Dry start to January

Provisional figures show it has been drier than average in most areas of the UK so far this month (January 1 – 15), with a few places receiving around 20% of the month’s average rainfall, primarily the east of both Scotland and Northern Ireland. Armagh has received 20% of it’s expected monthly rainfall,  Clackmannanshire 19%, and Yorkshire 27%. We would expect to see around 50% of the average rainfall at this point in the month.


However, a few places in south-east England and the north of Scotland are already not far off the whole month average, with Middlesex having seen 81 % of the month’s average rainfall and Surrey 72%.

October, November and December were all drier months recording below average rainfall.

Month Actual rainfall Long-term Average rainfall 1980 – 2010
January 1 -15th 47.5mm (39% of average. You would normally expect a rainfall anomaly of around 48% at this early point (1st-15th) in the month). 121.7mm
December 2016 82.4mm (69% of average) 120.2mm
November 2016 107.9mm 89% of average 121.2mm
October 2016 48.9mm 38% of average 127.1mm

The current figures only take us to the 15th and there is plenty of time for the situation to change before the end of the month.

The weather for much of the first half of January has been generally settled, though temperatures have alternated between just above and just below average.

Cold air moved across most of the country at the start of the month to be replaced by much milder air around the 6th, before a further cold outbreak from the north brought significant snowfalls to many areas including the Home Counties on the 12th, with most areas becoming milder again by the 15th.

Temperatures have averaged out around normal over the first two weeks of January. Northern England and southern Scotland has so far this month seen above average sunshine amounts while the northwest has been duller with below average.

1-15 January 2017 Mean temperature Sunshine hours Rainfall
Actual deg C  Anm Actual    hours % of average Actual mm % of average
UK 4.1 0.5 24.9 53  47.5  39
England 4.4 0.3 29.1 54  36.2  44
Wales 4.7  0.6 19.6 40  50.7  32
Scotland  3.3 0.7 19.7 55  68.2  38
N Ireland  4.9 0.7 22.2 50  31.3  27

It looks like high pressure will dominate for the rest of this week resulting in benign, cloudy conditions and that the rest of the month may see more unsettled conditions spreading south and east with outbreaks of rain at times across the country.

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Please note that these provisional figures, especially for rainfall & sunshine, are subject to revision. Anomalies are expressed relative to the 1981-2010 averaging period.

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4 Responses to Dry start to January

  1. xmetman says:

    It’s a shame that you can’t talk to you counterparts in Met Eireann and get their stats for January (like you do when naming storms) and get the complete picture. Weather and climate doesn’t recognise national boundaries thank goodness. If you are interested in how temperatures have been doing over the rest of Europe as a whole have a look at my blog.

  2. flowirin says:

    how is 55% of average above average? surely 100%+ _of_ average is above, anything less is below?

    • At this stage of the month (15th) you would normally expect a rainfall or sunshine percentage of average to be around 48%. The 55% quoted is above this and therefore above average for this time of the month.

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