February 2013

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

Mean daily maximum: 6.1
Difference from average: +0.1

Mean daily minimum: 0.0
Difference from average: -0.3

Mean air temperature: 3.1
Difference from average: -0.1

Absolute maximum: 10.4 (4th)

Absolute minimum: -3.7 (28th)

Mean grass minimum: -2.4

Absolute grass minimum: -6.9 (28th)

Number of ground frosts: 25

Number of air frosts: 12

Mean soil temperature at 30cm depth: 3.7

Mean soil temperature at 100cm depth: 5.3

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

Total for the month: 33.2
Difference from average: -8.4

Percentage of the average: 80%

Wettest day: 8.0 (23rd)

Number of rain days (>0.25mm): 13

Number of wet days (=> 1mm): 9

3-month total rainfall to 28th February: 215.0
Difference from average: +57.0

6-month rainfall total to 28th February: 545.2
Difference from average: +217.0

12-month rainfall total to 28th February: 1099.4
Difference from average: +450.4

(Averages for 09:00 hours GMT)

Relative Humidity: 81%

(all averages 1961 – 1990)

Total for the month: 77.2 hours
Difference from average: +11.8

Percentage of the average: 118%

Mean daily sunshine: 2.8 hours
Difference from average: +0.5

Sunniest day: 8.7 hours (27th)

Number of days with no recorded sunshine: 2

Cumulative total sunshine since 1st January: 133.2 hours
Difference from average: +14.0


Comments on February 2013
Despite seeming rather cold, February was only just below the long-term average mean air temperature, with days very slightly above average and nights just below. Six of the last twelve months have below average and the 12-month average temperature is now down to 8.7°C.

February was the first month with below-average rainfall since last March. Not surprisingly, long-term totals remain well above average, notwithstanding a dry February, and indeed the 12-month total to the end of February 2013 is the wettest for any 12-month period at Durham since records began in 1850.

Given a dry month, it was not unexpected that sunshine was above average, bright days being a welcome compensation for the low temperatures.

Professor Tim Burt
Department of Geography
Durham University