Category Archives: month ahead forecast

London’s October extremes since 1959

October is one of those months that can see both ends of the spectrum; from calm ‘mists and mellow fruitfulness’ and, rarely, frost, to wet and wild systems whistling in off the Atlantic, best known being the 1987 Great Storm and, more recently, the St Jude storm.

I’ve put together a few top 10s of stats for Wanstead, St James’s Park and Heathrow for the month of October.

october extremes

October SJP

Heathrow oct

Some national UK October values according to TORRO

Hottest: 29.4C March, Cambs – 1st 1985
Coldest: -11C Dalwhinnie 28th 1948
Wettest: 208.3mm Loch Avoich 11th 1916

In terms of climatology October maxima, considering the 1981-2010 average, shows a through the month, though around there is often a spike. This would reflect the October singularities; early October storms, between 5th and 12th, peaking on the 9th, occur in 67 per cent of years. St Luke’s summer, between 16th and 20th, peaking on 19th, also has a 67 per cent probability. If you look at the graph there is a spike just after the 19th.
Mid-autumn storms occur between 24th and 29th October, with a 100% probability.

october average graph

The average rainfall graphic shows that downpour amounts are variable through the month. A tendency for dry weather around the 17th and 18th before the wettest days on the 20th and 21st.

October rainfall

 

 

 

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January 2017: cold and very sunny

Sunshine was a dominant feature of January 2017 in east London thanks to a long-lasting anticyclone centred over the near continent that established a feed of stable, dry air.

hoar-frost-wp
A frosty morning in Wanstead Park

It was a cold month, the mean temperature of 3.4C (1.8C below the 1981-2010 average) made it the coldest for seven years, marginally colder than the snowy January in 2013.

Though many days were dry it was also a wetter than average month with 71.5mm of precipitation recorded (134% of average) and the wettest for three years.

There were 73.8 hours of sunshine (147% of average) – the 10th equal sunniest January since 1797.

cumulonimbus
Cumulonimbus and hail were observed on 28th

The wettest day was on the 11th /12th when rain and snow associated with a LP centre that dived south-east dumped 19.7mm. This turned to snow though by 9am only 0.5cm lay in my garden. The warmest day occurred on the 11th with 10.9C recorded. The coldest maxima occurred just before obs time on the 26th when 0.6C was reached, narrowly missing an ice day. The lowest temperature occurred in the early hours of the 21st when -6.7C was recorded, the coldest minimum since January 2013.

The sunniest days were on the 18th, 20th and 21st when eight hours of sunshine were recorded.

Snow fell on 4 days and lay on 1 day. Air frosts: 14, Ground frosts: 19

screen-shot-2017-01-27-at-12-31-17
Ice on the Heronry pond was quite thick at one point

So what has February got in store. Models on the 1st suggest that after a stormy start the weather will settle down with high pressure re-establishing itself on the continent. Operational runs suggest the position of this high will again draw in very cold upper air, heralding another cold spell that this time could be more unstable with snow – thanks to the position of the anticyclone being further north than it was in January. There are also suggestions that a sudden stratospheric warming event currently underway may also disrupt the polar vortex which *could* lead to any cold around mid-month being prolonged. It is a big if, however, and it is impossible to know the final position of any anticyclone: resultant weather could be fairly cold and benign or severe and snowy.

garden-snow
Just one morning had ‘snow lying’ at 9am on 12th

My method of prediction for the month as a whole gives very little information because January was unusually wet for a cold month. After this weekend’s unsettled spell perhaps February will continue in the same vein as January: 1-2C colder than normal but predominantly dry.

So, to sum up, we’re looking at a mean of 4C, rainfall: 15mm, sunshine: 60hrs.

My forecast last month was poor: predicted mean 4.4C (result 3.4C). Rainfall: 55mm (result 71.5 mm). Sunshine: 39hrs (result 73.8hrs)

Here follows the full weather diary for January…Full stats for the month here:http://1drv.ms/1rSfT7Y

1st: Cloudy start with rain pushing in from 1.30pm. A precipitous fall in temp about 2.15pm.
2nd: Sunny all day with just a few cumulus. Cold and frosty overnight.
3rd: Sunny, hazy start – the cloud building to 10.30am. Afternoon and evening felt cold.
4th: Cloudy and mild start. Brightness increased through the day though colder air arrived around dusk.
5th: Sunny, frosty start with a few clouds from time to time. The frost persisted all day on the grass.
6th: Sunny and cold start, frost lifted at 11am to leave mild-feeling early afternoon. Cloud thickened with rain arriving just before 4pm and lasting a couple of hours. Temp increased through the night.
7th: Cloudy and mild start.
8th: Cloudy and very misty on road to High Beach. Some bright spells from 10.30am. Clouding in again in the afternoon but mild.
9th: Cloudy, damp start with rain spreading in at midday then sporadically into the afternoon. Clear spells overnight.
10th: Cloudy start with odd brightness near noon.
11th: Sunny sart with just a few cumulus, this cumulus increased from time to time.
12th: Cloudy and cooler start. Started spitting at 11am before main rain arrived at noon – then rained through the afternoon and temp dropped. Reports of snow in Hampshire at 1650z. Snow in Aldersbrook at 6pm which gave a covering of icy snow and slush which lasted through until 9am on grass and cars. Just over 50% of grass covered.
13th: Bright start, snow flurries spreading in at 9.30am with heavier burst at 10.10am – snow lasted till around noon then was just cloudy – no further accumulation. Cold overnight though too much breeze for air frost.
14th: Cloudy start with some drizzle at noon. Clearing afternoon with early ground frost before turning cloudy at 1am with rain in the early hours.
15th: Light rain to start and falling on and off until 3pm.
16th: Light rain to start which went on into the morning thanks to a conveyor belt of rain – the result of being on the boundary of two air masses.
17th: Bright start with cloud and light frost, the cloud clearing with cold front off the continent. Cold, crisp afternoon followed with frost soon after dark.
18th: Sunny, very cold start with jet contrails across the sky. Sunny all day thereafter with frost after dark – not as cold as previous night – minimum was at 9am previous day.
19th: Sunny start with a few cirrus around that made for a spectacular dawn. Temp warmed up quicker than previous day with frost lifting. Cold again overnight though agitation of the lower layers prevented temp falling further than 4.1C.
20th: Sunny, very cold start with frost.
21st: Sunny, very cold start with sunshine all day, Frost lingering all day in the shade – the ground now rock hard. Coldest night since January 2013.
22nd: Sunny, very cold start with heavy frost. The frost lingered all day in the shade. Turning misty at dusk with dense patches of freezing fog developing. Another moderate frost with a 18-06 low of -4.8C.
23rd: Foggy start with dense, freezing patches on Wanstead Flats. Thinner in the village though still noticeable. The fog was present into Rush Green.
24th: Misty start with remnants of thick fog patches seen on the Flats. Thereafter sunny and pleasant in the sunshine.
25th: Foggy start though some lifted but still left misty morning. Feeling cold as wind increased. Some flurries of snow at 8.30am.
26th: Cloudy and cold, feeling raw in the wind with flurries of snow that settled on pavements in Wanstead. Cold and raw through the day with odd clear interval – temp rose to 0.2C just before dusk so no ice day. Sky cleared overnight with frost before cloud rolled in with odd flake of snow.
27th: Bright but with cloud thickening at 9.30am with moderate shower, then brighter. Sharp shower at 1510 with <5mm hail and fell at 20mm/hr. Some spectacular cumulonimbus.
28th: Cloudy start though with some brightness until 11am.
29th: Cloudy, quiet weather all day.
30th: Cloudy, uninspiring day. Some light rain at 2am.
31st: Cloudy with rain looking likely. Rain arrived in evening and fell intermittently through the night and after dawn.

