The winds are easing a bit now (though it probably doesn’t feel like it if you are outside) as Storm Doris moves off into the North Sea, so time for a quick update. Doris has moved quickly across the north of the UK, from Northern Ireland at 0400 to the Yorkshire coast at 12 noon. The cold front arrived here at about 0625 and brought 1.8mm of rain, following which the westerly wind grew in strength to peak about mid-morning. The maximum average wind speed was 27.8kts at 1048, and the strongest gust was 43kts at 0957. That’s lively, but wind is often a feature in February and neither of these figures is a record-breaker here. Doris was always going to affect the north of the UK much more than us soft southerners. Hope you haven’t seen too much damage wherever you are.
2017 got off to a dull and wet start on the 1st as a cold front passed by, with the following cold air adding to the gloom in the afternoon. It didn’t last, though, because the next few days were dominated by a high pressure system and we saw clear skies and overnight frosts. This high pressure system stayed with us until the 7th, when it moved off east and allowed the lows stacked up in the Atlantic to cross the UK bringing milder air and a little rain. A low pressure system in the North Sea threatened a tidal surge on the 13th, but the defences held and no harm was done.
High pressure from the west took over again on the 14th, moved across the south of the UK and settled over Europe by the 17th, with us on the boundary between cold continental air and the warm Atlantic flow. The result was calm weather, but to begin with it was dull, misty and damp – it wasn’t until the evening of the 18th that the drier continental air reached us, with clear skies and more overnight frosts. The lowest temperature was -4.7C early on the 21st, and by now January was looking likely to be a particularly dry month with below-average temperatures.
The continental high moved away on the 27th, allowing warm Atlantic air back in and causing temperature to rise sharply. The 28th produced some heavy convective showers with magnificent cloud formations in otherwise clear skies. By the end of the month temperatures were well into double figures, and persistent rain brought totals a bit closer to normal.
There was no snow, no exceptional winds and, thanks to that warm, wet end to the month January’s average temperature was only slightly below normal at 5.0C. Rainfall was 56.8mm, making this our third-driest January.