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Summer of 95

January 2011- The Most Average Month Ever?

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Looking at the latest figures on Philip Eden's climate-uk site, it's clear that only one adjective truly does justice to this month:

Jan 1-28th:

CET: 4.2C (0.0C)

EWR: 81.6mm (96%)

EWS: 44.4hr (94%)

With more of the same forecast.

Is this the most "average" month ever, relative to the long-term means? Even on other parameters such as days of frost, absolute max and min temperatures, and raindays it's seemed very "average" here. More frost than mild Januaries like 1990 and 2005, but less than eg 1985, 1987 or 1997; temps ranging from about -6 to +13; some rain but not a constant Atlantic frontal assault, nor a completely blocked month. And of course the one day of snow lying with maximum depth 2cm is certainly "average"- it's more than several Januaries, but less than many as well.

Others that spring to mind are April 2006 (though the absolute max was quite low), July and August 2001 (a couple of brief hot spells, one or two good thunderstorms, a few washout days, yet lots of benign weather), most of summer 1996 (similar to Jul/Aug 2001) and August 1994 which was certainly disappointing after that July, but much better than the previous two Augusts.

January 2011's claim to fame?

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January 2011 would beat most of the months that you mention:

  • April 2006 was a dry month over most of the UK, and sunshine was rather above average in many regions.
  • July and August 2001 were both about 1C above the long-term average and July was a sunny month in the south and a very dull one in Scotland.
  • Summer 1996 over much of England, Wales and southern Scotland was a dry sunny one with warm days offset by cool nights.
  • August 1994 was certainly a statistically near average month but again not as much so as January 2011 (slightly cooler & cloudier than average, except in the south)

So in summary I'm yet to see an obvious example of a month to challenge January 2011 on this front.

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This month is going to be an almost carbon-copy of January 2006 here. That month had 80% sunshine, 49% rainfall and was 0.3C above average - all very similar to this month in these parts. It also had 2 days of sleet/snow falling and none lying, also identical to this month. The only difference is that this January had more extreme cooler and milder periods, whereas 2006 was a little more homogenous.

If Spring and summer follow in a 2006 vein there would be a lot of happy people from both cold and mild camps Id imagine.

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The three main stats will be close to average but there are other stats such as gales, I would have thought it would be below average, number of days with lying snow, number of days with falling snow, number of days with thunder, number of days with fog, rain days etc.

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I was uncertain where to post this and if the Mods wish to move it somewhere more appropriate please feel free to do so.

Unfortunately I do not have a weather station and so rely on my car temperature guage to see what temperatures are as and when I travel. I hope to purchase a weather station when I retire in a year or so time!

So far in Essex the weather has certainly had a cold feel to it since probably mid November. Yesterday it was struggling to exceed 1C.

My question is for others in the South East when was the last time we recorded a temperature of 15C. I guess it is probably about 3 months ago.

Many thanks in advance for any responce

Kind Regards

Dave

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We got to 14c this month and 15c was exceeded in Essex in November a few times at beginning of month.

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Temps going to come in under average here I think mainly due to the first week remaining cold in this part of the country. First week av 0.4c. Second 2.5c. Third 3.2c. This week has been cool too so under average I think.

Wind will be lighter than average.

Snow falling and rainfall about average but snow lying above average at 16 days thanks to the late Nov / Dec snow still being on the ground into the New Year.

Not sure yet about sunshine hours but looking like average also.

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Temperature wise it has been a preety average sort of January, coldest minima I think about -7 degrees, and mild maxima of 11 degrees - nothing exceptional.

However, on the sunshine front it has been quite a dull month. On the rainfall front, I am not sure, I suspect near average, largely thanks to the very wet spell we had between 10-16th, the last two weeks have been very dry and the first 10 days were showery rather than wet.

In terms of days with snowfall, it has been very poor, just one day - should have been about 4 or 5 but we just missed out on the showers on the 9th and also in recent days being too far west..

No mornings with snow cover - compared to the 18 we saw in December is a very telling statistic.

Lack of any gales.

One ice day surprisingly, and about half of the nights have seen a temp at or below 0 degrees - which is about right for January.