There were some notable weather tweets from around the UK.

snake-pass

kings-cross

thames-barrier

storm-surge

It was also a month of extremes in Europe and elsewhere. Here are a few examples I tweeted throughout January.

nancy-ice

 

mammoth
Mammoth has recorded over 20ft of snow during January

pioneer-cabin-tree

ice-floes-in-danube

frozen-fox-danube

belgrade

parthenon

canada-icestormabruzzo-snow

 

 

 

 

 

November 2016: record sunshine, cool

November 2016 was the sunniest in a record going back to 1881. Some 91 hours were recorded, 156 per cent above average and a complete contrast to last November which was the dullest for 47 years.

frost
The temperature in the early hours of the 30th fell to -6.1C, colder than any night last winter and the coldest since January 2013

The mean temperature for the month finished 6.4C, that’s 1.5C below the 1981-2010 average ; 4C cooler than last year and the coldest November since 2010. The warmest day occurred on the 15th with 15.9C recorded. The first air frosts of autumn were recorded. The lowest temperature occurred on the 29th when the spirit fell to -6.1C.

Rainfall was 135 per cent of average with 80.1mm recorded. The wettest day was on the 19th when 23.5mm of rain fell.

The sunniest days were on the 2nd, 13th and 25th when eight hours of sunshine were recorded.

Air frosts: 4, Ground frosts: 19

stingjet
The dolphin-shape of this radar image shows Storm Angus before it hit the south coast. The system stayed far enough south of us not to cause any damage in London

What has December got in store weatherwise? The models suggest the high pressure that has been anchored over us, bringing cold nights, will pull away to the continent. This will allow an ever milder but mostly dry source of air off the Atlantic through to mid month. Days will grow milder while frost and fog will feature less at night.

Beyond the grasp of the models my long range outlook method suggests an cold month is most likely at 43 per cent probability. Average comes in at 29 per cent probability while rather mild and rather cold are both 14 per cent probabilities.

Rainfall looks finely balanced. Wetter and dryer than average both come in at 43% probability while average is 14 per cent. Given the influence of high pressure at the beginning of the month I’m inclined to think it will be a drier than average month.

So, to sum up, we’re looking at a mean of 4.4C, rainfall: 55mm, sunshine: 39hrs.

My forecast last month was good: predicted mean 6.8C (result 6.4C). Rainfall: 55mm (result 80mm). Sunshine was way off, however – predicted total: 41hrs (result 91hrs)

I have also published a winter forecast covering the London area that you can find here.

Here follows the full weather diary for November…Full stats for the month here:http://1drv.ms/1rSfT7Y

1st: Cloudy and mild all day. Patchy drizzle at times.
2nd: Sunny, cold start after first ground frost of the autumn.
3rd: Sunny, cold start with cirrostratus and cumulus drifting around. Cloud thickened through the afternoon with some light rain around 9pm.
4th: Cloudy, dull start up to 11am. Rain pushed in and lasted for much of afternoon, clearing in evening.
5th: Cloudy, cold and damp start. Some brightness though with a cold wind.
6th: Sunny, cold start, tending to cloud in. Rain after 3pm. Feeling cold but too windy for a frost overnight.
7th: Sunny, cold and very breezy to start, the cloud tending to fill in through the day. Clearer overnight though too much cloud and occasional air prevented an air frost.
8th: Sunny and cold start. Cloud thickened during the day to bring rain after dark at 8pm that then fell through the night – the biggest fall since Brexit day.
9th: Light rain slowly clearing to cloud.
1oth: Cloudy start with light rain showers around 10.30am then cloudy. Some sunny intervals in the afternoon. Milder.
11th: Bright start with cloud decreasing through the morning to leave a pleasant and clear afternoon.
12th: Miserable and rainy to start, this lasting past 11.15am. Drizzle thereafter into 6pm.
13th: Sunny start though cloud tended to fill in through the day. Damp overnight with patchy drizzle.
14th: Cloudy and damp start with some breeze. Brief brightness at noon but patchy drizzle moved in around 4pm.
15th: Cloudy and miserable though very mild.
16th: Sunny start and very mild though cloud tended to fill in during the day making the sunshine milky.
17th: Bright, breezy start, the breeze increasing until a squall blew through at 2.40pm then sunny spells. front
18th: Bright start with milky sunshine then tending to cloud over. Feeling cold.
19th: Bright sunshine though cold to start. Patchy altocumulus developed through the day, leaving it to become bright, the strength of the sun diminishing. Rain started around 6pm and fell through night with varying intensity.
20th: Dull and cloudy start with rain returning at 10am. Cloudy afternoon with rain returning late evening and through the night, some heavier bursts.
21st: Cloudy with showers past noon. Heavier showers moved in mid afternoon and fell into the evening.
22nd: Cloudy with a few very light showers around. Breezy.
23rd: Cloudy and breezy. Feeling mild.
24th: Cloudy and mostly dull with brief brightness at noon.
25th: Sunny with just a few cumulus around.
26th: Sunny start but low cloud blotted out the sun around midday then cloudy and cool.
27th: Cloudy and mild.
28th Sunny all day with just a few cumulus floating around.
29th: Sunny all day with frost persisting on grass in shade.
30th: Sunny and very frosty start. Frost persisting on the grass all day with a very cold start to the night. A veil of cloud crossed the region late evening, lifting the temperature above freezing, before clearing before dawn

October 2016: average temps, dry

October 2016 was yet another dry month, a pattern that has emerged since the middle of June. Just 52 per cent of the October average was recorded.

sunny
October saw many pleasantly sunny days

The monthly mean finished 11.5C, 0.3C above average and ending a three-month run of warm temperatures.

