Monthly Summary - December 2016

  Mild with a distinct lack of wintry weather. Often dull, but with below average rainfall - generally a quiet month.

   Overall December was a fairly quiet month, but notably warmer and drier than average and the only flavour of winter in the entire month was a 2 minute sleet shower on Boxing Day.

   Apart from a very wet day on the 23rd, rainfall during the rest of the month tended to be patchy and light, with the month having both a dry start and end, but still fell on 19 days in total. And as is becoming the norm', Christmas itself was terribly mild and uninspiring.

   MSLP of 1023.3 Mb was +11.2 Mb above the local average for December, with high pressure frequent during the month, especially at both ends. It was also the first December (of 8) in my records in which pressure has failed to drop below 1000 Mb during the entire month.

   Overall a mean minimum of 2.96°c and a mean maximum of 8.76°c saw the temperature 2.5°c above the 1981-2010 average and it was the coldest December since 2014 (the 2nd warmest of the 8 now recorded). The highest maximum temperature recorded was 12.5°c (7th), the lowest minimum -3.0°c (4th). Reagill had a mean temperature of 5.9°c.

   Rainfall of 75.3 mm (Crosby Ravensworth School 85.8 mm - CastleHowe Scar 99.3 mm and Reagill 72.4 mm) made it the driest December since 2010 (the 2nd driest of the 10 recorded) and was 39.4% of average for 2007-15. Locally, rainfall percentages were typically in the range of 70% of normal.

   At the Met' Office site at Newton Rigg, 65.6 mm (62.5%) made it the driest December since 2010 and in a series back to 1900 there have been 27 drier and 86 wetter (with incomplete data for 2 years). In a series back to 1951 a mean temperature of 5.85°c is the warmest since 2015 with 58 having been colder, 6 warmer and 1 having the same mean 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 53.8 mm (71.7 mm)

   Brothers Water 212.77 mm (304 mm)

   Nunwick Hall is suspect once again (78.3 mm) - and

   267.4 mm at Seathwaite Farm (Borrowdale - 382 mm [average for 1981-2010])


  1st - 6th    The month opened with high pressure (HP) over the UK, migrating further east towards the end of the period and which resulted in cool and dry weather. Up to the 3rd the HP trapped a lot of cloud over the UK, but from the 4th with the HP over mainland Europe it brought winds from the SE, that were drier and resulted in clearer, sunnier skies.

  As a consequence the temperature also dropped and frosts were recorded 4-6th, -3.0°c on the 4th the coldest of these and also the month's coldest temperature.


  7th - 10th    Low Pressure (LP) then replaced the HP which migrated further east and we now saw a milder SW'ly flow with temperatures comfortably rising above 10°, but with frontal systems bringing periods of rain.

   In many ways it was also the end of the dry and fairly decent weather that we had experienced for some time. The 7th was fairly grim, murky with outbreaks of rain during the day (6.6 mm), yet was the month's warmest day at 12.5°c (54.5°f). It remained grim on the morning of the 8th before clearing to sunny intervals in the afternoon and then the 9th was another murky day with spells of drizzle and light rain. The 10th was generally cloudy and a transitional day as HP over the continent started to ridge back over the UK.


  11th - 12th    HP over Spain ridged north on the 11th, but the day remained cloudy with the HP then giving way to fronts approaching from the SW.


  13th - 19th    We tended to sit between weather systems for the next few days, HP to the east and LP out west, but still with a SW'ly flow that brought some murky conditions.

   Under a slight ridge of HP that gave some weak sunshine, the 14th saw the temperature rise to 12.0°c before the 15-16th saw a return to overcast conditions.

   The HP that had been over the continent moved west from the 17th and the quiet and generally cloudy theme continued.


  20th - 25th

   The HP then gave way to a succession of frontal systems arriving from off the Atlantic, most notably Storm Barbara on the 23rd which tracked just west-east just south of Iceland.

   Rainfall totals for the 20th-22nd were steady as opposed to excessive and there was the occasional brighter moment, but the 23rd saw the rain arrive at 0900 hrs, falling moderately at first, becoming heavy in the afternoon with strong and gusty winds.

   Winds gusted to 53 Mph and the final rainfall total was 24.1 mm, but in reality it was nothing more than a typical winter's depression and the pressure never fell below 1003 MB.

  1200 Hrs 23rd -   Storm Barbara - Cumbria's first storm of the winter  


   Barbara moved away further north during the 24th leaving us in a brisk westerly flow ahead of a new LP system that would push a pair of cold fronts across the UK on the 25th which remained breezy and saw a spell of rain in the afternoon.

   Overall, Christmas and its run up had been dull, wet and mild with both the 24th and 25th topping 11°c.


  26th - 31st    HP in Biscay would then build and become dominant over northern Europe and the UK, reaching a central pressure of 1046 MB (1042 MB over Cumbria).

   Whilst the 26th remained breezy in a westerly flow over the top of the HP as it was moving north, the days now fell relatively calm and with it, settled and much cooler.

   The temperature started to tumble with the 27th only rising to 5.4°c and the 28th started with a frost and despite being a decent sunny day only attained 4.2°c (39.6°f), the month's coldest day.

    Mid-day 28th -   the HP that gave a settled, dry and cooler end to the month  


   But the final few days of the month saw the HP migrate further east over mainland Europe, leaving us at its far western extent and with the subsequent SW'ly flow, it became overcast and a little milder.

   It remained dry until the evening of New Year's Eve with a 11.0 mm of rain falling before 0900 hrs on the 1st, this being credited back to the 31st and hence 2016.


December Rainfall Anomalies %                                                                                    December Temp' Anomaly   



   Rainfall totalled 75.3 mm for the month, with rain recorded on 19 days of which 14 were 'Wet days' (1.0mm +).

   The Mean Temperature for the month was 5.86°c      --      The Mean Max' was   8.76°c     --      The Mean Min'   2.96°c.

   We had 6 Air Frosts in the month (year 61)                --      Grass frosts totalled 13 (year 122).

   The 1 foot soil temp ranged from a low of 4.0°c on the 6th        to      a high of 7.2°c on the 10th and 14th     --      with a monthly mean of 5.9°c

   The 1 meter soil temp ranged from a low of 7.0°c on the 7-8th and 31st      to      a high of 8.0°c on the 16-18th     --     with a monthly mean of 7.5°c



   * December 2016 rainfall was 39.4% of the December average for 2007 - 2015

   * December 2016 was 2.31°c warmer than the December average for 2009 - 2015 and 2.5°c warmer than the local long term average 1981-2010


                                     * 2016                TEMP'     8.89°c         --         RAIN   1072.1 mm

* 2015 TEMP'     8.75°c -- RAIN   1663.8 mm

* 2014 TEMP     9.58°c -- RAIN   1343.8 mm

* 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'     8.86°c -- RAIN   1264.5 mm

* 2008 TEMP'     -- RAIN   1381.3 mm This makes the year 2016 0.24°c warmer than the average for 2009-15 and with 83.2% of rainfall for 2008-15


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    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    APRIL 2015    MAY 2015    JUNE 2015    JULY 2015    AUGUST 2015    SEPTEMBER 2015    OCTOBER 2015    NOVEMBER 2015    DECEMBER 2015    REVIEW OF 2015   

JANUARY 2016    FEBRUARY 2016    MARCH 2016    APRIL 2016    MAY 2016    JUNE 2016    JULY 2016    AUGUST 2016    SEPTEMBER 2016    OCTOBER 2016    NOVEMBER 2016    REVIEW OF 2016   

   © Darren Rogers 2016

Want to comment on this site? email