January 2003

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

Mean daily maximum: 7.0
Difference from average: +1.2

Mean daily minimum: 2.2
Difference from average: +2.0

Mean air temperature: 4.6
Difference from average: +1.6

Absolute maximum: 14.4 (27th)

Absolute minimum: -3.7 (31st)

Mean grass minimum: 0.6

Absolute grass minimum: -4.6 (5th)

Number of ground frosts: 17

Number of air frosts: 10

Mean soil temperature at 30cm depth: 4.3

Mean soil temperature at 100cm depth: 6.2

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

Total for the month: 63
Difference from average: +4.1

Percentage of the average: 107%

Wettest day: 20 (3rd)

Number of rain days (>0.25mm): 17

Number of wet days (=> 1mm): 14

3-month total rainfall to 31st January: 234.4
Difference from average: +56.1

6-month rainfall total to 31st January: 437.4
Difference from average: +84

12-month rainfall total to 31st January: 762.8
Difference from average: +113.8

(Averages for 09:00 hours GMT)

Relative Humidity: 83.6%

(all averages 1961 – 1990)

Total for the month: 58.9 hours
Difference from average: +5.1

Percentage of the average: 109%

Mean daily sunshine: 1.9 hours
Difference from average: +0.2

Sunniest day: 6.2 hours (23rd & 25th)

Number of days with no recorded sunshine: 4


The mean wind speed: 17.4km/h [9.4kt]
Difference from average: +2.7km/hr

The highest gust: 100km/h [54kt] from 229° at 21:59 GMT on 14th


Comments on January 2003
January 2002 was even warmer than the previous January, this time 23rd warmest on record, although still way below the 1916 average of 7°C! The absolute maximum of 14.4°C on the 27th was the warmest January day since 1989. We have no record of highest minima but that of 9.8°C on the 27th must surely be one of the highest ever recorded in January. There were nevertheless some cold days, especially at the start of the month, and a maximum of only 0.7°C was recorded on the 31st. Rainfall and sunshine were both about average for the time of year. Long-term rainfall totals remain well above average. It was windy in the middle of the moth with a gust of 100km/hour on the 14th.

Professor Tim Burt
Department of Geography
Durham University