February 2002

(all temperatures in degrees Celsius; all averages 1961 – 1990)

Mean daily maximum: 9.4
Difference from average: +3.1

Mean daily minimum: 2.8
Difference from average: +2.5

Mean air temperature: 6.1
Difference from average: +2.9

Absolute maximum: 13.1 (2nd)

Absolute minimum: -1.0 (14th)

Mean grass minimum: 1.2

Absolute grass minimum: -4.1 (14th)

Number of ground frosts: 11

Number of air frosts: 3

Mean soil temperature at 30cm depth: 5.1

Mean soil temperature at 100cm depth: 6.4

(all totals in millimetres; all averages 1961 – 1990)

Total for the month: 87.6
Difference from average: +46

Percentage of the average: 211%

Wettest day: 23 (26th)

Number of rain days (>0.1mm): 24

3-month total rainfall to: 157
Difference from average: -0.9

6-month rainfall total to: 312.3
Difference from average: -15.6

12-month rainfall total to: 547.4
Difference from average: -101.6

(Averages for 09:00 hours GMT)

Relative Humidity: 79.8%

(all averages 1961 – 1990)

Total for the month: 86.8 hours
Difference from average: +21.4

Percentage of the average: 132%

Mean daily sunshine: 3.1 hours
Difference from average: +0.8

Sunniest day: 7.7 hours (23rd)

Number of days with no recorded sunshine: 3


The mean wind speed: 21.4km/h [11.6kt]
Difference from average: +8.0km/hr

The highest gust: 100km/h [54kt] from 220° at 15:06 GMT on 1st


Comments on February 2002
February was a very mild month, the 5th equal warmest since 1850, exceeded only by 1903, 1990, 1945 and 1998 (by far the warmest February on record with a mean air temperature of 7.6°C). It was the 20th warmest winter record, a cool December bringing down what might otherwise have been a very warm winter. It was also a wet month: the 9th wettest February on record, though less wet than in 2001 and far less wet than 1941 when 152.5mm was recorded. However, the 12-month rainfall total remains well below the long-term average, while 3-month and 6-month totals are close to average. Despite the rain, it was sunnier than usual and also a windy month with a gust of 100km/hr on the 1st.

Professor Tim Burt
Department of Geography
Durham University