The first two weeks have been very mild with minimal air frosts. It is the 7th warmest start to January since 1984 being almost 2C above the long-term average with a mean of 5.8C.The coldest start to January was in 2010 with a mean of -1.9C and the record for the warmest start was 7.6C in 2007.
Rainfall in the first two weeks, totalling 138.7mm, make it the 4th wettest January when we are only halfway through the month. Another 10mm of precipitation would break the record.
This proved to be a record-breaking month. It was the wettest month since my records began in 1984 with 157mm (173% or +66mm), which was 2mm more than the previous record set in December 2012. The highest daily rainfall for December, and also for any other month, occurred on the 23rd with a total of 46.4mm. It was a mild month as the mean temperature was 2.1C above the long-term average. Finally, a record gust of wind for December, of 52mph, was noted on the 23rd.
Due to four very cold months at the beginning of the year it is no surprise that the mean temperature for the year was 0.3C below the long-term average. Also linked to this period, not surprisingly, was a high incidence of air frosts numbering 74 in total, when the average is 61, and the second highest I have recorded. Very similar to 2012 was the very wet month of December, after a dry summer (77%), which resulted in an annual total rainfall of 881mm that is 105% or +38mm of the long-term average.
The total rainfall for the 24 hour period, starting 0800 on the 23rd, was 46.4mm, the greatest precipitation I have ever recorded braking the previous record of 45.4mm set in May 2007. It was also the lowest barometric pressure for December that I have noted giving a reading of 972.5mb early on the 24th. The continuos high winds, with frequent gusts over 40 mph, were also noteworthy with a maximum gust of 52mph at 2313 on the 23rd.
A very active weather front crossed late yesterday with winds gusting to 43mph and 10 minute average speeds of 14mph. This was accompanied by heavy rainfall, up to 67mm per hour at its peak, with a total 24 hour period of 17.3mm due to a deep depression to the north with barometric pressure dropping over 21Mb.
After 2045 the wind dropped to almost zero, the rain stopped and the air temperature fell 2.5C with the wind veering to the west.
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During the first couple of weeks we experienced a succession of weather fronts crossing the country, on mainly westerly winds, that brought many wet and breezy days. The latter half of November produced predominantly northerly winds, saw temperatures drop and minimal rainfall.
The mean temperature (5.6C) was 1C below the 30-year mean and the coldest since 2010. The warmest November was in 1994 (+3.4C) and in contrast 1985 was the coldest (-2.8C). The warmest day was on the 6th with a maximum of 13.8C and the coldest with an air frost of -4.1C during the early hours of the 26th.
The total rainfall was 65.9mm being 73% of the 30-year mean.The extremes of total rainfall for November show an interesting contrast. The wettest occurred in 2003 (203.5mm) and the driest was 1990 (27.8mm). Although the total rainfall was below the mean there were 12 wet days, classed as equal to or greater than 1mm, with the wettest day on the 3rd when a total of 16.5mm was recorded.
It was the sunniest November over the last five years (111%) which resulted in solar energy at 110% of the mean.
The mean temperature was 0.2c above the 30-year mean, principally due to a very warm October. The warmest autumn occurred in 2006 (+2.0c) in contrast to the very cold autumn of 1993 (-2.2c).
The total rainfall was 259mm, which is 107% of the 30-year mean. This total was 142mm less than the wettest autumn of 2006.
The diurnal temperatures (range between daily maximum & minimum) for each of the three autumn months make an interesting study. September and October show very little difference over the 30-year period. Although the November minimum diurnal figures saw little change over the thirty years the maximum diurnal range has increased by around 2C .