February 2017 summary

February was a mild and breezy month, with rainfall about average.

The month started with a procession of Atlantic lows, including a deep one which passed across northern France on the 3rd. There were wind warnings for the UK, but in the event all we saw was some heavy rain and gusty winds during the early evening – nothing out of the ordinary for February. The 5th and 6th brought the first two frosts of the month, but only just with the thermometer less than a degree below zero.

A ridge from the Azores high brought a quiet spell on the 8th with clear skies, and another air frost early on the 9th produced the lowest temperature of the month at -1.6C – quite modest for February. This was also the last air frost of the month – there were only three, and we might expect double that number in February.

The ridge soon receded, to be replaced on the 10th with high pressure over Scandinavia. This meant that some low pressure system passed south of us, initially resulting in a gentle but very cold and dry easterly breeze. The high pressure moved slowly south-west, and as it did so it drew warmer air up from the south: by the 18th daytime temperatures were into double figures.

On the 19th the high pressure moved off east and for the rest of February it was back to the Atlantic lows, including Doris on the 23rd – this system brought our highest wind speeds of the month (30kts gusting to 43kts), but it was the north of the UK which was most affected. The month ended with a good deal of unsettled weather, with hail and sleet on the 27th.

The average temperature for February was 6.8C, about a degree above normal thanks to that warm spell in the middle of the month, and total rainfall was about average at 57.6mm.

Today is the first day of meteorological spring, and the average temperature for winter 2016/17 was 6.1C, and the rainfall total was 139.8mm – both figures close to normal.