For the year as a whole, mean air temperature in 2010 (8.3°C) was below average (8.6°C, 1961 – 1990) for the first time since 1996 when the same mean was recorded. It was the 62nd coldest year in Durham since 1850, so not in the lowest quartile. The 2010 mean was the coldest for any 12 – month period since the “year” ending in January 1997. It was the first calendar year since 1985 when there were 7 months below mean air temperature. It is of interest that the decadal running mean (9.5°C, 2001 – 2010), having fallen a little from the record high of three years ago, still remains the 5th highest for any 10 – year period since 1850. Rainfall was nearly 100mm above average, 129th wettest in 161 years; even so, the previous two years were wetter. Sunshine was 6% below average, the dullest year since 2004. It is some measure of the disappointing amount of bright sunshine during 2010 that the sunniest day was 1st April!
Professor Tim Burt
Department of Geography