Some 105 hours of sunshine were recorded, 98 per cent of average

Air frosts: 0, Ground frosts: 0

So what has November got in store weatherwise? The models on the 1st suggest an anticyclone anchored to our west over the Atlantic will bring a regime of, at times, chilly northerly winds and the potential for rainfall, much probably in the form of showers, driven by low pressure in the North Sea. Where skies clear at night there will be potential for the first air frosts of the autumn.

Beyond the grasp of the models my long range outlook method suggests an average or cold month is most likely: average and cold are both 30 per cent probability. Rather cold and severe are both 20%! There appears no chance of anything mild.

Rainfall appears that it will be skewed toward something above average at 40 per cent, though average and below average are both 30 per cent.

Sunshine looks average at 57 per cent probability.

So, to sum up, we’re looking at a mean of 6.8C, rainfall: 55mm, sunshine: 41hrs.

holes
Numerous holes dug by squirrels appeared in October. The squirrels have no more an idea than we do whether winter will be cold

Here follows the full weather diary for October…Full stats for the month here:http://1drv.ms/1rSfT7Y

1st: Rainy start with showery bursts to 11.25am then through afternoon mostly cloudy.
2nd: Sunny but chilly, feeling very autumnal. Clearing into the evening with a cold night to follow.
3rd: Sunny, gin clear all day until 2.08pm.
4th: Another sunny albeit slightly hazy start then patchy cumulus. Warm in the sunshine even with a easterly breeze.
5th: Sunny start though breezy and with quite a few cumulus around. Cloud streets observed at 10.30am, the cloud tending to decrease and completely melt away by 4pm.
6th: Sunny start but with much cloudier spells at times. Warm in the shelter.
7th: Cloudy all day, the cloud thick enough at lunch time for drizzle that damped the ground.
8th: Cloudy with bursts of light drizzle in the morning, some brightness. A heavy shower at 2pm was brief then cloudy. Clear and cold overnight.
9th: Sunny until 2pm with patchy cumulus – a really glorious morning. Sunny spells in afternoon with cold night to follow.
10th: Sunny with just patchy cirrus first thing. Thick patches of alto-cumulus drifted across from time to time. Cold overnight.
11th: Sunny with patchy cumulus which melted away through the day. Showers after dark, one at 2330z.
12th: Cloudy and damp start. Short, sharp shower at noon then mostly cloudy.
13th: Rainy , wet start thanks to a streamer of moderate to heavy showers.
14th: Cloudy am but with lots of sunshine mid-morning before clouding over again though staying bright.
15th: Bright start but with lots of cloud pushing in and light burst of drizzle at noon. Cloud thickened before rain moved in after 5pm and fell intermittently through the night.
16th: Damp start as the remnants of the overnight rain cleared away, then becoming brighter at 11.15am. Sunny spells for a time before turning cloudier with some very sharp showers on yet another convergence line.
17th: Cloudy start but soon brightening up with some pleasant sunny spells. Heavy burst of rainfall at 5.30pm with more showers at midnight and early hours.
18th: Cloudy though quickly turning bright and breezy with long sunny spells after clearance of the cold front.
19th: Bright start though more cloud around than sun all day. Feeling colder than of late.
20th: Bright and breezy with variable cloud and sunny spells. A short shower at 2pm damped the ground. Clear spells overnight made it chilly. A shower at 9.30am.
21st: Cloudy and chily start.
22nd: Cloudy and cold start, brief clearance at 11am then sunny spells.
23rd: Sunny and clear to start though cold. Sunny spells into the afternoon. Cloudy overnight.
24th: Cloudy and cool during the day and overnight.
25th: Dull and cloudy with only limited brightness. Clear early evening with temp falling before it turned misty. Cloud pushed in raising the temperature.
26th: Cloudy start and turning very dull before bright spells spread in at noon.
27th: Cloudy though getting brighter through the morning with a brief clearance at noon, then bright and sunny intervals.
28th: Sunny and very mild to start. Sunny spells through the day.
29th: Cloudy start with bright intervals after midday. Clear spells after dark with fog forming after 11pm which gave a foggy start.
30th: Foggy start then cloudy and miserable.
31st: Fog to start then clearing at 11am. Gorgeous sunny day thereafter.

September 2016: very warm, very dry

Last month was the second warmest September in a local record going back to 1797! The monthly mean finished 17.8C, 2.4C above average. Despite being an ‘autumn’ month September was actually a full degree warmer than June!

screen-shot-2016-10-01-at-11-55-19
September 2016 was the second warmest in a local record back to 1797, though we’re talking by fewer than tenths of a degree.

The hottest September day since 1959 was recorded on the 13th when 33.1C was reached, the sixth equal hottest in the local daily record back to 1848.

The month also saw the warmest minimum recorded since 1959 when the mercury failed to fall below 18.7C on the 6th.

It was another very dry month, the third much drier than average month in a row: just 27.7mm fell, 24 per cent of average, making it the driest September since since 2007 and the 12th driest in the local record.

Like August, the month only falls down in terms of impressiveness when sunshine hours are considered. Some 119 hours were recorded, that’s 85 per cent of average, making it the dullest September for 15 years.

Air frosts: 0, Ground frosts: 0

So what has September got in store weatherwise? The models on the 1st suggest that a large Scandinavian high will become established to our NE bringing lots of settled weather and showers on coasts. There’s obviously the chance of trough disruption as the month progresses if the anticyclone’s influence declines.

