Overall warm and wet; indeed, the wettest year of the century - with a mean of 1200 mm the wettest year since the extraordinary year of 1872, which had 1286 mm - it was 30% above average. (1852 and 1768 also had more). An exceptionally wet autumn (the wettest on record in England and Wales). Indeed, September-December was the wettest such period on record, with 640 mm, and indeed the wettest four-month period on record, beating even the previous record wettest four-month period of October 1929 to January 1930. October-December 2000 was also the wettest three month period on record, with an average of 512mm of rain in England and Wales. There were few persisting anticyclones: the longest were a week in July and 16 days in January! The part of the country with the relative highest amount of rainfall was East Sussex, 80% above average. There was some exceptionally severe and repeated flooding in the autumn and winter, particularly in Sussex, the Severn Valley, and around York.


The wettest autumn on record, with exceptional and severe flooding over many areas of lowland Britain. 484 mm (E&W mean) easily beat the previous 1852 record of 456 mm. Plumpton (E Sussex) had about 740 mm. Wet further north, although not as extremely so - Scotland had the wettest autumn since 1984.

Winter 1999-2000 was the sunniest on record, with around 250 hours of sunshine in London (about 155% of the mean). This easily beats 1983-84. It was particularly sunny in eastern and central Scotland. The average of 211 hours was 28% above average, beating winter 1925-26.

January. Mild (CET 4.4), sunny, and quite dry. Some very mild days at the beginning and end of the month; 15C recorded at Worcester, and 16C in NE Wales, on the 31st. The lowest temperature of the month was -9C at Redhill on the 27th. Average rainfall was 47% of the expected amount, but the south and east were particularly dry. The far west and north were quite wet. Flooding in North Wales on the 12th after 155mm of rain (at the wet spot Capel Curig in Snowdonia 10-12th). Gales in Scotland and Northern Ireland 2-3rd. There were 99 hours of sun at Bognor, and 97 hours at Leuchars (Fife) - just failing to beat the record of 101 years set in 1959. It was a westerly first half of the month and anticyclonic second half. There were mild SWs at the end of the month. A severe gale affected the Scottish islands on the 29-30th.

February. Very sunny, mild, changeable, and wet. Particularly wet in the north and west, and particularly sunny in the south and east. Quite dry in places in the east. Yet another mobile westerly winter month, with the only real cold snap of note from the 16-18th in the north, when -8 was recorded on the 17th at Redesdale (Northumberland), with some snow. 16C recorded at Chelmsford on the 8th. Across most of southern England the temperature exceeded 8C every day of the month, the first time this has happened. Windy at times, too. A completely westerly month. So that's another winter gone.

March. Mild, dry (50% of expected rain) and sunny. A high pressure month, anticyclonic from 6th-23rd.. Snow in places in the north around the start of the month. 20C at Torquay on the 13th and -7C at Topcliffe (West Yorks) on the 19th. Very dry in the SE, with many places experiencing a drought between the 2-22. Notable pink dustfall across the south on several occasions throughout the month as a result of a major Saharan dustfall on 24-25 February. It is now sixteen months since a really cold month, and seven consecutive sunny months.

April. The wettest since 1756 in England and Wales, with an average of 144m of rain across England and Wales. Notable cold spell early in the month as a cold front moved south on the 2-3rd, bringing the heaviest snowfall of the "winter" to many places in the south. Luton airport was closed by snow on the night of Monday 3rd as a cold front brought Arctic air up against the much more mild air that had been hanging on in the south. Luton had over 7cms of wet snow; a total of 66m of rain fell in 40 hours. Widespread flooding in the East Midlands and East Anglia. Brilliant display of aurora borealis (which I again manage to miss) on the night of the 6-7th. England, Wales, and parts of eastern Scotland were particularly wet. There was a little more snow in the south on the nights of the 12-13th and 14-15th. The southeast was particularly wet, with three times the average rainfall. Places in Kent and Herefordshire recorded 400%! On the other hand, parts of the northwest were quite dry. A month with sunshine slightly beneath average and average temperatures, the final warm third cancelling out the effects of the cold start.

May. Warm and generally very dry first half and then very wet and cool second half. The wettest May since 1994 (82.5 mm), but particularly wet in the SE and dry in the W and N. A thunderstorm dumped 66 mm of rain in one hour on Bracknell on the afternoon of the 7th; there were also 15 mm hailstones. The rainfall rate was probably higher in surrounding locations (the hour rainfall record rate for the Uk was 92 mm at Maidenhead in July 1901). It was reported that the sound of the thunder was drowned out by the noise of the hail. The late spring Bank Holiday was very miserable in the south, with 100 mm of rain at Clacton, and flooding in East Anglia. In contrast, it was very sunny in the NW; Tiree had 318 hours of sunshine, the most since 1975. The SW was the dullest part of the country. The month as a whole was slightly warmer than average, thanks to a very warm first half. Hottest day was the 14th (28C in London).

