Category Archives: Monthly Review

March 2016: cool and wet

With the meteorological winter over the first month of spring saw the weather return to its modern type: cooler than average just when most people are looking for warmth.

squalllengthofuk
The squall of March 26th ran the length of England

The mean temperature of 6.7C was 1C cooler than average, the coldest March for three years and the first month more than 1C below average since last September.

The wet end to the month tipped the rainfall statistic well above average: 60.3mm is 148% of average for this area. It was the wettest March for eight years, notable because of a 14-day dry spell during the middle part of the month.

Sunshine was just above average. Over 116 hours were recorded, 107% of what we can expect to see during an average March.

The wettest day occurred on the 27th with 14.4mm, rain associated with blustery weather fronts from Storm Katie.

Air frosts: 7, Ground frosts: 14

So what has April got in store weatherwise? April is often a month when we can see huge swings in the weather from day to day as the natural warming of the atmosphere competes with the decaying coldness of northern latitudes.

squallonsynop
The squall of March 26th ran the length of England

This often results in big showers and vast temperature differences not only day to day but between night and day too. All of the above is going to be on offer over the coming few weeks if the model output on the 1st is correct. A warmer phase will begin the month as winds switch southerly, drawing warmth from Spain. However, with low pressure close big showers and outbreaks of rain should be expected. Then as the low switches to the NE of the UK the door opens next week for colder NW winds with further rain or showers and chillier air. A lot of output strengthens this northern sourced air through the second week and with low pressure never looking likely to be far from the UK we will be looking at lots of showers and spells of rain.

Beyond the grasp of the models my long range outlook method suggests the April mean will be average or just below at 60% probability. Rather cold comes in at 20% while cold has a probability of 20%. There appears no chance of something mild.

squall26032016
The squall of March 26th ran the length of England

A wetter than average month looks most likely at 40% probability. Sunshine probably about average.

So to sum up: Mean: 9.2C, rainfall 57mm, sunshine 149 hours.

My March outlook for temperature was good. I predicted a mean of 5.9C (outcome: 6.7C). Rainfall was way off: 31.6mm (outcome: 60.3mm). Sunshine also out: 68 hours(outcome: 116 hours).

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

1st: Drizzly start turned to steady rain at 10am – this lasting past lunchtime but drying up to leave a cloudy afternoon. Very sharp squall blew threw at 2am with brief intense rainfall.
2nd: Bright start but soon turned very blustery and showery. Brighter after 3pm but cold as dew point fell away.
3rd: Sunny, cold start. Cloud bubbling up late morning.
4th: Sunny, gin clear start. Cloud bubbled up through the day. Clearing in the evening to leave a very cold early hours. Light rain moving in at obs time.
5th: Cloudy start with small area of rain around 10pm. Brief brightness at noon before more light rain moved in. Clearance again at 3.30pm. Small hail <5mm at 5pm. Clear spells overnight.

squallfall6c
The squall of March 26th ran the length of England

6th: Sunny, cold start. Coud bubbling up late morning.
7th: Sunny, cold start with light winds. Variable cloud but feeling cold, especially so overnight.
8th: Cloudy, calm and cold start.
9th: Very light drizzle am before briefly brightening up. Heavier rain pushed in between noon and 2pm. More rain at intermittent periods into the evening.
10th: Cloudy until 2pm. Cleared at dusk to leave a frosty, cold night with thick fog patches on Centre Road.
11th: Sunny start with early mist clearing. Variable cloud through the day. Clear spells up to midnight but then tending to cloud over.
12th: Cloudy start tending to brighten up though sunshine remained mostly wintry.
13th: Cloudy start quickly cleared to leave sunny morning. Pleasant until a keen N’ly wind set in.
14th: Bright start with cloud quickly breaking, cold wind.
15th: Cloudy and dull start. Mostly cloudy through the day.
16th: Bright start but cloud filling in by 10am. Mostly cloudy all day
17th: Sunny and clear until 11am – patchy cirrus thereafter.
18th: Cloudy, cool start – the cloud lasting past 12 noon.
19th: Cloudy start – very brief drizzle. Brief brightness just before 10am then cloudy.
20th: Cloudy start brief sunshine at 10am-ish before cloud spilled across. Another clearance at 11am before cloud returned for afternoon.
21st: Cloudy until brief sunny spells at 10.30am. Much milder for a time before a mostly cloudy afternoon.
22nd: Mostly sunny all day with just a few cumulus.
23rd: Cloudy all day
24th: Cloudy, chilly start. Rain spread in by 1pm and turned heavier in the evening, clearing around 3am to showers. Sunny dawn.
25th: Sunny start with just patchy cumulus
26th: Cloudy with intermittent light drizzle. Very heavy squall at 6pm brought 5C fall in temperature.
27th: Sunny start but with some very dark clouds around. Squally winds and showers thereafter at 11.30 and 2.30pm.
28th: Cloud and rain to start and very windy due to Storm Katie, becoming fine by mid afternoon though heavy showers moved in.
29th: Bright start with cumulus dotting the sky. Cloud thickened up during the day with heavy showers in the evening.
30th: Sunny start with fair weather cumulus doting sky – this lasting all day.
31st Sunny, misty start

 

 

 

 

 

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February 2016: average contrast

Though it was devoid of snowfall February 2016 was average for temperature and sunshine and on the dry side.

broadstairs
On the 15th cold northerly winds brought sharp showers to the coast. A big swell was seen at Broadstairs allowing for some good surfing conditions

Some sharp frosts made for a couple of stunningly sunny days, “ski resort weather” the kind of days that were absent during the first half of winter after the super mild December.

Rainfall of 35.1mm was 90% of average – the driest February for three years. Mean temperature for the month was 5.4C, 0.1C above the 1981-2010 mean.

Sunshine was just above average. Over 79 hours were recorded, 108% of what we can expect to see during an average February.

The wettest day occurred on the 7th with 11.6mm.

Air frosts: 10

Ground frosts: 16

low
A rare Channel low but conditions weren’t cold enough for snow

So what has March got in store weatherwise? The late winter synoptic pattern could see the first snowfall above 1cm over the coming days and next week though amounts are likely to be small and temporary and restricted to night hours.