Beyond the grasp of the models my usual long range outlook method falls down this month due to September’s warmth and dryness – there is nothing within  +/- 10% of September’s statistics. I would guess, however, that we are looking at another drier than average month with frost becoming a risk as the month progresses where skies clear. There is also the chance of more pleasant autumn days where skies are clear during the day.

My September outlook for temperature was poor. I predicted a mean of 15.3C (outcome: 17.8C). It was much, much drier than I thought: 300mm (outcome: 27.7mm). Sunshine was poor: 140 hours (outcome: 119 hours).

Here follows the full weather diary for September…Full stats for the month here:http://1drv.ms/1rSfT7Y

1st: Sunny start but cloud gradually increased until it was overcast by 6pm. Clear spells overnight but warmer than previous nights.
2nd: Cloudy though some brighter intervals.
3rd: Sunny start, cloud began to pile in at 12.30pm with rain arriving at 5.30pm, this fell through the evening with some showers in the early hours.
4th: Bright, breezy start but rapidly turning cloudy and dull. Some rain overnight.
5th: Light rain and dull to start – this quickly clearing to cloud by 3pm. Things remained cloudy with a muggy night.
6th: Cloudy, dull and muggy start after warmest September night on record. Another warm night though muggy.screen-shot-2016-10-01-at-12-22-03
7th: Cloudy to 11am though sun breaking through as drier air arrived. Feeling humid.
8th: Sunny start but with plenty of cumulus, this quickly decreasing to leave clear sky.
9th: Cloudy morning though sky seemed to periodically clear of low cumulus before becoming overcast and very breezy in the afternoon. Some rain overnight and just before obs time.
10th: Cloudy start with patchy light rain, this briefly turning  heavy at 1pm  before turning occasionally moderate. Dreadful afternoon after recently. Clearing overnight to leave a sunny start.
11th: A glorious sunny day with only the odd patch of cirrus.
12th: Bright start with some sunshine, clouding over with a few splodges of rain with warm front. Then sunny and very warm.
13th: Sunny start with a few cirrus and castalanus around. Breezy at times with the thermals. The warmest September day since 1959 and 6th equal warmest since 1848.screen-shot-2016-10-01-at-12-13-54
14th: Sunny start with a few cirrus. A few patches of alto-cumulus later. Very warm but not as hot as yesterday. Warm, pleasant evening.
15th: Sunny with a few wispy cumulus, clearing to hot sunshine. Some alto-cumulus developed at 2pm and towering cumulus could be seen in distance. Thunderstorms reporting to NW of London. Cloudy and warm overnight with eight peals of thunder in the early hours and heavy rain.
16th: Light to moderate rain through the morning, petering out at 1.30pm.
17th: Cloudy, cool and breezy all day, at times dull.
18th: Cloudy all day, a bit warmer than the previous two days.
19th: Cloudy start though with sun breaking through briefly at 11am until 1pm then cloudy again. Rain at 1am that didn’t last long enough to register.
20th: Cloudy and fairly calm – a nothing day with odd very light drizzle.
21st: Bright start with cloud breaking to long spells of sunshine before more cloud moved in. Warmer than of late.
22nd: Cloudy but  sun broke through giving pleasant afternoon and cool overnight.
23rd: Sunny, gin clear and cold start. Just a few fair weather cumulus through the day.
24th: Sunny start with cloud decreasing. Very warm in sun but cloud and breeze built through the day. Overnight light rain between 6am and 9am.
25th: Bright start after overnight light rain.
26th: Bright start with a few cloud breaks here and there. Heavy shower at 12.15pm with further threat of rain but stayed dry.
27th: Bright start with signs of a cold front moving in from south then cloudy.
28th: Sunny start with patchy cirrus, this tending to thicken at lunchtime to turn mostly overcast with humidity increasing. Breeze also picked up with reappearance of sun mid afternoon. Cloudy, very mild and breezy rest of the day.
29th: Cold front and brief heavy rain swept in at 10.03am. Then intermittent falls until 11.23am.
30th: Sunny, gin-clear start, patchy cumulus bubbling up at 10.30am. Cloud grew thicker around 12 noon with brief shower at 1pm. Then sunny spells and cloudier periods. Another shower just after nightfall then clear. Cloud moved in after 2am with another shower. Early sunshine  gave way to moderate showers around 9.45am.

August 2016: warm and very dry

Though there were no records broken August 2016 goes down as a mighty fine summer month, the warmest for 12 years. The mean of 19.5C was 1.3C warmer than average and only 0.1C cooler than 2004.

wanstead park
Grasslands around Wanstead Park have gradually turned brown because of the lack of rainfall

The month ended a three-year run of poor or so-so Augusts: in terms of mean temperature the month was the 10th warmest in a local series going back to 1797.

It was another very dry month: just 11.9mm fell, 24 per cent of average, the driest August since 2003 and the 12th driest in the local record.

The month only falls down in terms of impressiveness when sunshine hours are considered. Some 192 hours were recorded, the 59th sunniest since 1797 – 1995 had 80hrs more sun.

Air frosts: 0, Ground frosts: 0

So what has September got in store weatherwise? The models on the 1st suggest the month will start mixed, though any precipitation will be below average. Temperatures remaining on the warm side.

warmest augustsBeyond the grasp of the models my long range outlook method is again hampered by a very dry August. However, the data I do have suggests an average month at 100 per cent probability.

A wetter than average month looks most likely at 75% probability.

The rainfall probability makes me wonder whether we are in for a very unsettled second half of September, the Atlantic cranking into life with the remnants of tropical storms and hurricanes having an ever-increasing influence as the month progresses.

So to sum up: mean 15.3C (average), rainfall 162mm (300%), sunshine 140 hours (100%).

driest augustMy August outlook for temperature was good. I predicted a mean of 19C (outcome: 19.5C). It was drier than I thought: 30.3mm (outcome: 11.9mm). Sunshine was poor: 239 hours (outcome: 192 hours).

