February 2016

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

Mean daily maximum: 7.3
Difference from average: +1.3

Mean daily minimum: 1.0
Difference from average: +0.7

Mean air temperature: 4.2
Difference from average: +1.0

Absolute maximum: 12.0 (1st)

Absolute minimum: -3.1 (24th)

Mean grass minimum: -1.4

Absolute grass minimum: -7.1 (24th)

Number of ground frosts: 18

Number of air frosts: 13

Mean soil temperature at 30cm depth: 5.0

Mean soil temperature at 100cm depth: 6.7

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

Total for the month: 28.0
Difference from average: -13.6

Percentage of the average: 67%

Wettest day: 6.8 (17th)

Number of rain days (>0.25mm): 13

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

3-month total rainfall to 29th February: 268.6
Difference from average: +96.6

6-month rainfall total to 29th February: 478.6
Difference from average: +132.4

12-month rainfall total to 29th February: 822.3
Difference from average: +173.3

Humidity
(averages for 09:00 hours GMT)

Relative Humidity: 80%

Sunshine
(all averages 1961 – 1990)

Total for the month: 86.3 hours
Difference from average: +20.9

Percentage of the average: 132%

Mean daily sunshine: 3.0 hours
Difference from average: +0.7

Sunniest day: 7.4 hours (10th)

Number of days with no recorded sunshine: 6

Cumulative total sunshine since 1st January: 146.3 hours
Difference from average: +27.1

ISSN1350-483

Comments on February 2016
February was equal 68th warmest on record, exactly the same as last year. Both mean maximum and mean minimum were above average, the former more so. Like the previous four Februaries, rainfall was below average. Even so, long-period totals remain well above average. Not surprisingly, given the lower than expected rainfall, the hours of bright sunshine were above average.

It was the 3rd equal warmest winter on record (5.6°C, with 2007), beaten only by 1998 (5.7°C) and 1989 (6.3°C). Despite below-average rainfall in February, it was the 6th wettest winter on record since 1850 – 1851, the highest total since 1979.

Winter sunshine was very close to average.

Professor Tim Burt
Department of Geography
Durham University