The pattern bringing this messy wintry mix is low pressure moving SE across the UK between now and the weekend each band bringing progressively colder air across the UK. Much of the precipitation will be showery although Friday looks more interesting as a secondary moving south brings cold N or NE winds. Models suggest next week will see high pressure from the west displacing this cold N. The timescale is very uncertain and it may be toward the second half of next week before the general theme of dry and settled conditions prevail. Frosts at night remain likely and daytime temperatures remain close to or a little below normal.

Overall the first half of March does not look like it will offer much in the way of spring weather.

My long range forecasting method suggests the most likely scenarios to be rather cold or cold, though both are only at 33% probability. Something average or below works out at 83% probability. The only mild indicator is for something rather mild at 16% probability.

squall
On the 15th cold northerly winds brought sharp showers to the coast. A big swell was seen at Broadstairs allowing for some good surfing conditions

A dryer than average month looks most likely at 66% probability. Something wetter than average works out at 34% probability.

Very dull conditions look most likely at 83% probability.

So to sum up: Mean: 5.9C, rainfall 31.6mm, sunshine 68 hours.

Taking all of the above into account perhaps the most likely scenario will be that the month will be predominantly anticyclonic with lots of gloom during the day and night frosts, varying in intensity.

So to sum up: Mean: 5.9C, rainfall 32mm, sunshine 67 hours.

My February outlook for temperature was good. I predicted a mean of 5.9C (outcome: 5.4C) with 31.6mm of rain (outcome: 35.1mm). Sunshine 68 hours (outcome: 79.5hrs)

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

1st: Cloudy, breezy start. Sunshine PM with nacreous clouds reported on east coast. Cold in a brisk wind.
2nd Cloud gave way to sunny spells around 11am – then feeling cold in a brisk wind.
3rd Cloudy and cold start then mostly cloudy with a cold wind.
4th Bright though mostly cloudy start. Cloudy through the day with odd spot of drizzle through the night. Area of very light rain gave about 0.1mm before 9am.
5th Cloudy with light drizzle up to 11am then briefly bright before more drizzle arrived.
6th Cloudy to start with odd burst of drizzle. Very windy and feeling chilly in wind. Rain arriving after 8pm.
7th Sunny start though cloud bubbling up after 11am and feeling cold in wind as dew point fell away. A very heavy, violent squall swept through at 2245z then blustery through the night.
8th Sunny start quickly gave way to squally showers which were mostly light. Strong winds into the afternoon with squally but light showers. Chilly overnight.
9th Cloudy and cold start, briefly clearing before noon before clouding over again.
10th Cloudy start though with some weak brightness lunchtime.
11th Mostly sunny all day and calm – warmth of the sun can now be felt. Just a few cirrocumulus. Stunning.
12th Bright start but cloud thickening. Day felt cold though as DP fell away.
13th Cloudy start with drizzle at obs time. Cold wind through to lunchtime and intermittent drizzle.
14th Bright, cold start with cloud increasing through the morning.
15th Bright, cold start with lots of wispy cirro-cumulus around. .
16th Stunningly sunny and frosty start. Just patchy cirrus through the day.
17th Cloudy through the day until 5.30pm when drizzle then rain set in.
18th Initially cloudy but then quickly brightened up. Sunny spells through the afternoon.
19th Sunny, clear and frosty start. Cloud began to build mid morning becoming overcast by noon. Light rain spread in about 4pm. Milder.
20th Bright start but cloud and wind quickly built. Light at times moderate rain fell through the afternoon – a thoroughly miserable day.
21st Dull, dry day up to 1pm. Very mild. Staying cloudy overnight with rain arriving at 5am, most falling until 7.30am.
22rd Drizzly start turned to a dull, overcast day
23th Cloudy with clearance at 11.30am. More cloud appeared to leave sunny spells. Much advection but cleared to leave frosty night.
24th Sunny, clear and frosty start. Lots of sunshine but quickly turned cold after dark with early frost. Cloud then wind lifted temperature though.
25th Bright start but quickly clouded over to become cold. Clearance in evening allowed temperature to fall quickly but cloud moved in and breeze picked up to prevent a sharp fall.
26th Cloudy, cold start. Brightening up to sunny spells by 1pm. Too much cloud overnight for a frost.
27th Bright start but became cloudy through the day with a cold easterly wind.
28th Cloudy start but some brightness around noon
29th Cloudy start but soon brightened up with long sunny spells before clouding in again early afternoon.

January 2016: average and wet

The coldest night in three years was recorded last month together with the first lying snow in January since 2013 – though you had to be up early on Sunday 17th to see it.

epping snow
Snowfall on the 17th was just over 1cm deep at High Beech. In Wanstead it was just a thin covering that was gone by midday

For anyone looking for ‘traditional’ winter weather it was pretty desperate stuff and seems a continuation of the mild winters of the past three years.

Apart from a mild final week much of the month was rather cold with a couple of sharp night frosts that affected many early daffodils that bloomed during the super mild December.

Rainfall of 65.8mm was 124% of average – very similar to last January’s total. Mean temperature for the month was 5.8C, 0.6C above the 1981-2010 mean. It felt far cooler, however, because the December mean was 5C above average.

high beechSunshine was just above average. Over 54 hours were recorded, 108% of what we can expect to see during an average January.

The wettest day occurred on the 10th with 11.6mm.

Air frosts: 6

Ground frosts: 18

So what has February got in store weatherwise? There is no sign of any longer term changes in the pattern of synoptics across the UK. All models continue to suggest a very volatile jet stream with resultant low pressure close to or across the UK for much of the first half of February.

new street
The snow on the 17th fell during the early hours of the morning

This week westerly winds will remain strong with severe gales in the north in association with Storm Henry over the next 36 hours. The current mild and damp conditions in the south should be replaced with colder, showery air moving south later on Monday, lasting into Wednesday. On Thursday another large warm sector will move up across the UK from the SW returning mild and damp conditions.

