Monthly Summary - April 2015

   April was a fine and sunny month that saw high pressure in the ascendency and hence was drier than average although the temperature was only on a par for the month, but with some wide fluctuations. A few days were notably warm, but this was more than cancelled out by the mean minimum temperature which showed a large, negative departure from the norm'. However, April will be best remembered for just how sunny it was with the Met' Office reporting it to have been the sunniest on record.

   Subsequently ground frosts were common (19) and well above average, but yet we had the first day of the year to attain 20°. After a dry spell from the 13th-23rd the month ended cold and unsettled with a few wintry showers.

   MSLP of 1020.5 Mb was +6.8 Mb above the average for April with high pressure dominant during the 4-10th and again for the 16-24th and a little like March, was unsettled at both the beginning and end of the month.

   Overall a mean minimum of 2.38°c and a mean maximum of 12.70°c saw the temperature 0.1°c below the 1981-2010 average, making it the coldest April since 2013. The highest maximum temperature recorded was 20.6°c (22nd), the lowest minimum -4.7°c (27th).

   Rainfall of 49.9 mm (Crosby Ravensworth School 53.4 mm) made it the driest April since 2011 and here at Maulds Meaburn was 86.9% of average for 2008-14. Locally it was more typically around 75% of average.

   At the Met' Office site at Newton Rigg, 43.0 mm made it the wettest since 2013 and in a series back to 1914 this makes it the 35th wettest April (1 year of incomplete data) in that time. In a series from 1956, a mean temperature of 7.25°c sees April having been colder on 32 occasions, warmer on 24, with three years having the same temperature.

   Figures from the Environment Agency’s rainfall sites were, (figure in brackets being the monthly average for 1961-90)   ‘Data kindly provided by the Hydrometry and Telemetry team of the Environment Agency (Penrith)’:

   Kirkby Thore 29.0 mm (55.4 mm)

   Brothers Water 101.6 mm (129 mm)

   Nunwick Hall 47.6 mm (45.7 mm) and

   128.2 mm at Seathwaite Farm (Borrowdale - 179 mm).


  1st - 3rd    It was a mixed start to the month which started on a cool and showery note in a brisk westerly flow. In a slack pressure gradient the 2nd was a better day with plenty of sun, before more fronts brought a damp and murky day on the 3rd, but rainfall totals were still light in these three days.


  4th - 10th    High pressure (HP) then built from the south-west, becoming established over the UK at 1036 Mb. This brought dry and settled conditions, generally sunny, although hazy at times and some very decent warm, spring-like days.

   Initially there were variable amounts of cloud, especially in the mornings with the 6th (Sunday) foggy throughout the morning, but then just like the 5th, the afternoon was lovely, sunny and warm and peaked at 17.0°c (62.6°f).

   Both the 7th and 8th saw plenty of sun as well, but then as the HP drifted east over the continent and allowed a southerly flow to be drawn up, the 9-10th became hazy, albeit even warmer with the 10th attaining 19.0°c (66.2°f).


  11th - 15th    After the warmth of the 10th, the 11th could only manage 9.4°c as a cold front overnight into the 11th brought some rain, but more notably introduced cooler air. It remained sunny, but certainly felt much fresher and then a more active cold front overnight into the 12th brought some sleet during the night that continued for most of the morning. This briefly turned to snow before turning to a brief spell of heavy rain of 10.9 mm.

   The next few days were typified by brisk south-westerly winds and overcast skies due to HP to our south-east and a semi-static cold front over Scotland causing the 'squeezing up' of the pressure gradient between the two.

   The now very weak cold front moved south on the 15th and HP would now build behind this.


  16th - 24th    High pressure would become established over the UK, building to 1037.0 MB (21st) and would result in a fine period of settled, dry, warm and sunny conditions - spring had truly arrived.

   Ground frosts may have been recorded every day and whilst the 18-19th saw a cool easterly flow around the HP, we enjoyed some really decent sunny days and which became quite warm again from the 20th.

   The 21st was gloriously sunny and a perfect 17.8°c, but whilst not quite as perfectly sunny on the 22nd, the winds backed to a south-easterly and the temperature rose higher and indeed Maulds Meaburn became the warmest location in the north-west of England at a whopping 20.6°c (69.1°c), easily the month's warmest day.

   The HP remained over the UK, elongating east-west on the 22nd and then collapsing on the 24th with a notable drop in temperatures.


  25th    The month would now end on a chilly note with periods of rain and having an almost autumnal feel about it as a cold front introduced colder air from the north and snow would return to the mountain summits.

   Frontal systems now moved across the UK from both the south-west and the north, with fronts bringing light rain overnight into the 26th and through the morning. The 25th saw a dramatic change in wind direction, south-west to north-west and drop in temperature at 0930 hrs as one such front moved through and by 1320 hrs it was a very chilly 3.4°c.


  26th - 27th    A weak ridge of HP then saw a return of the sun, albeit it remained cool, with the 27th starting with a sharp frost of -4.7°c (23.5°f), easily the month's coldest temperature. After a perfect sunny start cloud began to build and we had a brief, light hail shower in the afternoon.

   The clear skies overnight 26-27th allowed for some local residents to observe a fine example of a fireball (meteor shower) at 2205 hrs on the 26th, the following report being supplied by Karen Asquith: 'White/orange fireball, short pink tail, broke up into 4 or 5 pieces, travelling South to North for 4-5 seconds, disappeared about 25 degrees above horizon'.

    28th - 30th    LP to the north-west and moving south with trough lines ahead of it saw the 28th start with hail, sleet and sunny spells, but which was cool and windy and would only attain 8.4°c. The evening then saw some showers, becoming more organised overnight into the 29th with a spell of heavy rain, making the 28th the month's wettest day with 12.3 mm.

   It remained cool with further showers and sunny intervals for the final two days of the month.


   Rainfall totalled 49.9 mm for the month, with rain recorded on 12 days of which 10 were 'Wet days' (1.0mm +).

   The Mean Temperature for the month was 7.54°c      --      The Mean Max' was   12.70°c     --      The Mean Min'   2.38°c.

   We had 7 Air Frosts in the month (year 40)                  --      Grass frosts totalled 19 (year 82).

   The 1 foot soil temp ranged from a low of 6.0°c on the 1st        to      a high of 10.6°c on the 24th     --      with a monthly mean of 8.9°c

   The 1 meter soil temp ranged from a low of 6.5°c on the 1st and 3rd     to      a high of 8.7°c on the 26-27th     --     with a monthly mean of 7.8°c



   * April 2015 rainfall was 86.9% of the April average for 2008 - 2014

   * April 2015 was 0.56°c colder than the April average for 2009 - 2014 and 0.1°c colder than the local long term average 1981-2010

                                  * 2015      To Date                   TEMP      4.69°c         --         RAIN    432.0 mm

* 2014 Jan - April TEMP     6.26°c -- RAIN    609.2 mm

* 2013 Jan - April 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


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

JANUARY 2014    FEBRUARY 2014    MARCH 2014    APRIL 2014    MAY 2014    JUNE 2014    JULY 2014    AUGUST 2014    SEPTEMBER 2014    OCTOBER 2014    NOVEMBER 2014    DECEMBER 2014    WINTER 2014    REVIEW OF 2014   

JANUARY 2015    FEBRUARY 2015    MARCH 2015   

   © Darren Rogers 2015

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