After the exceptional December of 2010, the severe winter continued until the middle of January, thereafter things returning to about average. Winter 2010-11 was very dull in the South East and very sunny in the NW, particularly Northern Ireland, where it was the sunniest winter on record. The gap between the average CET temperature for February and March is the lowest since summer 2008. March and April together were the driest since 1938. Overfall spring was the warmest on record (10.23), beating the previous record holder of 10.20 set in 1893. The warm spring was followed by a cold and disappointing summer: with an average of 14.8C you have to go back to 1985 for a worse summer, and to 1993 for a worse "high summer" (July and August alone). What's more, all months were beneath average temperature. There was a notable late September heatwave, with new record highs for late September, and a new all-time record October high of 29.9C at Gravesend on the 1st. December was a very westerly month with several severe gales. Nevertheless overall it was overall a warm year (at 10.72).


January. Cold and unsettled with snow until the 16th, then mostly anticylonic. It was mild in the south from the 12th-16th, but generally cold, meaning that overall the month was somewhat cooller than average. Temperatures ranged from 14.5C at Pershore (Worcs.) on the 13th to -13.0C at Altnaharra on the 7-8th. The lowest maximum was -3.9C at Strathallan (Perthshire) on the 7th. It was slightly drier than average, with 88% (83 mm) of the England and Wales average. It was quite a dry month in Northern Ireland, ranging from 351 mm at Inveruglas (Dunbartonshire) to just 15 mm at Dishforth (North Yorkshire). Sunshine was about average, although sunshine was well above average in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Cornwall was the sunniest place to be.

February. Generally mild but dull. It was the mildest February since 2002. The highest maximum was 15.5C at Writtle (Essex) on the 25th, the lowest minimum -6.5C at Altnaharra on the morning of the 11th. It was wetter than average, with 84 mm average across England and Wales (132%). It was very wet in Scotland (116 mm, 183%). It was wetter in the west and drier in the southeast. Average England and Wales sunshine was 50 hours, just 65% of the mean; it was sunnier in the north, duller in the southeast.

March. Very dry, quite sunny. Largely anticyclonic, cool beginning, unsettled end. The third week was quite warm; the temperature reached 19.6C at Chivenor (Devon) on the 25th. Some warm days and cold nights, as is common with anticyclones in the less cold months. Overall a little warmer than average, but it was warmer than average in the east and southeast, but cooler than average elsewhere. The lowest temperature of the month was -7.5C at Braemar on the morning of the 18th. At Dalwhinnie the maximum on the 12th was just -0.5C. Sunshine in E&W was 134% of the average, with 152 hours; Weymouth saw 199 hours. It was the dryness that was most noteworthy, with an average of 26mm, 35% of the 1971-2000 average, making it the 10th driest of the last century, and the driest since 1990. Cambridge was the driest place of all, with just 2 mm of rain; there was a drought of 31 days there ending on 20 March.

April. The warmest April on record. The month was also very dry and sunny. The average England and Wales rainfall was just 13 mm (21% of average, making ti the driest since 2007 and the 6th driest in the last 100 years). It was drier than average in most places apart from parts of Cumbria and West Scotland; Moulton Park (Northants) had just 1 mm of rain all month. Amazingly, the temperature easily beat the remarkable April of 2007 (the warmest since 1865). It was particularly warm in the southeast, but significantly cooler at times on parts of the east coasts of England and Scotland, troubled by winds off the sea and fog and haar. The England and Wales average sunshine was 234 hours, (150% of 70-00 mean), making it the sunniest April again since 2011, with only three sunnier months in the last 100 years. Chichester saw 270 hours of sunshine. After a cool first few days, the weather became very warm and sunny in the south and east. Temperatures above 21C were widespread on Wednesday 6th, with 23.9C at Santon Downham (Suffolk), 23.7C at the Olympic Site and 23.6C recorded at St James Park, London. Nearly as high temperatures continued for a few days. The next week was quite warm too, with highs around 21, reaching 22.8C at Aboyne on the 11th. Continuing warm, with a very warm third week, particularly in the south and east. 26.3C recorded in St James Park on the 21st. The best Easter (it was late, Easter falling on 24 April) on record. The highest temperature was 27.8C at Wisley on the 23rd, the hottest April day since 1949 and the highest temperature of the month. The temperature fell back a bit on Easter Sunday, the 24th, with the Solent area the hottest at 25.3C at Gosport. The lowest temperature of the month was -5.4C at Lochaber, Tulloch Bridge, on the 26th; the warmest night was that of the 22nd-23rd with a minimum of 14.8C at Wych Cross, Sussex. I think I would now make this month my most interesting April on record.

