Winter so far – 20th February rainfall update

20 02 2014

The latest rainfall update from the Met Office National Climate Information Centre shows that this has been the UK’s wettest winter on record in the national series going back to 1910.

These provisional rainfall statistics for the winter so far (from 1 December 2013 to 19 February 2014) show new records for the UK, Wales, east Scotland, southwest England & south Wales alongside the record already set for southeast & central southern England.

Rainfall precentage of average 1 Dec 2013 - 19 Feb 2014

Rainfall precentage of average 1 Dec 2013 – 19 Feb 2014

With just over a week to go until the end of the season:

  • The UK has now received 486.8mm of rain, narrowly above the previous record of 485.1mm set in 1995.
  • Wales has seen 691.8mm of rain, beating the previous record of 684.1mm in 1995.
  • East Scotland has seen 514.5mm of rain, beating the previous record of 482.2mm in 1915.
  • Southwest England and south Wales has seen 632.5mm of rain beating the previous record of 610.7mm in 1990.
  • Southeast and central southern England has seen 492mm beating the previous record of 437.1mm set in 1915.

All countries and areas are also on target for a warmer than average winter.

Current record wettest winters:

Country Year Rainfall Winter 2014 to date*
UK 2014 486.8mm New record
ENGLAND 1915 392.7mm 370.4mm
WALES 2014 691.8mm New record
SCOTLAND 1995 649.5mm 634.3mm
NORTHERN IRELAND 1994 489.7mm 434.5mm

*These are provisional figures from 1 December 2013 to 19 February 2014 and could change after final quality control checks on data.

Winter so far – 18th February rainfall update

18 02 2014

As the UK heads into a period of more normal unsettled winter weather weather, the Met Office’s National Climate Information Centre has looked at statistics for this winter so far (from 1 December 2013 to 13 February 2014).

These add to previous facts and figures we put out earlier this month, and show a picture of continuing exceptional rainfall across many areas.

Looking at regions around the UK, these provisional figures show the region of central southern and southeast England has already exceeded its record winter rainfall in the series back to 1910. Rainfall here currently at 459.3mm*, 22mm above the previous record of 437.1mm set in 1915 with two weeks still to go to the end of the season. This winter also currently ranks as the 4th wettest winter (if there is no further rain) for southwest England and south Wales combined and the 3rd wettest for England South.

Both the UK as a whole and Wales are fairly close to exceeding their respective record wettest winter levels in the national series dating back to 1910 (see table below). Average rainfall for the rest of the month could see those records broken.

All countries across the UK have already exceeded their typical average rainfall for the whole winter (according to the 1981-2010 long-term averages). Normally at this stage of the season, you’d expect to have seen only around 80% of that whole season average.

All areas are also on target for a significantly wetter than average winter, with typically around 130-160% of normal rainfall if we get average rainfall for the rest of February.

All countries and areas are also on target for a warmer than average winter.

Current record wettest winters:

Country Year Rainfall Winter 2014 to date*
UK 1995 485.1mm 452.6mm
ENGLAND 1915 392.7mm 345.6mm
WALES 1995 684.1mm 645.1mm
SCOTLAND 1995 649.5mm 590.4mm
NORTHERN IRELAND 1994 489.7mm 386.2mm

*These are provisional figures from 1 December 2013 to 13 February 2014 and could change after final quality control checks on data.

October coldest since 2003

2 11 2012

Provisional figures from our National Climate Information Centre have shown that this October has been a fairly unremarkable month in terms of weather for the UK.

Temperature, rainfall and sunshine have all been fairly close to the average and there’s certainly nothing record breaking about the general figures.

With a mean temperature for the UK of 8.2 °C for the month, it’s on the colder side of average and the coldest October since 2003 – which was the same temperature.

To find a colder month, you have to go back to 1993, which had a mean temperature of 7.3 °C.