At the weekend all models show low pressure areas taking a much more southerly route across the UK with gales and wet weather. While no cold weather looks likely there may be incidences of very heavy and thundery showers. Only GFS on Monday is showing any hint of more settled, colder weather at the end of the period.

Using my long range method February is looking average, very dry and dull.

A mean of about 5.9C, just over average, is the highest probability at 71%. Something ‘rather mild’ comes in at 29% probability.

Rainfall is looking low: 15mm represents something 38% of average.

Sunshine totals will be low and it could be a dull month, around 60 hours of sunshine, that’s just 82% of average.

My January outlook for temperature good. I predicted a mean of 5.2C (outcome: 5.8C) with 59mm of rain (outcome: 65.8mm).

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

 

1st: Bright after sunny, clear dawn before clouding over with light rain. Rain at midnight.
2nd: Cloudy start after early overnight rain. Rainy spells and blustery throughout the day.
3rd: Drizzle to start then damp before more rain moved in at 11.30am – this fell intermittently through the day and evening and was often heavy.
4th: Bright, damp start after overnight rain. Some light outbreaks up to 2pm.
5th: Sunny, clear and cold start with contrails dotting the sky. Clouding over later with rain after 6pm. Misty around midnight.
6th: Bright, very damp start. Mostly cloudy with rain in the evening and overnight.
7th: Dull start with outbreaks of rain spreading in, some heavy and very blustery. Drying up after lunchtime though feeling cold. Cool overnight with frost on cars with a very brief shower on school run.
8th: Bright start though light showers around. Gradually clouding over. Clearer spells overnight and cool.
9th: Bright start though with plenty of cloud around. Showers, some heavy with small hail at 8.30pm. Clear spells overnight.
10th: Bright start after overnight rain. Cloud gradually decreasing to leave it clear at noon. Cloud returned after dusk and thickened up around 9pm. Heavy rain from midnight.
11th: Cloudy, damp and cold start. Some breaks after noon then clear spells overnight and cold.
12th: Sunny, cold start. Clouding over at midday to leave cold-feeling afternoon and overnight – too much wind for a frost.
13th: Bright, cold start but turning mostly cloudy. Rain in the evening and on ride home.
14th: Rainy. cold start, then cloudy with sunny intervals. Cold air digging in from midday.
15th: Sunny all day with just a few cirrus. Took a while for frost to form properly.
16th: Sunny, frosty start with just a few cirrus. Variable cloud and evening in London felt freezing. Some drizzle, this turned heavier and by 4am thick flakes were falling to give a thin covering. Some 1cm at High Beach during a bike ride.
17th: Cloudy start. Thin covering of snow (<1cm) thawed by lunchtime. Cloud built into afternoon to leave chilly evening.
18th: Bright start but sunshine was weak so felt cold. Mostly clear into the evening allowed for an early frost. A classic radiative cooling night until the early hours, assisted by a very gentle low-level flow off the continent where there were some very low dew points. Between 2am and 6am there was some thin, high-level cloud that drifted across, which stopped the radiative cooling. Warmth from the ground then briefly lifted the temperature until, once more the cloud cleared after 6am and allowed the temperature to fall again to its minimum of -5C at 0809z. There was also a little mixing of the layers of air between 2 and 6 which would also have had a cooling effect. Had it not been for the cloud I’d suggest that the low could have fallen to -6.2C, which would have been the coldest since February 2012 when it fell to -9.2C over full snow cover.
19th: Sunny all day with occasional alto-cumulus drifting across. Another cold night, the coldest in 3 years.
20th: Bright start with lots of scattered cumulus. Sunnier early afternoon and less cold. Another frost quickly forming after dark.
21st: Frost lifting quickly then cloudy with limited brightness throughout the day.
22nd: Cloudy start with rain arriving at 9.05am. Bursts through the day until early afternoon. Some brief brightness in the late afternoon.
23rd: Sunny, cool start. Clouding over with rain in the evening. Very mild.
24th: Cloudy start after overnight rain. Mostly cloudy with odd spot of drizzle though bright.
25th: Sunny, clear start though cloud bubbled up at 11am to leave mostly cloudy afternoon. Clear spells overnight and chilly.
26th: Cloudy and increasingly gusty up to midday. Some rain in the evening.
27th: Cloudy, blustery start.
28th: Sunny all day with just a few clouds around noon.
29th: Cloudy and breezy with some drizzle in the wind early afternoon. Report of 101mph gust on Shetland from Storm Gertrude. Wind seemed to strengthen at midnight before rain arrived.
30th: Cloudy and damp start after overnight rain. Sky soon cleared to leave mostly sunny afternoon.
31st: Drizzle in morning as warm front moved in.

December 2015: Exceptionally mild

December 2015 was a ridiculously warm month, the mildest on record in my local series going back to 1797.Top 10 warmest Dec means

The mean temperature of 10.9C is 5.3C above the average for the first winter month and breaks the previous record set in 1974 by an increadible 2.2C.

Indeed the month was warmer than what was a very mild November and was air frost free.

sahara
A persistent flow of air from the Azores was responsible for the unseasonal warmth

Sunshine was below average: 34.6hrs (86% of average) was the lowest total recorded since 2010, another December that was as exceptionally cold as this month was mild.

Rainfall was more run-of-the-mill: 44mm fell during the month: that’s 83% of average.

The warmest day occurred on the 19th with 16.3C recorded, the second warmest December day in my daily record going back to 1959 – the record fell short by just 0.1C.

warmest xmas daysOther daily records were broken including for daily mean temperature: 14.3C on Boxing Day smashed the previous record set on December 4th 1985 by 0.4C. This day also saw the highest daily minimum for December recorded: 13.5C. It was also the warmest Christmas Day on record in a series going back beyond 1852.

decrainThe lowest temperature occurred on the 8th when the mercury fell to 2.4C.

