February 2015: average

feb3rd snow
A snowfall on the 3rd just about covered the ground for a few hours, though was barely enough to make a snowball

Though it only lasted a couple of hours this February saw the first lying snow in nearly two years. The 1cm depth at 9am on 3rd, however, is nothing much to write home about by average winter standards.

Mean temperature for the month was 4.9C, 0.4C below the 1981-2010 mean, 2.5C cooler than the mild and stormy February of last year. Rainfall of 43.6mm was 111% of average.

There were 73.6 hours of sunshine recorded in this area which is precisely 100% of what we can expect to see during an average February. The wettest day occurred on the 19th with 8.7mm. Snow fell on 3 days, hail on 2. Air frosts: 4 Ground frosts: 19

So what has March got in store weatherwise? The models this morning (March 1st) suggest a taste of spring – the recent cold and showery regime being replaced by quiet, anticyclonic weather. Output suggests variable cloud cover with a mild SW wind. Obviously sunny days will see quite respectable temperatures though any clear nights will see frost and mist developing.

View from top of Ditchling Beacon in Sussex during a  half-term walk
View from top of Ditchling Beacon in Sussex during a half-term walk

Beyond that the outlook is uncertain. Using a similar method to my Christmas forecast, which was correct at 25 days ahead and my January and February outlooks, I’ve had a look back in the archives to see if there is any precedent in the pattern we’ve had this February.

There appears no chance of a very mild March. The strongest signal (67%) is for a cold March. The strongest signal for precipitation is for average to slightly below (83%). Sunshine, no overall signal, so my guess is average.

Though we are now out of the meteorological winter there is still a risk of snow. Any falls, however, would be thin and transitory because of the strength of the sun now.

Full stats for the month here: http://1drv.ms/1rSfT7Y

Here follows the full weather diary for February…

1st Bright start with sunny spells thoughout the day

2nd Sunny start but soon clouded over. Cleared again in evening though with lunar halo. Showers moved in after midnight and into early hours to leave thin coating of snow by 8am.

3rd 1cm at 9am. A bright start though with lots of cloud around. Sunnier in afternoon, the snow had melted by 1pm. Variable clear spells through the night but too cloudy for frost.

4th Cloudy start but some brightness. The sunshine felt warm at times. Variiable cloud overnight. Woke up to see snow falling but too warm to settle – the air being 1.2C, dew point 0.5C

5th Some spots of sleet to start and during the day. Colder air digging in from 3pm. Feeling bitter.

6th Bright start, cloud decreasing through the day to give long sunny spells. Cold wind

7th Cloudy and cold start

8th A sunny start with long sunny spells all day

9th Mostly cloudy to start though bright and breaking to sunny spells and then unbroken sunshine.

10th Cloudy and cold all day

11th Dull and cloudy all day

12th Dull start and stayed dull all day. Cold. Warming up after 2am with some very light rain with warm front.

13th Bright spells through the morning with a brief clearance around 1pm. Rain soon arrived though and fell through the afternoon and into the evening. Rain again from midnight until 2am

14th Bright intervals to start though mostly cloudy through the day. Some very light rain showers through the day and into the night

15th Cloudy start though with bright intervals becoming more frequent. Clear by dusk allowing temp to fall quickly

16th Cloudy start with rain spreading in after 1pm, moderate at times

17th Unbroken sunshine until 1pm then a few clouds. Cold overnight on boat

18th Sunny most of the day with only a few high clouds

19th Sunny until mid morning then clouding over quickly. Rain pushed in late lunchtime and lingered all day and into evening. Stayed dry on walk until 2.30pm but very stong wind ahead of rain band

20th Cloudy start though bright through haze at times. Feeling cold. Cloudy into evening with area of rain at 7am

21st Sunny start after rain at 7am. Very cloudy at times with light hail <5mm – the sky suggested the hail was heavy elsewhere. Reports of snow in Oxford. Frosty overnight

22nd Sunny start but cloud quickly filled in before rain arrived at 3pm. Temp then rose to a high of 9.5C at 11pm before falling at midnight

23rd Sunny start but with cloud bubbled up and some light hail mixed in with showers. Feeling cold

24th Sunny start with some cloud bubbling up. Heavy hail shower at 3.30pm. Temp built through the night with rain 5.30am – 7.30am

25th Drizzly start broke to sunny spells. Much milder. Drizzle overnight after 3.30am

26th Cloudy start with rain late morning. Cold front blew through around 2pm. Clear and frosty overnight

27th Sunny, cold start. Cloud gradually increased through the day. Temperature lifted a little – spits and spots of rain felt on way home


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