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One snowy morning and another day with a light flurry is enough to make this one of the snowier Januarys of modern times for me, though admittedly that's not saying very much given just how poor Januarys in general have been for snow. Nevertheless, with the obvious exception of 2010 I can't think of any January which has matched this one for snow since 1996. Quite bizarre really.

I noticed Crosby recorded -7C on Saturday morning, which doesn't happen very often. It looks tame next to that run of ridiculously cold nights leading up to Christmas, but that level of cold hadn't been seen in these parts since God knows when.

By the way, only four months between February 1997 and November 2008 attained a sub-4C CET (which is pretty much nailed for this month), which shows just how winterless those years were in general. This will hardly be a month to talk to future generations about over a packet of Werther's Original, but it still gives most "modern" winter months a damn good kicking.

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One snowy morning and another day with a light flurry is enough to make this one of the snowier Januarys of modern times for me, though admittedly that's not saying very much given just how poor Januarys in general have been for snow. Nevertheless, with the obvious exception of 2010 I can't think of any January which has matched this one for snow since 1996. Quite bizarre really.

I noticed Crosby recorded -7C on Saturday morning, which doesn't happen very often. It looks tame next to that run of ridiculously cold nights leading up to Christmas, but that level of cold hadn't been seen in these parts since God knows when.

By the way, only four months between February 1997 and November 2008 attained a sub-4C CET (which is pretty much nailed for this month), which shows just how winterless those years were in general. This will hardly be a month to talk to future generations about over a packet of Werther's Original, but it still gives most "modern" winter months a damn good kicking.

Yes compared to many Januarys' since 1988 it has been decent for cold, with plenty of frosty nights and more colder than average days than above. However, it has been rather dissapointing in terms of snowfall over the Lake District. Some very mild Jans like 1995 have produced more snow. But as you say most Jans since 1988 have in all honesty failed to deliver on the snow front. Of the winter months since 1988, Feb has far outclassed Jan in terms of number of days with snowfall and depths of snow. December in recent years has eclipsed Feb and March has delivered a fair bit of snow in recent years. It seems January is the most difficult month to attain snow from stalling fronts etc, most snow events have quickly turned into rain or immediately thawed, hence most have come in on the back of milder air pushing into colder air rather than the other way around which seems to have been more the case in Dec and particularly Feb.

I think this month would be viewed much more positively on the wintry index stakes had we not had the exceptional December. Any Jan after such a Dec would be up against it from the start.

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This month has been exceptionally poor here for snowfall with just 2 days falling, making it the joint 3rd lowest in 23 years. As for lying snow, there hasnt been any, so its the joint worst on that count aswell. The only redeeming feature is that it has had 9 air frosts, making it 8th highest in the last 29 Januarys.

As a few here have mentioned, snow in January has been much less frequent than December and February in recent times. From 1987-2009 in Hedon (1971-2000 averages in brackets):

Snow Lying in Days:

JAN: 1.4 (2.7)

FEB: 2.1 (2.6)

MAR: 0.9 (0.6)

APR: 0.3 (0.1)

NOV: 0.3 (0.6)

DEC: 1.7 (1.6)

Sleet/Snow Falling:

JAN: 3.3 (6.4)

FEB: 5.9 (5.7)

MAR: 3.4 (4.3)

APR: 1.7 (2.2)

MAY: 0.2 (0.2)

OCT: 0.2 (0.1)

NOV: 1.3 (1.7)

DEC: 3.3 (4.0)

Note how February is generally much snowier than the other winter months (and the only month close to average), but also how poor January has been. Indeed, March saw more snow falling on average than both December and January. April is also generally better for falling snow than November, but as expected doesnt lay as long. Apart from that, it shows how rare snow actually is around here, but also that almost every month is down on the average, in line with many other areas.

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This January has been one of the poorest for snowfall here,just 1 day full cover and that turned to rain in the same day.

At least there was 1 part day of drifting and 1 ice day at least.

2006 Jan gave 5 days snowcover from the early easterly,only 3 days snow falling 1 ice day.

Otherwise 4 days with sleet or snow falling this months snow grains for 2 of those.

Better for harder frosts this year and dryer conditions and only that week of mild SW-lys.

Apart from last Jan,since 1996...1997 would rate 2nd gave 11 days snowcover from a very cold easterly 4inches.