Here follows the full weather diary for August…Full stats for the month here:http://1drv.ms/1rSfT7Y

1st: Cloudy start to 1pm. Rain started at 5pm through to 10pm. A brief interlude before more light to moderate rain through the night 4.30am, then drizzle
2nd: Damp, miserable start – the rain became light to moderate in the early afternoon before drying up – very high dew points through the day.
3rd: Bright and breezy with variable cloud.
4th: Bright start with variable cloud and sunny spells.
5th: Good sunny spells all day – perfect summer’s day, not too much humidity – though an isolated shower passed over at 8pm.
6th: Sunny, clear start. Lots of sunny spells during the day.
7th: Bright start though very breezy. Cloud decreased through the day to leave a gorgeous late afternoon and evening.
8th: Sunny, clear start with lots of fair weather cumulus throughout the day. Cloudier spells mid afternoon.
9th: Sunny with fair weather cumulus up until noon then cloudy afternoon.
10th: Sunny with fair weather cumulus, variable throughout the day. Breezy.
11th: Cloudy start with very brief light rain, barely enough to damp ground. Some sunny intervals later and bright and warm.
12th: Sunny start with a few clouds. Turned gin clear at 11am and stayed clear all day. Feeling hot.
13th: Bright start but turning cloudier. Sunny intervals PM.
14th: Cloudy start breaking to some long sunny spells. Feeling very warm in the sun.
15th: Bright start soon turned sunny with a clearance at 1pm.
16th: Bright start though a lot of haze around. Sunnier later though still hazy.
17th: Sunny with patchy cloud to start, this clearing late morning to leave a clear if rather hazy afternoon.
18th: Sunny if a bit hazy to start, this tending to decrease to leave warm sunshine.
19th: Cloudy with rain threatening. Low cloud at Stansted. Brief rain in afternoon then cloudy.
20th: Dull and overcast at 9am. Burst of heavy rain at 10.15am clearing to sunny spells at noon 30. Rain between 7pm and 8pm and 3am and 4am.
21st: Bright start. Sunny intervals till 3pm then sunny spells.
22nd: Bright after earlier rain at 0719 then sunny spells.
23rd: Clear and sunny start with a few cirrus clouds through the day. Hot.
24th: Sunny, gin clear start. Patchy cirrus through the day. Hot.
25th: Lots of altocumulus and sunny spells but felt sultry due to high dew points.
26th: Cloudy start but gradually decreased to leave clear pm.
27th: Overcast but bright start. Brightness through the day but hazy. Some heavy storms further north.
28th: Overcast until early afternoon, 5 minute shower at 2pm then sunny intervals..
29th: Bright start then sunny spells and cirro cumulus gradually clearing to leave a sunny evening and clear night.
30th: Clear and sunny start.
31st: Bright start though cloud filling in by 3pm, clearing again at 8.30pm

July 2016: rather warm and very dry

There was plenty of interest in the weather last month even though the overall stats suggest July 2016 wasn’t that remarkable.

july 9 sky
The sunset on July 9th was spectacular

Most notable was temperature: the warmest minimum on record for this area (21.1C) was recorded during the early hours of the 20th – coming hours after the hottest day of the year: 33.5C – the 14th hottest day on record. The mean temperature of 19.5C  was a degree warmer than average, the 18th warmest July since 1797.

Rainfall was very sparse. A total of 17.3mm fell during the month, that’s 40 per cent of average, the driest for six years and the 19th driest in the series going back to 1797.

After a very dull start to the month sunshine was always going to struggle: just under 172 hours were recorded – that’s 89 per cent of average and marginally down on last July.

Air frosts: 0, Ground frosts: 0

record warm min
The temperature didn’t fall below 21.1C on the night of 19th July, making it the warmest minimum on record in this area back to 1959

So what has August in store weatherwise? The models on the 1st suggest the month will start with a mixture of sunshine and showers. At the end of this week there are indications of a change to warm and later very warm weather.

Beyond the grasp of the models my long range outlook method is hampered this month because of the very dry July. However, the data I do have suggests a rather warm month at 50 per cent probability. The ‘worst case’ scenario suggests something average, a contrast to  the past couple of Augusts which have been poor. Perhaps we can look forward to another reasonable summer month, defined by plenty of fine, at times hot, weather – though anyone looking for unending days of 30C and higher will be disappointed.

A dryer than average month (possibly very dry) looks most likely at 50% probability. A very sunny month looks most probable.

So to sum up: mean 19C (0.8C above average), rainfall 30.3mm (60%), sunshine 239 hours (123%).

hottest dayMy July outlook for temperature was good. I predicted a mean of 18.8C (outcome: 19.5C). Rainfall was very poor: 50mm (outcome: 17.3mm). Sunshine not badr: 171.9 hours (outcome: 190 hours).

Here follows the full weather diary for July…Full stats for the month here:http://1drv.ms/1rSfT7Y

1st: Cloudy with sunny intervals. Some sharp showers.
2nd: Bright start though breezy. Very heavy shower at 1740.
3rd: Sunny though with lots of cumulus.
4th: Sunny, gin clear start though cumulus rolled in at 1.30pm.
5th: Cloudy start with very brief, very light drizzle though with sunny breaks developing.
6th: Hazy mix of cirrus and cumulus gradually decreased to a clear sky by 1pm. More cumulus bubbled up later but still mostly sunny and low humidity.
7th: Sunny start with lots of cumulus, cirrus and stratus around. Sunny spells through the day.
8th: Cloudy and breezy start.hants
9th: Bright start with sunny spells but also lots of cloud. Amazing sunset with fronts coming in.
1oth: Cloudy start with light rain spreading in but only lasting for 40 minutes. Some sunshine in the afternoon though was breezy.
11th: Cloudy start with heavy showers early afternoon.
12th: Sunny start though with plenty of cloud which bubbled up and gave heavy showers from 11.30am. More showers in the afternoon – miserable.
13th: Bright and sunny to start that cloud gradually built before heavy showers hit at 2pm, these lighter over Aldersbrook.
14th: Sunny, bright start with sunny spells, tending to turn cloudier.
15th: Bright start but cloud piled in and breeze picked up.
16th: Sunny start with lots of cirro-cumulus. Cloud tended to build at times and a front passed over at 4pm. Warm evening and night.
17th: Bright start though with lots of heavy cumulus around. This tended to break up at intervals during the day, making it feel hot in the sun because of the high humidity.
18th: Sunny start with patchy cirrus and cumulus. This decreased as day wore on leaving a hot day. Felt almost airless with variable cloud.
19th: Sunny with decreasing cirrus to start to leave a gin clear day. Breeze picked up at noon meaning it wasn’t as warm as it could have been.
20th: Sunny but hazy start but with more of a breeze than yesterday. Cloud tended to fill in but then burnt off to leave another hot day.
21st: Sunny but cooler start than yesterday with lots of milky cumulus around.
22nd: Cloudy start after overnight rain. Sun breaking through at 12.30pm.
23rd: Cloudy start with spots of drizzle at 11am then slowy getting brighter with evening sunshine.
24th: Cloudy start with early showers breaking to sunny spells.
25th: Sunny start with variable amounts of cloud through the day. Feeling cooler.
26th: Sunny start though with cloud bubbling up through the morning. Overcast by 2pm.
27th: Cloudy and damp with light rain before and after obs time.
28th: Sunny periods with variable cumulus
29th: Cloudy start with brief rain showers in Chigwell. Sky broke to allow long sunny spells before it clouded over again. Rain shower at 9pm.
30th: Cloudy and overcast start. Long sunny spells into the afternoon.
31st: Sunny start though more cloud tending to bubble up in the afternoon.

