Click here for the Weatherlink Monthly summary for February


Monthly Summary - February 2014

   Like the rest of winter February was relentlessly wet, unsettled and disturbed as numerous deep and vigorous depressions tracked across the Atlantic and the rain just kept coming. Quite remarkably and just like the other winter months, February also recorded over 200 mm of rain and which managed to fall on every single day apart from the 28th!

   Three consecutive months in excess of 200 mm is staggering especially considering that since 1891 at Appleby only once (Jan'+ Feb' 1990) did it record consecutive months in excess of 200 mm and like Newton Rigg (since 1914) never three. Newton Rigg also only recording back to back 200 mm+ months the once (Oct' + Nov' 1954).

   Mean SLP was once again significantly (drastically) below average by -23.7 Mb under that constant stream of Atlantic depressions and indeed a MSLP for the month of just 990.2 Mb is a new record low of any month at this site. MSLP was at its lowest during 6-8th when it fell to a new record low for this site and then again 12-15th. High pressure was once again conspicuous by its absence in another month dominated by winds from a south westerly quarter and gusts of wind in excess of 50 Mph were recorded on six days.

   Overall a mean minimum of 2.68°c and a mean maximum of 7.01°c saw the temperature some 1.2°c above the 1981-2010 average, making it the warmest February since 2011. However, that mildness is more a consequence of the lack of frost than warm days, with no day attaining 10°c and the mean minimum temperature is far greater in excess of the average (+2.1°c) than the mean maximum (+0.4°c). Bizarrely, the 1st January is still the year's warmest day!

   The total rainfall for winter represents a quite staggering 60% of the mean annual rainfall and some 217.5% of of the average for winter here at Maulds Meaburn and at the Environment Agencies sites those figures are slightly more impressive:

   Kirkby Thore 61.4% of annual total and 230.6% of winter average - Brothers Water 71.1% and 231.8% - Nunwick Hall 62.2% and 243.9% - Newton Rigg 61.2% and 206.4 and at Seathwaite Farm 62.8% and 220.8%.

   It was the wettest February since 2002 and rainfall locally ranged from 'just' 256% of the February average at Newton Rigg to over 300% at Nunwick Hall and the mountain gauges. At Newton Rigg (190.2 mm - EA gauge) in a series back to 1914, it was the 3rd wettest February (3 years of incomplete data).

   Figures from the Environment Agency’s rainfall sites were, (figure in brackets being the monthly average for 1961-90): Kirkby Thore 136.4 mm (48.7 mm) , Brothers Water 627.0 mm (192 mm), Nunwick Hall 167.2 mm (51.0 mm) and 710.2 mm at Seathwaite Farm (Borrowdale - 220 mm).

  ‘Data kindly provided by the Hydrometry and Telemetry team of the Environment Agency (Penrith)’.


     Click here WINTER 2014   for a report concerning the winter of 2013-14.


   1st - 6th    The month started with a succession of low pressure (LP) systems feeding in off the Atlantic with the 1st being both wet (20.5 mm) and windy (gust of 51 mph). As one area of LP moved away it would be replaced by another and this was to become a consistent theme during the month.

   The next few days were not overly wet with showery conditions more typical in a strong southerly flow and day-time temperatures at or just below average. This would also become a theme of February with suppressed day-time temperatures but night time minima markedly above average due to the semi permanent cloud cover.


  7th    A slight respite came on the 7th under a slight ridge of high pressure (HP) and was a reasonable day and we actually saw some sunshine in the afternoon. But even this lull couldn't last a whole day as the next LP system arrived later in the evening.


  8th - 9th    The LP that arrived late on the 7th was both deep (943 MB) and vigorous and which would see mean SLP fall to a new record low for this site of 957.3 Mb (8th). In such a disturbed winter there appeared to be no end to the constant battering of wind and rain.

   The rain overnight would see 12.6 mm credited back to the 7th and gave a further 16.1 mm on the 8th with winds to 53 mph as the LP with an occluded front wrapped around arrived from the south west and slowly tracked north east.

   That LP was slow to clear and was still dominant on the 9th giving further showers and rain in the evening and overnight into the 10th.


  10th    Was by far the best day for a long time as the pressure gradient eased as the LP tracked further north and we enjoyed virtually a whole day of sun, could you remember what it looked like? However, like the 7th and the 16th to follow, it would be short lived.


  11th - 15th    The month now entered an extremely unsettled and stormy phase with heavy spells of rain, occasionally wintry in nature although temperatures tended to remain at the seasonal norm. LP northwest of Eire swept a narrow band of rain through overnight 10-11th and a new LP system would arrive later in the day and that became increasingly wintry.

