Overall. The period from the middle of June to the middle of July was the worst summer spell since 1981.
January. Milder than average, and slightly wetter - the wettest for five years. Often dull, wet, and windy. Cold at the beginning and end, with an Arctic plunge in the final week giving disruptive snow and even thunder with the snow as the cold and mild air collided on the 28th. The heavy snow caused widespread travel disruption in the Midlands on the 28th. The warmest day were oddly and unusually both on the 31st (13.9C at Madley, Herefordshire, and -10.2C at Altnaharra. 56 mm of rain fell at Capel Curig on the 15th. There was also some snow in the Midlands, Wales, and NE on the 14-15th. A good-sized waterspout was photographed in the Bristol Channel lunchtime on the 11th.
February. Overall slightly warmer than average, and quite dry. After a cold beginning, the first half was very mild, and the second very northerly. The first half was the warmest since 1869 and the second half the coldest since 1986. There was a snowy start in the north, then very mild, as the winds turned from the N to the SW. The maximum of 17.9C at Gravesend on the 4th is the highest ever for the first week of February; it even reached 16.7C at Lossiemouth on the 3rd. The overnight minimum of 13.2C at Chivenor (north Devon) on the 2-3rd was also a new February record high minimum for England. The start of the month was also very wet. At Capel Curig (Snowdonia), 165 mm of rain fell in 24 hours on the 2-3rd; 274 mm fell in three days (2-5th); and the weekly total was 418 mm. (Note that this weekly total was more than the average yearly total of some parts of the southeast!) It became much colder at the start of the second week, with another Arctic plunge. After a milder interlude the last ten days were cold and dry, with some snow showers, particularly affecting the NE of England on the 27-28th. Snow fell most days from the 21st on. Sunny except in the far N - the sunniest on record in Belfast.
March. A mixed month, ending up close to average overall (although relatively cool for recent years). Cold start, with lying snow and -12C at Aboyne (Aberdeenshire) on the 2nd, cool first half, mild third week, and then cold again, but with warm end, seeing 20.6C at Rickmansworth on the 31st. Apart from places in the NW it was drier than average, and quite dry in the east. Sunny in the west and north but quite dull in the southeast. There was a fierce gale on the 20th, with a gust of over 100 mph recorded in North Wales.
April. Wet and warm. With 86 mm it was 35% above average rainfall. Particularly heavy rain around the 3rd, 17-18th, and last 5 days, with some severe thunderstorms. However, there were some dry, fine spells in between the rain. Warm second week: 20.7C in London on the 16th, and a warm, fine spell towards the end, with 23C in London on the 24th. An unusually deep depression crossed the country on the 18th. It was particularly wet in the east, and very dull in the north, where it was the dullest April in Leuchars since 1961, and the dullest on record at Kinloss.
May. Overall quite dry, warm, and sunny after an unsettled start. The deepest May depression for over 60 years (since 1943) crossed the country on the 4-5th, with a low of 971 mbars. A warm spell midmonth, unusual in that the warm air comes down from the north, from Scandinavia, leading to 20.6C at Altnaharra on the 9th, 24.3C at Peebles on the 10th, and 20.3C at Baltasound, Unst, Shetland, on the 8th, a new record for Shetland for the first half of May. Much of the rest of the month was anticyclonic. The highest temperatures came on the 17th and 19th in the London area, with 25C. Along with some warm days there were some cool nights: - it was -4C at Kinbrace (Sutherland) on the 27th. Many places in the southwest saw no rain between the 6th and 27th inclusive.
June. Overall a warmer than average month. Average rainfall, with most of it in the last 10 days, in England and Wales; wet in Scotland. It was particularly wet in NE Scotland, with three times the average. First half dry, hot, and sunny in the south, unsettled in the north; changeable everywhere second half. Some hot spells at the start: 31.2C at Gravesend on the 8th. Then cool and unsettled. A low of 982 mbar on the 22nd was accompanied by gales and some heavy, persistent rain: more than 50 mm fell over the high ground of the west and north.
