February 2007

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

Mean daily maximum: 8.6
Difference from average: +2.6

Mean daily minimum: 2.1
Difference from average: +1.6

Mean air temperature: 5.4
Difference from average: +2.2

Absolute maximum: 13.8 (2nd)

Absolute minimum: -4.2 (6th)

Mean grass minimum: -1.1

Absolute grass minimum: -8.8 (6th)

Number of ground frosts: 17

Number of air frosts: 8

Mean soil temperature at 30cm depth: 5.2

Mean soil temperature at 100cm depth: 6.6

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

Total for the month: 68.6
Difference from average: +27

Percentage of the average: 165%

Wettest day: 14.8 (10th)

Number of rain days (>0.25mm): 16

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

3-month total rainfall to 28th February: 215.6
Difference from average: +57.6

6-month rainfall total to 28th February: 392
Difference from average: +63.8

12-month rainfall total to 28th February: 655.5
Difference from average: +6.5

Humidity
(Averages for 09:00 hours GMT)

Relative Humidity: 90.6%

Sunshine
(all averages 1961 – 1990)

Total for the month: 74.3 hours
Difference from average: +8.9

Percentage of the average: 114%

Mean daily sunshine: 2.7 hours
Difference from average: +0.4

Sunniest day: 7.1 hours (2nd)

Number of days with no recorded sunshine: 7

Cumulative total sunshine since 1st January: 168.4 hours
Difference from average: +49.2

Wind

The mean wind speed: 10.9km/h [5.9kt]
Difference from average: -3.5km/hr

The highest gust: 100km/h [48kt] from 210° at 02:33 GMT on 27th

ISSN1350-483

Comments on February 2007
This was the 19th equal warmest February on record at Durham since 1850. There was a wide range of temperatures, from -4.2°C on the 6th to 13.8°C on the 2nd, the warmest February day since 1998 when 16 .7°C was registered. After the first few balmy days, cooler days were accompanied by some sharp frosts, with the grass minimum on the 6th being the lowest February value since 1994. There were 17 ground frosts, the overall average temperature notwithstanding. There were 8 air frosts, all in the period between the 3rd and the 10th.

At 5.6°C this was the 3rd warmest winter on record, beaten only by 1989 (6.3°C) and 1998 (5.7°C). I reported last month that the 12-month average had risen above 10°C once again, for the first time since January 2005. Given such a mild February, it is not surprising that the last 12 months have been even warmer, indeed the warmest ‘year’ on record at Durham ever, average temperature reaching 10.27°C.

Rainfall was above average for February, although not remarkably so, and all three cumulative measures are now above average too. It was another sunny month, although less sunny than the exceptional January; taken together, the amount of sunshine at the start of the year has been very welcome. In general it was a calm month, but there was a gust of 88.9 kph on the 27th which was a very blustery day.

Professor Tim Burt
Department of Geography
Durham University