Review of 2013

   Despite being an upside down, topsy turvey and certainly eventful year, 2013 still managed to be, on the whole, quite ... average!

   The year started by going backwards, as March was colder than February, which had been colder than January. Indeed one rarity of 2013 is that March, a spring month, has been the year's coldest month, a fete that has only occurred four times (1934, 1958, 1962 and 1975) at Newton Rigg in a record that commenced in 1914.

   Spring was then the coldest on record at Newton Rigg in the same period, colder even than 1941 and 1962.

   Using Newton Rigg as the local standard, the first six months of 2013 were all colder than average and in total made a run of ten colder than average months, back to and including September 2012.

   Then July broke the trend, not only of a cold start to 2013 but by being the first decent summer month since 2006.

   July enjoyed a prolonged dry, hot and settled period and whilst August continued the warm theme to make Summer the tenth warmest in the Newton Rigg record, it was also dull.

   Changeable months followed, but 2013 ended with an especially wet and stormy December and became the second wettest of any month in the Maulds Meaburn record.

   Using Newton Rigg's data we find that in 2013 seven months were colder than the 1981-2010 average (Jan'-June and Nov'), four were warmer than average (July, Aug, Oct and Dec) and one (Sept) had the same mean temperature.

   Seven months were drier than average (Jan-Mar, June, Aug, Sept and Nov) and five were wetter than average (Apr, May, July, Oct and Dec) - all seasonal rainfall was also below average and we had two (meteorological) droughts of no rain for at least 15 days, but didn't manage a rain/wet spell of at least 15 days consecutive rainfall.

   Overall Newton Rigg had a mean yearly temperature of 8.4°c (mean minimum of 4.7°c and maximum of 12.1°c) which is some 0.2°c below the 1981-2010 average of 8.6°c.

   Since 1957 (the yearly record back to 1914 becomes too fragmented) 29 years have been warmer and 27 years have been colder.

   Here at Maulds Meaburn the year had a mean temperature of 8.49°c (mean minimum 4.88°c and maximum of 12.11°c) and at Shap a mean of 7.6°c (minimum of 3.9°c and maximum 11.3°c).

   Rainfall totals were typically just above average at 107% (apart from Newton Rigg which was below average at 95.7%) but 2013 is the driest year since 2010. As with 2012, December tipped the balance this year, making a potentially dry year and average one - local rainfall totals were:

   Met' Office sites at Newton Rigg 882.9 mm and Shap 1699.0 mm - figures from the Environment Agency’s rainfall sites were, (figure in brackets being the yearly average for 1961-90): Kirkby Thore 818.6 mm (715.9 mm), Brothers Water 2716.2 mm (2520 mm), Nunwick Hall 869.2 mm (807.7 mm), Newton Rigg 921.2 mm and 3350.0 mm at Seathwaite Farm (Borrowdale - 3156.3 mm).

  ‘Data kindly provided by the Hydrometry and Telemetry team of the Environment Agency (Penrith)’.

   The Newton Rigg rainfall record commenced in 1900 (3yrs data is incomplete) and average rainfall for 1900-2012 was 923.0 mm with 2013 now in 68th place, ie: 67 years have been wetter and 43 have been drier.

   Rainfall at Maulds Meaburn was 1232.1 mm (48.5 inch) with rain recorded on 191 days of which 154 were 'wet days' (days of 1.0 mm=>). The number of days on which rain was recorded being some 20 less than average.


   January saw a mild and dry start followed by colder conditions that brought the year's coldest temperature of -7.1°c (19.22°F) on the 16th. Despite just 10.9 mm of rain upto the 25th the month finished with 111.6 mm following a wet and stormy final week.

   After eight successive months 100mm+ rainfall, February was finally a dry and settled month, if on the cool side. High pressure became dominant in the second half and frost was frequent.

   Just like 2012 but for completely different reasons, March was undoubtedly the 'weather' month of the year. A mean temperature of just 1.65°c was bitter and at just 1.49°c at Newton Rigg made it the second coldest (to 1947) since 1914.

   22 nights saw an air frost, snow fell on 15 days and lay on the ground on five. It was a true winter's month, just in spring and best typified on the 22nd when the temperature remained below freezing all day.

   The cold of March lasted well into April (12th) before the high pressure that had been in control for so long finally gave way. This saw a 19 day absolute drought (19th March to 10th April) before the rain returned.

   May was generally unsettled with day-time temperatures notably lower than average, but the two Bank Holidays were reasonable enough.

   June got the summer off to a reasonable start, especially upto the 10th, although temperatures slipped away as the month progressed, but it was a fairly dry month.

