Wetter, slightly sunnier, and warmer than average, but not as warm as some recent years. Something approaching a real winter at last, with a cold January and first half of February, and several disrupting snow falls. The Met Office notoriously forecast a "Barbecue Summer", and we got - a mixed bag, slightly warmer and sunnier than the long-term average, but changeable. There was a heatwave at the end of June - beginning of July, with four consecutive days (29 June to 2 July) when the temperature exceeded 30C in the south, culminating in a high of 31.8C at Wisley (Surrey) on 30 June. The summer was very wet, and was followed in many places by an early autumn drought. The lowest temperature of the year was -18.4C, recorded both at Aviemore on 9 February and Braemar on 29 December.
January. A relatively cold month. With a CET of 3.0C it was the coldest since 1997. The first ten days were particularly cold. There was a cold start to the year, with cold continental air over the UK. Parts of the Dorset coast freeze for the first time since 1991. The minimum at Benson (Oxon) on the night of the 6-7th was -11.8C, and at Chesham (Bucks.) that night it was -11.9C. Many areas stay beneath freezing in the daytime too; the maximum is -2 at Okehampton on the 6th. It was particularly cold in the south, with the far north of Scotland being above average. E&W rainfall was a little beneath the average of 94 mm, although it was quite dry in the east. Shap saw 150 mm of rain on the 10-11th. It was sunnier than average, with an E&W average of 66 hours, or 120%. It was particularly sunny in parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland.
February. Very cold first half, mild second half, averaging out to abou the long-term average temperature. Overall it was slightly drier than average, with 81% of the long-term average rainfall. Unusually it was very wet in the southeast and dry in the west, apart from the far southwest. In many western places it was the driest February since 1986. There was less sunshine than average (83%), making it the dullest February since 1994. There was a very cold and snowy first half. At the start of the month asterly winds being very cold air from Scandinavia. On the night of 1-2 February there are significant snowfalls in the southeast. Transport chaos naturally ensues. There is nore widespread snow on Monday 2nd, making this the most significant snowfall event in the London area since February 1991. There were then some very sharp frosts, with -18.4C recorded at Aviemore on the night of 8-9th (the lowest minimum in the UK since March 2001), with the maximum at Altnaharra the next day being -5.7C. More snow caused widespread disruption in the north and east on the 12th. It became much milder around the 14th. 16.9 was recorded at a non-standard Canterbury on the 27th (with 15.4C at Kew).
March. Warm, dry, and sunny middle but with cooler and more unsettled first and last weeks. Overall March was slightly warmer than average. The highest temperature was 18.5C at Altnaharra on the 20th, and the lowest -9.6C at Braemar on the night of the 4-5th. The weather was particularly fine and warm from the 15th to 22nd. It was drier than average, with 46.6 mm of rainfall average in England and Wales, 64% of the long-term average, making it the driest since 2003. It was the sunshine that excelled though; the England and Wales average of 171 hours was 149% of the long-term mean, making it sunniest March since 1929 - and before that in the records only 1907 and 1893 were sunnier. It was also sunnier than average in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
April. Very warm, with a CET of 10.0m but not as warm as 2007, but still the sixth warmest since 1900. Southerly winds dominated. The highest temperature of the month was 22.1C at East Malling (Kent) on the 15th, and the lowest -5.8C at Kinbrace (Sutherland) on the 18-19th. It was a dry month in England, Wales, and Scotland, but wet in Northern Ireland; an E&W average of 48.0 mm iwas 75% of normal. It was wetter in the southwest but very dry in the east. Unsurprisingly, it was a sunny month, with 117% of the average. It was particularly sunny in the south, and dull in the northeast.
May. Slightly warmer than average, mainly because of a sunny, dry warm spell in the final week. The highest temperature of the month was 26.9C at Lee-on-Solent on the 31st, with the lowest -4.7C at Kinbrace on the morning of the 11th. The maximum at Braemar on the 15th was 7.6C. It was very slightly drier than average over England and Wales, but wetter than average across Northern Ireland and Scotland. It was the sunniest May for 8 years.
June. A mixed month. Overall quite easterly, particularly in the first ten days and final week. Overall slightly warmer, sunnier, and drier than average,. There were some low temperatures at the end of the first week, with a maximum of just 6.4C at Copley (Durham) on the 5th, and a minimum of -2.7C at Kinbrace on the 7th. It was very wet in the SW around this time: 100 mm near Exeter on th 6th. Warm spell at end, with high temperatures widespread, including NW Scotland, Stornoway on Lewis seeing 22.3C on the 24th. There was a heatwave at the end, with Wisley (Surrey) recording 31.8C on the 30th. The east of Scotland suffered dreadfully from haar in most of this final warmth.