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I get the impression that most on here are used to getting decent amounts of snow in January, hence the massive disappointment. I on the other hand am used to snowless Januarys so it could have been a lot worse (try 2007 or 2008 :bad: ).

It seems to me as though the factors which usually influence snowfall variation (altitude, proximity to the sea, etc.) haven't been that significant when it actually has snowed this month (the brief but widespread frontal event on the 7th, the light flurries last week under a cold easterly) - hence Liverpool doing relatively well for snow, as opposed to all those Januarys when it seemed to snow everywhere but here.

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At Cleadon there have been 3 days of snow falling and 1 of snow lying, which is rather below the long-term average but not out of the ordinary compared to recent years. 1998, 2000, 2002, 2006 and 2009 all had fewer days of sleet/snow falling, and 1998, 2000, 2005, 2006 and 2009 all failed to produce a single day of snow lying.

Despite the relative snowlessness of January in recent years (with the stark exception of January 2010), I am yet to note a January there which has no sleet or snow falling going back to 1993, while in the meantime I've recorded 2 snowless Decembers (2006, 2007) and 3 snowless Marches (1997, 2003 and 2010).

Norwich has had 2 days of sleet/snow falling making it the most snowless January since 2008, but I don't have definitive stats going further back than that for Norwich.

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At Cleadon there have been 3 days of snow falling and 1 of snow lying, which is rather below the long-term average but not out of the ordinary compared to recent years. 1998, 2000, 2002, 2006 and 2009 all had fewer days of sleet/snow falling, and 1998, 2000, 2005, 2006 and 2009 all failed to produce a single day of snow lying.

Despite the relative snowlessness of January in recent years (with the stark exception of January 2010), I am yet to note a January there which has no sleet or snow falling going back to 1993, while in the meantime I've recorded 2 snowless Decembers (2006, 2007) and 3 snowless Marches (1997, 2003 and 2010).

Norwich has had 2 days of sleet/snow falling making it the most snowless January since 2008, but I don't have definitive stats going further back than that for Norwich.

January 1989, 1992 and 2009 all failed to produce any sleet/snow here between 1987 and 2011. February has never been snowless, though 1989, 1997 and 2008 all managed just one day. The only snowless Marches were 1997 and 2003. I suspect Norwich is pretty similar unless it managed any showers in NNW or NW flows which missed here. I suspect Cleadon may have missed out in the 1989 and 1992 January cases aswell.

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It's possible that Cleadon might have had sleety showers from this chart in January 1992:

http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/1992/Rrea00119920109.gif

I'd be very surprised if January 1989 wasn't completely snowless though- even Terminal Moraine in the Peak District only managed one day of sleet during that month!

Snow free months appear to be more common at Norwich, due to the colder polar maritime incursions often not getting far south enough in zonal months- I think some parts of the Norwich area managed it as recently as January 2008 (there were scattered flurries on the 3rd but nothing was observed at Norwich Airport), and certainly in January 2002. The long-term averages may show up Norwich to be only marginally less snowy than Cleadon, but it's certainly more variable/less reliable down here.

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Slight covering of wet snow on that chart from 1992,only snowed 1 night all that month.

If TM Jan 1989 was snowless then it probably was here unless there were any atlantic colder westerlies with give the odd wintry shower,I don`t know,which I doubt there was that was a very SW-ly month,it looked dry though.

Otherwise 1992 it was cold and dry 4 ice days,lots of hard frosts 2 severe -8/-9c

Last night made -8c this is the same old reading as then.

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The Januaries from 1989 to 1994 were all snowless or near-snowless here, I can't remember a single day of snow lying in any of them. Also Jan 2000 had no snow at all. January 2002 was odd in having no snow falling, but 5 days lying (the most of any January between 1997 and 2010)

Snowless Februaries: 1992, 1997, 2000.

Marches: like January this month was practically snowless from 1989 to 1994, but since then only 1997, 2000, 2002 and 2003 have been snow-free.

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This month has been exceptionally poor here for snowfall with just 2 days falling, making it the joint 3rd lowest in 23 years. As for lying snow, there hasnt been any, so its the joint worst on that count aswell. The only redeeming feature is that it has had 9 air frosts, making it 8th highest in the last 29 Januarys.

