Monthly Summary - January 2020

 Very mild and wetter than average - often dull, few frosts, but a poor month

    Start of a new decade and January became the warmest in my records - but very curiously only one day made 10°c! There were few frosts (equal lowest along with 2014) and as for anything of a wintry nature, well you could almost have counted each individual snowflake that did fall!

  On the whole it was an unsettled month with low pressure more to the fore, bringing wet and windy weather 5-12th and then more rain from the 25th. However, in between these two periods pressure rose suddenly and quickly to 1047.2 MB (19th), a new record for this site., the period from the 17-24th being the one dry part of the month, but which after a bright and frosty start to the period soon turned dull.

  The month was at its most unsettled during the 11-16th and which included 'Storm Brendon' when apart from the rain we also had a few stormy days.

  However, in many ways the most bizarre thing about the month is that it finished with such a high mean temperature - it rarely felt that mild and whilst only six day-time maximum's fell below average, the rest, without ever soaring that high, were always just that bit above average.

  MSLP of 1014.6 Mb was +2.5 Mb above the local average for the month and overall a mean minimum of 2.57°c and a mean maximum of 7.45°c saw the temperature 1.81°c above the eleven year average for this site.

  It has been the warmest of the twelve now recorded at this site - the highest maximum temperature recorded being 10.7°c (7th), the lowest minimum -3.8°c (20th).

  Rainfall of 142.5 mm (Crosby Ravensworth School 168.4 mm - Castlehowe Scar 212.6 mm) was 101.4% of average for 2008-19 and made it the wettest January since 2016 - of the 13 now recorded six have been wetter+ and six have been drier. (+ 2011 was only wetter by 0.1 mm)

  During the month there was: snow fell on two days (27-28th), hail fell on one day (27th) and fog was recorded once (22nd). Gusts of wind exceeding 50 mph were recorded on three days, with the maximum gust being 52 mph (7+13th).

  At the Met' Office site at Newton Rigg, rainfall of 106.6 mm (105%) was the wettest since 2018 and in a series back to 1900 January has been wetter in 41 years and drier in 79.

  A mean temperature of 5.26°c is 2.0°c above average for the month and in a complete record back to 1952 January has been warmer in 6 years and colder in 62 - however, the record does extend back to 1914, but with several years of missing data, which, if included, would see 1916 with a mean temperature of 6.70°c being the warmest of all (including nationally).

  Locally, rainfall percentages were above average, especially so within the Lake District National Park.

  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 (70.1 mm)

  Haresceugh Castle (Kirkoswald) 66.49 mm (91.7 mm)

  Brothers Water 372.55 mm (277 mm) and

  Orton (Shallowford) ** mm (186.8 mm [average for 1967-2018])

  537.2 mm at Seathwaite Farm (Borrowdale - 372 mm [average for 1981-2010]).

  ** not available due to faults with the gauge


  General Synoptic Report for the Month

   High pressure (HP) at the start of the month brought one of the few frosts that we would have during the month and also a dry day. That HP gave way on the 2nd when a frontal system brought a wet afternoon and evening, but then HP in Biscay built and moved NE into Europe over the next few days and maintained a quietness to the weather. With a nominal SW'ly flow temperatures were slightly above average.

  Low pressure (LP) would then come to the fore through to the 18th - during this time a succession of LP systems arrived from of the Atlantic bringing belts of rain and occasionally stormy weather. Quieter moments in between these LP systems were limited during this time.

  Rainfall totals were steady as opposed to excessive, overnight into the 9th, 11th, 13-14th and the 16th all experiencing the heaviest falls. The 7th was a particularly windy day, gusting to 52 mph courtesy of a very deep (943 MB) low over Iceland; however, it would also be the month's warmest day. The 11th would be the month's wettest day with 20.5 mm and which was another stormy day with gusts to 50 mph.

  'Storm Brendon' on the 13-14th built in the mid Atlantic and tracked NE to the west of Eire and whilst Eire and NW Scotland bore the brunt, we still had gusts to 52 mph and two wet days.

  The 16th would see one final LP system moving up from the south and bringing a spell of heavy rain (20.2 mm) during the afternoon and evening, continuing overnight into the 17th.

  And then a sudden and dramatic change - late on the 18th HP began to ridge in from France and very quickly built, becoming dominant over the UK. By 0600 Hrs on the 20th it sat over the Severn estuary with a central pressure of 1050 MB (1047.2 MB here at Maulds Meaburn). We now had the one dry and settle period of the month.

  The 19th started cold at -3.8°c, the months lowest temperature but then with cloud developing during the day. This did provide us with a beautiful 'Mackerel Sunset', but whilst the rest of the period would remain dry, there were no more frosts and it all became a little dull. The 22nd started foggy and it was during this time that night-time minima were well above average.


  Mackerel Sunset 19th -  view looking west towards Shap from Maulds Meaburn 

With LP sitting to the SW of Iceland, the HP began to collapse from the 25th and a succession of frontal systems would bring rain for the rest of the month.

  Rain fell in steady amounts on every day 26th - 31st, but did include some hail and sleet on the 27th and we even woke to the very slightest dusting of snow on the 28th with a brief spell of snow in the morning and further showers during the day.

  The final three days of the month though were grey and mild with temperatures close to 10°c and if it wasn't overcast, it was raining!


January Rainfall Anomalies %                                                                                    January's Temp' Anomaly   



   Rainfall totalled 142.5 mm for the month, with rain recorded on 22 days of which 17 were 'Wet days' (1.0mm +).

   The Mean Temperature for the month was 5.01°c      --      The Mean Max' was   7.45°c     --      The Mean Min'   2.57°c.

   We had 4 Air Frosts in the month (year 4)                --      Grass frosts totalled 16 (year 16).

   The 1 foot soil temp ranged from a low of 3.8°c on the 20th - 21st        to      a high of 6.5°c on the 8th     --      with a monthly mean of 5.3°c

   The 1 meter soil temp ranged from a low of 6.4°c on the 22nd - 24th      to      a high of 7.2°c on the 9th     --     with a monthly mean of 6.8°c



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


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