June 2016: extremely wet, dullest on record

Storm clouds gathering was a common sight in June 2016, but enough about the tumultuous political situation…

lake
The levels of Heronry pond have benefited immensely from the rainfall which was 2.5 times the average in June

For anyone looking for summery weather there was little to cheer about. For sunshine the month was the dullest June in a record going back to 1797. Just 96 hrs were recorded – which is just over half what we can expect in an average June.

Most notable was the rainfall: just over 139mm fell which is 272 per cent of average, and the third wettest since 1797. Only 1903 and 1860 were wetter. The month also saw the record broken for highest daily rainfall in a 24-hour period. A multi-cell thunderstorm in the early hours of the 23rd saw 60.8mm fall, most of it in two hours, bringing flash floods to the surrounding area.

fax
The synoptic situation at midnight on June 23 when the heaviest rainfall this area has seen since at least 1960 fell

With the lack of sunshine and copious rainfall it is, perhaps, surprising that the mean temperature for the month finished just above average: 16.8C is 0.7C above the June average. The warmest day was the 10th with 25.3C recorded – only one other day saw the mercury exceed 25C – very unusual for this time of years.

Air frosts: 0, Ground frosts: 0

So what has July got in store weatherwise? The models on the 1st suggest more of the same weather that we have seen during the last third of June. Sunshine and showers with the occasional ridge possibly calming things down for a few hours.

blake
Roads in Wanstead were turned into rivers in the early hours of June 23rd

Beyond the grasp of the models my long range outlook method suggests a rather warm month at 50 per cent – so given the cool start perhaps we can look forward to something summery in the final half to one third? Rainfall and sun looks inconclusive so I would guess average. Because of the high rainfall last month I think my long range method falls down.

A slightly wetter than average month looks most likely at 50% probability. Sunshine probably about average.

So to sum up: mean 18.8C (0.3C above average), rainfall 50mm, sunshine 190 hours.

My June outlook for temperature was good. I predicted a mean of 16.9C (outcome: 16.8C). Rainfall was very poor: 38mm (outcome: 139mm). Sunshine very poor: 178 hours (outcome: 96 hours).

Here follows the full weather diary for May…Full stats for the month here:http://1drv.ms/1rSfT7Y

1st: Cloudy and cool all day.
2nd: Cloudy and cold all day, brief brightness at 11am.
3rd: Cloudy and cool all day, limited brightness late morning. Cloudy overnight with limited breaks – air was very humid with warm front and visibility severely limited.
4th: Cloudy all day though cloud was lighter and air felt warmer because of the warm front that came in yesterday from Europe. Brief milky sunshine at 7pm.
5th: Cloudy up until 9.30am when the cloud began to thin. Sunny spells from 11am before a clearance at 1pm interspersed with occasional cloud.
6th: A gloriously sunny day all the way through. A lovely evening too.

sunsetflats
Sunny sunsets were rare in June

7th: Sunny start but cloud rolled in at 1.30pm with thunder heard all around Wanstead. Some serious flash flooding in Croydon. Highest official total was over 40mm in Kenley. Just 1.7mm during the day but trough brought rain at 5am, about 3mm.
8th: Sunny start but felt very humid and oppressive. A thunderstorm skirted Wanstead at 1.40pm with thunder and much rain in Chigwell, not much in Wanstead. More thunder at 2.10pm. Rain came and went for rest of day until 7pm – very little upper air movement. Mostly cloudy overnight.
9th: Cloudy start but some sunny spells developing.
10th: Cloudy start but soon decreased with long sunny spells developing. Lower humidity so felt pleasant.

chigwellrain
Heavy rain in Chigwell

11th: Cloudy and humid start with very heavy rain at 3pm. This lasted for 45 minutes. More rain fell sporadically through the day, evening and overnight.
12th: Cloudy after moderate rain. Showers and longer bursts of rain returned before a brief clearance at 3pm. More showers piled in with a real corker to the north of Wanstead.
13th: Damp start soon led to light rain, turning persistant at 11am. Then outbreaks of rain throughout the day, evening and overnight.
14th: Light rain to start but this quickly gave way to heavy showers all day. Some brightness at 6pm then turning drier overnight. Gin clear dawn.
15th: Sunny start but with lots of convective cloud. Some drizzle but a heavy shower stayed to the east of Ilford.
16th: Bright start with sunny spells, more breeze than recent days
17th: Lots of cloud around though sunny spells arrived early afternoon. Then showers between 5 and 6pm.
18th: Cloudy with spots of drizzle. Feeling cold all day – a maximum of only 16.5C.
19th: Sunny start but cloud gradually increasing all afternoon. Rain by nightfall that fell intermittently for hours. Rain again at obs time.
20th: Rain to start that lasted, with variable intensity, through the morning. Sunny spells from mid afternoon.
21st: Sunny start with just a few cirrus and cumulus, this tending to increase through the morning to leave an overcast afternoon. Cloudy overnight – a few spots of drizzle on school run as frontal wave started to move across UK.
22nd: Cloudy start with warm sector drizzle. Showers developed at 11pm, much thunder and lightning and the rain turned really heavy through the early hours.

rainjune
Extremely heavy rainfall during the early hours of the 23rd

23rd: Cloudy and humid to 1pm. Showers at 3pm.
24th: Sunny with variable cloud. Feeling humid in the sunshine.
25th: Bright start with sunny intervals. Light shower at midday. Thunderstorms at 2pm, 4pm and 9.30pm.
26th: Sunny spells though significant cloud at times. Rain between 4 and 6pm.
27th: Mostly cloudy though with some brightness after noon. Warmest point was in the evening at 7pm.
28th: Bright though cloudy start. Some sunny intervals but rain late afternoon into the evening. Cool overnight.
29th: Cloudy and breezy, some rain in the air early afternoon and again in the early hours
30th: Cloudy with slight breeze. Some light rain in the early hours.