The wettest day was on the 3oth when 5.9mm of rain fell. There were only three completely dry days during the month. Thanks to the synoptic situation this area thankfully escaped the awful flooding which affected the north of England and Scotland.

december mean 1797-2015
There is quite a marked upward trend in the December mean since 1797

What has January got in store weatherwise? The models today (January 1st) suggest that low pressure will continue to pile into the UK from the west on quite southerly latitudes over the next week with some colder air infiltrating into the east and north of the UK from Europe with rain at times for our area. From that point on most output suggests largely unsettled weather continuing until the end of the two week period though there is a hint that high pressure may try to edge up from the SW or west later with less wind and rain but still mild.

Because of the exceptionally mild December there are virtually no figures I can work with to try to estimate January – but I’ll have a crack anyway, using figures that were at least 1C above the 1981-2010 December average.

A mean of about 5.2C with 59mm of rain, both around average. The highest probability is for average temps at 33% probability. Interestingly something ‘very cold’ comes in at the same probability. Rather mild and rather cold come in at 16% probability. I emphasise that even at such low probability my confidence is even lower.

My December outlook for temperature was way off – there was no chance shown of anything ‘very mild’.

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

1st: A few spots of rain after deluge overnight then cloudy.
2nd: Cloudy to start, some sun mid morning before it clouded over with two spots of rain. Mild overnight.
3rd: Cloudy start with little brightness all day. Rain moving in at 7.15pm and intermittent into the evening, clearing later with temp falling from midnight.
4th: Sunny, clear start, tending to cloud over at 11am with limited brightness.
5th Cloudy and windy all day – the wind peaking at 9pm but remaining fresh through the night.
6th: Cloudy and dull most of the day.
7th: Cloudy start with some light drizzle mid morning.
8th: Dull, drizzly start with steadier bursts. Heavy rain as front cleared through at 2pm. Evening and overnight much colder than of late.
9th: Sunny start, clouded over afternoon.
10th Cloudy start and through the day. Rain spreading in in the evening, clearing by midnight.
11th: Cloudy through the day until 2pm when a narrow band of rain passed through then dry and feeling cooler.
12th: Cloudy start with some drizzle around 10am.
13th: Cloudy and drizzly to start then just cloudy.
14th: Cloudy start with some brightness at noon. Cloudy into the afternoon with some drizzle overnight.
15th: Cloudy and dull. Rain later in the evening.
16th: Cloudy with two sunny intervals then cloudy with odd drizzle.
17th: Cloudy with odd brightness then rain at 5pm.
18th: Cloudy all day.
19th: Bright and breezy start.
20th: Dull start with heavy rain at 3.40pm. Then cloudy but clear by morning.
21st: Sunny start but quickly clouded over with rain.
22nd: Dull start with patchy drizzle up to 11.30am. More rain later with squall at 8pm.
23rd: Sunny start with cloud moving in then sunny spells.
24th: Sunny start quickly turned cloudy with heavy rain around noon, clearing to sunny spells.
25th: Cloudy start with light rain spreading in at 10.10am. Cloudy rest of afternoon with temperature climbing through the day for record warm Christmas day. Temp didn’t fall below 14C all night.
26th: Cloudy and warm all day. Temp fell to just 13.9C though the day then rose again to give the warmest December night on record, and also warmest December mean.
27th: Dull with brief burst of drizzle early then breezy and very mild. Clearer overnight and cooler than of late. Sunny start with pink clouds am.
28th: Sunny start with just a few cirrus. Mostly sunny through the day.
29th: Sunny start with brief heavy shower at 10.05am. Then sunny intervals.
30th Cloudy and breezy to start. Rain spreading in in the evening, stopping around midnight
31st: Sunny and clear to start but with cloud bubbling up from late morning. Brief rain after dark then dry and turning colder. Frost in early hours of 1st

November 2015: Very mild and dull

The final month of autumn was most notable for its warmth and lack of sunshine.

14112015 rain
Rainy days were common through November. This system brought 5.6mm 

The November mean was 10.5C, the third warmest on record back to 1797. Only 2011 and 1994 were warmer.

Just 31.7 hours of sunshine were recorded in this area: 54% of average, the dullest November for 47 years, and 9th dullest in the series going back to 1881

Rainfall was more run-of-the-mill: 64.3mm fell during the month: that’s 109% of average.

The warmest day occurred on the 6th with 17.2C recorded. The first air frosts of autumn were recorded. The lowest temperature occurred on the 21st when the mercury fell to -4.1C.

The wettest day was on the 3rd when 7.5mm of rain fell. There were only three completely dry days during the month – a real problem for anyone who works outside.

photo (8)
The beginning of the month was foggy

The sunniest days were on 21st and 22nd when four hours of sunshine were recorded.

What has December got in store weatherwise? The models today (December 1st) suggest the beginning of winter will be held at bay with most model output keeping the Atlantic in control of the weather – persistent high pressure to the SW, south and SE and a strong jet stream funneled between this high pressure zone and low pressure to the north and NW.

Winds throughout the first 15 days will be blowing from between SW and NW.

Because of the exceptionally mild November I wonder how accurate my long range method will be in estimating December – but in the interests of consistency I’ll have a crack anyway.

A mean of about 5.1C with 70mm of rain, on the wetter side of average and with average to slightly below sunshine. The highest probability is for rather cold at 50% probability. Average 25% and rather mild, suggested in my winter forecast, comes in at 25% probability.

My November outlook for temperature was way off. I predicted a mean of about 9C, rather mild, but the result was 10.5C, very mild. This chance showed at just 6% probability.