July. Close to being an average month: slightly cooler, wetter, and duller than usual. It was however slightly drier than average in Scotland. Quite wet and cool in the first half, warmer and sunnier in the second. A strong depression early brought north-easterly gales and then heavy rain to the south on the 7-8th. Indeed, in much of the south more than half the month's total; rainfall fell on just the 7th, with up to 30 mm in less than 24 hours across much of the south. This was followed by severe thunderstorms. Wittering, near Peterborough, saw 109 mm in just over 24 hours. It was followed by northerly winds; at Sennybridge the maximum on the 8th did not exceed 10C (9.6C, one of the lowest July maximum since 1993). There was a warmer spell at the end of the month, with 30C being reached at Heathrow on the 29th. However, the period from the middle of June to the middle of July was the worst summer spell since 1981.
August. The wettest August since 1956. There were over 300 mm of rain at Shap. As there was a heatwave at the start of the month, and some very warm nights, it was also, perhaps surprisingly, a hot month overall (17.7C CET). There were some heavy thunderstorms at the start of the month. 31.5C was then recorded on the 8th at Northolt. The 8-9th was very warm in the south; at Marham (Norfolk) the minimum was only 21.7C. The 9-11th saw some exceptionally heavy rain in central and southern Scotland and northern England. Aberfeldy saw nearly 150 mm in three days. We tried going to Edinburgh, but everywhere was flooded so we gave up. There was some exceptionally heavy rain in Cornwall on the 16th (some parts saw 75 mm in 24 hours; and Otterham had 200.4 mm in 24 hours, with 197 mm in 4 hours and nearly 100 mm in an hour) led to exceptionally severe flash-flooding and destruction in the Boscastle region. Heavy rain in central Scotland led to a mudslip on the A85 and A84 near Lochearnhead on the 18th that buried several cars. Lancashire was affected by some very heavy rain on the 19-20th, with flooding: 23 mm fell in an hour early in the morning of the 20th at Hazelrigg. Overall it was the most thundery month since June 1982, and the most thundery August since 1960.
September. The first ten days were dry, warm, and sunny; the rest of the month changeable and very windy. Overall it was warmer and sunnier than average; very dry in the east, and wet in the west. It reached 29.0C at Wisley (Surrey) on the 5th. There were air frosts in a few places early on the 16th. The first ten days of September were the sunniest since 1933.
October. Very wet - the England and Wales average of 144 mm was 51% above average. It was particularly wet in North Wales and eastern Scotland, and it was the wettest October on record in Leuchars (Fife). Temperatures were about average in the south, although Scotland was on the cool side. The highest reading of the month was 19C at Gravesend on the 24th - this is the lowest high October maximum since 1974. There was a notable gale in the SW on the 27th, noted more for its effects, a storm surge leading to flooding around Mousehole and Penzance, than the strength of the wind. Apart from the far SW, it was mostly dull overall, in spite of a sunny, dryish interlude 5-11th. Aviemore had its dullest October since 1974.
November. A month of two halves again: the first half was the warmest since 1994, the second half the coldest since 1993. Overall therefore the month was very slightly cooler than average. It was dry in the east. It was also an extremely sunny month - the sunniest November on record, with an average of 98 hours (although beaten by 2006), easily beating 1988 (the average is 64 hours). Copley in Durham saw 124 hours. After an unsettled start it became dry, anticyclonic, and cold, with some sharp frosts at night. On the 2nd the temperature reached 18.8C at Prestatyn, and on the night of the 2-3rd the minimum at Herne Bay in Kent was 15.8C - a new record. Later it was -9.2C at Tulloch Bridge on the morning of the 18th and at Braemar on the 19th; the maximum at Pershore on the 20th, in freezing fog, was only -0.6C. On the 24th the winds turned to the north, introducing arctic air, with snow and biting winds. More snow on the 25th caused traffic havoc in school closures in Scotland, Wales, and the South West, particularly in Cornwall. There was more disruptive snow on the 28th, particularly affecting Manchester and Gloucestershire.
December. A mild month, although parts of the west and north (including us) saw a white Christmas at last. In Scotland it was unsettled throughout; in England and Wales it was dull and anticyclonic until the 16th, and unsettled thereafter. Parts of east Kent saw only 7 hours of sunshine in the first half of the month, but in parts of east Scotland it was the sunniest December since 1967. The coldest night was the 18-19th, where Kinbrace (Sutherland) recorded -15.2C (which was the lowest reading of 2004). On the other hand Colwyn Bay recorded 15.6C on the 30th. Rainfall overall was beneath average; parts of east England had no rain at all in the first half of the month, when anticyclonic gloom reigned supreme. It was very wet in the far NW.