May 2016: rather mild with average rain

A stunning first week of weather in May 2016 probably led a few people into believing that we were in for a glorious start to the summer. But the second Sunday in the month when temperatures reached 27.1C under 13 hours of sunshine was about as good as it got.

view
May 10th 2016 looking toward Crown Hill from Dunton in Essex

The warm first week helped maintain the mean temperature to finish above average: 14.3 which is 1.2C warmer than average, the warmest May for five years.

Though on paper rainfall looked a little under average 44 per cent of the monthly total fell on the last day. Some 43.4mm fell during the course of the month, that’s 85% of what we can expect during a normal May.

Sunshine was about average. Some 184.5 hours were were recorded, 101% of what we can expect to see during an average May.

The wettest day occurred during the meteorological 24hrs of the 30th (09-09 31st) with 14.7mm, rain associated with a depression in the North Sea. Incessant cloud held temperatures down to 12.6C, the coldest May 31st for 36 years!

convey
A conveyor belt of rain brought the coldest May 31st for 36 years

Air frosts: 0, Ground frosts: 5

So what has June got in store weatherwise? The models on the 1st suggest only slow changes in the next 3-4 days. These changes revolve around the release of low pressure from Europe towards high pressure later next week. This process begins as high pressure also begins to build down from the north at the weekend with several days of fine and increasingly warm conditions as the cool NE’ly flow is lost to warmer winds from the SE or south. Then next week with higher pressure over Europe and low pressure drifting slowly north or NE towards the west of the UK it could become very warm and humid in places and as that low to the west pushes troughs towards us from the SW it could feed some thundery rain and storms up from the SW at some stage by midweek. The pattern thereafter appears quite mixed. GFS suggests a more traditional pattern of low pressure to the NW and higher pressure to the SE with SW bringing rain at times to the north and west while the south and east see the best of prolonged dry and warm periods between intermittent rain.

high
High pressure to the north of Scotland brought often miserable, overcast weather to our region

Beyond the grasp of the models my long range outlook method suggests an average to rather mild month. The highest probability is 29% for something a little above average and rather mild. A little below average and mild both come in at 14% probability. Something cool or very cool comes in at 7%. If you combine the first two probabilities together something just over average would come in at 58%

A dryer than average month looks most likely at 57% probability. Sunshine probably about average.

So to sum up: mean 16.9C (0.8C above average), rainfall 38mm, sunshine 178 hours.

My May outlook for temperature was poor. I predicted a mean of 12.8C (outcome: 14.3C). Rainfall was also poor: 58mm (outcome: 43mm). Sunshine was good: 184.5 hours (outcome: 179 hours).

 

Here follows the full weather diary for May…Full stats for the month here:http://1drv.ms/1rSfT7Y

1st: Sunny start though with cirro cumulus around. Cloud tended to thicken up through the day to leave overcast late afternoon. A warm night followed.
2nd: Cloudy with spits and spots of rain to start. Some bright spells late morning but then overcast and some rain at 6.40pm – a decaying front gave little rain. Clearing overnight and cold.
3rd: Sunny with fair weather cumulus developing.
4th: Sunny, gin clear start with just a few fair weather cumulus developing. Clear and cold overnight.
5th: Sunny and warm, some hazy cloud in the afternoon.
6th: Sunny start though turned much more hazy than yesterday. Feeling humid.
7th: Hazy sunshine to start with high level strato-cumulus bringing cloudier periods.
8th Sunny start with just a few clouds. Air much clearer than yesterday and hot by mid afternoon on Canary Wharf.
9th: Cloudy start but became sunny late morning. Rain arrived 5pm, turning moderate 7.30pm and outbreaks through the night.
10th: Light rain to start, this turning moderate at times throughout the day, though petering out at 2.30pm.
11th: Dull, damp start that went into 11am. Heavy showers developing that lasted until late afternoon.
12th: Sunny start though with a fair bit of cirro cumulus floating around. Feeling very warm.
13th: Sunny start with spotted cirro cumulus. A pleasant day.
14th: Bright start with sunny spells into the morning. Cold wind took edge off sunshine.
15th: Sunny and cool with a cool breeze.
16th: Sunny start but quickly clouded over. Bright spells into the afternoon.
17th: Sunny start but cloud soon filled in. Sunny periods around lunchtime before more cloud arrived.
18th: Cloudy start after recent light rain. Bursts of rain at 11.20am, turning heavy at 12.30pm. Some more rain at midnight.
19th: Cloudy with brief sunny intervals before noon. Then cloudy.
20th: A Cloudy and breezy day. Feeling humid.
21st: Cloudy and breezy through the day though mild. Brief shower at 6pm while driving back from Broadstairs.
22nd: Sunny start though cloud increased during the day to fill in by 2.30pm. Showers, one moderate, from 6pm.
23rd: Sunny start but lots of cloud bubbled up. A lot of threatening cloud to west and east with funnel cloud spotted over Leighton Buzzard. https://twitter.com/Chxrlie_Mxrch/status/734818236211068930 Cleared overnight to leave cold night.
24th: Sunny start quickly clouded over by 11am, then just sunny intervals
25th: Cloudy and cool all day thanks to HP bringing drift off North Sea.
26th: Sunny start with sunny spells though the day
27th: Cloudy start though with sunny spells developing at lunchtime and a clearance around 1pm – 2pm. More convective cloud bubbled up however, to leave a humid evening. Rain developing at 7am.
28th: Cloudy, damp start though with a little brightness at 11am. Some sunny intervals in the afternoon though much cloud.
29th: Cloudy and cool start. Hazy sunny spells in early afternoon, though still much cloud around.
30th: Cloudy with just two sunny intervals that momentarily lifted the temperature. Rain started at 7.30am and was heavy at times up to obs time. Elderly man killed on crossing, possibly due to the bad weather
31st: Rain to start. Outbreaks lasted up until 1315z then stayed cloudy, damp and chilly into the evening and night.

