January 2012

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

Mean daily maximum: 7.5
Difference from average: +1.7

Mean daily minimum: 1.4
Difference from average: +1.2

Mean air temperature: 4.5
Difference from average: +1.5

Absolute maximum: 11.7 (3rd)

Absolute minimum: -5.0 (16th)

Mean grass minimum: -1.0

Absolute grass minimum: -9.9 (17th)

Number of ground frosts: 16

Number of air frosts: 7

Mean soil temperature at 30cm depth: 5.0

Mean soil temperature at 100cm depth: 7.1

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

Total for the month: 35.8
Difference from average: -23.2

Percentage of the average: 61%

Wettest day: 9.8 (1st)

Number of rain days (>0.25mm): 9

Number of wet days (=> 1mm): 8

3-month total rainfall to 31st January: 112
Difference from average: -60

6-month rainfall total to 31st January: 322.2
Difference from average: -24.0

12-month rainfall total to 31st January: 579.6
Difference from average: -69.4

(Averages for 09:00 hours GMT)

Relative Humidity: 87%

(all averages 1961 – 1990)

Total for the month: 87.7 hours
Difference from average: +33.9

Percentage of the average: 163%

Mean daily sunshine: 2.8 hours
Difference from average: +1.1

Sunniest day: 7.7 hours (14th)

Number of days with no recorded sunshine: 2


Comments on January 2012
This was only the warmest January since 2008 (2007 was even warmer) but as such, much more typical of winter conditions experienced in the early 2000s than the last three winters. It was the 29th equal warmest January since 1850, so just into the top 20%. The beginning of the month was remarkably mild with no air frost until the 13th.

January was another dry month. All long-term rainfall totals are now below average. It was the third sunniest January on record since 1882, although less sunny than 2007 (94.1 hours).

Professor Tim Burt
Department of Geography
Durham University