Overall a very warm year - the second warmest on record (just beaten by 1999). There was no significant rainfall in SE England between 21 March and 16 April. Although the summer temperature and rainfall was close to the average (both being very slightly above), it was somewhat duller than normal - some places had the least amount of summer sunshine since 1988. The worst of the summer weather was to the east, particularly from central Scotland to the Midlands. There was a significant drought in the autumn, with large areas of the south and east having no measurable rain from 10 September to 11 October (32 days) - the most severe autumn drought since 1986.
January. A cold start. A very cold New Year, with -10.6C at Sennybridge (Powys) on the 1st, and then -13.6C at Glenlivet on the morning of the 2nd; many places stayed beneath freezing all day, with the maximum at Leeming (Yorks.) on the 2nd only -4C. It then became very mild. The final two weeks were very wet. There was an exceptional gale in Scotland on the 28th: a gust of 115 mph at Cairngorm; 82 mph at Edinburgh airport. Close to home, some exceptional gusts included 108 mph on the Forth Bridge, and 99 mph on the Tay Road Bridge. 7 people died in the gales: a reminder that much as some of us enjoy severe weather, it can bring tragic consequences to some. Overall it was very wet in the NW and quite sunny in the SE. In spite of the cold start it was a mild month overall (the warmest since 1993), but the second half was exceptionally mild.
February. Just the sort of winter month I hate. Very mild, wet, and windy (particularly in the NW) - but not extraordinarily so. The spell 13 January to 12 February was exceptionally mild, with much of the country 5C above average. The second half of the month was much normal. Sadly, a lot above average plus average equals just above average. The month had a stormy start. Very mild and wet first week. Ebbw Vale had 143.8 mm of rain in the first two days, 108.3 mm of it on the 1st, with flooding in the area. It was quite wet, particularly in the NW, with Capel Curig recording 600 mm of rain. There was a short cold snap from the 23-25th, with drifting snow in north Scotland. There were gales in the south on the 26th. Overall, rainfall was 75% above average, so it was the wettest since 1990, although it was quite dry in parts of eastern England and very wet in north Wales, NW England, and SW Scotland. My main memory of it however was the lack of snow: surely we must have a real winter some when?
March. Warmer than average overall. Dull first three weeks, very sunny final week. Wet in SW Scotland, but dry over much of England, particularly the SE. A prolonged dry period started on the 20th. Some dense fog on the mornings of the 27th and 28th.
April. Overall, a mild and sunny month (the sunniest since 1990), particularly so in the SE. Although it was only slightly drier than normal, almost all the rain fell in the last five days. A warm start. 22.5C was reached in central London on the 3rd, the warmest day so early in the year since 1968. Kensington, London, saw 25C on the 23rd - the earliest date 25C has been reached since 1984. It was also very dry. It became much cooler and wetter from about the 26th on. There was no significant rainfall in SE England between 21 March and 16 April. It was the warmest April since 1987.
May. Changeable and very wet (but not as wet as 2000), with the second half being particularly wet. The first eleven days saw fairly settled if unexciting conditions. There was a short heatwave midmonth. On the 16th, it reached 27C at Kensington in London, while it reached 28.5C at St Helier on Jersey. The night of the 16th-17th was exceptionally warm in the west; at Llanbedr the overnight minimum was 18.6C. Dawlish had 51 mm of rain in 24 hours on the 17th. There was a gale in the south and west on the 24th. The west was wettest; Shap saw 270 mm of rain. It was slightly warmer than average overall, and very slightly less sunny.
June. An average month overall. Unsettled, and dominated by low pressure. Very wet in the west and dry in the east. It was a very dull month in Glasgow and Edinburgh. There was a warm spell at the start (with 27C recorded in London on the 2nd, the highest at the beginning of June since 1997; there is a one in four chance of 80F reached being reached in the first week), followed by some violent thunderstorms. A slow-moving low led to low temperatures and rain in the E and SE, and very high temperatures in the far NW: it was 27.6C in Lochcarron (Wester Ross) on the 6th and on Skye on the 7th, but only 10.3C at Loftus (North Yorkshire) on the 5th. Even Shetland saw 22.1C. Meanwhile it was only 12C in parts of England. Thunderstorm in Chester and the Wirral led to flooding on the 14th, and at Leeming 25 mm of rain fell, mostly in one hour. A tornado hit Horsforth, Leeds, damaging houses and gardens. There was a mini-heatwave midmonth, with 29.3C recorded at Cottishall (Norfolk) on the 17th, and 30.1C at Kensington, also on the 17th. A dust devil disturbed Royal Ascot on the 20th. it was the wettest June in Glasgow since the start of the twentieth century.
July. Overall, very wet: the wettest July since 1988. Very wet first two weeks in the south and east. Some severe thunderstorms at the end of the month, and some flooding in central Scotland. There were 113 mm of rain in 24 hours at Penistone (near Barnsley) on the 30th. Hence although it was a very wet month, most of the rain fell in the first 12 and last 2 days; hence parts of the SE had no rain at all in between these dates. Mean temperatures were slightly beneath average. The beginning of the month was quite cool, but there was a short heatwave near the end of the month before the thundery breakdown right at the end. In this heatwave, 32.6C was reached at Northolt in London on the 29th (the highest July temperature for 6 years). With such disturbed weather overall it was quite a dull month (the dullest for 10 years, in fact). Coltishall (Norfolk) had only 13 hours sunshine up to the 10th.