In the records dating back to 1910, this October is ranked joint 18th alongside 2003, 1955 and 1931. Just for the record, the coldest on record was set in 1917, with a much colder 6.6 °C.

For rainfall, the 128.0 mm of rain that fell across the UK during the month is very close to the 1981-2010 average of 127.1 mm – so this October was very ‘normal’ in that respect.

Sunshine is similarly close to the norm, with 92.8 hours of sunshine virtually spot-on with the 1981-2010 average of 92.5 hours.

As ever, there are some regional variations within the national picture, illustrated with these maps:

With regards to temperature, most parts of the country were cooler than average but parts of Scotland saw slightly colder conditions than anywhere else when compared to the regional average.

While rainfall was average for the UK overall, some parts of southern and eastern Britain were considerably wetter than their regional average but it was a somewhat drier than average month across parts of the west and north – particularly western Scotland.

Sunshine also saw regional variation. Parts of the south-east were notably dull – here it was provisionally the dullest October since 1982. The northern half of the UK, and particularly western Scotland, was somewhat sunnier than average.

Here’s a roundup of Met Office observation station extremes for the month:

• Highest temperature: 18.8 °C at Holbeach, Linconshire on 1st

• Lowest temperature: -7.8 °C at Braemar, Aberdeenshire on 17th

• Wettest day (0000 hrs-0000 hrs): 61.4 mm at Ballpatrick, Antrim on the 18th

• Sunniest day: 10.4 hours of sunshine at St Athan, Glamorgan on the 6th

• Strongest gust of wind: 78 mph at the Needles, Isle of Wight on the 5th


How wet has this September been?

1 10 2012

The latter part of September saw some exceptional rainfall in parts of the UK which caused disruption and flooding at times.

With such a great deal of rain falling in a short period of time, some people have asked whether it will make September one of the wettest in our national records going back to 1910.

Provisional early statistics up to 26 September show this isn’t the case, however, with the month looking set to be slightly wetter than average – but by no means a record breaker.

Up to the 26th, UK rainfall is 96.3 mm – which is 100% of the full month average. After 26 days we would, assuming rain falls fairly evenly through the month, expect this to be around 87%.

Of course, rain doesn’t always fall evenly throughout a month – as we saw this September. The first three weeks saw relatively little rain in many areas, but then a particularly active weather system brought four days of persistent heavy rain.

Northern parts of England were particularly badly affected by this, as you can see in the rainfall map below. In the map you can see a band of blue colours across northern England denoting above average rainfall for the month, whereas much of the country is coloured white to denote near-average amounts.

Two brown areas, one across central Scotland and the other in East Anglia, show it has been drier than average here – even despite the heavy rain in the latter part of the month.


Temperatures up to the 26 September are also fairly ordinary, being slightly below average. Mean temperature for the UK is 12.2 °C, which is 0.5 °C below the long-term average for the month.

While September looks set to be slightly wetter and cooler than average, the good news is sunshine hours were slightly up – with the UK having seen 126.1 hours of sunshine, 101% of its whole-month average.

Again, we’d expect it to be around 87% after 26 days, so we’re ahead – but not by a record-breaking amount.

So this September is set to go down as a fairly average month overall, but – as is often the case – this belies some very stark contrasts and some less-than-usual weather.

Met Office provisional 1-26 September figures
mean temperature sunshine duration rainfall
Actual Difference from 1981-2010 average Actual % of 1981-2010 average Actual % of 1981-2010 average
degC degC hours % mm %
UK 12.2 -0.5 126.1 101 96.3 100
England 13.2 -0.5 145.2 106 80.6 116
Wales 12.1 -0.8 124.5 97 115.3 99
Scotland 10.4 -0.5 98.6 94 117.2 86
N Ireland 11.8 -0.5 105.3 93 94.0 103
England & Wales 13.1 -0.5 142.3 105 85.4 112
England N 12.4 -0.4 124.0 98 121.4 150
England S 13.7 -0.5 156.4 110 59.0 93


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