May. Wet in the north and west and very dry in the southeast. The fourth most southwesterly month in well over a hundred years of records. Although it was warmer than average by 1.1C or so, in parts of the south and east April was warmer than May. The highest temperature of the month was 25.4C at Weybourne on the 7th, the lowest -6.3C at Altnaharra on the 4th. Rainfall averaged over England and Wales was 49 mm, 80% of the 71-00 average. It was very wet in Scotland (187mm). Cluanie in Wester Ross had 468 mm, Manston (Kent) just 4 mm.It was slightly sunnier than average (107%); Manston again saw 273 hours. There was a destructive and unusually late gale across from eastern and central Scotland to northern England on Monday 23 May. Trees were particularly affected because they were largely in full leave. The Forth Bridge was closed, there were widespread power cuts, and two people died. A gust of 81 mph was recorded at Inverbervie in NE Scotland, although gusts over 100 were reported at some exposed mountainous sites. This was the worst May gale since 1962.

June. Although there were spells of hot weather right at the beginning and end of the month, overall June was somewhat cool and changeable, with an average just a little beneath the long-term - although this made it the coolest June since 1991 (although 1999 and 2008 were close). There was a warms spell at the start of the month. There was an impressive short-lived heat wave in the SE at the end of the month. 29.2C was reached in St James's Park, London, on Sunday 26th, and 33.3C at the East London Olympic Site closely followed by 33.1C at Gravesend on the 27th (the hottest day since 2006). The lowest minimum was -1.9C at Altnaharra on the morning of the 10th. The minimum at Benson (Oxfordshire) on the 26-27th didn't fall beneath 19.9C. It was quite wet, with an England and Wales rainfall average of 83 mm (122%), although it was wetter in the west and still quite dry in parts of the east. Scotland and Wales were also wetter than average. It was slightly sunnier than average in the south, 209 hours average being 110%. Sussex was the sunniest place and SW Scotland the least sunny.

July. A cool month, with frequent N and NE winds; the coolest on average since 2007, and locally in the south since 1988. There was a fine, warm beginning and then very unsettled with some heavy rain and thunderstorms. After a dry week 94 mm of rain fell at Aberfeldy between the 4th and 9th. The 5th and 6th were particularly wet in east Scotland.The 18th was a cool day, with maxima of just 12C in the West, Wales, and Orkney and Shetland. It was a warm end to the month in the south and east. The highest temperature of the month was 27.5 at Olympic Park (London) on the 5th; the lowest -0.8C at Kinbrace (Sutherland) on the 13th. It was very slightly wetter than average (62 mm, 108% England and Wales average); Capel Curig in North Wales had 193 mm, while Orkney had just 18 mm. Sunshine was very close to average, although it was sunnier than average in Northern Ireland. St Athan (Glamorgan) saw the most sunshine, with 258 hours, and Lerwick in Shetland the least (with just 64 hours).