   Snow from late afternoon became heavy for a while and with further showers during the evening and overnight, the 12th started with a 1cm covering of wet snow. This was the first (and only) day of snow on the ground this winter.

   But the 12th still had much more to offer! Another very deep and vigorous depression arrived from the south west, taking a north easterly track and mean SLP would fall to 959.2 Mb. The afternoon became increasingly windy and then stormy in the evening with winds gusting to 61 Mph and at their peak had a 10 minute average of 41 Mph. This was accompanied by heavy rain, 26.0 mm, that would take the winter total over 600 mm and it was a thoroughly awful day.

   This LP was also slow to clear north, giving showery conditions for the 13th, but then we did it all again on the 14th with another 18.5 mm of rain!

   Once again from the south west and with a north east track, a rapidly deepening area of LP arrived mid afternoon, giving a spell of sleet prior to heavy and squally rain on strengthening winds.

   The 15th saw a gradual improvement as the day progressed as the LP and its occluded front slowly cleared to the north.


  16th    Was another single day of reasonable weather as a ridge of HP built to the west of the UK that gave bright conditions with some sunny spells, although not especially warm in a fresh westerly breeze.


  17th - 19th    An indictment on this winter is when despite yet more rain the term 'improvement' is used to described the weather! These few days were quieter as the pressure gradient slackened and we sat in a broader area of LP.

   Showers and/or light rain with overcast conditions remained to the fore but the winds fell lighter and it became slighter milder with a month's high of 9.7°c (49.5°f) on the 19th and which just about managed to stay dry. During this period the mean SLP actually managed to rise above 1000 Mb.


  20th - 28th    Saw a return to something more 'normal' for this winter' as a frontal system associated to LP southwest of Iceland brought more rain and winds gusting to 51 Mph during the morning as the cold front passed over. The next few days became increasingly wet both 21st/22nd having just over 9.0 mm each and then the 23rd was really wet and wild!

   Sat in a broad warm sector so at least it was mild with winds from the SSW, LP NW of the UK saw an associated cold front in the Atlantic develop waves along its length which resulted in heavy pulses of rain as the cold front moved east.

   Wet and wild was the outcome with winds gusting to 57 Mph, but more notably 34.3 mm (Shap 49.8 mm) of rain was significant and took the monthly total over 200 mm.

   It remained unsettled through to the month's end with rain frequent, another 16.3 mm credited to the 26th with the majority falling in the early hours of the 27th, but there were also some brighter moments. Day-time temperature also picked up a little during 22nd-25th in that milder air, ranging from 8.0° to 9.5°c.

   Those brighter moments, which even included some spells of sun (morning of 25th and 27th), were always in the fresher conditions behind the frontal systems that swept east bringing that rain as LP remained dominant in the Atlantic.

   And then the month and winter taunted us by ending with a fine, sunny and dry day and which was pleasantly warm at 8.1°c. The 28th had started with the month's coldest night and amazingly the only air frost of the month at -1.7°c (28.94°f).


   Rainfall totalled 235.5 mm for the month, with rain recorded on 27 days of which 25 were 'Wet days' (1.0mm +).

   The Mean Temperature for the month was 4.84°c      --      The Mean Max' was   7.01°c     --      The Mean Min'   2.68°c.

   We had 1 Air Frosts in the month (year 5)                  --      Grass frosts totalled 10 (year 21).

   The 1 foot soil temp ranged from a low of 3.7°c on the 13-14th        to      a high of 6.4°c on the 24th     --      with a monthly mean of 4.9°c

   The 1 meter soil temp ranged from a low of 5.0°c on the 15th      to      a high of 6.2°c on the 28th     --     with a monthly mean of 5.6°c



   * February 2014 rainfall was 369.1% of the February average for 2008 - 2013

   * February 2014 was 1.55°c warmer than the February average for 2009 - 2013 and 1.2°c warmer than the local long term average 1981-2010

 * The 3 month mean for December/January/February 2013-14 is                    TEMP'     5.06°c         --          RAIN    725.9 mm

* December/January/February 2012-13 was TEMP'     2.87°c -- RAIN    379.3 mm

* December/January/February 2011-12 was TEMP'     3.93°c -- RAIN    308.6 mm

* December/January/February 2010-11 was 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     -- RAIN    346.8 mm

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


                 2013-14        2012-13       2011-12         2010-11       2009-10        2008-09        2007-08

Air Frosts            7            48            30              40            57                                 

Ground Frosts        34            64            59              56            81                                 

Ice Days              0             3             0              13             6              1                  

Laying Snow           1            11             3              23            32             16              3   

Falling Snow         13            26            19              20            39             14                  


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   © Darren Rogers 2014

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