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

1st Foggy start, lifted to brief sunny spells early afternoon before mist thickened up again and saw Wanstead Flats’ fireworks cancelled
2nd Foggy start. This cleared earlier than yesterday but sunshine was weak
3rd Cloudy start though turned brighter at 10.30am. Spots of rain at 5.30pm then cloud and mild. Rain at first light
4th Rain to start then briefly brighter
5th Cloudy then rain from 2.30pm to 5.30pm. Mild and damp overnight
6th Short burst of rain at 9am then more at 9.45am. Further short bursts of rain but then mostly cloudy
7th Light rain to start, this grew heavier through the morning with quite gusty winds – the first of the autumn. Heavier showers earlier afternoon before the rain cleared at dusk
8th Cloudy with only brief brightness. A light shower in the evening
9th Cloudy through most of the day and very breezy. F6 at Walkie Talkie
10th Cloudy to start and very breezy. Spots of rain at 2pm
11th Cloudy through the day and breezy
12th Sunny start though cloud tended to fill in as breeze picked up from ‘Abigail’
13th Sunny start , gradually clouding over with some sharp gusty showers and a heavy one at 2pm
14th Light rain, becoming heavier though turning patchy around noon. Heavier again at 2pm. Petering out in the evening
15th Bright blustery start, the wind continuing through the day
16th Cloudy start with some initial brightness, then cloudy. Rain when we turned up at 8.45, heaviest at 10.45pm
17th Cloudy up until 1pm when it started to rain. Breeze began to pick up with gusty evening – 33.6mph was strongest gust since St Jude storm – wind moderated after 10pm but remained breezy
18th Sunny, bright start though gradually clouded over as breeze picked up. Some squally showers around, mostly south of the river with rain lashing off side of buildings
19th Cloudy start with light rain spreading in at 10am. Outbreaks of light rain until lunchtime then a heavier shower at 3pm. Then overcast and cooler
20th Cloudy start – this cleared just before 1pm to give sunny spells. NW’ly set in through the day with ever cooling air. Sleet falling at 7am
21st Cloudy with heavy burst of sleety rain at obs time. Sky quickly broke to sunny spells but a very cold wind. A cold night
22nd Sunny and sub zero to start after heavy overnight frost. Sunny spells through the day, the frost returning at 2.50am
23rd Sunny, frosty start with some alto cumulus. Cloud grew thicker with rain before midnight that was light through the early hours
24th Cloudy start but with light rain spreading in from 11.30am then stopping and staying cloudy.  More rain overnight
25th Light rain to start, stopping at 9.40am then cloudy. Temp dropped through the day with sunny spells
26th Sunny start then turned more cloudy at 11am
27th Cloudy start. Some warm sunshine late morning then turned cloudier with strong gusty squall at 7.30pm. Clear spells overnight that led to ground frost
28th Sunny start, clouding over at 10.30am before light rain spread at 2pm and then gusty winds after dark
29th Cloudy and breezy most of the day thanks to Clodagh
30th Cloudy and breezy with occassonal drizzle

October 2015: average temps and rather dry

This October was the coolest since 2012 though the mean of 11.7C is just 0.1C below average – nearly 2C colder than the same month last year.

The last week of the month saw the leaves turning in earnest. The horse chestnuts, such as this one in Wanstead Park however, turned much earlier because of the leaf miner pest
The last week of the month saw the leaves turning in earnest. The horse chestnuts, such as this one in Wanstead Park however, turned much earlier because of the leaf miner pest

A persistent anticylone around mid-month pumped quite cool air from the north-east for a time, prompting some cold nights. Though we have yet to experience an air frost this autumn the ground temperature fell below freezing on five nights – that’s five occasions more than last year: -2C was recorded during the early hours of the 8th.

The month was rather dry: some 46.8mm of rain fell which is 70% of what we can expect in an average October. The wettest day was the 27th when 19.4mm fell. The heavy rain in the early hours of the 28th was quickly replaced by sunshine and a stunning day followed.

Just over 91 hours of sunshine were recorded – that’s 86% of what we can normally expect in an average October.

What has November got in store weatherwise? The models today (November 1st) suggest this week will see a gradual decline in conditions overall as the ridge from Europe weakens and weak Low pressure edges up from the south and SW. Thereafter it looks like winds will settle SW’ly as high pressure relocates to the south of the UK, bringing this area mild temperatures and mostly dry and bright conditions – though a little rain will be possible at times. Overall the models continue to have little appetite to serve us up anything remotely cold and stormy.

My long range outlook method suggests that November will be average to rather mild temperature-wise, a mean of about 8.9C, at 56% probability. The next highest probabilities are for rather cold or cold, at 18% probability. The chance of a very mild month comes out at just 6% probability.

The highest probability for rainfall is 69% for something average to rather dry, between 37mm and 59mm. A wet November comes in at 20% probability.

My data for sunshine only stretches back to 1878. The signal is for something average, at 60% probability.

Looking beyond November it is notable that October 2015 was very similar to October 1997 – the year another strong El Nino occurred. A very mild winter unfolded from 1997-98, though I’m sceptical about how much influence ENSO has on our part of the world.

With the sun lower in the sky at this time of year there's often a great opportunity for a decent sunset
With the sun lower in the sky at this time of year there’s often a great opportunity for a decent sunset

My October outlook for temperature was good in that I estimated that there was a 44% chance of the mean being average. My rain estimation was way out in that a signal for a rather dry October was only a 22% probability – though bearing in mind that the probability for a wet October was only 33% it is not surprising the outcome was wrong.

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

1st Sunny with just a few wispy clouds. Heavy overnight dew.
2nd Sunny and clear all day and evening. Mist thickened overnight with fog elsewhere in the UK.
3rd Misty start and cloudy till midday. Evenutally cleared to leave sunny spells. Cooler than yesterday.
4th Sunny start but with a few cumulus developing during the day. Clouding over during the night with few drops of rain from high-level feature before obs time.
5th Cloudy start with rain spreading in after midday, this being steady on and off into evening before turning to drizzle late evening and lasting into early hours. Another outbreak of rain at 9.30am to obs time.

