A year of calm – a review of the weather of 2021

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A ‘mackerel sky’ of altocumulus cloud at dusk, Epping High Street, October 2021

A year of calm – a review of the weather of 2021

Epping’s weather in 2021 was without any dramatic conditions – great deluges, prolonged heat or cold – yet we still racked up some new records. We now have 36 previous years of weather records for Epping, so how did 2021 stack up against these?

The mean temperature for the year as a whole was 10.7°C compared with our long term average of 10.3°C, making it the 14th warmest.

The highest temperature recorded was 32.6°C on 18th July, our 7th hottest year maximum, and we recorded no ‘tropical nights’ this year (nights when the temperature never drops below 20°C) – our highest night-time minimum was 17.3°C.

The lowest temperature of the year was -4.0°C on 11th and 13th February, the 6th warmest year minimum on record. There were five ‘ice days’ in the year (when the temperature never rises above freezing) on the 8th and 9th January with some freezing fog, and the 8th, 9th and 11th February, with some lying snow.

The most drama in our weather in 2021 came from the rain. With a year total of 790.6 mm of rain, compared with the average of 675.3 mm, it was the 4th wettest on record – and this despite April being the driest month ever recorded with a total of just 1.0 mm, and our driest ever November. Overall in 2021 it rained on 179 days, slightly below the average of 182.4 days, so clearly we had heavier rain on our wet days.

There were some named storms in the winter months, but they didn’t trouble us much: the highest wind gust recorded through the year was 33 mph (Beaufort force 7), which came on 11th March; we have just 14 years of wind and barometric pressure records, but this was the lowest year maximum in those records and substantially below the average year maximum of 46.5 mph.

Perhaps surprisingly given the wet year the annual mean pressure was 1017.2 hPa (hecto-Pascals is what millibars are now called), so above the average of 1014.9 hPa. Highest pressure of the year was 1043.2 (average: 1040.1) and lowest was 974.2 (average: 977.9).

Monthly highlights

January – 11th coolest January by mean temperature

February – 5th coldest day maximum for February, and 5th warmest day maximum!

March – record day maximum for March of 23.9°C, a temperature not beaten until 2nd June!

April – driest of any month on record and 2nd coldest April

May – 4th wettest May and equal 4th coolest

June – second warmest June and 5th wettest

July – third wettest and third warmest maximum temperature

August – 4th coolest and 9th wettest

September – second warmest

October – 5th wettest

November – driest November on record

December – equal second warmest mean temperature, second warmest maximum, and warmest day minimum

The source data for all of this can be made available to any school or other organisation or individual who wants to analyse it. We are also looking for anyone who would like to take on writing the monthly summaries, whether on a one off or continual basis, or who would like to submit a photograph representative of the month’s weather for our relevant Weather News post. Please contact us here.

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