Monthly Summary - February 2011

   February sees Winter draw to a close, and the month was quite drab, very wet, very dull with sunshine at a premium and the slightly milder conditions were little consolation. The start of the month was very cyclonic with days of heavy rainfall and violent winds. Surprisingly very few frosts (2) during the month.

   The three month means shown below are those for the winter period and show that despite the record breaking cold of December, this winter was actaully warmer than that of last year.

   The 1st may have been a reasonable day with a little sun in the afternoon, but from the 2nd we were well and truly soaked and battered.

   The 2nd saw a ridge of high pressure retreating which allowed a frontal system connected to an 'Area of Low pressure' (ALP) (964 mb) to approach from off the Atlantic - the result, wind (44 mph gust) and rain (11.9 mm) and it was only going to get worse!

   We were in a strong Sw'ly flow and most definitely cyclonic conditions and whilst the 3rd initially saw sunny but fresh conditions behind the fronts of the 2nd, more Atlantic frontal systems were steaming their way towards us and now it became violent!!

   The evening of the 3rd saw a wind gust of 67 mph, which is a record for this site (Great Dun Fell had 108 mph) and the rain bucketed it down (how fortunate we are to be on the lee of the mountains that saw much orographic rainfall in this time).

   You would have done well to sleep during the night of the 3rd-4th as the wind didn't abate and we ended up with 27.1mm of rain on the 3rd (0900 - 0900 hrs readings). The 4th saw no let up as the rain (another 25.0mm) was still being driven in on a strong winds that gusted upto 54 mph. Indeed the 4th created a new wind record with a daily mean wind speed of 24.7 mph which for a 24hr period is some battering.

   The 4th had seen a deep ALP (948) to the north of Scotland and its weather fronts had brought that wind and rain. The 5th was still wet with 9.2 mm of rain and the wind still gusted upto 51 mph, albeit this was in the early hours and daytime did see slightly quieter conditions although still wet.

   And it didn't stop there, we still had the months wettest day to enjoy! The 6th saw a waving front lie north of the UK. This stretched across the Atlantic through to the USSR and was wedged inbetween an 'Area of high pressure' (AHP) (1036 Mb) over Europe and low pressure to our North. This created tightly packed isobars and this waving front pushed north and for us this meant yet more wind and rain. Rain of 34.0mm fell on the 6th and it was really unpleasant with a heavy mist and from 0900 hrs the wind picked up and peaked with a gust of 53 mph in the early afternoon.

   The rain continued into the 7th and was heavy at times, before finally clearing and leaving a fresh p.m. (wind veered to the NW) with some sunny intervals. It was a deepening ALP (999) located SW of Eire and moving NE that brought that rain.

   The 8th saw a brief respite as we sat in a shallow ridge of high pressure which created fresher and brighter conditions and the odd glimpse of the sun. However, overnight into the 9th the rain returned. With an AHP (1027) over Europe and a very deep depression (949) between Greenland and Iceland that introduced a mild and moist S-SW'ly flow, with the rain brought on a frontal system.

   The first 9 days of the month had brought 129.0 mm of rain, everywhere was saturated. That SW'ly airflow also gave us mild conditions with temps averaging 6.1°c for the first 10 days and daytime max' typically 8-10°c. Curiously the month had yet to register a single air frost.

   The 10th was a reasonable day as we sat in a small ridge of HP, but then back to rain from the 11th. It wasn't as bad as the start of the month but daily totals were still 5mm+. It wasn't until the 16th that we had our first dry day of the month and then two came along together! The 16th was also a sunny day after rain overnight brought on an occluded front connected to a large complex ALP with multiple centres to the W of the UK.

   We had had our first air frost on the 15th and which at just -0.8°c was the coldest temp of the month - this is the highest Feb' min' temp recorded to date here. We then entered a slightly quieter period around the 17-18th although the 19th brough some snow in the early hours and that was soon gone during the morning.

   Through the 18th - 21st we were at the edge of a cold continental air mass to the east that extended as far as ourselves and that gave a cool SE'ly flow and a warmer maritime airmass to our West over the Atlantic. It was the maritime air that finally beat a path East but when it had come against that colder air it had initially brought that snow, but as the martime air pushed further east that snow readily turned to rain.

   This colder air resulted in the daytime max' temps through the 18th - 21st being pegged back and both the 19th and 21st reached just 3.3°c (37.9°F) the months coldest days. But the cloud cover didn't allow the temps to fall that much and we comfortably avoided any frosts.

   The days remained gloomy with some rain overnight 22nd and 23rd and now with a SW'ly flow. Through the early part of the 25th a weak warm front passed through and that brought some rain and murky conditions. However, this had cleared by p.m. and it brightened up a little and at 10.3°c (50.5°F) was the months warmest day. The months end saw high pressure starting to build and we had only our second frost of the month.

   Total rainfall was 174.7 mm and thus a very wet month. A curious first for this site is that on every day that rainfall was recorded (21 days 'rain days') they all went onto to become 'wet days' - days with 1.0 mm+ of rain.

   The Mean Temperature for the month was 5.08°c+         --      The Mean Max' was   7.34°c   --    The Mean Min'   2.83°c.

   We had 2 Air Frosts in the month (year 17) -- Grass frosts totalled 9 (year 31).

   The 30 cm soil temp ranged from 2.8°c on the 1st to 6.2°c on the 26th with a monthly mean of 4.85°c


   * February 2011 rainfall was 367.80% of the February average for 08/09/10

   * February 2011 was 3.76°c warmer than February 2010   --   1.08°c warmer than 2009 +

   * February saw 21 days of rain, of which 21 were wet days.

  * The 3 month mean for December/January/February 2010-11 is              TEMP'    1.73°c          -          RAIN    341.6 mm

* December/January/February 2009-10 was TEMP'    1.20°c - RAIN    154.0 mm

* December/January/February 2008-09 was TEMP'    - RAIN    346.8 mm

* December/January/February 2007-08 was TEMP'    - RAIN    472.4 mm

   + Met office figures for February show that NW England/N. Wales had a mean temp' of 5.6°c, some +2.1°c warmer than the reference period 1971-2000 (+2.6°c warmer than reference period 1961-90)


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   

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