This January saw the first falling snow in nearly two years with the last three days of the month seeing the first flakes of winter – nothing much to write home about by average winter standards.
Mean temperature for the month was 5C, 0.2C below the 1981-2010 mean – the first below average month since August and 1.6C cooler than the mild and stormy January of last year.
Rainfall of 69.2mm was 130% of average – though over 60mm less than last year’s record-breaking wet January.
It was the 6th sunniest January on record in my series going back to 1877. Over 73 hours of sunshine was recorded in this area which is 147% of what we can expect to see during an average January.
The wettest day occurred on the 12th with 13.1mm.
Air frosts: 11
Ground frosts: 14
So what has February got in store weatherwise? The general consensus of the models suggest the first half of the month is going to be on the cold side and relatively dry though there is a chance of some precipitation from troughs forming in an unstable airflow off the North Sea. Pressure looks like it will build from Wednesday, blocking any advance of Atlantic weather systems. It is the location of the high which will be crucial to the weather we can expect. At this time of year anticyclonic gloom can be a problem during the day and where clouds clear at night fog and frost may form.
Beyond that, for anyone seeking any snowy weather, the outlook, as ever, is uncertain. Using a similar method to my Christmas forecast, which was correct at 25 days ahead and my January outlook, I’ve had a look back in the archives to see if there is any precedent in the pattern we’ve had this January.
There appears no chance of a very mild February. The strongest signal (72%) is for an average to rather cold February. The strongest signal for precipitation is for very dry (50% of average) at 43%. After the disappointment of the last week here regarding snow I am not about to guess if there will be any snowfall for us this coming month. If we do see any though I would imagine any cover will be thin and lasting only a day or two…
Full stats for the month here: http://1drv.ms/1rSfT7Y
Here follows the full weather diary for January
1st Cloudy and cold.
2nd Sunny most of the day before cloud spread in in the evening and rain fell just before 4am.
3rd Mostly wet with moderate bursts of rain on what was a cold and miserable day – the fields between Grays and Basildon were flooded.
4th Skies cleared early morning with fog and mist forming to give a cold, grey day and a maximum of only 3C – some parts of East Anglia recorded an ‘ice day’. The temperature started to lift at midnight on 5th meaning that day 5s ‘high’ temperature was at 8.32am on 6th.
5th Cloudy and very calm up to midday.
6th rain at midday as cold front passed through, bright and sunny spells and brief frost at 1am. Cloud moved in.
7th a sunny start though chilly, cloud built through the morning. Light rain around 7pm and through the evening. This turned heavier at 4.30am and really got going at 7.30am.
8th Heavy rain to start, this easing at 11.30am before the sun came out at 1pm to give afternoon of sunny spells. Brief rain again around midnight.
9th Bright start, wind building through the day as storms struck off north Scotland. Very mild in the warm sector: +15.2C at 8pm. Shetland badly affected by cloud head in early hours. Windy through the night.
10th Bright start though cloud built quickly with cold front passing through around 10am. Dew point dropped from 11C to 3C in matter of hours. Felt very cold in the wind.
11th Sunny start, clouded over by 2pm with temp building through day and odd drizzle.
12th Cloudy start with spits and spots of rain up until 2pm.
13th Sunny until lunchtime . Clouded over though with some light rain. Thunderstorm reported in Bracknell and snow reported above 125m in Wales Lampeter.
14th Sunny start but lots of cloud from embedded instability in the airflow. Temperature rose all day with drizzle at 6pm. Pressure bottomed out at 985.3mb at 0345z. Peak gust 21.3mph at 0320z. Rain heaviest at 0412z 12.1mm/hr
15th Sunny start with lots of cloud around, feeling cold in the wind
16th Cloudy and much calmer
17th Cloudy start with threat of snow showers at 11am, remained as rain though snow reported at Berkhampsted and Watford. Pleasant day with sunshine.
18th Mostly cloudy in morning but with weak sunshine. Temperature plunged after dark but cloud prevented further cooling at midnight.
19th Sunny , cold start with a few clouds. Frost returned at 6.40pm with coldest night since Jan 2013.
20th Sunny start but took till 11am to rise above freezing with some frost lingering well into the afternoon. Snowflakes reported at Laindon and dusting in parts of Kent. More general snow PM from Chilterns northwards – too warm here.
21st Cloudy, dull and cold all day with some drizzle. Snow reported in Laindon. Dull and cold in Reading.
22nd Hazy sun to start, sunny spells all day. Very cold overnight
23rd Sunny start with high alto-cumulus. Gradually becoming more cloudy though staying bright. Temperature started rising after dark with approach of warm front. Temp peaked at 2am as cold front whistled through with brief heavy rain. Sunny again by dawn.
24th Sunny with occasional cloudier spells. Feeling cold in the wind.
25th Sunny start but gradually clouding over. Temperature climbed through the day and night. Drizzle in the wind.
26th Cloudy with bright periods. Temp and dew point started falling after 10am with passing of warm sector.
27th Hazy sun to start then wintry sunny spells all day.
28th Cloudy start quickly gave wave to at least three potent cold fronts with steep temperature falls. <5mm hail in the last and thunder heard in Woodford Green. Clearer spells overnight and possibly spots of rain.
29th Sunny, cold start . Clouding over with potent shower at 4.30pm that gave a brief covering of snow pellets. Snow and sleet at 9.30pm but no accumulation here. Snow falling.
30th Cloudy, cold and damp day with some drizzle pm. Lots of snow in Derbyshire – one report of 41cm. Reports of snow falling in the early hours at Hollow Ponds. Snow falling.
31st Cloudy with intermittent light rain through day. Reports of snow in north Essex and Southend. Some sleet in the early hours