Monthly Summary - April 2019

 Overall a relatively average month, but with periods of cold, warmth and drought

    April showed many of its numerous faces this year, having periods of summer like warmth, coupled with distinctly cooler spells and then its usual 'April Showers' and a few wetter days at either end of the month, but with a prolonged period of drought in between.

  Whilst finishing marginally warmer and drier than average, it wasn't a particularly average month. That warm spell was perfectly timed, falling over the Easter holiday weekend and overall we had more days over 20°c than average, but then the number of frosts were also above average! As for rainfall, the final total came close to average, but then rain only fell on nine days and a 19 day 'absolute drought' between the 5th - 23rd saw the ground dry out and the river levels running low - the rain in the final week of the month was much needed.

  The month began cool and wet up to the 4th, Warcop recording a snow depth of 13cm on the 3rd. There was then a steady recovery in temperatures and the beginning of the drought, before the 10-14th fell much cooler with a succession of night-time frosts. There was a steady warming up from the 15th leading into the most glorious warm spell during the 19th - 22nd and as already mentioned, it was perfectly timed and resulted in the warmest Easter on record.

  It fell cooler and wetter again from the 24th, before a return to warmer days from the 28th, although with ground frosts at night.

  High pressure centred over Norway dominated the weather for a large part of the month, at first bringing the cooler conditions on an NE-ESE'ly and it was even responsible for the warm Easter spell when just a subtle change in position allowed a more southerly airflow. Winds throughout the month were anomalously ESE'ly with our usual SW'ly's virtually absent.

  MSLP of 1015.6 Mb was +1.9 Mb above the local average for the month and overall a mean minimum of 2.55°c and a mean maximum of 13.61°c saw the temperature 0.27°c above the ten year average for this site.

  It was the coldest since 2017 and of the eleven now recorded, six have been colder and four warmer. The highest maximum temperature recorded was 22.4°c (19th), the lowest minimum -4.2°c (13th).

  Rainfall of 50.6 mm (Crosby Ravensworth School 49.6 mm - Castlehowe Scar 50.3mm) was 88.3% of average for 2008-18 and made it the driest April since 2017 - of the 12 now recorded six have been wetter and five have been drier.

  During the month, the following was recorded: snow fell on one day (3rd), thunder was heard on one day (25th) and there was that 19 day period of drought when no measurable rain was recorded - curiously this is the first time in my records when the first Swallow/House Martin of the season has not been seen in April.

  At the Met' Office site at Newton Rigg, rainfall of 52.4 mm (100.4%) was the driest since 2017 and in a series back to 1900 April has been wetter in 60 years and drier in 59.

  A mean temperature of 7.95°c is 0.55°c above the average for 1981-2010 and in a complete record back to 1952 (1yr of missing data) April has been warmer in 14 years and colder in 52.

  Locally, rainfall percentages varied quite widely, as high as 127% at Haresceugh Castle and as low as just 51% at Brothers Water and provisionally the Lake District appears to have been dry, Seathwaite also only seeing 62% of its average.

  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 ** mm (55.4 mm)

  Haresceugh Castle (Kirkoswald) 67.3 mm (53.0 mm)

  Brothers Water 65.5 mm (129 mm) and

  Orton (Shallowford) ** mm (80.7 mm [average for 1967-2018])

  112.4 mm at Seathwaite Farm (Borrowdale - 180 mm [average for 1981-2010]).

  ** not available due to faulty gauges.


  General Synoptic Report for the Month

   High pressure (HP) in the North Sea on the 1st moved quickly NE to be replaced by low pressure (LP) which would then control the weather through to the 9th. This saw the 1st start with an air frost of -2.7°c and then with rain arriving on the first fronts in the evening. This brought a spell of heavy rain (12.5 mm) overnight into the 2nd , the day then clearing to sunny intervals.

  Due to HP north of Iceland extending down into the mid Atlantic, as the LP passed over the UK a northerly flow was introduced. The LP would now remain over the UK and dominant and in that northerly flow there was a spell of snow overnight that gave a wet and thin cover but which had melted by 0930 hrs. The 3rd saw occasional periods of sleet and would be the month's coldest day at 6.6°c.

