Monthly Summary - May 2015

   Winter duvet still on the bed at the end of the month, central heating not yet permanently switched off? May was certainly on the cool side - oh, and it was also wet as well.

   But yet frosts were confined to just the first two nights of the month and the mean minimum temperature wasn't that much below average, but day-time temperatures really struggled and it often felt fresh as brisk winds were also common throughout the month. Only four days attained the average of 15°c and consequently the mean maximum temperature was 2.3°c below average and a meagre 0.15°c higher than that of April - yes it was chilly and provisionally the coldest May since 1996.

   MSLP of 1011.6 Mb was -3.3 Mb below the average for May with no weather type dominating during the month or even becoming established for any length of time. Weather patterns fluctuated between unsettled westerly types interspersed with high pressure ridging in for a few brief days, the driest period coming during the 20-26th.

   Overall a mean minimum of 5.41°c and a mean maximum of 12.85°c saw the temperature 1.3°c below the 1981-2010 average, making it the coldest May since 1996 (the coldest yet recorded at this site - from 2009). The highest maximum temperature recorded was 17.4°c (22nd + 23rd - the lowest maximum temperature yet recorded in May), the lowest minimum -1.4°c (1st).

   Rainfall of 110.4 mm (Crosby Ravensworth School 125.2 mm) made it the wettest May since 2011 and here at Maulds Meaburn was 161.9% of average for 2008-14. Locally rainfall was typically also just over 160% of average, but increased dramatically within the Lake District with Seathwaite having 241% of average, also its wettest since 2011, its third wettest since 1970.

   At the Met' Office site at Newton Rigg, 97.2 mm (173.3 %) made it the wettest since 2011 and in a series back to 1914 this makes it the 11th wettest May in that time. Also back to 1914 (with 3 missing years), a mean temperature of 9.05°c sees May having been colder on 11 occasions, warmer on 82 and having the same temperature on 5 occasions.

   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 79.0 mm (48.0 mm)

   Brothers Water 276.2 mm (138 mm)

   Nunwick Hall 86.2 mm (53.0 mm) and

   407.4 mm at Seathwaite Farm (Borrowdale - 169 mm [average for 1981-2010]).


  Spring 2015    Here at Maulds Meaburn and using my own records, this spring with a mean temperature of 7.21°c has been 0.64°c colder than the average for 2009-14 and the second coldest of those seven.

   Rainfall of 264.9 mm has been 136.4% of the average for 2008-14 and is the wettest out of the eight so far recorded.


  1st - 2nd    Under a ridge of high pressure (HP) extending down from the north, the month began on a cool note with air frosts recorded on the first two days; the month's coldest temperature of -1.4°c (29.5°f) welcoming in the new month.

   This was followed by the 2nd recording the months coldest day-time temperature of just 8.6°c before any brightness was replaced by low pressure arriving from the Atlantic.


  3rd - 6th    Some rain had actually arrived during the afternoon of the 2nd as the ridge of HP gave way to low pressure (LP) from the south-west and which would linger over the UK for the next few days. As the series of frontal systems passed over the UK the rain became increasingly heavier overnight and into the morning of the 3rd, with 19.0 mm credited back to the 2nd. The rain steadily eased off leaving a murky day behind with the 4th seeing an improving picture to sunny spells ahead of the next spell of rain.

   That spell of rain came via the occluded front associated to LP that was still over the UK, again improving by the afternoon as the LP now moved north-east and cleared the UK. Behind the LP the winds steadily veered west then north-west and it remained on the cool side of average.


  7th    Sunny and breezy on the 7th with a particularly fine end to the day as HP ridged in off the continent, but at just 12.0°c it still wasn't that warm.


  8th    The ridge of HP gave a sunny if cool start on the 8th before collapsing as LP approached from the south-west and tracked north-east. This saw rain arrive at 4 p.m. becoming heavy during the evening, totalling 20.3 mm, the month's wettest day.


  9th - 10th    The fronts from the 8th cleared during the 9th and HP over France would once again ridge back over the UK. It was another case of an improving picture on the 9th with some sun at the end of the day, but in line with the month to date, with no single weather pattern becoming established, the 10th was a transitional day ahead of more rain bearing frontal systems that arrived overnight into the 11th.


  11th - 12th    The cold front that swept through in the early hours of the 11th gave 13.6 mm of rain (credited back to the 10th) and in a brisk south-westerly flow behind that front it was generally a cloudy day.

