Monthly Summary - January 2014

   January continued December's theme of wet, unsettled but generally mild weather and with 219.7 mm of rain this winter looks set to be one of the wettest on record. After the wet December this is also the first occasion that I have recorded back to back months in excess of 200 mm.

   Mean SLP was significantly below average by -16.1 Mb in what was a disturbed and unsettled month and it was another month dominated by winds from a south westerly quarter with high pressure rarely interrupting the sequence of Atlantic depressions and subsequently this is the dullest month yet recorded here.

   The total rainfall for December and January represents a quite staggering 40% of the mean annual rainfall here at Maulds Meaburn and at the Enviroment Agencies sites those figures are slightly more impressive: Kirkby Thore 42%, Brothers Water 46%, Nunwick Hall 42%, Newton Rigg 41% and at Seathwaite Farm 40%.

   Overall a mean minimum of 2.45°c and a mean maximum of 6.69°c saw the temperature some 1.3°c above the 1981-2010 average, making it the warmest January since 2008. However, that mildness is more a consequence of the lack of frost than warm days, no day attained 10°c and the mean minimum temperature is far greater in excess of the average (+1.7°c) than the mean maximum (+0.6°c).

   It was the wettest January since 2009 and rainfall locally ranged from 'just' 158% of the January average here at Maulds Meaburn to 228% at Nunwick hall, with Kirby Thore and Brothers Water also having over 200% of average. At Newton Rigg (190.0 mm - EA gauge) in a series back to 1914, it was the third wettest January (7 years of incomplete data). Whilst rain in excess of one inch was only recorded once at Maulds Meaburn, 20 days notched up more than 5 mm, the highest such frequency yet recorded here and which is possibly the best indicator of why the month felt bleak and depressing.

   Figures from the Enviroment Agency’s rainfall sites were, (figure in brackets being the monthly average for 1961-90): Kirkby Thore 155.4 mm (70.1 mm) , Brothers Water 565.4 mm (277 mm), Nunwick Hall 174.4 mm (76.6 mm) and 599.4 mm at Seathwaite Farm (Borrowdale - 338 mm).

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


   1st - 9th    The unsettled nature of December's weather continued into January with low pressure (LP) systems dominant and which were either adjacent to or passing over the British Isles. Rain was subsequently a regular feature and which was heavy at times, especially the 5th with 25.6 mm, but most days saw at least 5.0 mm as the succession of depressions arrived off the Atlantic. The poorest of consolations was that it tended to remain mild.

   The month opened with (still) the year's warmest day of 9.9°c (49.8°F) with LP systems tracking east over the UK, giving a wet day and with pressure falling to a month's low of 973.3 Mb.

   The 4th was quieter with little rain, but even this could not escape the grey and gloom and was only the lull before the inch of rain on the 5th. The pressure had slackened sufficiently overnight into the 5th to give the first air frost of 2014 before the rain arrived. The depression responsible then tracked northwest of the UK and its associated fronts ensured that the 6th (15.7 mm) and 7th (11.8 mm) also remained wet.

   This depression brought a brisk south westerly flow and both the 6-7th saw gusts over 50 Mph before the 8th saw the pressure gradient slacken and rise and we briefly saw our first sunny intervals of 2014!

   It didn't last though as overnight into the 9th a new LP system with a wrap round occlusion moved north out of Biscay and with it brought more rain (13.1 mm).


   10th - 12th    High pressure (HP) made a weak attempt at ridging in from the continent during this period, but which still saw fronts and troughs ingress over the UK and the days were generally cooler and showery with a few sunny intervals. The 12th starting with a slight frost of -0.8°c and which was reasonably bright before yet more rain arrived in the evening.

   The steady rainfall at the start of January gave a 'monthly' total of 353.1 mm (13.9 inch) for the period 11th December 2013 to 10th January and which is greater than the wettest calendar month recorded here, November 2009 with 317.2 mm.


  13th - 18th    The new week would start, continue and end wet in what was now becoming a depressing monotony, at least you didn't need to check the forecast! As before, LP took control and remained in charge and whilst rainfall totals were not excessive, typically 5-8 mm daily, it was frequent and had a cumulative effect on both the saturated ground and one's soul!

   Temperatures initially fell back to the seasonal average, rising 15-16th but becoming misty with it.


  19th - 20th    The pressure gradient slackened 19-20th to give quieter and dry days, although LP was still nearby. HP over Scandinavia tended to slow down any approaching frontal systems and this theme would continue for several days, but not to our benefit. The days were still cloudy and temperatures reverted to normal, but once again LP systems would hold sway.


  21st - 30th    And still there was more! LP again took control and a series of frontal systems visited the British Isles and now they tended to get held up by the permanent HP over Scandinavia and thus daily rainfall totals were now regularly over 10 mm.

   A slight interruption came 23rd as a transient ridge of HP built overnight into the 24th to give the month's coldest night, just -1.3°c. But this quickly gave way to yet more depressions arriving off the Atlantic and the 25-27th saw frequent and heavy rain, with the 25th particularly windy with gusts to 55 Mph as a cold front moved passed through during lunch.

   This depression became slow moving to our north west as it was held up by the Scandinavian high and eventually the LP tracked slowly south east into the continent but weakening and fading as it did so. This gave a dry day 30th, but which dragged in easterly winds with colder air off the continent and subsequently the 30th was the month's coldest day at 3.0°c.


  31st    And then the month ended on a poor note as yet a new area of LP arrived off the Atlantic, deepening to 976.0 Mb as it tracked east. This arrived late morning initially falling as sleet and for a short time as snow in the afternoon, but finally turning to rain that was heavy at times and gave a total of 18.7 mm.


   Rainfall totalled 219.7 mm for the month, with rain recorded on 26 days of which 23 were 'Wet days' (1.0mm +).

   The Mean Temperature for the month was 4.57°c      --      The Mean Max' was   6.69°c     --      The Mean Min'   2.45°c.

   We had 4 Air Frosts in the month (year 4)                  --      Grass frosts totalled 11 (year 11).

   The 1 foot soil temp ranged from a low of 4.4°c on the 27th and 31st         to      a high of 6.0°c on the 8th     --      with a monthly mean of 5.1°c

   The 1 meter soil temp ranged from a low of 5.8°c on the 29th      to      a high of 6.5°c on the 1st-5th and 9-13th     --     with a monthly mean of 6.3°c



   * January 2014 rainfall was 158% of the January average for 2008 - 2013

   * January 2014 was 2.04°c warmer than the January average for 2009 - 2013 and 1.3°c warmer than the local long term average 1981-2010

 * The 3 month mean for November/December/January 2013-14 is                    TEMP'     4.94°c         --          RAIN    555.0 mm

* November/December/January 2012-13 was TEMP'     3.76°c -- RAIN    538.3 mm

* November/December/January 2011-12 was TEMP'     5.47°c -- RAIN    379.7 mm

* November/December/January 2010-11 was TEMP'     1.42°c -- RAIN    295.0 mm

* November/December/January 2009-10 was TEMP'     3.02°c -- RAIN    446.8 mm

* November/December/January 2008-09 was     -- RAIN    402.5 mm

* November/December/January 2007-08 was     -- RAIN    447.9 mm


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   

   © Darren Rogers 2012

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