Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The weather in 2006

Courtesy of meteorologist Philip Eden, here' s some fascinating facts about the weather in the UK this year. Bear in mind that in meteorological terms, the winter of 2006 runs from December 2005 to February of 2006, and each season thereafter is considered to be a period of three consecutive months.

  • 2006 was the warmest calendar year in the UK since records began, approximately 300 years ago. 273 out of the 365 days were warmer than average.
  • It was the coolest winter in the South of the UK since 1996-1997.
  • It was the driest winter in England and Wales since 1964.
  • There was very little snow in the winter.
  • It was the latest spring for 25 years, with snowfalls in both March and April.
  • The first day of the year with a temperature of at least 70F was May 3rd. The temperature on May 4th was 82F. The transition from winter to summer therefore took place in one day! There were then 10 days or so of warm weather before rain returned in the second half of May.
  • It was the warmest June since 1976. July was, in some places, the hottest recorded ever, but averaged over the UK, it was merely equal hottest with July 1983. Neither calendar month was as hot as a 30-day period which occurred from mid-July to mid-August of 1995. It was, however, the hottest June-July pair of months ever recorded in the UK. There is normally a type of switch in the UK's weather, which occurs around St Swithin's day, which ensures that the weather in late July and August is the opposite of that in June. If one period is dominated by a continental air mass, the other will be dominated by Atlantic weather. This transition failed to occur this year.
  • August was cooler than average, with plenty of rain. It was the largest ever recorded July-August drop in temperature.
  • It was the warmest ever recorded autumn in the UK: September was the warmest ever September on record, and October was the 4th warmest. All three autumn months had plenty of rainfall.
  • It was the warmest first half of December since 1988, but with fog and frost setting in around the 16th/17th December. The fog in this period was the most persistent and widespread since the late 80s/early 90s.

Plenty to think about there!

1 comment:

Susan Balée said...

And the Muggles are alarmed! (Oh, I forgot, you don't like Harry Potter.)