August. Overall warmer and drier than average - the warmest since 1997. Thundery start, with some heavy downpours, particularly in central Scotland and the east. On the 1st there were 115 mm of rain at Fylingdales (North Yorkshire). 63 mm of rain fell in one hour on the afternoon of the 7th at Olney, near Milton Keynes. 32 mm of rain fell in 2 hours in central London, also on the 7th, causing flooding in the Underground. Hampstead, at the centre of this downpour, experienced another exceptional weather event: it had 71 mm of rain, with 60 mm of it in one hour. A tornado was photographed plowing a 3 mile track through fields near Burton Bradstock (Dorset) on the 9th. There were further severe thunderstorms across the south on the 9th. On the 10th Filey (Yorks.) had 75 mm of rain in 3 hours, leading to flooding. It was fine from the 12th on; some places in the south had no rain in the last 19 days of the month. It was hot midmonth; 31C at Hunstanton and Herne Bay on the 17th, although there were thunderstorms in the west on the night of 17-18th, with 68 mm of rain at Milford Haven. Heavy rain in Scotland on the 30th. Given it was such a thundery month, although the average was dry, there were some exceptions.
September. Mostly a very anticyclonic month: overall warm and very dry. However, there was severe flooding in the Inverness region at the start of the month. The 9th was a very wet day across the south and the east, with Swanage recording 121.5 mm of rain. The depression responsible for this gave rise to gales in the English channel and the SE. An anticyclone then settled across the country and most of the country was mostly dry. The warmest day was the 13th, with 26C at Bournemouth. The temperature fell to -3C at Tulloch Bridge on the morning of the 24th. The last three days were very warm, with 23C at Prestatyn on the 30th. Most of the month's rain across the country fell on the 9th. The month had the fewest number of rain days since 1959. It was particularly dry in Scotland and Northern Ireland; Plymouth only had 4 mm of rain, and Aberdeen 16 mm - both local records. It was a very sunny month in the west and south, less so in parts of the east. Very sunny at Morecambe (only bettered by 1991, 1959, and 1933.
October. A very mixed month. Slightly cooler than average overall - making it the coldest since 1993. It was very wet, particularly in the east and south; Aberdeen and Dundee (but not Pitroddie!) had three times the normal amount rainfall, making it the wettest October on record there. It was also the wettest on record on the Isle of Man. The month had a very warm, dry, fine start. 23.8C at Prestatyn on the 1st. The autumn drought that afflicted many areas ended after 32 days, on 11 October. Some significant depressions then tracked across the country. Very heavy rain affected the north on the 11-12th, and the SW on the 12-13th: Cardiff had 60 mm, and St. Ives 50 mm, where there was serious flooding. There was then severe rain in the south on the 15th, with a damaging tornado in Torquay, where part of a church roof was destroyed, and another in Essex. There was 120 mm of rain in Dunkeswell (Devon) between the 11th and 16th. On the same day there was 73 mm of rain at Lowestoft. As the depressions moved away, the winds swung to the east or north, bringing cold air across the country, making the third week cold. There were significant snowfalls on the Scottish mountains. A minimum of -6C was recorded at Eskdalemuir on the morning of the 19th, and -7.5C at Tulloch Bridge on the 20th. A great gale affected the south on the 27-28th, causing widespread disruption and destruction, with loss of life; there was a gust of 97 mph at the Mumbles, and a 102 mph at the Needles (Isle of Wight). The Dartford and Severn Bridges were shut. It was dull in the east, but very sunny in the extreme north: it was the sunniest October in Lerwick since 1939.
November. Very wet. It rained every day of the month in parts of the southwest. The England and Wales average for the month was 166 mm - 70% over the long-term average, making it the sixth wettest of the century (but not as wet as 2000). Some places had the wettest on record (e.g. the Isle of Man, following the wettest October on record there). Milford Haven saw 369 mm (320% of average). It was however drier than average in the far NW. Falmouth recorded 18C on the 5th. There was flooding in the middle of the month in Cornwall and Moray. It was a mild month with very little frost - the fourth mildest of the last 100 years, and the warmest since 1994 (and 1938 and 1939 before that). Quite a dull month, with most of the sunshine in the first part of the month, although sunshine totals varied greatly.
December. Quite mild and wet in the south and east; very dry in the north. The dull weather continued until late in the month, with easterlies bringing a great deal of cloud. Aberdeen had only 6 hours of sunshine between 17 November and 16 December. It turned clear and colder midmonth, with freezing fog. There was a minimum of -8.4C at Altnaharra on the 17th. The maximum at Strathallan near Perth on the 19th was -3C. The lowest temperature of the month was -8.6C at Altnaharra on the morning of the 20th. It then turned milder, being very mild around Christmas, with moist southerly winds. It was on 15C at Torquay on Christmas Eve. It was very wet across the Midlands and North on the 29th. It was the dullest December since 1989, and parts of the east were exceptionally dull. Tell me about it.