Winter and Spring in a couple of weeks

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Near the Woodyard during the wintry weather (Photo: Roger Emmens)

Winter and Spring in a couple of weeks

A review of the weather in February 2021

The dominant weather feature of February was the icy north-easterly blast that lasted from 7th to 14th, with a lowest temperature of -4.0°C, three ice days (temperature never rising above freezing) and two more where the temperature never rose above 0.2°C; altogether we had eight nights of frost.

And no sooner was the Arctic weather behind us, when strong southerly winds blew it away and ushered in Spring-like conditions with temperatures exceeding 16°C just a week later. So it was that this February not only gave us our fifth coldest day maximum of -1.9°C but also our fifth warmest day maximum of 16.5°C, and also our equal third warmest overnight minumum of 10.4°C.

Overall, as a result, the mean temperature for the month as a whole of 5.4°C was still a full degree above the long term average for February.

Amongst all the icy weather, a few centimetres of snow accumulated over three days. Our automatic rain gauge isn’t so good at measuring snowfall, that clearly got under-recorded. Another weather station in Epping recorded around 14mm more than we did. Our measured rainfall totalled 36.8mm, and if a shortfall of melted snow is added in, that’s not so far different from the long term average for February of 45.0mm. It may come as a surprise to learn that February is actually our driest month on average, even when the fewer number of days is taken into account.

There was one record was broken this month: our highest barometric pressure for February of 1043.2 hPa was recorded on 27th.

No surprises that two wind directions dominated this month: northeasterly during the frigid spell, and southwest to southeast during the spring-like spell. Average wind speeds over the month were a moderate 3.9mph, and the average daily maximum gust was 18.3mph with a high gust of 28mph (Force 6) from the SSE on the 23rd.

Lastly, there were 103.5 hours of sunshine in the month, an average of 3.7 hours a day, which is quite respectable for February; the 24th recorded 8.0 hours, not bad for a day length not much over 10 hours.

MeasureUnitMinimumAverageMaximumAverage minAverage maxTotal
Relative humidity%498599
Wind source (most common/highest gust)SectorNESSE
Wind high gustmph3.92818.3
Rain daily accumulationmm1.213.036.8
Barometric pressurehPa991.81016.21043.2
Solar irradiance during daylightW/m²109589329

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