Monthly Summary - April 2013

   The pattern established in March of easterly winds giving cold but dry conditions continued until the 12th of April. From the 13th to the 25th the weather became a little warmer, though often wet and windy with the last five days seeing a northwesterly type in charge. This brought a return of cooler weather with some showers of hail and rain, but two fine days to end the month.

   The run of colder than average months continued as April finished some 1.0°c down on average and that sequence of (8) cold months now extends back to August; indeed it now makes 12 of the last 13 months colder than average and in 2013 we have still to see the mercury attain 15°c.

   With a mean temperature of just 6.39°c it is only the coldest April since last year and making comparison with the Met' Office site at Newton Rigg we find that since 1959 April has been colder on 11 occasions, warmer on 42, with one having the same mean temperature.

   And to finish the chilly theme, we have just endured the coldest (3.37°c) January to April start to a year since 1986 (2.65°c) - going back to 1959, the Newton Rigg record shows 1979 as being the coldest at just 2.25°c.

   April also contrived to extend the dry end to March into a period of (meteorological) drought with a dry, settled, but notably cold first 10 days - but then after the breakdown of the high pressure system that had been dominant for so long, a wet period in the middle of the month saw April finish wetter than average with 86.0 mm of rain here at Maulds Meaburn.

   However, as the monthly rainfall figures at the Enviroment Agency’s rainfall sites show, whilst west and south of Penrith were wetter than average, north and east were drier; figures for April being, (figure in brackets being the monthly average for 1961-90): Kirkby Thore 40.4 mm (55.4 mm) , Brothers Water 240.8 mm (129 mm) and Nunwick Hall 38.4 mm (45.7 mm) - ‘Data kindly provided by the Hydrometry and Telemetry team of the Enviroment Agency (Penrith)’.


   1st - 8th    April began by continuing the dry, settled and cold theme from March as high pressure (HP) just north of Scotland remained dominant. Bitter easterly winds, becoming north-easterly as the HP moved north, remained a significant feature as did overnight frosts.

   The 1st-4th all saw air frosts (making a run of 15 consecutive frosts from 21st March) with -5.2°c (22.6°f) on the 3rd the month' coldest.

   But the days were bright with plenty of sunny spells, Shap saw 12.9 hours of bright sunshine on the 6th, even if day-time temperatures were more akin to February and the 8th at just 5.7°c (42.3°f) was an especially cold day for April.


   9th - 12th    The HP now began to lose control thus allowing low pressure (LP) to finally move in from the west. However, this maintained a cool easterly flow with cloudier conditions and day-time temperatures remained suppressed.

   But the 9-10th remained dry and also the majority of the 11th as we awaited a new LP system to arrive. Light rain of 0.9 mm during the evening ended a 19 day period of 'Absolute Drought' (at least 15 days to none of which is credited 0.2 mm), but now the days were to become increasingly wet and windier.

   The 12th was the first day since 9th March not to record a ground frost, a run of 33, which for so late in the year is quite rare.


   13th - 19th    The pattern now became cyclonic south westerly with another series of LP systems arriving in quick succession; 'back to normal' with milder but wetter conditions. The 13th at 14.1°c (57.4°f) was warm but wet from tea-time onwards (7.1mm) as LP now sat over the UK. The 14th was also wet (16.8 mm) and the first of five stormy days.

   The stormy conditions were more frequent overnight and with gusts exceeding 50 mph on each of the 15-18th, the highest being 62 mph in the early hours of the 18th and which was especially wild with a mean wind speed of 22.1 mph for the 24 hour period. Showers and longer periods of rain with a few brighter moments typified these days, but generally they were poor.

   A new LP system moved through 17-18th bringing heavy rain from tea-time onwards and the passage of its cold front in the early hours saw that rain and winds intensify. This gave 25.6 mm of rain credited back to the 17th and was the month's wettest day.

   An occluded front moved north-south through the 18th and into the 19th bringing a further 8.1 mm of rain, but now it briefly became settled.


   19th - 21st    Behind that occluded front of the 18-19th the LP system tracked north east and HP began to ridge north from the Azores, but which was relatively short-lived, but did provide two days of fine and settled weather.

   The 20th (Saturday) started with a slight ground frost, but despite a steady SW'ly breeze the day was fine and sunny and 'Spring like' at 13.0°c.


   21st - 25th    However, that HP was forced south on the 21st by a cold front associated to LP over Iceland pushing south and the day saw spells of light rain and a return to breezy conditions.

   The next few days saw a mix of showers and sunny intervals on a brisk SW'ly wind before the 24-25th saw a slow moving wave front associated to LP north of Scotland sat across the north of the UK, bringing more prolonged spells of rain before finally clearing south later on the 25th. However, it also made the 24th the month's warmest day at 14.4°c (57.9°f).


  26th - 30th    Initially in this period a trough line to the north of Scotland circulating in an unstable airflow brought some showers, some of hail, but it also became fresher and brighter, but much cooler in a brisk W-NW'ly flow.

   Later on the 27th HP once again ridged over the UK and whilst there were showers on the 28th from an occluded front moving south, the 29th saw some sunny spells but the 30th was a glorious sunny day and quite pleasant at 13.8°c.


   AND FINALLY    Overall a poor month, settled to start with notable frosts and cold days before turning changeable and wetter.


   Rainfall totalled 86.0 mm for the month, with rain recorded on 15 days of which 12 were 'Wet days' (1.0mm +).

   The Mean Temperature for the month was 6.39°c      --      The Mean Max' was   10.33°c     --      The Mean Min'   2.45°c.

   We had 8 Air Frosts in the month (year 66)              --      Grass frosts totalled 16 (year 90).

   The 1 foot soil temp ranged from a low of 3.2°c on the 1st         to      a high of 9.3°c on the 25th     --      with a monthly mean of 6.8°c

   The 1 meter soil temp ranged from a low of 4.7°c on the 3rd and 6-7th      to      a high of 7.4°c on the 26-30th      --     with a monthly mean of 6.0°c



   * April 2013 rainfall was 169% of the April average for 2008 - 2012

   * April 2013 was 1.88°c colder than the April average for 2009 - 2012 and 1.1°c colder than the local long term average 1981-2010

  * The 3 month mean for February/March/April 2013 is                   TEMP'     3.54°c         --          RAIN    151.1 mm

* February/March/April 2012 was TEMP'     5.83°c -- RAIN    160.9 mm

* Febraury/March/April 2011 was TEMP'     6.91°c -- RAIN    278.3 mm

* February/March/April 2010 was TEMP'     4.68°c -- RAIN    122.0 mm

* February/March/April 2009 was TEMP'     6.01°c -- RAIN    113.3 mm

* February/March/April 2008 was TEMP'     -- RAIN    285.1 mm


* 2013 To Date TEMP'     3.37°c -- RAIN    262.7 mm

* 2012 Jan - April TEMP'     5.32°c -- RAIN    251.6 mm

* 2011 Jan - April TEMP'     5.80°c -- RAIN    420.9 mm

* 2010 Jan - April TEMP'     3.60°c -- RAIN    158.6 mm

* 2009 Jan - April TEMP'     5.38°c -- RAIN    339.5 mm

* 2008 Jan - April TEMP'     -- RAIN    511.3 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    REVIEW OF 2012   

JANUARY 2013    FEBRUARY 2013    MARCH 2013   

   © Darren Rogers 2012

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