Tag Archives: East London weather statistics

Winter 2017/18 forecast review

At the beginning of December the opening par for my forecast for winter read:

The mean temperature for winter 2017/18 is looking average overall with average precipitation. While that doesn’t sound exciting for anyone looking for colder weather and snow I think the figures mask frequent 3 or 4 day-long cold snaps from the Arctic interspersed with milder interludes from Atlantic incursions; typical characteristics of a pattern driven by the troposphere. For anything longer term we have to hope for a warming of the stratosphere, a sudden stratospheric warming over the Arctic, that downwells into the troposphere, reversing the general westerly circulation. We are overdue an ‘SSW’ event but, even if one were to happen, its effects wouldn’t be felt until much later in the winter.

Figures generated using QBO statistics in the run up to December were identical to the outcome of 5C. It is figures generated using ENSO statistics, however, that produced the best results considering December, January and February alone.

It would seem that the winter was most influenced by the ENSO variable up until February when the effects of the SSW were enough to overcome it?results

 

 

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Winter 2017/18: 27th out of 72

A few years ago I devised a winter index to try to decipher how modern winters ranked against legendary seasons, such as 1947 and 1963.

With the media hyping conditions last week, which were severe in many parts of the country, it is very difficult for many to gauge just how conditions compare with previous winters.

My findings show that this winter so far stands 27th. It is possible that further snowfall that results in lying snow at 9am between now and April will boost the position higher though, given recent years, this would seem unlikely.

index

Last week’s cold spell, while containing some impressive statistics, is put into perspective when it is compared with other severe spells since 1960. A decent cold spell but no record breaker in the form of a 1962/63.

Perhaps it is the advent of social media, the plethora of constant updates of the latest feet-deep snowdrifts and instant tales of heroism in the face of icy adversity, that has made this cold spell seem far more severe than it actually was in the minds of many; February / March 2018 was the first truly social media-driven cold spell.

Winter 2017/18: average, cold start and end

The winter of 2017/18 will probably be remembered as much colder that it actually was – the exceptionally severe spell right at the end was only at its halfway point by the time the meteorological winter was over.

pathfinder
Like a scene from the Pathfinder movie

The mean temperature for the season finished 5C, that’s 0.5C below average and the coldest for five years.

Rainfall was above average: 180.8mm fell, that’s 124 per cent of average and the wettest for four years.

Sunshine was just over average: 174.4 hrs is 104 per cent over average and the sunniest for tree years.

As so often with winters at this latitude the average for three months makes it look a non-descript season – it is only when you look at the detail that compelling facts emerge.

The coldest day of the season occurred on the last day of February when the maximum failed to rise above -1C, the first ‘ice day’ for five years and the coldest day since 2010. It was also the seventh equal coldest February day in a local record going back to 1959.

perch
Perch pond, being deeper, took longer to ice over

The coldest night of the winter was in the early hours of the 28th when a low of -6.9C was recorded. The temperature would have been far lower were it not for a shower that moved in at 3am.

The warmest day of the winter occurred on December 30th with 14.2C recorded. The warmest night was on January 28th when the temperature fell to just 10.8C.
The wettest day of the winter occurred on January 2nd when 15.3mm was recorded.

Snow arrived at the start of winter and at the very end: seven days of snow falling and four days of snow lying over the three months is below average.

 

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The daily mean temp yo-yo’d throughout December, January and February

There were 30 air frosts during the three months, eight above the 1981-2010 average.

air frosts

There were 11,680 minutes of frost over the winter, less than last year, though 66 per cent of those were recorded in February. Considering the past 6 Februaries this year’s frost hours were 170 per cent greater than the next highest, February 2016!.

frost minutes

A full weather diary is available for the months of DecemberJanuary and February. To view full stats for each month follow this link:http://1drv.ms/1kiTuzv

Summary for period 01/12/2017 to 28/02/2018

Temperature (°C):
Mean (1 minute) 5.2
Mean (min+max) 5.0
Mean Minimum 2.0
Mean Maximum 8.0
Minimum -6.9 on 27/02/2018
Maximum 14.2 on 30/12/2017
Highest Minimum 10.8 on 28/01/2018
Lowest Maximum -1.0 on 28/02/2018
Air frosts 30

Rainfall (mm):
Total for period 182.2
Wettest day 15.3 on 02/01/2018
High rain rate 28.2 day 02/01/2018
Rain days 52
Dry days 38

Wind (mph):
Highest Gust 45.0 on 02/01/2018
Average Speed 3.7
Wind Run 8059.5 miles
Gale days 0

Pressure (mb):
Maximum 1036.4 on 22/12/2017
Minimum 970.3 on 10/12/2017

Days with snow falling 7
Days with snow lying at 0900 4

 

 

London’s March extremes since 1959

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

The month, the first of the meteorological spring can offer really contrasting weather; perishing cold and very pleasant warmth are both very possible, as the values show.

Probably most notable in the list is the cold March of 1962 which was the coldest of the 20th century and 11th coldest in a local list going back to 1797. March 2013 was also very cold. Strong winds from deep depressions often feature as does the odd blizzard.

