossing, or passing close by, our country with the average monthly barometric pressure some 4.5mb below my long-term average.

The graphs on my website show very clearly the rising trend with the temperature over the last 40 years, February is a good example.

Winter 2023/2024

It was the second warmest winter I have recorded since the station was set up in 1984 being 1.9C above my 40-year average. The warmest winter occurred in 2025 being just 0.2C warmer.

The rainfall total for the three months of winter amounted to 389mm. This was 156% of my 40-year average or +140mm. This was the second highest winter total as the winter of 2013/2014 produced a record 528mm.

After a dull, wet and warm winter will Spring continue the trend or can we expect some sunshine at last?