Warmest day of the year (so far)

Today’s maximum temperature of 13.9C, recorded at 4pm, is the highest January reading since 18 January 2008 when we saw a balmy 14.0C. The average daytime (6am-6pm) temperature today was 11.9C, making it the warmest day so far this year and the mildest January day since 2011.

January’s rainfall total stands at 56mm so far, with more rain forecast tonight and a predicted showery end to the month. That should give us a refreshingly average total for the whole of January – just as well, since the ground is still very wet. The recent heavy rain is the result of some deep low pressure areas that have brought gales to the north of the UK and some blustery winds here – an average windspeed of 27kts on Sunday was the highest since January last year.

Last of the snow

It’s just after 1pm as I type this, and there is a minor snow flurry outside. Last night saw the lowest temperature this month, with -2.1C at 00:34 – but since then the thermometer has been rising steadily, and it’s now at 2.8C. The humidity has dropped at the same time, and that’s why we’re seeing light snowfall at the moment instead of rain, but the forecast for the weekend and next week is higher temperatures and rainfall.

There is very little lying snow here now, but yesterday we took a trip up on to the Quantock hills and there is plenty of snow up there – some of it well over Wellington-boot depth. There are some photos here for anyone who is interested. Although the thaw here is all but complete, there is a lot of snow sitting on the hills and it’s all got to go somewhere when it melts. Let’s hope it doesn’t get too warm too fast.

With a week of January left, it seems unlikely we will see any more cold weather this month. Despite the disruption caused by snow in many parts of the country, and some very low temperatures in East Anglia, January here has not been particularly cold – a minimum of -2.1C is beaten by every year back to 2009, and the average temperature so far is 4.6C. That will probably increase a little by the end of the month, and we will end up right on the regional average.

Rainfall so far this month amounts to 36.2mm, well below average. Whilst we’re unlikely to match the very dry January of 2012 (39mm), it will make a pleasant change not to see a total running into three figures.

Apologies for the lack of updates

The weather station is running fine, but unfortunately the ftp server isn’t and the weather page hasn’t been updated for a couple of hours. The web hosting company has been told, and we’re waiting for them to fix it.

For what it’s worth, we’ve had some light and rather wet snow – there is a thin cover on the ground.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

The freeze continues

Yesterday’s forecast of lower temperatures turned out to be correct, and today the thermometer only reached freezing point for a few minutes at lunchtime – for the rest of the day we have had sub-zero temperatures. There is still very little variation in temperature, and at the time of writing (6pm) today’s minimum stands at -1.2C.

Things could change, though, if there is a break in the cloud cover overnight. Without a blanket of cloud the temperature could drop sharply, particularly where there is lying snow. If the stars are out tonight, expect a hard frost as well.

Getting colder

At the same time as the rain turned to snow at around 4am yesterday (18th), the thermometer fell close to freezing. Since then, there has been almost no variation in air temperature. The lowest value was -0.7C at 7.45am today, and the maximum 0.9C at lunchtime today – a variation of less than two degrees over 40 hours.

Forecasts suggest lower temperatures tomorrow, which may mean that the thermometer doesn’t reach freezing point for 24 hours or more. The last time that happened was during the bitterly cold winter of 2010.

The rainfall recorded by the weather station today (1.4mm) actually fell as snow yesterday – it has just taken a while to melt and fall into the measuring cups. The total so far this January is 24mm, around half what we might expect at this point in the month, and a welcome change from the endless rain of the last nine months.