Marches in the 1960s also appear to often start very cold and end very warm; the term ‘In like a lion, out like a lamb’ being very appropriate.
•Though this blog only covers extremes back to 1959, thanks to Met Office digitised data, I’ve unearthed records prior to this. Both W.A.L Marshall’s A Century of London Weather (covering 1841 to 1941) and J. H. Brazell’s London Weather (covering 1841 to 1964) confirm the coldest March day as the 13th in 1845 when 25F (-3.9C) was recorded at

The coldest March minimum was 4/5 in 1909 with 9F (-12.8C) at Epsom. Greenwich and Hampstead recorded 14F (-10C)

march extreme

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Some national UK March values according to TORRO

Hottest: 25C Wakefield, West Yorks – 29th 1929
Coldest: -22.8C Logie Coldstone, Grampian – 14th 1958
Wettest: 164.3mm Glen Etive, Highland – 26th 1968

march av tmax

march Tmin

march av rain

 

January 2018: rather mild, wet, dull

January 2017 was a wet month. Just over 64mm of rain was recorded, 121 per cent of average, slightly less than last January.Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 21.20.29

The monthly mean finished 6.4C, 1.2C above average and the mildest January for four years.

Some 44 hours of sunshine were recorded, 88 per cent of average, the dullest January for six years.

The most notable event was during the early hours of the 18th when the ‘storm with no name’ felled many mature trees across a swathe of England, including a large beech on Blake Hall Road that led to the closure of the road during morning rush hour.

Air frosts: 4. Ground frosts: 12. Snow falling: 1

 

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

Summary for January 2018
Temperature (°C):
Mean (1 minute)  6.5
Mean (min+max)   6.4
Mean Minimum     3.5
Mean Maximum     9.3
Minimum          -2.4 day 29
Maximum          13.5 day 28
Highest Minimum  10.8 day 28
Lowest Maximum   4.1 day 20
Air frosts       4
Rainfall (mm):
Total for month  64.4
Wettest day      15.3 day 02
High rain rate   28.2 day 02
Rain days        19
Dry days         12
Wind (mph):
Highest Gust     45.0 day 02
Average Speed    4.2
Wind Run         3124.8 miles
Gale days        1
Pressure (mb):
Maximum          1031.2 day 29
Minimum          986.4 day 02
Days with snow falling         1
Days with snow lying at 0900   0
Total hours of sunshine        44.1

London’s February extremes since 1959

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

Probably most notable is the cold February of 1991 which saw the deepest snowfall I can remember – days of snow saw the level depth past my knee in suburban London. February 1986 was also very cold but also very dry with little snow.

Februaries in the 1990s were also often warm with 19.7C being reached in Wanstead on 13th in 1998.

It is a shame that the Met Office only publishes easy to access daily data in Excel format back to 1959 as this obviously omits the classic snowy February of 1947 which is worth a blog on its own.

My winter forecast for the London area can be found here.

 

wanstead feb

 

top 10 heathrow feb

SJP top 10 feb

Some national UK February values according to TORRO

Hottest: 21.2C Kew Gardens – 26th 2019
Coldest: -27.2C Braemar – 11th 1895
Wettest: 196.6mm Ben Nevis, Highland – 6th 1894

feb max av

Wanstead Weather: 2017 review

This year finished as the 10th warmest on record – some 0.7C warmer than the 1981-2010 average. Screen Shot 2018-01-05 at 12.54.53

Only three months of 2017 were roughly average – the means being within +/-0.7 every month, bringing the mean temperature to 11.9C.

Rainfall was less remarkable with the year finishing roughly average. The total of 607mm (101% of 1981-2010 average) puts it as the 119th wettest since 1797, just over 40mm wetter than 2016.

It was also a slightly duller than average year with 1,391.2 hours of sunshine recorded. That’s 94 per cent of average, the 91st sunniest since 1881.

Screen Shot 2018-01-05 at 13.45.16

 

For a review of each month, click January, FebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovember, December

To view full stats follow this link:http://1drv.ms/1kiTuzv

You can read the national review of weather events at the Met Office blog here.

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London’s January extremes since 1959

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

Probably most notable is just how impressive the depth of cold was during the cold spell of 1987. When considering St James’s Park the temperature on the 12th never rose above -6C: nearly 4C colder than any January day in 1963, the coldest winter in modern times.

My winter forecast for the London area can be found here.

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sjp

Some national UK January values according to TORRO

Hottest: 18.3C Aber, Gwynedd – 27th 1958
Coldest: -27.2C Braemar, Grampian – 10th 1982
Wettest: 238.4mm Loch Sloy main adit Strathclyde – 17th 1974

Climatology

Here’s a couple of graphs showing the maxima, minima and rainfall. Notice the spike  which reflects the singularity which has an 84 per cent probability.

jan av tmax

jan av min

jan av rain

 

Summer 2017 review

Summer 2017 was a season of two halves, the mean temperature of 18.5C (1.3C above average) made it the tenth warmest summer since 1797.

Though it was warm overall it was also wet. Nearly 234mm of rain were collected, 159 per cent of average, making it the wettest summer since 1987.

Just under 535 hours of sun were recorded, 94 per cent of average and the sunniest summer for three years.

summer 2017 mean
The graph of the mean temperature for the 3 months shows a marked decline from the second week of July
summer 2017 rain
There were at least 3 falls of rain greater than 30mm over 24 hours though classic thunderstorms of recent years were notably lacking
summer 2017 sun
Sunshine was broadly average

 

 

 

 

 

Phew! What a scorcher…

I’ve seen this phrase uttered more than once over the past couple of days thanks to high temperatures and humidity. But ask anyone to define a hot day and you’ll get a different answer every time.

Growing up in the 1970s / 80s redtop newspapers would use the phrase once the mercury was nudging 80F (26.7C). But to ‘scorch’ you need sunshine, preferably at least 10 hours of it. Considering statistics from the Heathrow airport climate station in west London there have been 463 scorchers since 1959, the most recent happening on July 5th with 29.5C recorded and 13.9 hours of sunshine. There have now been 9 scorchers this year, already matching the number that were recorded in 2014 and only 3 short of last year.

But even with last month’s heatwave this year has some way to go, however, to match the amount measured in 1976 and 1995: 31 days!

scorchers