February 2015

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

Mean daily maximum: 7.2
Difference from average: +1.2

Mean daily minimum: 1.2
Difference from average: +0.9

Mean air temperature: 4.2
Difference from average: +1.0

Absolute maximum: 11.3 (8th)

Absolute minimum: -2.6 (10th)

Mean grass minimum: -1.0

Absolute grass minimum: -6.0 (3rd)

Number of ground frosts: 16

Number of air frosts: 8

Mean soil temperature at 30cm depth: 4.3

Mean soil temperature at 100cm depth: 5.9

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

Total for the month: 15.6
Difference from average: -26.0

Percentage of the average: 38%

Wettest day: 2.4 (5th)

Number of rain days (>0.25mm): 9

Number of wet days (=> 1mm): 7

3-month total rainfall to 28th February: 89.2
Difference from average: -82.8

6-month rainfall total to 28th February: 215.0
Difference from average: -131.2

12-month rainfall total to 28th February: 566
Difference from average: -83.0

(averages for 09:00 hours GMT)

Relative Humidity: 81%

(all averages 1961 – 1990)

Total for the month: 87.6 hours
Difference from average: +22.2

Percentage of the average: 134%

Mean daily sunshine: 3.1 hours
Difference from average: +0.8

Sunniest day: 8.1 hours (10th)

Number of days with no recorded sunshine: 1

Cumulative total sunshine since 1st January: 184.7 hours
Difference from average: +65.5


Comments on February 2015
Mean air temperature was well above average in February, but it was still only the 68th equal warmest on record (n=166). There were more ground frosts than last year but this is still the 2nd lowest total for February since 1961. It was a dry month, the 20th equal lowest total on record for February since 1850. Sunshine hours were well above average, with nearly one extra hour per day. Although not as sunny as February 2014, it was still the 28th sunniest February on record since 1882.

Overall, it was a mild winter, 29th equal warmest since 1850, so well into the upper quartile. It was also a dry winter, 26th driest on record, the driest since 2006. Most notably, it was the sunniest winter on record at Durham since 1883, beating the previous record from 2000. Of the ten sunniest winters, six have been this century.

Professor Tim Burt
Department of Geography
Durham University