  Despite the LP sitting over the UK, the pressure gradient was relatively slack and after just 0.2 mm of rain, 4th, we also avoided any other rain or showers. April had begun in a fairly typical way, but now it would display one of its other features - a spell of dry weather.

  However, from the 4th the wind came from an easterly quarter and for the majority of the period it was both brisk and cool. Whilst day-time temperatures through the 5-12th were respectable and either side of normal, the wind ensured that it felt cool - the plus side though was the lack of rain and many of the days enjoyed decent amounts of sunshine. With a brisk wind and that sun, the ground was quickly drying out.

  From the 10th HP over Norway would dominate - the HP would ridge strongly down over the UK, but it did maintain the E-ESE'ly flow and hence whilst the days were dry and with reasonable spells of sunshine, the temperature did dip. Air frosts were recorded every night 10-14th and the 13-14th saw day-time maximums slip back below 10°c, down to 7.1°c 14th. Of those air frosts, -4.2°c (24.4°f) was the months coldest and saw a ground frost of -7.0°c.

    12:00 Hrs 13th -   High pressure over Norway ridging strongly over the UK 


  Slowly at first, but from the 15th the temperature began to rise and we also saw the back of the frosts.

  During the 16-17th the HP retreated and this saw an occluded front associated to LP south of Iceland lay over the UK, but which only gave us a few spots of rain. The HP over Norway would then re-assert itself of the UK and whilst we had maintained the ESE'ly flow for many days, the airflow would now be warmer, between SE and SW and the temperature rocketed.

  The 15-16th had sat just over 12°c, then the 17-18th just over 17°c - but then from the 19th it was over 20°c and it even coincided with the Easter Bank Holiday!

  Such temperatures at this time of year can result in a slightly hazy sunshine and this was certainly the case, but still that sun was strong as testified by 22.4°c (72.3°f) on the 19th - the 19th also marked the 15th consecutive day with no measurable rainfall - an 'absolute drought' - April was certainly showing us its full deck of cards as to what it can deliver!

  The 19th may have been the warmest day of the month, but we still had three more days with temperatures topping the 20°c mark (68°f) and accompanied by plenty of sunshine.

  The HP remained fairly solid through to the start of the 24th, but now the fine weather would break - LP sat to the SW of Eire would push a cold front south-north up the UK, bringing light rain in the evening and as its journey continued on the 25th it also brought a little thunder at tea-time, although the showers that day never amounted to much.

  LP would then remain over or near to the UK for the next few days bringing spells of rain, heaviest during the afternoon and evening of the 27th, albeit we avoided the worst of the weather on this day which saw 'Storm Hannah' pass to our immediate south. However, with 15.8 mm of rain, the 27th would be the month's wettest day.

  The 28th saw the fronts clearing to the east and a ridge of HP began to build. This saw a quiet end to the month and a return to sunny conditions, albeit it was cooler at night with each of the 28-30th having a ground frost.


April Rainfall Anomalies %                                                                                    April Temp' Anomaly   



   Rainfall totalled 50.6 mm for the month, with rain recorded on 9 days of which 8 were 'Wet days' (1.0mm +).

   The Mean Temperature for the month was 8.08°c      --      The Mean Max' was   13.61°c     --      The Mean Min'   2.55°c.

   We had 6 Air Frosts in the month (year 29)                --      Grass frosts totalled 15 (year 64).

   The 1 foot soil temp ranged from a low of 7.0°c on the 15th        to      a high of 11.0°c on the 23rd - 25th     --      with a monthly mean of 9.0°c

   The 1 meter soil temp ranged from a low of 7.6°c on the 6-7th      to      a high of 9.6°c on the 26th     --     with a monthly mean of 8.3°c



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JANUARY 2018    FEBRUARY 2018    MARCH 2018    APRIL 2018    MAY 2018    JUNE 2018    JULY 2018    AUGUST 2018    SEPTEMBER 2018    OCTOBER 2018    NOVEMBER 2018    DECEMBER 2018    REVIEW OF 2018   

JANUARY 2019    FEBRUARY 2019    MARCH 2019   



The Oldest Inhabitant    An Inch Of Scotch Mist    But it's meant to be Summer (Summer 2017)  


© Darren Rogers 2010-18

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