Monthly Summary - May 2014

   May continued the mild start to 2014 being some 0.7°c warmer than average, but it did not enjoy any great warmth by day (only two days exceeded 20°) as mean maximum temperatures were only just above average, by 0.2°c. Whereas the fairly constant cover of cloud kept frost away and night-time minima were constantly mild and some 1.5°c above average.

   The month was generally unsettled with MSLP of 1013.5 Mb, some -1.4 Mb below average and rainfall of 81.9 mm was some 124% of average at Maulds Meaburn with rain fairly frequent, but rarely heavy. The best weather came during 13-18th when pressure built and the days became sunny, dry and pleasantly warm. The two Bank Holiday weekends were passable, the first being generally cloudy with little rain, whilst Whitsuntide slowly improved with the Monday pleasantly sunny.

   May also brings the Spring to a close and unsurprisingly it has been mild with a mean temperature of 8.89°c here at Maulds Meaburn. Nearby at the Met' Office site at Newton Rigg (Penrith) a mean temperature of 8.78°c makes the Spring of 2014 the second warmest on record (series back to 1914) to that of 1990 (8.82°c) - all the more notable as it follows the coldest ever Spring on record locally from last year!

   Overall a mean minimum of 7.24°c and a mean maximum of 14.9°c saw the temperature some 0.7°c above the 1981-2010 average, making it the warmest May since 2008 and the 20th warmest in the Newton Rigg series back to 1914. The highest temperature recorded was 22.9°c (19th), the lowest 0.9°c (3rd).

   It was the wettest May since 2012 and rainfall locally was typically 125-130% of the average for May, but markedly lower and well below average at Seathwaite in the Lake District. At Newton Rigg (72.6 mm - EA gauge) in a series back to 1914, it was the 30th wettest May (2 years of incomplete data).

   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 77.0 mm (48.0 mm)

   Brothers Water 179.2 mm (138 mm)

   Nunwick Hall 69.0 mm (53.0 mm) and

   126.2 mm at Seathwaite Farm (Borrowdale - 166 mm).


   1st    The month started both cold and unsettled as low pressure (LP) to the west of Eire brought a cloudy day and which at 9.8°c (49.6°F) was the month's coldest day. Later in the day a cold front plunged down from the north and which marked the boundary of that colder air.


  2nd - 4th    After the cold front had cleared south, high pressure (HP) (1031 Mb) to the east of Iceland built over the UK and which gave clearer but cool conditions. The 3rd started with the month's coldest night, 0.9°c (33.6°F) and a slight ground frost and both the 3rd (10.2°c) and 4th (11.4°c) would have a cool edge about them.

   That HP then slipped south east during the 4th (then east 5th) allowing a warm front connected to LP in the Atlantic to move in.


  5th - 12th    It then became unsettled with LP dominating and the days apart from the 5th (16.1°c), were typically cool and showery, but mild overnight. The HP by now had slipped sufficiently far enough east to allow fronts to arrive later on the 5th, bringing rain that would become heavier overnight into the 6th. There followed a cloudy but bright day, but then LP centred over Orkney (7th) brought an unstable and showery westerly flow with the temperature struggling to 10.9°c.

   The days were showery, but at least the main bands of rain came overnight during 9/10th (10.0 mm) and 10/11th (3.8 mm) and there were a few sunny intervals, but those showers were never far away through the entire period.

   Those showery conditions continued during the 11-12th culminating in a 20 minute spell of thunder with moderate rain between 1755-1815 Hrs on the 12th and with a further sharp shower later in the evening. However, not far away, south of Penrith the rainfall was more intense causing some localised flooding and in the Shap and Tebay areas hail was reported up to a depth of 4" and which resulted in several accidents on the M6 - also during the day a funnel cloud was seen in the Alston area.

   Rainfall of 14.1 mm was credited to the 12th and Maulds Meaburn had missed the worst and now things would settle down.


  13th - 18th    High pressure built from the south west during the 13th and would become established over the UK for a short period and which provided for more settled conditions, becoming warm towards the end of the period.