   July had a bit of everything, warmth, sun, drought and the year’s wettest day! After a poor first four days there followed a prolonged anti-cyclonic period during which we had 18 consecutive dry days, 23 consecutive days that attained 20°c (3 of which also consecutively attained 25°c). A mean temperature of 17.14°c was notable, the third warmest in the Newton Rigg record, but not exceptional. A year's high temperature, also the highest yet at this site, of 28.4°c (83.12°F) came on the 19th.

   But then overnight 27/28th we had torrential rain with 62.6 mm (2.46 inch and 5.08% of the annual total) on what is the second wettest day recorded at this site and the month somehow ended wetter than average.

   Whilst warmer, wetter and duller than average, August was uneventful and then September had a fine, dry and warm start and end, but was changeable mid month resulting in an average month overall.

   October may have been notably mild, but it was a poor and wet and windy month with 193.5 mm falling frequently and at times heavily.

   November saw a return to colder and drier conditions and was quite uneventful as high pressure became dominant from the 12th.

   If you like wet and stormy weather then December was the month for you, with 270.7 mm making it the second wettest of any month recorded at this site. Gusts of wind over 50 mph were recorded on seven days and an inch or more of rain on three. The 5th saw gusts to 65 Mph and then the 27th was the year's and also this sites windiest day with gusts to 66 Mph (not a record) and a mean wind speed of 29.7Mph.

   The 20th-23rd saw the rain at its heaviest with 114.6 mm falling in the four days giving an average of 1.13 inch per day and some flooding occurred locally.



   • A Mean Minimum of 4.88°c - Mean Maximum of 12.11°c

   • During 2013 snow lay on the ground* on 14 days and was seen to fall on 38, with sleet and hail falling on a further 15 days.

   • Fog* was recorded only once with thunder heard on 5 days and gales (a 10 minute mean wind speed of 39 Mph) recorded on 7 days.

   • Mean cloud* cover was 82.7% with 160 days having a 100% cover* and 4 days being totally clear.

   • Mean air pressure* was 1013.1 Mb with a low of 960.6 Mb (23rd Dec) and a high of 1041.0 Mb (25th Nov).

   • Mean wind speed* was 7.3 Mph.

   • We had 83 air frosts and 136 ground frosts with 47 days attaining 20°c+ (11 attaining 25°c) and 3 Ice days when the temperature remained below freezing all day.

   • The 30 cm soil temperature had a mean of 9.8°c with a low of 2.4°c (21st Jan) and a high of 19.0°c (20th and 23rd July)

   • The 100 cm soil temperature had a mean of 9.4°c with a low of 4.5°c (27-30th Jan) and a high of 15.6°c (6th August)

   • * Refers to 0900 GMT – the hour of observations.

   • Met' office data is still provisional for July onwards.

   • THANKS:- There are several people whom I would like to thank for their help, support and assistance over the past year: For supplying data to Susan Sandelands and Martin Wilson of the Hydrometry and Telemetry team at the Enviroment Agency (superbly efficient and ) and to Philip Eden. And then to a small team of observers who stand in for me when required, Alan, Margaret, Jane and especially Sarah.


* 2013 TEMP'     8.49°c -- RAIN    1232.1 mm

* 2012 TEMP'     8.26°c -- RAIN    1415.9 mm

* 2011 TEMP'     9.17°c -- RAIN    1305.4 mm

* 2010 TEMP'     7.42°c -- RAIN     702.9 mm

* 2009 TEMP'     8.84°c -- RAIN    1264.5 mm

* 2008 TEMP'     -- RAIN    1381.3 mm


JANUARY 2010    FEBRUARY 2010    MARCH 2010    APRIL 2010    MAY 2010    JUNE 2010    JULY 2010    AUGUST 2010    SEPTEMBER 2010    OCTOBER 2010    NOVEMBER 2010    DECEMBER 2010   

JANUARY 2011    FEBRUARY 2011    MARCH 2011    APRIL 2011    MAY 2011    JUNE 2011    JULY 2011    AUGUST 2011    SEPTEMBER 2011    OCTOBER 2011    NOVEMBER 2011    DECEMBER 2011   

JANUARY 2012    FEBRUARY 2012    MARCH 2012    APRIL 2012    MAY 2012    JUNE 2012    JULY 2012    AUGUST 2012    SEPTEMBER 2012    OCTOBER 2012    NOVEMBER 2012    DECEMBER 2012    SUMMER 2012   

JANUARY 2013    FEBRUARY 2013    MARCH 2013    APRIL 2013    MAY 2013    JUNE 2013    JULY 2013    AUGUST 2013    SEPTEMBER 2013    OCTOBER 2013    NOVEMBER 2013    DECEMBER 2013   

   © Darren Rogers 2012

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