July. Heatwave at the start of the month. The weather changed on the 5th as the pattern changed to mobile westerlies. Overall slightly beneath the long term temperature, but it was slightly warmer than average in northern and eastern Scotland. It was a wet month,with and England and Wales average of 130.3 mm being 227% of the long-term average. Scotland saw 148% of normal rainfall, and Northern Ireland 151%. It was very slighly less sunny than average (95%). The highest maximum of the month was 31.5C at Stratfield Mortimer (Berks) on the 1st. The minimum on the night of the 1st-2nd was 19.8C at Aberdaron (Caernarvon). The maximum at Spadeadam (Cumbria) on the 17th was only 12.2C.
August. Quite warm and dry in the SE, cooler and very wet in the west. There was a marked contrast in rainfall between the NW and SE. Parts of Norfolk saw only 5 mm of rain, the lowest since 1947, while several spots in the NW had record amounts of rainfall for August: Eskdalemuir had 394 mm (over 15 inches!) of rain, four times the average amount. The England and Wales rainfall total was 65 mm (90% of average), while Scotland saw 193% and Northern Ireland 205%. Hot spell midmonth in the SE: 30.3 reached at Swanscombe (near Gravesend) on the 19th. The temperature fell to 0.3C at Aberfeldy on the night of the 12-13th. England and Wales sunshine averaged 179 hours (91% average).
September. Mostly dry, but with two notable wet spells. On the 3rd and 4th, heavy rain affected northern and eastern Scotland, with 500 mm in 36 hours over a wide area, and over 100 mm at Lossiemouth. We had local flooding, and it was the wettest spell I've recorded, although, needless to say, we were away at the time. On the 15th a heavy band of rain affected SE England; Farnborough has 60 mm. Interestingly the SW-NE band was only 15 miles wide. Overall though the driest September for 12 years, with and England and Wales average of 33 mm (45% of the long-term 71-00 average). Many places in East Anglia and the east saw no rainfall at all after the 6th. Warmer than average. The highest maxium was 28.7C at Swanscombe (Kent ) on the 8th, and the lowest -1.2C at Kinbrace (Sutherland) on the night of the 18-19th. Slightly sunnier than average, particularly on the south coast, where Weymouth enjoyed 207 hours.
October. Dry and quiet; overall slightly warmer than average. The first three weeks were cool but the final week was very mild. The highest temperature of the month was 21.2C at Coningsby (Lincs.) on the 6th, and the lowest -4.0C at Tyndrum (near Crianlarich) on the night of the 16-17th. England and Wales rainfall was an average of 65 mm (68%). A 31-day drought in parts of the east and East Anglia was broken on the 6th. Thurliegh (Beds.) had only 23 mm of rain all mnth. Sunshine average for England and Wales was 96 hours, 86% of average, making it the dullest October since 2005.
November. Warmer than average: the mildest since 1994. The highest temperature of the month was 17.8C at Teignmouth on the 1st, the lowest -8.6C at Braemar early on the 9th. Rainfall over England and Wales averaged 186 mm, 185% of the average, and the wettest since 1970. The monthly total at Shap was 624 mm, although some locations in Cumbria probably exceeded 1000 mm. It was very slightly sunnier than usual; Buxton (Norfolk) had 102 hours, Eskdalemuir just 28. The month was most notable for the extraordinary rainfall around Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th; heavy rainfall in the north and west, particularly affecting Cumbria and Dumfries and Galloway, leading to severe flooding in Cumbria, particularly around Cockermouth. Seathwaite Farm near Borrowdale in the Lake District in Cumbria records 316.4 mm in a 24 hour period, where 142.6 mm fell in the official 9-9 period on 18-19th (from 9 am Wednesday until 9 am Thursday 19th), and 246.6 mm fell on the 19-20th. The heaviest period of rain was from 8 pm on Wednesday 18th to 6 am on Friday 20th. All that followed 38.7 mm on Monday 16-17th, and 60.8 mm on Tuesday 17-18th. These are amazing figures, and is a new twenty-four hour record for the UK. (Note though that the rainfall record for the official recording day, 9-9, is still 280 mm from Martinstown, Dorset, July 1955.) The Seathwaite figures are new record two (396 mm), three (456 mm), and four day (495) and a week (550 mm) rainfall totals for Britain. Styhead (Cumbria) recorded 1430 mm for the calendar month.
December. Colder than average - overall, the coldest December since 1996. It was a particularly cold month in Scotland. It was fairly mild in the south and cool in the north until it turned much, much colder on the 17th. Overall England and Wales saw average precipitation (104%), although it was drier in Scotland and Northern Ireland (just 56% of average). It was much sunnier than average (153%), particularly in the SE and Northern Ireland. The highest temperature of the month was 13.4C at Eastbourne (Sussex) on the 5th. There were several spells of severe snowfall across the country throughout the second half of the month. The third week was cold and snowy across the country, and several sites saw a white Christmas. There were many low minima in the north at the end of the month, culminating in -18.4C at Braemar on the 29th, although it was less cold in the south. This minimum was then followed by a maximum of -12.2C at Braemar on the 30th.