August. After a very warm start the month was cool and unsettled, with the overall result that the month was slightly cooler than average. It was particularly cool in Scotland. It was slightly wetter than average (85 mm, 118%),and much wetter in Scotland (123 mm, 179%), and it was particularly wet in east Scotland. It was a very cloudy and dull month (England and Wales average of 146 hours, just 74% of the average, the dullest since the exceptional month of August 2008). There was a short-lived heatwave in the southeast at the start of the month. It reached 30.3C at Swanscombe (Kent) on the 3rd. There was some heavy rain midmonth. 60 mm of rain fell in the Bournemouth area on the morning of the 18th, leading to flooding. At Stratfied Mortimer in Berkshire 63 mm of rain fell, iwht about 30 mm between 1 and 2 pm, the highest daily total there for a century. The 18th was also a cold day; the maximum at Luton was just 13.3, the lowest in the area in August since 1978; at Whipsnade the maximum was just 12.3C.

September. A changeable, very southwesterly month. Overall about 1.5C above the long-term CET average. The highest temperature came right at the end; the lowest was -0.4C at Tyndrum on the 15th. Relatively dry in England and Wales, with 57 mm being 69% of the long-term average, although it was slightly wetter than average in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It was slightly sunnier than average (155 hours, 108%). On the 12th the remnants of Hurricane Katia brought gales and rain to the north. There was a remarkable heatwave at the end month, giving some of the highest temperatures at the end of September since 1895. It reached 28.8 ÂșC at Kew Gardens on the 29th, and 29.2 at Sutton Bonington (Notts.) and at Cambridge on the 30th.

October. Overall a very warm but changeable month. It was the seventh warmest October on record (beaten only by 2006, 2005, 2001, 1995, 1969, and 1921). Most notably, the heatwave at the end of September continues, and a new record high for October is set on the 1st: 29.9C at Gravesend (Kent). On the same day a new Welsh record of 28.2C was set at Hawarden (Flint). The lowest temperature of the month was -3.3C at Lynford (Norfolk) early on the 20th. Rainfall overall was a little lower than average, with an England and Wales average of 68 mm (94%). It was wetter in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Cambridge saw only 13 mm all month. There was some very wet weather in the final week. Casement (Northern Ireland) was the wettest in the UK, with 86.0 mm in a 24 hour period ending on 25 October. With 122 hours, it was slightly sunnier than average (109%). Kent was the sunniest place to be with, with Manston seeing 163 hours, and good old Eskdlaemuir seeing just 30 hours.

November. The second warmest November on record, beaten only by 1994. A month with winds mostly from the southerly direction. It was warmest on the south coast, with a maximum of 18.1C at Otterbourne (Hants.) on the 13th, and a minimum of -6.9C at Carleton, Skipton (North Yorks.) on the 7th. It was a dry month in England and Wales, with just 53 mm of rain (also 53% of the average), although it was closer toa average in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It was very dry in eastern England, with just 11 mm at Bridlington, and very wet in the Glasgow region. Sunshine was almost exactly average, but still the lowest for seven years, although it was sunny in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Kinloss (Morayshire) had 101 hours, and Lerwick just 29 hours.

December. A very westerly month with frequent gales (the second most westerly December on record). Overall it was warmer than average, making it the mildest December since 2006, although it was warmest in southern England and coolest in Northern Ireland. The highest temperature of the month was 15.5C at Fyvie (Aberdeenshire) on the 26th, and the lowest -9.4C at Loch Glascarnoch (Wester Ross) early on the 18th. It didn't reach above -3.0C at Aviemore on the 16th. It was slightly wetter than average in England and Wales, with 112mm of rain (115%). Although it was sunnier than the long-term average (55 hours, 105 hours) it was the least sunny December for some years. A phenomenal gale causes widespread disruption on Thursday 8th, especially to central and southern Scotland. Bridges shut. A gust of 165 mph is recorded on Cairngorm. It's a green and mild Christmas, with 15.1C recorded at Aberdeen, not far from the previous record o 15.6C in 1896 and 1920. Northern Ireland had its warmest Christmas Day on record: 14.3C at Murlough, County Down. It's also a very windy day, especially across the north, with gusts of 101 mph at Sella Ness in Shetland and a severe gale in Orkney and Shetland. There was another severe gale in central Scotland on the 28th.


2011