There were five ground frosts during the month of October
There were five ground frosts during the month of October

6th Rain to start, some of it heavy. Drying up a bit at 11.30am. More rain in the evening and overnight into the early hours. Rain again at 9.20 until obs time.
7th Cloudy start but with rain moving in again. This rain dried up a bit at 11am but then more rain at 2.30pm before petering out and clearing overnight to leave it cold.
8th Sunny, clear start with just a few cirrus. More cloud at noon and through the day. Cleared at dusk to give a cold night and heavy dew.
9th Sunny start but cloud bubbled up from noon to give cloudier periods.
10th Bright start though stayed mostly cloudy and cool. Milder overnight than of late.
11th Sunny start with a bit more of a breeze. Some alto-cumulus late on made for a stunning sunset. Cloud overnight held up temperature.
12th Cloudy start, some brightness at 11am.
13th Cloudy, cold start with cloud off North Sea making it feel colder. Cloud was very thick at 3pm with drops of drizzle.
14th Clearer periods overnight saw temperature fall sharply but too much wind for frost.
15th Sunny with just a few cumulus – very cold wind though. Cloud thick enough at times for brief showers through day. Quite overcast at night
16th Cloudy start though with some brightness. Strong easterly breeze.
17th Cloudy though warmer than past week. Felt a bit muggy.
18th Cloudy and breezy start, cloud persisting through the day.
19th Bright start and was more glimpses of sunshine than past few days. However, cloud returned with a vengeance last afternoon – felt like it was getting dark at 5pm.
20th Cloudy all day. Clearer overnight.
21st Cloudy start. This turn to long sunny spells and a pleasant afternoon.
22nd Rain to start which fell until 2.30pm. Then outbreaks of rain into the afternoon. Cloudy and damp overnight.
23rd Bright start though mostly cloudy through the day.
24th Cloudy all day. Feeling colder.
25th Cloudy start with light rain around 10.40am then intermittent. Very heavy burst of rain after dark before the skies cleared to leave a cold night.
26th Bright start with cloud breaking to long sunny spells – pleasant in the sun. Temp fell away quickly at dusk. Precip was dew accumulation.
27th Sunny start. Some cloud developed through the day but then largely melted away to leave a warm late afternoon.
28th Cloudy start. This broke to sunny spells into the afternoon in Rye. Light rain seen in Rye at 8pm – this turned heavier into the evening but most fell at dawn.
29th Bright start but quickly clouding over with rain in the evening and overnight.
30th Light rain and drizzle to start then cloudy all day and overnight.
31st Bright start, the cloud gradually clearing to leave a warm afternoon.

September 2015: cool and rather dry

This September was the coolest since 1993. The average mean of 13.4C is 2C below average – a surprising statistic given that the month ended with many bright and sunny days with respectable temperatures. But, with the wind in the east, caused by an anticyclone anchored to the north of us at the end of the month, the air was dry and allowed temperatures to fall smartly away after dark. The average minimum temperature was just under 8.8C, 2.3C below average and the coldest since 1986.  convection

The month was rather dry: some 42mm of rain fell which is 81% of what we can expect in an average September. The wettest day was the 16th when 17.6mm fell.

Just over 140 hours of sunshine were recorded – that’s ‘on the nose’ of the monthly average and 20 hours more than was recorded during the very dull August.

What has October got in store weatherwise? The models today (October 1st) suggest an end to the fine and sunny weather as high pressure declines and is replaced by a trough moving up from the southwest on Monday. Less clear is how the weather evolves from then with the majority of models showing this feature opening the door to a lengthy period of SSW winds and possible rain at times. However, the rain would become more restricted to our northwest as pressure builds from the continent. So a return to something more autumnal looks likely though temperatures will remain on the mild side, especially at night.

This chart shows the low pressure system that brought September wettest day for this area
This chart shows the low pressure system that brought September wettest day for this area

My long range outlook method suggests that October will be average temperature will be average temperature-wise, a mean of about 11.8C, at 44% probability. The next highest probabilities are for something cool, at 22% probability. Something rather cool or very cool comes out at 11%. There appears no chance for a mild month.

The highest probability for rainfall is 33% for something rather wet: between 84mm and 100mm. The next highest probabilities is for an average, rather dry and dry October at 22%.

My data for sunshine only stretches back to 1878. The signal is inconsistent so I would guess sunshine will be average.

My September outlook for sunshine was good in that I estimated that there was a 60% chance of average sunshine. Less good was the finding that there was only a 23% chance of a dry September – the highest probability was for something average. And my temperature estimation put the probability of a rather cool September at only 14%. So, all in all, not great.

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

1st Cloudy start though with some brightness. Small shower mid afternoon which was the edge of large storm that affected Essex.
2nd Sunny bright start though with lots of cloud from noon. Lots of convection.
3rd Cool, cloudy start. Some brightness but feeling cool in the wind. A few spots of rain.
4th Bright start with some sunshine tempered by the breeze. Mostly cloudy all day.
5th Light rain to start with brighter spells. Problem of being on the edge of high pressure. A sunny afternoon.
6th Sunny start with just a few clouds during the day.
7th Sunny start but cloud gradually increased during the day.
8th Cloudy start, overnight ‘rain’ was dew. Mostly cloudy all day. Warm overnight.
9th Cloudy start but a few holes appearing as the day wore on and sunshine at 1330.
10th Sunny start though with cloud bubbling up sunny spells followed. Clear with heavy dew overnight.
11th Sunny start with wispy cirrus – more cloud bubbling up during the day.
12th Cloudy start over overnight rain. This breaking up toward late morning to leave a sunny spells afternoon.
13th Cloudy start – this breaking up toward noon to leave bright afternoon. Some rain overnight.
14th Cloudy start, rain arrived soon after 10am and lasted over an hour. Then bright spells and more showers through the day and into the evening and overnight.
15th Cloudy start with heavy shower moving in at 12.30pm. Showers cleared through to leave cloudy early evening.
16th Cloudy start with rain spreading in at 12.30pm. Some heavy bursts through the day. Rain all the way in to work and torrential rain coming back from school at 5.30pm. Bursts through the evening and light drizzle was falling on way home at 1am, tending to peter out.
17th Sunny start tending to cloud in more.
18th Bright but cloudy start with clouds bubbling up. A heavy shower by 1pm.
19th Sunny all day with odd cloud. Warm in sun.
20th Sunny all day, any cloud decreased.
21st Spots of rain just before obs time. A mostly cloudy day. Heavy, showery rain between 5.30am and 7.30am.
22nd A cloudy, chilly day with rain after noon.
23rd Sunny, gin clear start. Clouding over by 2pm with rain at 1am.
24th Bright start after rain overnight. Sunny spells developing – a late shower at 1534. Dry and clear overnight.
25th Sunny start though with cloud bubbling up the sun disappeared at times. Cold overnight with a heavy dew.
26th Sunny and clear to start, though with cloudier periods through the day.
27th Sunny clear start with a few clouds bubbling up through the day. Mostly clear for lunar eclipse totality at 3.11am.
28th Sunny start with long clear periods during the day.
29th Mostly sunny with just some cirrus.
30th Sunny start with just a few cirrus. Stronger breeze than yesterday.