June. An active month: overall quite dry and warm (14th warmest this century, and the warmest since 1992; the driest for four years). The SE was particularly warm. There was some severe flooding in NE England at the start of the month, with Todmorden and Hebden Bridge aprticularly badly affected. Heavy prolonged rain gave 50-75 mm on the 2-3rd. Then another 50 mm or so fell in thunderstorms from the south at the end of this wet spell. The extra rain on top of saturated ground led to flooding. Severe gale midmonth, affecting Scotland on the 12-13th: gust of 83 mph on Stornoway. The pressure at the centre of the depression that caused this was 968 mb, the lowest June pressure in British waters since the D-day storm of 1944. Brief hot spell midmonth (17-19th): 32C in Leeds on the 18th; 32.8C at Colthishall (Norfolk) on the 19th. The heat was accompanied by some very low relative humidities: 20% was widespread across the south on the 18th, with Brize Norton (Oxon.) recording 11.5%. Overall it was slightly less sunny than average, with Birmingham only getting 66% of the average.

July. Very dry in the north, but cool and cloudy in eastern England - elsewhere temperatures were abou normal. It was the driest July for 100 years over most of Scotland and Northern Ireland, with just 20% of average rain. England and Wales were also quite dry. Drought in the Inner Hebrides. Sunny in the far NW (139% at Tiree). Cromer's average of 16.5C was the lowest since 1965. Some localised heavy rain and thunderstorms, with the most severe thunderstorms in the first week. 57.2 mm in 55 minutes at Chaddesden (Derbys.) on the 2nd. Storms led to flooding in Cleveland and Chester. Quite a dull month, particularly in the east (the dullest since 1992). On the 10th snow fell on Cairngorm. After a cool start, warm weather moved in on the 17th.

August. Warm (the warmest since 1997) and slightly sunnier than average - particularly in the Midlands and east. The highest temperatures were 31C on Jersey and 30C in Southampton on the 25th. It was also slightly drier than average, although 35 mm of rain fell in the west on the 14th. There were some severe thunderstorms on the 21st, with many small tornadoes and waterspouts, and hail several centimetres deep in locations including Hull, Leeds, and NE Wales. There was a significant dustfall (with a source in the Algerian desert) across SW England and Wales on the 25-26th. There was a severe hailstorm on the 25th that affected the far west of Cornwall, with 40 mm hailstones, causing damage to cars and glass.

September. The wettest September for 19 years. It was particularly wet in the second half. Flooding in Portsmouth on the 16-17th. Rainfall was about 125 mm (54% above England and Wales average). Some areas (e.g. Yorkshire, the Midlands, Sussex, Fife) had 250% of rain. On the other hand, northern Scotland was relatively dry. It was quite a dull month, as well, except in the Western Isles. It was also quite a warm month, with 29C recorded at Hawarden (near Chester) on the 11th. Walderton (W Sussex) received 84 mm of rain on the 15th. There was a severe gale across Scotland and northern England on the 7-8th.

October. The second wettest October in a century - equally as wet as 1987, but not as wet as 1903, with an average of 181 mm across England and Wales. Scotland and Northern Ireland were also wet, but not so extraordinarily so. It was an exceptional month. Parts of Sussex saw about 380 mm of rain. Exceptional flooding midmonth in the SE. Heavy rain affected Kent and East Sussex. 143.8 mm fell at Plumpton (Sussex) in 24 hours up to 6pm on the 12th, 120 mm of it in 12 hours, with many sites in the region recording more than 100 mm. The flooding particularly affected the rivers Uck and Ouse. Parts of Lewes had to be evacuated. A severe and damaging tornado hit Bognor Regis on Saturday 28th. A severe gale affected the south coast on the night of the 29-30th, with a central pressure of 950 mb over Yorkshire; this is a record low pressure for England. In its wake, there was even some snow - 4 cm in the early morning of the 30th on high ground in east Lancashire. Snow fell but did not settle across much of the north - only the second time that there was October snow or sleet since records began at Leeming (Yorks.). Six tornadoes touched down within minutes of each other along the Hampshire and Sussex coasts on the morning of the 30th, causing damage and even injury.Overall it was quite a sunny month in the east and north, but dull in the west and south. Average temperatures.

November. Extremely wet - the wettest since 1970, with England & Wales average of 174 mm. Severe and widespread flooding - reputedly the worst since 1947 - as a succession of intense lows cross the country, with many areas badly hit. Very sunny in places - one of the sunniest on record in Eastern Scotland (97 hours at Leuchars), but dull in the west. A very warm end, with 17C in Torquay and 16.5 in London. Overall, slightly warmer than average (7.0 CET, +0.6).

December. A wet month, overall slightly warmer than average. It was sunny in the NW, but dull on the south coast. Particularly wet in the SW. A very mild, wet, stormy first half; the first week was the warmest since 1986, and the first half since 1979. 15C widely recorded on the 5th (Leeds), 11th, and 13th. The last week brought Arctic air which partly offset the earlier mild weather; the cold spell was the most notable and widespread since that of 1995. -14C was recorded at Hereford on the 29th and -15C at Dalmally (Argyll) on the 30th - the lowest UK reading since January 1997. Most of the country saw some snow, with the 27-29th being the main snowfall event of the year. The M40 was closed for a time near Oxford. Parts of the Home Counties saw the deepest snow since February 1991, with 20 cm at Luton airport. Some parts of Scotland remained beneath freezing from the 25th to 31st.


2000