WOLD RANGER RAILWAYS - Railway photography around Yorkshire and the UK

Thursday, 2 January 2014

December 2013 Weather Report

Colourful skies at dusk
A mild and unsettled month in general with temperatures pretty much above average throughout and no periods of settled or crisp weather, but despite this the statistics for the month would actually provide some unexpected surprises. Utmost amongst these were the rainfall statistics as though precipitation was recorded on 15 days, the actual rainfall total for the month was a very modest 24.5 mm (0.96 inches), just 41% of the long term December average. Indeed despite the fact that many places within the UK saw dreadful flooding this month, especially in the south and west of the country, this would actually prove to be the 2nd driest December on our records since 2003 and continued the dry theme of 2013 which concluded with an annual rainfall total of 513.4 mm (20.2 inches), just 79% of the long term average. In contrast last year (2012) saw an annual total of 917.8 mm (36.1 inches) !!!

A lack of frosts this month meant that some tender plants could remain outdoors until at least mid-month

Another remarkable feature of this past month has been the lack of frost, with just 11 hours recording temperatures below 0.0 C (32.0 F), while the monthly low of -2.0 C (28.4 F) is the highest ever monthly minimum recorded in December since 2003. However it was day-time temperatures which were much higher than normal, almost 2 C above the long term norm, and overall the month would conclude with average temperatures just over one degree centigrade above the 1981-2010 average.

Stormy skies over the Wolds

With the mild and unsettled weather it is perhaps no surprise that Atlantic weather dominated the month, with the wind coming from either the south or south-west on 27 days, while both northern and eastern winds are notable by their complete absence with no arctic or polar incursions. The domination of south-westerly winds also helps to explain the low rainfall figures for the month with many weather systems fizzling out as they crossed the British Isles, the effect further influenced by the rain shadows provided by the Pennines and to a lesser degree the nearby Wolds.

Clear skies on the 9th allowed me to grab this photo of the Orion Nebula

Winds were often strong throughout the month with some very powerful winds at the start of the month which saw gusts in excess of 50 knots (60 mph) on the 5th, this particular storm bringing widespread misery and tidal flooding to coastal and estuary locations along the North Sea coast (click here and scroll down the page to see some of the pics from Spurn Point after the storm), though back here inland and in our sheltered woodland location damage was thankfully restricted to just a few broken branches and lose tiles.

Dusk on the 17th

STATISTICS & AVERAGES FOR DECEMBER 2013
AVERAGE TEMPERATURE : 5.5 C / 41.9 F (1.1 C above average*)
AVERAGE MAXIMUM : 9.0 C / 48.2 F (1.9 C above average)
AVERAGE MINIMUM : 1.9 C / 35.4 F (0.3 C above average)
HIGHEST MAXIMUM : 13.5 C / 56.3 F, 15th
LOWEST MAXIMUM : 3.3 C / 37.9 F, 11th
HIGHEST MINIMUM : 6.9 C / 44.4 F, 9th
LOWEST MINIMUM : -2.0 C / 28.4 F, 26th
AIR FROSTS : 4
FROST DURATION : 11 hours

TOTAL RAINFALL : 24.5 mm / 0.96 inches (41% of the average*)
MAXIMUM TOTAL (09-09) : 4.7 mm / 0.19 inches, 15th & 18th
RAIN DAYS (=>0.2 mm) : 15
WET DAYS (=>1.0 mm) : 9
RAIN DURATION : 40 hours
DAYS WITH THUNDER : 0
DAYS WITH HAIL : 0
DAYS WITH SNOW FALLING : 0

TOTAL SUNSHINE : 63.7 hours (123% of the average*)
AVERAGE PER DAY : 2.1 hours
SUNLESS DAYS : 6

AVERAGE WIND SPEED : 4.0 knots / 4.6 mph / 7.4 km/h
MAXIMUM GUST : 52 knots / 60 mph / 97 km/h, 5th
WIND DIR. FREQUENCY : N 0, NE 0, E 0, SE 0, S 17, SW 10, W 2, NW 2

AVERAGE BAROMETRIC PRESSURE (at 0900) : 1009.7 mbar/hPa
MAXIMUM BAROMETRIC PRESSURE : 1035.7 mbar/hPa
MINIMUM BAROMETRIC PRESSURE : 964.0 mbar/hPa

AVERAGE GRASS MINIMUM : 0.2 C / 32.4 F
LOWEST GRASS MINIMUM : -4.6 C / 23.7 F, 26th
GRASS FROSTS : 16

DAYS WITH FOG : 1
DAYS WITH SNOW LYING : 0
MAXIMUM SNOW DEPTH : n/a
SNOW INDEX : 0 cm/days

* averages are now compared to the updated Leconfield averages for the period 1981-2010, whereas prior to this month they were compared to the 1971-2000 averages. Leconfield weather station is located a few miles away from our weather station though our climatological station is slightly higher in altitude (50 metres AMSL as opposed to 7 metres AMSL).

ADDITIONAL NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS
- The past month was the 2nd driest December on our records (since 2003).
- It was also the 2nd warmest December in the past 11 years, while as regards daytime temperatures (average maxima) it was in fact the warmest December since our records began.
- This was the least frosty December on our records with just four air frosts recorded.
- It was the first snowless December since 2007 :-(
- The 16th saw some short-lived but very heavy pulses of rain in the early morning with a peak rainfall rate of 109.8 mm/h, a new record for December.

December 2013 Logbook (*the average anomalies on this logbook are related to 1971-2000 averages)

December averages and statistics since 2003

More info about our weather station and the equipment used to record the above data can be seen by clicking the following link - Wold Garth Weather