August 2015: average, wet and very dull

This August was the third dullest since 1881. I’ve seen mentioned recently that August used to be regarded as an autumn month. For the past couple of years the final ‘summer’ month has been very disappointing for anyone looking for fine weather – much more akin to September or even October.

A storm in south London gave this eerie light seen at Southwark Bridge on the 5th
A storm in south London gave this eerie light seen at Southwark Bridge on the 5th

The first third of the month began pleasantly enough with a couple of days exceeding 27C. And on the 22nd the temperature reached 31.4C, only the third occasion that the mercury has risen above the 30C mark this summer. But summery highlights were few and far between.

Just under 120 hours of sunshine were recorded – that’s 62 per cent of the monthly average, the dullest August since 1968.

There were six occasions when the maximum exceeded 25C. Mean temperature for the month was 18.2C, which is on the nose of the 1981-2010 mean. Rainfall of 79.8mm was 159% of average. The wettest day occurred on the 24th with 18.4mm of rain.

What has September got in store weatherwise? The models today (September 1st) suggest a very slow progression of high pressure ridging into the UK from the west this weekend. Until then a cool northerly flow will persist with a mix of sunshine and possibly heavy showers. Most models suggest that by the end of the week a trough will run south, bringing a spell of cloud and rain before high pressure from the west eventually cuts off the cool northerly, replacing it with little or no wind, warmer sunny spells by day and misty nights – typical late summer / early autumn weather. Models then split over what will happen with the high next week. It could stay settled or, according to the ECMWF and GFS, the start of a breakdown could happen at the end of next week.

The synoptic chart shows the frontal set up that brought the greatest daily rainfall on the 24th
The synoptic chart shows the frontal set up that brought the greatest daily rainfall on the 24th

My long range outlook method suggests that September will be average temperature-wise, a mean of about 15.4C, at 52% probability. The next highest probabilities are for something rather warm and warm, both at 14% probability, though something rather cool also comes out 14% probability.

The highest probability for rainfall is 45% for something average. The next highest probability is for a dry September, at 23%. Rather wet works out at 14%.

My data for sunshine only stretches back to 1878. There is a 60% chance of average sunshine in September.

My August outlook was OK – I went for an average to rather cool August. I also said there was a 73% chance of a duller than average August – so not bad overall.

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

1st Bright but hazy start. Cloud gradually thinned to give a sunny afternoon with just a few clouds. Warmer.
2nd Sunny start with decreasing cloud.
3rd Sunny start quickly turned cloudy and blustery with brief burst of rain at 4pm. Then dry with variable cloud overnight and breezy.
4th Bright start but lots of cloud around and breezy. This lasting through the day.
5th Cloudy start, a few bright intervals and a strange light as thunder clouds passed to the south. Some light rain.
6th Cloudy start but cloud thinned to become sunny just before 2pm. Then variable cloud through the day with another eerie sunset.

Many places around the coast recorded far more sunshine than Wanstead, typical of the type of weather experienced in August
Many places around the coast recorded far more sunshine than Wanstead, typical of the type of weather experienced in August

7th Sunny start though was very cloudy at times.
8th Bright start and cloud quickly melted away to leave a stunning, sunny day in Sussex and Camber. Some cloud was seen a few miles inland but even this eventually melted away. Night turned chilly with heavy dew by dawn.
9th Sunny until 3pm then a bank of cloud brought cloudier spells. Warm overnight.
10th Bright start with sunny intervals. A burst of rain at 2pm damped the ground then it was mostly cloudy for the rest of the day.
11th Cloudy, calm start, spits and spots of rain before more organised rain in evening.
12th Cloudy start then brief sunny spells late morning before clouding up again. Warm front stalled over South Coast dumping 32mm on Herstmonceux.
13th Cloudy with rain spreading in late morning, this lasting until 3pm with odd burst of drizzle for rest of night. Some 78mm in Polegate and flooding reported in Brighton.
14th Cloudy and very humid with some brightness late morning. Showers returned at 3.30pm then more general rain arrived at 8pm.

This radar shows the area of rain that brought over 10mm to Wanstead on 31st
This radar shows the area of rain that brought over 10mm to Wanstead on 31st

15th Sunny start, clouded over at 2.30pm but then became sunny again at 5.30pm. Clear spells overnight.
16th Sunny start then cloudier in the afternoon. Very still air though made it feel pleasant.
17th Sunny start then cloudier around lunchtime. Sunny spells late afternoon though sun didn’t feel that strong.
18th Sunny start though quickly clouding over and dull. Some spots of rain on way to airport but dry in Wanstead.
19th Sunny start then going downhill with rain in the evening and overnight.
20th Bright start, clouding over.
21st Bright start before breaking to sunny spells and warm.
22nd Long sunny periods and 3rd occasion of 30C.
23rd Bright start but cloud built to give rain between 12.45 and 2.45pm.
24th Dull, rainy with rain between 9am and 11am.
25th Rain between 1pm and 3pm. Showers overnight then more general rain at obs time.
26th Dull and rain morning with squall blowing through at 1.30pm. Brightening up by 5pm then some bright spells late afternoon.
27th Bright start but with heavy cloud present. A brief shower in the afternoon before a clear evening made it chilly overnight.
28th Sunny start with light breeze, tending to cloud over middle part of the day. Skies cleared again to give sunny, pleasant evening.
29th Sunny start, cloud filled in by 3pm then rain arrived at 4pm, with moderate bursts.
30th Cloudy and humid start. Cloud stuck around all day – airless and therefore felt pleasant.
31st Cloudy start after overnight rain. The rain soon returned after 10.20am and fell, often heavily through until 12.30pm.

