February 2018

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

Mean daily maximum: 4.9
Difference from average: -1.1

Mean daily minimum: -0.2
Difference from average: -0.5

Mean air temperature: 2.4
Difference from average: -0.8

Absolute maximum: 10.2 (20th)

Absolute minimum: -4.9 (28th)

Mean grass minimum: -2.2

Absolute grass minimum: -6.9 (7th)

Mean concrete minimum: -1.0

Absolute concrete minimum: -3.5 (7th)

Number of ground frosts: 25

Number of air frosts: 15

Mean soil temperature at 30cm depth: 4.1

Mean soil temperature at 100cm depth: 5.7

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

Total for the month: 39.0
Difference from average: -2.6

Percentage of the average: 94%

Wettest day: 9.8 (19th)

Number of rain days (>0.25mm): 13

Number of wet days (=> 1mm): 13

3-month total rainfall to 28th February: 136.4
Difference from average: -35.6

6-month rainfall total to 28th February: 330.4
Difference from average: -15.8

12-month rainfall total to 28th February: 646.2
Difference from average: -2.8

(averages for 09:00 hours GMT)

Relative Humidity: 83%

(all averages 1961 – 1990)

Total for the month: 73.4 hours
Difference from average: +8.0

Percentage of the average: 112%

Mean daily sunshine: 2.6 hours
Difference from average: +0.3

Sunniest day: 8.1 hours (24th)

Number of days with no recorded sunshine: 2

Cumulative total sunshine since 1st January: 127.3 hours
Difference from average: +8.1


Comments on February 2018
February was a cold month, notably at the end of the month when a blocking anticyclone over Scandinavia generated strong, very cold winds from Siberia. Mean air temperature was 0.8°C below average, the largest below-average result since March 2013 (November 2016 also had a mean air temperature 0.8°C below average). This was the coldest February since 2010 for all three measures of air temperature. The 28th was the coldest day with air temperature failing to reach zero (maximum temperature -2.1°C), the lowest absolute maximum in February since Valentine’s Day 1979. Of the 17 colder February days at Durham since 1850, 7 were in the 19th century and 10 in the 20th century.

Like the entire winter, the precipitation total in February was just below average. Sunshine was just a little above average.

Emeritus Professor Tim Burt
Department of Geography
Durham University