After a clear night, this morning saw the lowest temperature so far this year with -2.9C being recorded at just after 7am. After dawn, though, the thermometer rose quite rapidly – there is strength in the sun now, and it was above freezing by 9am.
February so far has been unremarkable – cool, with the promise of more cold weather later this week, and also fairly dry which is a welcome change, but nothing out of the ordinary. High pressure is bringing clear skies, and a gentle dry breeze which is helping to dry out the saturated ground. Lets hope it stays that way for a while yet.
January was an ice-cream sandwich – mild at the start and finish, but cold in the middle. Apart from a few days of snow it was an unexceptional month.
Up to the 9th January we were in a warm south-westerly airstream, but with high pressure to our south close enough to push Atlantic low pressure systems to the north. Hence it was mild but quite dry – by the end of the ninth only 3.6mm of rain had fallen and the average temperature was 8.1C, though we were close enough to the Atlantic lows to see a lot of cloud cover.
From 10 January our guardian high slipped away south, allowing the effects of Atlantic lows to reach us – it rained every day from the 10th to the 15th. At the same time a high pressure system was developing over Scandinavia, drawing bitterly cold continental air over the east of the UK. When this met the warm, wet air from the west, the result was heavy snow in the eastern counties. The cold air pushed its way westwards, reaching us in the small hours of 18 January and turning rain to snow here as well.
Snow remained in low-level areas until the 24th, and was washed away from higher ground by rain on the 25th as the Scandinavian high retreated eastwards. Atlantic air took over once more, and the month ended with some heavy rainfall brought in on a warm and lively south-westerly wind.
Total rainfall for the month was 64mm, and the average temperature was 5.1C – both values close to normal, and it makes a change to see an average rainfall figure. There were no really low temperatures, but wind speeds towards the end of the month were high.