This was the warmest April on record. It was also one of the driest and sunniest.
November - December 2010
The last week of November has seen some of the worst weather in November for many a year. Parts of the North East and the East coast of Scotland have seen some significant snowfalls, with depths of over a foot in places. Temperatures have also plummetted to around freezing, and night frosts have become severe above the snowcover. In the North East, we've seen -9C and in Wales they recorded -17.3C overnight on 27th/28th November, which is a new record for those dates. Forecasters are saying that the low temperatures could last for two weeks. Colossal amounts of snow have been recorded in Rothbury, Northumberland, with minor roads being rendered impassable by the snow. Altnaharra in Scotland recorded -20C overnight on 30th November/1st December and eastern Scotland has also been suffering with massive snowfall.
The severe weather continued into December, with record low temperatures across the country. December 2010 was the coldest December since 1895.
December 2009 - January 2010
Really cold weather kicked in around 17th December 2009 and didn’t let up for a month. Some lowland places had over a month of snowcover between mid December 2009 and mid January 2010. There was disruption on the roads as Councils, used to mild winters, had run out of grit. It had to be rationed in some areas. Freezing fog just before Christmas and heavy snow showers from an Easterly feed left widespread snow at Christmas. The cold persisted with more snow after New Year. The months December 2009, January and February 2010 were the coldest of their name in the record since 1998.
The Met Office have said that Winter 2009/10 was the coldest since 1978/79 in England and since 1962/63 in Scotland. That's pretty impressive.
A very wet, but mild month, with almost twice the normal amount of rainfall. The total ended up just 0.2mm under the 100mm mark. This eclipsed the previous record for January at Ferryhill by some 35mm. The year started with a very wet New Years Day, with 19mm faliing on the 1st. This would have been the 'wettest day' in most months here, but it was beaten on the 21st when a new wettest day for January was set. 23mm fell in the 24hrs. There was 4cm of snow cover on the 3rd January, but it soon melted.
This month has proved to be quite a wet one, with 80.0mm of rain falling (although 111.8mm recorded in Durham) - not a remarkably high total (146% of the 1971-2000 mean), but considering the first 11 days of the month were completely dry it's quite noteable. Only two dry days were experienced after that. It could have been much wetter, the extreme weather which caused extensive flooding in South Yorkshire towards the end of the month stayed just to the south of us in Ferryhill.
One thing that has been noteable about June 2007 is it's extreme dullness. It was one of the dullest Junes in North East England - the total of 101.5hrs made it the 4th dullest since 1882 and the worst sunshine total since 1987 (89.4hrs). It was less sunny than May, which was itself less sunny than April. It was thought this ‘reverse’ sequence must be unique, but in fact it has now happened 7 times in the April-June period since 1882.
Yet another record breaker, April 2007 was a whopping 0.6 degC warmer than the previous warmest April (1865) on the Central England Temperature series. Again, a long term record beaten. Also noteable is the fact that 2006 was the warmest year on record and the first third of this year is more than 2 degC warmer than the equivalent period in 2006. Quite incredible.
Another one for the record books, September 2006 is the warmest September on record, beating September 1729 in the CET series. This record had stood for 277 years up to this year, and was the longest running record of any 'warmest month'. Recently broken 'warmest' records are seemingly gathered in the second half of the year, with the longest standing remaining record for July-December resting with December 1974. The absolute high for September was raised to 27.1 degC on 21st of September 2006. There were no cold nights, and rainfall was slightly above average.
A total contrast to July, August was considerably cooler and was generally the second dullest August on record (since 1912, nowhere near as cold though).
This month has created history as it is the warmest month on record. The records go back to 1850 at Durham, and this month has beaten July 1983 to the highest monthly mean temperature. To put things into perspective, the average temperature for July 2006 is 2 degC above that recorded as an average for July 1976, a year which was previously regarded as being the best summer in living memory. There have been only three days that haven't reached 20 degC in the month, and 14 days consecutively over 25 degC since 16th is an extraordinary run of maxima.