A chilly month rather than wet

IT was a month with below average temperatures at 3.0C (the 1981-2010 mean is 3.8C).

After a cold first 11 days, which included five frosty nights, there was a brief spell of mild weather from the 12th to 16th with daytime temperatures reaching 11.0C (13th) and a very mild night on the 16th (9.3C).

The rest of the month had slightly below average temperatures and included two cold spells, the 20th to 23rd, and the 27th onwards, with an absolute minimum of minus 5.5 on the 29th.

In all there were 13 nights with an air frost giving an average minimum of 0.4C. The average maximum was 5.5C.

A glance at the rainfall graph will show that most of the rain fell in the first 16 days including 20.2mms on 7th and 22.8mms on the 10th which up to that point seemed to indicate a very wet January.

This was not to be, however, with only slight amounts in the last two weeks (4.1mms of which actually fell before 09.00hrs on February 1) to give a total of 121.2mms (76.9 per cent of the average).

Included in this precipitation were four days on which sleet or snow fell, the largest accumulation being 2cms on the 4th.

Pressure was well above average at 1017.0mbs largely owing to very high values between the 18th and 24th, reaching 1040.8mbs on the 22nd; the only spell of low pressure was from the 5th to 12th, including a reading of 986.9mbs on the 8th.

Wind directions from the 4th to 19th were largely from the south and south west, whereas the three days and the latter part of the month had winds from between the north west to the north east.

There were 20 mornings with overcast conditions giving an average cloud cover of 83.9 per cent, but on a number of days the weather brightened to give some sunny days, especially from the 17th to 21st and 27th to 29th, and this resulted in an estimated total of 58 hours, nine more than the expected January figure.

Relative humidity was often high giving an average of 87.4 per cent which is near the monthly norm.

Visibility was good on six days only but there was no fog or mist at 09.00hrs, neither was there thunder or hail to report, but there were very strong winds on the morning of the 16th which reached gale force in exposed places.