   We avoided any remaining troughs still circulating around the UK on the 13th and that HP (1035 Mb) was generally in charge. All apart from the 15th when a warm front connected to LP near Iceland slowly moved south east bringing cloudy conditions and a little rain.

   But we then enjoyed plenty of sunshine over the weekend of the 17-18th and whilst temperatures were typically 17-18°c during the 15-17th, the 18th saw warm southerly air drawn up as the HP sat to our east and the temperature climbed to 21.0°c (69.8°f), the first day of 2014 to attain the 20° mark.


  19th - 29th    Whilst initially remaining warm and dry to start with, the 19th recording the month's warmest day of 22.9°c (73.2°f), a broad area of LP was now settling over the UK and which initially maintained the supply of warm and moist southerly air.

   We tended to avoid any associated weather fronts connected to the LP, which was slow moving and the 21st saw us sat between LP systems to our north and more notably to the south and it was a fine and sunny day. But that LP to our south spiralled north 22nd and gave a spell of moderate rain, becoming showery in an unstable air flow.

   Rain once again became a frequent visitor and some days fell quite cool, the 23rd and 29th especially. Winds fell light as the pressure gradient within the LP slackened, with the best day in the period falling on the Bank Holiday Monday which saw some good sunny spells.

   The 28th saw the introduction of a cooler northerly flow due to HP over Norway and LP moving east of Europe brought 8.0 mm of rain which cleared and fragmented south 29th, but with a slack easterly flow bringing a cold day that only reached 11.2°c.


  30th - 31st    The month ended with HP building from the north, giving two dry, settled days but which yielded little sun.


   Rainfall totalled 81.9 mm for the month, with rain recorded on 18 days of which 16 were 'Wet days' (1.0mm +).

   The Mean Temperature for the month was 11.07°c      --      The Mean Max' was   14.9°c     --      The Mean Min'   7.24°c.

   We had 0 Air Frosts in the month (year 12)                  --      Grass frosts totalled 2 (year 49).

   The 1 foot soil temp ranged from a low of 10.8°c on the 4th        to      a high of 15.0°c on the 20th     --      with a monthly mean of 12.4°c

   The 1 meter soil temp ranged from a low of 9.4°c on the 1st     to      a high of 11.4°c on the 30th-31st     --     with a monthly mean of 10.3°c



   * May 2014 rainfall was 124.3% of the May average for 2008 - 2013

   * May 2014 was 1.13°c warmer than the May average for 2009 - 2013 and 0.7°c warmer than the local long term average 1981-2010

 * The 3 month mean for March/April/May 2014 is                    TEMP'     8.89°c         --          RAIN    235.9 mm

* March/April/May 2013 was TEMP'     5.80°c -- RAIN    204.6 mm

* March/April/May 2012 was TEMP'     8.02°c -- RAIN    213.9 mm

* March/April/May 2011 was TEMP'     8.75°c -- RAIN    216.2 mm

* March/April/May 2010 was TEMP'     7.33°c -- RAIN    112.4 mm

* March/April/May 2009 was TEMP'     8.22°c -- RAIN    155.2 mm

* March/April/May 2008 was     -- RAIN    221.6 mm


* 2014 To Date TEMP     7.25°c -- RAIN    691.1 mm

* 2013 Jan - May TEMP'     4.60°c -- RAIN    343.7 mm

* 2012 Jan - May TEMP'     6.29°c -- RAIN    342.4 mm

* 2011 Jan - May TEMP'     6.77°c -- RAIN    533.5 mm

* 2010 Jan - May TEMP'     4.78°c -- RAIN    173.4 mm

* 2009 Jan - May TEMP'     6.45°c -- RAIN    410.7 mm

* 2008 Jan - May TEMP'     -- RAIN    536.5 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   

JANUARY 2014    FEBRUARY 2014    MARCH 2014    APRIL 2014    WINTER 2014   

   © Darren Rogers 2014

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