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Notwithstanding a cold December, the year as a whole saw an average mean air temperature of 9.5°C, the 14th equal warmest in 160 years. In this decade only 2000, 2001 and 2008 have been colder. All years this decade are in the top 21 warmest out of 160 years. One very cold month right at the end of 2009 could not disguise the fact that this has been the warmest decade on record at Durham since 1850. Given the exceptionally wet July and November, this meant that 2009 as a whole was also well above average in terms of rainfall total, even though eight months were below average. It was the 32nd wettest year at Durham since 1850 (749.1mm). This decade only 2000 (873.2mm) and 2008 (817.1mm) have been wetter. There were 176 rain days – the most since 2000. 2009 was the sunniest year since 2003, just above average.
Professor Tim Burt
Department of Geography
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