July 2015: average, wet and dull

The title of this monthly review is probably very misleading as July was a month that blew hot and cold.

The Casella 'check' thermometer registered 35.8C on July 1st - 0.3C lower than the AWS reading, within the contraints
The Casella ‘check’ thermometer registered 35.8C on July 1st – 0.3C lower than the AWS reading, within the contraints

The start of the month began with the July all-time record being set: 36.1C. The month ended with a couple of very chilly nights: 6.9C in the early hours of 31st with a grass minimum of 4.5C. I haven’t yet been able to go through my records but, according to the Met Office, temperatures in southern England on the same night that fell to 1C represent an all-time low July record.

There were ten occasions when the maximum exceeded 25C. Mean temperature for the month was 18.6C, 0.1C above the 1981-2010 mean and the coolest July since 2012. Rainfall of 70.4mm was 162% of average though it is worth noting that three quarters of this was recorded on two days.

There were 174 hours of sunshine recorded in this area which is 91% of what we can expect to see during an average July. The wettest day occurred on the 24th with 32.4mm of rain. There were two days of thunder recorded.

IMG_3877So what has August got in store weatherwise? The models this morning (August 1st) suggest very little change in the overall pattern of things. The jet stream is still well south across the Atlantic and is likely to remain so for the forseeable future. However, because we are on the eastern side of the troughed flow across the eastern Atlantic this allows the potential for some very warm or even hot conditions to be drawn up across the UK in the coming five days and possibly beyond. However, the longer projections turns the flow more west to east across the south of the UK again returning cooler air to the SE as well in week two.

This means a continuation of changeable conditions as low pressure remains anchored in the north-west or north of the UK. Thunder could be likely.

In contrast to the models my long range method suggests that we are in for a rather cool August, about 1C below average, at 41% probability. The next highest probability is for something average at 27% probability. So an average to rather cool August works out at 68% probability.

Rainfall is uncertain. There is the same probability for dry (50% average) and very wet (175% average): 23% probability. However, the next highest probability is for average at 18%.

This grainy image shows distant lightning illuminating a cloud. The storm was centred over St Albans
This grainy image shows distant lightning illuminating a cloud. The storm was centred over St Albans on July 16th

My data for sunshine only stretches back to 1878. There is a 73% chance of a duller than average August.

My July outlook was very poor, I predicted a rather warm to warm month – but it was nothing like last year’s or the 2013 classic. My rainfall and sunshine predictions were also hopelessly out. However, it was the first month since January that my temperature forecast has been wide of the mark. It’s just weather – in that it frequently doesn’t do what you think it’s going to do.

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

1st: Sunny until after midday when cloud bubbled up and took edge of temperature. Hottest July day ever was set at 5pm. Breeze made it feel bearable.
2nd: Sunny start though cloud quickly built with rain at midday. Just 0.3mm fell which evaporated on impact with the hot ground.
3rd: Sunny, clear day though humidity began to build from mid afternoon with the appearance of cloud. Still sunny spells till late into the evening. Big thunderstorm from around midnight for an hour.
4th: Sunny and muggy start. Long sunny spells, hardly a cloud in the sky until later. Sunny dawn but rain arrived at 9am.
5th: Light rain to start. This cleared late morning to sunny spells. Feeling muggy.
6th: Sunny start though lots of fair weather cumulus bubbled up.
7th: Cloudy start with light patchy rain around 11.30am, clearing to sunny spells. Some rain after 9am.
8th Cloudy and blustery with rain in the air. A few showers around.
9th: Sunny with just a few clouds, low humidity. Sky completely cleared after 3pm for a gorgeous evening.
10th: Sunny start. Some cloud bubbling up as jetstream neared – lots of cirrus and then cirrocumulus forming. Turned sunnier late afternoon. Also dawned clear and sunny.
11th: Long sunny spells with just a few cirrus and cumulus at times. Feeling warm and humid. Some light rain around midnight but not amounting to much.
12th: Cloudy and comparatively cool compared with recently. Light rain at 5pm with drizzle in wind through evening. More rain at 7.30am that fell intermittently up to obs time.
13th: Light rain to start with bursts through morning to 10.45am. Further bursts of light rain into early afternoon then overcast and muggy all night. More drizzle early am.
14th: Drizzly start – this continued into late morning. Then overcast and muggy. More drizzly burst overnight into the early hours – drizzle was persistent from 8.30am to 9am.
15th: Sunny intervals after light drizzle.
16th: Bright and sunny spells tending to turn more cloudy after midday. Big electrical storm around midnight with 67 flashes per minute seen to the north-west.
17th: Light drizzle to start turned to bright spells and a pleasant summer’s day.
18th: Sunny start with cloud bubbling up late afternoon. Light rain shower at 8.30 at end of Music in Wanstead Park and again in early hours at 6am.
19th: Sunny morning tended to cloud in at midday before cold front cleared to leave sunny evening. Mackerel sky at dusk with light rain at 8.15am.
20th: Showery rain to start.
21st: Sunny start but clouds bubbled up through the day for long sunny spells. Warm with a breeze.
22nd: Sunny start, cloud bubbling up during the day with spots of rain at 5pm – heavy shower in Wanstead.
23rd: Cloudy with occasional bright spells, feeling humid.
24th: Drizzly start. rain started falling at 11am. Outbreaks of prolonged rain through the day, heaviest between 5pm and 6pm. More rain after 8pm but then a drier interlude before more rain at midnight as occluded front came back. Last tip of the gauge just before 4am.
25th: Sunny and breezy though much cooler. A pleasant evening at John’s party though. Cloudy spells overnight before rain moved in at 9am.
26th: Rain to start with heavy outbreaks up to 1pm. Further outbreaks of rain through the day and into the evening.
27th: Drizzly bursts of rain to 11am. Then dry and bright.
28th: Bright and breezy to start. A light shower in evening then cool and clear – sunny start.
29th: Bright start but cloud filling in. Burst of rain at 8.30pm then variable cloud overnight.
30th: Bright but a burst of rain just after 10am. Then mostly cloudy with a few bright breaks.
31st: Sunny start but cloud filled in.