   With LP positioned between Scotland and Iceland and HP in Biscay causing a squeezing up of the pressure gradient, the 12th was also a blustery day with a few showers blowing through. Whilst the previous four days had seen temperatures stuck between 13 and 14 degrees, the 12th in that brisk flow struggled even more and only peaked at a paltry 11.6°c.


  13th - 17th    HP that had been over Biscay, now sat over France, ridged north over the UK. This saw a few dry days but apart from the 13th there was no recovery in the temperature, indeed temperatures actually fell away during this time.

   With the ridge of HP from France and sunny spells the temperature reached the 'dizzy!' heights of 15.3°c, but the rest of the period saw HP centred near the Faroe Islands ridging down over the UK and with an easterly flow on the 14th and cloudy skies it felt distinctly chilly at just 10.1°c.

   The 15th did at least see some watery sunshine before a weak frontal system moved west-east over the UK on the 16th. The winds veered westerly, still brisk and most certainly, still very fresh. Under mainly cloudy skies any brightness was limited and the temperature was barely reaching 12°c (53.6°f).


  18th - 19th    LP west of Scotland would move east reaching the northern tip of the mainland before moving away north-east. With several fronts and troughs circulating of the LP, light rain (4.9 mm credited back to the 17th) arrived overnight into the 18th and gave a damp morning before slowly brightening in the afternoon.

   A trough line brought a spell of rain either side of mid-night on the 18-19th and with more trough lines during the 19th it was a day of showers and sunny intervals. In those showers in the early afternoon the temperature dropped to a distinctly cold 7°c.


  20th - 26th    This became the driest and warmest period within the month, containing the month's highest temperature and there were some sunny spells, but it was still nothing of note.

   The 'Azores High' extended a weak ridge north with our part of the UK at its very northern extent and whilst the 20th steadily improved to one of sunny spells there was a brisk and still cool north-westerly flow. Whilst remaining cool on the 21st, the 22nd saw milder air sweep across the UK ahead of a weak frontal system and after a murky start the sun finally came out and we attained a month's highest temperature of 17.4°c (63.3°f). On a decent sunny day that temperature was repeated on the 23rd.

   With the passage of a cold front overnight into the 24th, colder air and a west to north-westerly flow was re-introduced, but with HP again trying to ridge in from the south-west. Consequently the day slowly improved, but only attained 12.6°c. The period saw the weak ridge of HP struggling to remain over the UK with the occasional weak front moving through that brought variable amounts of cloud. However, such as the 25-26th when we did see some sunshine the temperature recovered slightly to just over 15°.


  27th - 31st    Showery, breezy and cold conditions saw the month through to its close on a westerly flow with temperatures struggling around the 12°c mark.

   A small depression developed on a frontal line that was strung out across the Atlantic, bringing a spell of heavy showers in the afternoon and evening of the 27th. To typify the coolness of the weather, the 28th saw a five minute spell of sleet at 9 a.m. and the last day of spring only attained 11.6°c, a fraction colder than that seen on New Year's Day!


   Rainfall totalled 110.4 mm for the month, with rain recorded on 18 days of which 15 were 'Wet days' (1.0mm +).

   The Mean Temperature for the month was 9.13°c      --      The Mean Max' was   12.85°c     --      The Mean Min'   5.41°c.

   We had 2 Air Frosts in the month (year 42)                --      Grass frosts totalled 6 (year 88).

   The 1 foot soil temp ranged from a low of 8.4°c on the 3rd        to      a high of 13.0°c on the 27th     --      with a monthly mean of 10.8°c

   The 1 meter soil temp ranged from a low of 8.3°c on the 4-5th     to      a high of 10.5°c on the 28-30th     --     with a monthly mean of 9.3°c



   * May 2015 rainfall was 161.9% of the May average for 2008 - 2014

   * May 2015 was 1.04°c colder than the May average for 2009 - 2014 and 1.3°c colder than the local long term average 1981-2010

                                  * 2015    To Date                   TEMP      5.60°c         --         RAIN    542.4 mm

* 2014 Jan - May 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

This makes the Jan' to May period of 2015 0.42°c colder than the average for 2009-14 and we have had 125.3% of average rainfall for 2008-14


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    MAY 2014    JUNE 2014    JULY 2014    AUGUST 2014    SEPTEMBER 2014    OCTOBER 2014    NOVEMBER 2014    DECEMBER 2014    WINTER 2014    REVIEW OF 2014   

JANUARY 2015    FEBRUARY 2015    MARCH 2015    APRIL 2015   

   © Darren Rogers 2015

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