Spring has Sprung – official!

The pressure here has just reached 1023.8hPa. Nothing exceptional in that, you may think, except that it is the highest reading we have seen since 11 December 2013 – 12 weeks ago. That underlines quite nicely how much the winter was dominated by low pressure, hence the interminable rain and destructive winds.

Today’s bright and quiet weather reminded me that spring is here, so I went out and gave the grass its first cut of the year. Actually it has been so wet that most of it is moss now, but the thought was there and it looks a bit tidier.

February 2014 summary

The second half of February was much less dramatic than the first. Pressure remained low so there was still plenty of rain – it rained every day except the 16th – and it was persistently breezy, but with no repeat of the gales that we saw in January and early February. The wind was almost exclusively south-westerly so it was mild: not once did the air temperature drop below freezing, though there were a couple of ground frosts.

The month of February and the winter of 2013/14 have seen records falling like ninepins:-

  • It was wettest February recorded here with a rainfall total of 112.8mm*.
  • It was second mildest February we have seen, with an average temperature of 6.8C.
  • It was first February we have recorded with no air frosts.
  • February saw the lowest average pressure for the month of 996.5 hPa, beating last month’s record low of 999.9 hPa.
  • We recorded our highest ever wind gust of 46.1kts early on the 15th February, and our highest average wind speed of 30kts on the 12th.
  • It was by far the windiest February on record here, with a wind run of 3721.4kts*.

* Rainfall and wind run measurements are cumulative, and because February is a short month we should add 9.4% to those figures to make them comparable with other months. That gives us a comparative figure for rainfall of 123.4mm, and for wind run of 4071.8kts. On that basis February was our seventh wettest month on record, and our second windiest.

The winter (Dec / Jan / Feb) of 2013/14 was:-

  • The wettest – not just the wettest winter, but the wettest of any season seen here with a rainfall total of 369.8mm.
  • The mildest, with an average temperature of 6.8C – about 2.5C above normal – and with only eight air frosts which is about one third of what we would expect.

It was not, however, the windiest winter we have seen, as measured by wind run – 2007/8 and 2011/12 were both windier.

For the past two weeks things have got back to normal for the time of year, if a little on the mild side – let’s hope that continues for a while, we have had enough drama for now.