 

April 2016: rather cold and thundery

April 2016 has seen more occurrences of thunder than we can expect during a typical July.

radar hail
About an inch of hail collected on borders in gardens in Plaistow during a thunderstorm on 29th. This stuck around for over an hour thanks to the low humidity

A persistent flow of unstable Polar maritime air, coupled together with strong sunshine, provided the perfect ingredients for some really beefy showers.

The mean temperature of 9C was 0.8C cooler than average, the coldest April for three years and in stark contrast to the previous two Aprils that were mild and very dry. Air frost, notable for its absence in the previous two Aprils, returned with four incidences where the temperature dipped below freezing

Apart from a dry slot in the third week rainfall was fairly steady: 52.5mm is 124% of average for this area. It was the wettest April for four years.

bracka20160415
A depression on 15th led to the wettest 24hrs of April

Sunshine was just below average. Over 153 hours were recorded, 96% of what we can expect to see during an average April.

The wettest day occurred on the 15th with 15.9mm, rain associated with a depression that ran along the Channel coast out into the North Sea, a system that heralded the colder pattern that defined the rest of the month.

Air frosts: 4, Ground frosts: 12

So what has May got in store weatherwise? The models on the 1st suggest that rather warmer weather will develop as we finally lose the northerly-sourced airflow and low pressure across the UK.

hail radar
The radar on 29th shows a thunderstorm right over Plaistow to the south of Wanstead

Low pressure to the NW will become influential with strong and milder WSW winds driving wind and rain bearing fronts east and SE across the UK late on Sunday and Monday. A bright and brisk NWly flow with sunshine and showers then looks likely to be replaced by a ridge of high pressure and drier weather. It will begin to feel quite warm in any sunshine across the south from midweek.

Beyond that the outlook is uncertain though it appears warmer, if changeable, conditions will prevail.

Beyond the grasp of the models my long range outlook method has conflicting signals. The highest probability is 32% for something rather cool. Average is 28% while rather mild comes in at 20% probability. Something cool comes in at 12%, while mild is 8% probability. Both cool and very mild have a probability of just 4%.

A wetter than average month looks most likely at 48% probability. Sunshine probably about average.

So to sum up: Mean: 12.8C (0.2C below average), rainfall 58mm, sunshine 179 hours.

My April outlook for temperature was good. I predicted a mean of 9.2C (outcome: 9C). Rainfall was also good: 57mm (outcome: 52.5mm). Sunshine also good: 149 hours (outcome: 153.9 hours).

Here follows the full weather diary for April. To view full stats follow this link:http://1drv.ms/1kiTuzv

1st: Sunny start though lots of haze around from late morning.
2nd: Sunny until 2pm before cloud then light rain spread in – this lasting into the evening.
3rd: Sunny start with hazy cumulus building through the day.
4th: Bright start though lots of cloud around. Some gin clear spells of sunshine.
5th: Sunny start though with variable cloud through the morning.
6th: Drizzly start, giving way to sunny spells and showers.
7th: Cloudy after recent light rain. Windy and cold. Some heavy showers mid to late afternooon with flash of lightning and thunder at 4pm and hail >5mm.
8th: Bright start though with much cloud around. Some brief sunny spells and v light showers.
9th: Cloudy, damp start after morning rain. This broke to sunny spells at 1pm ish. Cloudy again later but clearing at dusk to allow a frosty night.
10th: Sunny start but soon turned hazy with keen, cold SE wind building through the day.
11th: Cloudy start but brief brightness early afternoon. Rain at 2.15pm – this lasted until 5pm. More rain in the early hours, heaviest just before 5am.
12th: Bright start though hazy with lots of cirruo stratus. Clear and cold overnight.
13th Glorious sunny start and warm in the sunshine. Some patchy cloud at times. More cloud bubbled up late afternoon with a shower at 8pm and midnight. Clear and cold overnight.
14th: Sunny start though with much more cloud at times to 2pm. Showery rain in the evening lasted through the night.
15th: Cloudy with rain at 9.45am until 10.15 then turned a bit brighter before cloudy again at 11.45am. Rain set in at 12.30pm with thunder at 1.07pm then rain on and off into the evening. Clearing overnight and cold.
16th: Cloudy and cold start. Stayed cloudy all day with brief light rain shower. Cold and frosty overnight.
17th: Sunny, gin clear start with cloud gradually bubbling up. Sunny periods throughout the day.
18th: Sunny start with cumulus bubbling up.
19th: Mostly sunny start but then turned very cloudy. This cloud cleared just before noon.
20th: Sunny, clear start with just a few cirrocumulus drifting around during the day. Cold wind.
21st: Bright start but much cloud around. Some spells of hazy sun through the afternoon.
22nd: Cloudy, cold feeling start. Rain by 5pm, this heavier than expected. Next day dawned clear but cloud soon bubbled up.
23rd: Sunny start, cloud bubbled up with a shower at 12.25pm, clearing by 1pm. Early rain on 24th before obs time.
24th: Bright start, cloud bubbled up with light shower at midnight.
25th: Cloudy, cold start with lots of Arctic cumulus. Showers soon arrived that were mostly sharp but brief and heavier in the east. These cleared to leave a cold, breezy night.
26th: Sunny start but cloud quickly bubbled up. Some heavy showers of soft hail with odd snow flake. Thunder at 2.45pm.
27th: Sunny start though cloud quickly started building with snow and soft hail at 12.30pm. Further showers at 1712 and 2330. Clear, cold and frosty overnight.
28th: Sunny and mostly clear up until  12 noon.
29th: Sunny start though cloud quickly bubbled up. Some very heavy hail in Plaistow with an accumulation of one inch – this hung around for a while due to the low dew point and low humidity – less in Wanstead. Thunder and lightning too.
30th: Sunny, clear start though cloud began to bubble up. Felt cold in the wind as it became overcast last afternoon. Cleared overnight to give frost.

bluebells
Another superb display of bluebells burst into life in Chalet Wood, Wanstead Park, this month