As a few here have mentioned, snow in January has been much less frequent than December and February in recent times. From 1987-2009 in Hedon (1971-2000 averages in brackets):

Snow Lying in Days:

JAN: 1.4 (2.7)

FEB: 2.1 (2.6)

MAR: 0.9 (0.6)

APR: 0.3 (0.1)

NOV: 0.3 (0.6)

DEC: 1.7 (1.6)

Sleet/Snow Falling:

JAN: 3.3 (6.4)

FEB: 5.9 (5.7)

MAR: 3.4 (4.3)

APR: 1.7 (2.2)

MAY: 0.2 (0.2)

OCT: 0.2 (0.1)

NOV: 1.3 (1.7)

DEC: 3.3 (4.0)

Note how February is generally much snowier than the other winter months (and the only month close to average), but also how poor January has been. Indeed, March saw more snow falling on average than both December and January. April is also generally better for falling snow than November, but as expected doesnt lay as long. Apart from that, it shows how rare snow actually is around here, but also that almost every month is down on the average, in line with many other areas.

A January free of morning snow cover is not that unusual I suppose. I have looked back at some stats for winters between 1970-71 and 1992-93 and there have been some winters which in their entiriety so no snow cover at 9am. Here are some stats for winters with no snow cover at 9am with places stated -

Ringway near Manchester - 1974-75, 1975-76, 1991-92 and 92-93. Winters 71-72, 87-88 and 88-89 saw only 1 morning.

Kew - 1972-73, 1980-81, 1983-84 (oddly!), 1987-88, 1988-89, 1989-90, 1991-92 and 92-93

York - 1991-92

Edinburgh - 1982-83 (very surprised, I think this may be a mistake there was a strong northerly mid month.Feb.) and 1987-88

Armagh - 1988-89, 1991-92 and 92-93

Winters 87-88, 88-89, 89-90, 91-92 and 92-93 were very poor indeed for snow cover.

Of the more recent winters, 06-07 produced very little snow cover apart from the snowy 2 day spell in early Feb and winter 07-08 I think could have ended up snow free morning cover wise for many.

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-

Winters 71-72, 87-88 and 88-89 saw only 1 morning.

I think that 1988-89 one is an error. The figures I have are 0 for both falling and lying snow for that month.

January 1990 had one day cover of snow but I can't recall even a blob of sleet for January 1989

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A January free of morning snow cover is not that unusual I suppose. I have looked back at some stats for winters between 1970-71 and 1992-93 and there have been some winters which in their entiriety so no snow cover at 9am. Here are some stats for winters with no snow cover at 9am with places stated -

Ringway near Manchester - 1974-75, 1975-76, 1991-92 and 92-93. Winters 71-72, 87-88 and 88-89 saw only 1 morning.

Kew - 1972-73, 1980-81, 1983-84 (oddly!), 1987-88, 1988-89, 1989-90, 1991-92 and 92-93

York - 1991-92

Edinburgh - 1982-83 (very surprised, I think this may be a mistake there was a strong northerly mid month.Feb.) and 1987-88

Armagh - 1988-89, 1991-92 and 92-93

Winters 87-88, 88-89, 89-90, 91-92 and 92-93 were very poor indeed for snow cover.

Of the more recent winters, 06-07 produced very little snow cover apart from the snowy 2 day spell in early Feb and winter 07-08 I think could have ended up snow free morning cover wise for many.

I'll add the list of shame for Shrewsbury:

1991-92, 1992-93, 1999-00 (anywhere else for that one?) and yes 2007-08.

1998-99 only one day. 2006-07 managed 3 days.

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My records started in 1992/93 and I haven't recorded a single winter at Cleadon without at least one day of snow lying, but 1999/00 only managed one day. The one day came from quite a localised snowfall on the 16th February 2000, so chances are some nearby locations may have had none- most likely near the coast, because further inland there were a couple of lying snow events in December 1999.

If you restrict it to the winter quarter (Dec, Jan, Feb) then I still haven't recorded any snow cover free winters, but we can add 1997/98 and 2007/08 to the list that had only one day. 2007/08 was the nearest approach with just a temporary covering on the morning of the 3rd January, which had reduced to below 50% cover by 10am. Conversely Cleadon got lucky in 1998/99 with a few localised east-coast snowfalls, and had 8 days.

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