February 2014

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

Mean daily maximum: 8.6
Difference from average: +2.6

Mean daily minimum: 2.8
Difference from average: +2.5

Mean air temperature: 5.7
Difference from average: +2.5

Absolute maximum: 15.9 (10th)

Absolute minimum: -2.3 (28th)

Mean grass minimum: 1.2

Absolute grass minimum: -5.0 (28th)

Number of ground frosts: 7

Number of air frosts: 2

Mean soil temperature at 30cm depth: 5.1

Mean soil temperature at 100cm depth: 6.5

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

Total for the month: 38.0
Difference from average: -3.6

Percentage of the average: 91%

Wettest day: 5.4 (8th)

Number of rain days (>0.25mm): 15

Number of wet days (=> 1mm): 11

3-month total rainfall to 28th February: 194.6
Difference from average: +22.6

6-month rainfall total to 28th February: 433.4
Difference from average: +87.2

12-month rainfall total to 28th February: 778.6
Difference from average: +129.6

Sunshine
(all averages 1961 – 1990)

Total for the month: 98.4 hours
Difference from average: +33.0

Percentage of the average: 151%

Mean daily sunshine: 3.5 hours
Difference from average: +1.2

Sunniest day: 8.0 hours (28th)

Number of days with no recorded sunshine: 0

Cumulative total sunshine since 1st January: 152.5 hours
Difference from average: +33.3

ISSN1350-483

Comments on February 2014
This was the 12th equal warmest February since 1850 and the warmest since 2004.

The mean maximum temperature was 17th equal highest (since 1900) and the mean minimum was 7th equal highest (also since 1900). There were only 7 ground frosts, the lowest number for February since the available record began in 1961. February rainfall was just below average, with the wettest day (8th) only receiving 5.4mm. It was the sunniest February since 2008 and the 18th sunniest on record since 1882.

It was the 4th warmest winter since 1850, beaten only by 1989, 1998 and 2007. It was just warmer than 1863 which must have seemed remarkably warm for its time. Overall, it was the 42nd wettest winter since 1850 (n=164). Clearly, Durham was too far north to experience record-breaking totals; it was the wettest winter at Oxford since 1767, for example, a most remarkable season in the south therefore. It was 9th sunniest winter on record, but only the sunniest since 2011 – 12, which ranks 3rd. 1999 – 2000 and 2006 – 07 are the sunniest winters on record at Durham and it interesting that of the top ten, seven have been since 1988 – 89.

Professor Tim Burt
Department of Geography
Durham University