Scotland highlights weather contrasts during the first half of April

So far April’s weather is highlighting a month of contrasts, and perhaps nowhere is this contrast more apparent than in Scotland.

Between 1-15 April, parts of Scotland have seen both the most and least rainfall of any station in the UK, when compared with the long-term average (1981-2010).

The Edinburgh Botanic Gardens have so far received 63.4mm, which is equivalent to more than one and a half times the full month average for April (156%). Meanwhile, Loch Glascarnoch – in the north-west Highlands – has only received 12mm of rainfall, making it the driest location in the UK for the first half of April. This is equivalent to only 13% of the site’s monthly total rainfall. Elsewhere most of England and Wales have had a relatively wet start to April with some areas in the north east already at or above the average full month rainfall for April.

Much of the UK has had a dull start to April with hours of bright sunshine rather low for the time of year. The sunniest places have actually been in the far north and west of Scotland with Stornoway Airport observations showing that the site received 83 hours of sunshine in the first half of April, making it the sunniest place in the UK. In contrast, the weather station at Glasgow Bishopton has only received 20 hours: well below average and making it the dullest place in the UK so far this month.

Temperatures have generally been below average for April during the day, but night-time minima have been above average for most of southern England and Wales. Dr Mark McCarthy is the head of the Met Office’s National Climate Information Centre. He explains: “When you drill down in to the detail of the temperature records, you can see that cloudy and wet conditions have exerted a strong influence on the month’s climate records. Helping to supress daytime maximum temperatures, while the same cloud over night has an insulating effect, helping to keep night-time temperatures elevated.”

Provisional climate statistics for the first half of April.

Maximum Temperature Minimum Temperature Mean Temperature
Act °C Anom Act °C Anom Act °C Anom
UK 10.2 -1.3 3.9 0.5 6.9 -0.5
England 11.3 -1.2 4.9 1 8 -0.2
Wales 10.9 -0.7 4.3 0.6 7.5 -0.1
Scotland 8.2 -1.5 2.1 -0.3 5 -1
N Ireland 9.6 -1.9 3.9 0.2 6.6 -1
Precipitation Sunshine
Act mm Anom % Act hours Anom %
UK 52 72 41.8 28
England 51.7 88 35.9 23
Wales 71 80 40.7 26
Scotland 48.2 53 53.4 40
N Ireland 47.7 64 33.1 23


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2 Responses to Scotland highlights weather contrasts during the first half of April

  1. xmetman says:

    Because you base your mid-month anomaly maps you create for your mid-month reports on the average for the whole month, I find them rather confusing. Why can’t you use DAILY long-term averages to calculate your anomalies, then your anomaly maps for the 1st to the 15th (or for any other period come to that) would be correct?

    Here’s how I do it using just monthly averages which I download from the Met Office and some crafty curve fitting, admittedly it’s rather crude, but then again I don’t have access to daily values like you do:

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