The New Year slips quietly in – a review of January 2022

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A view of the Community Garden next to M&S on a typical January 2022 day, with patchy late afternoon sunshine.
The Community Garden near M&S on a typical January day of intermittent sunshine

The New Year slips quietly in – a review of January 2022

January was a settled month on the whole. There was plenty of clear weather and some pleasant January sunshine: in fact with just 17.0mm of rainfall, this was the driest January of our 38 years of records.

In many cases, a settled and bright January might mean frigid temperatures, but not so this time. We did have some cold nights, as you would expect with clear conditions at this time of year, but just five air frosts (and a few more ground frosts). Our mean temperature at 4.9 °C was only a little above our long term average of 4.1 °C, and our average day maximum and minimum temperatures were unexceptional. However, we also recorded our warmest ever January day, with 15.4 °C on New Year’s Day, and late New Year’s Eve revellers would have appreciated our equal second highest minimum temperature at a relatively balmy 11.9 °C.

There were some named storms in January: Malik arrived on 28th, closely followed by Corrie on 30th, but both passed by well to the north and their impact on us was relatively slight, as can be seen by the pressure record. Nevertheless, Corrie delivered our maximum wind gust of 33mph (Force 7) in the early morning of 31st; otherwise, it was a month of generally light winds.

We are struggling to identify what solar radiation level represents ‘sunshine’. Our solar meter records the radiation in Watts per square metre, and the Met Office threshold figure of 300 W/m2 seems to result in a substantial understatement of sunshine here in Epping at this time of year – this threshold would give a recorded sunshine for January of just 2 hours, which is patently wrong. According to the Met Office, January sunshine for East Anglia was almost double the average at just over 100 hours. Met Office guidance for interpreting our data has been sought, watch this space…

MeasureUnitMinimumAverageMaximumAverage minAverage maxTotal
Relative humidity%488897
Wind source (most common / highest gust)SectorNWNW
Wind speedmph2.53315.0
Rain daily accumulationmm0.55.617
Barometric pressurehPa990.61024.41041.2
Solar irradiance during daylightW/m²80424216

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