New 1991-2020 Climate Means for Durham

The latest 30 years means have been published by the Met Office. The period covers the 30 years between 1991-2020 and will be used going forward as a representative of climate norms. The figures show a warming of about 0.3 degC overall, particularly in late winter/spring, with a slight increase in sunshine, but also wetter, particularly the 2nd half of the year. Durham’s new figures are below (previous 1981-2010 figures in parentheses) January Mean Max: 6.9 degC (6.6) Mean Min: 1.3 degC (0.9) Mean: 4.1 degC (3.8) Air Frosts: 10.3 days (11.3) Sunshine: 60.9 hrs (58.6) Rainfall: 51.8 mm (52.3) … [Read more]

Durham Weather Summary 2019 – Wet and Warm

The Weather of 2019 in Durham was quite noteworthy, particularly because there were some very warm temperatures and also the second half of 2019 was very wet. Some very mild temperatures in February Once again, the winter was on the mild side, especially in February when the 20 degC mark was breached in the UK for the first time. In Durham, the maximum was 17.1 degC and we were lucky enough to spend the time it occurred in York, sitting by the river in T-shirts as if it were a Summer’s day. Warm Easter weekend Easter was in April and … [Read more]

2017 Yearly Summary

2017 was the 10th warmest year on record at Durham since 1850, only marginally cooler than 1990 which had a memorably warm summer. The mean maximum air temperature was the 20th warmest on record (since 1900) and the mean minimum air temperature was the 3rd warmest on record, beaten only by 2004 and 2014. The overall warmth of 2017 was therefore more due to warm nights than warm days. Even so, there were 82 ground frosts, a higher number than in the previous three years, although still the 11th lowest total on record (since 1954). Rainfall was just a little … [Read more]

2016 Yearly Summary

2016 was the 17th warmest year (9.4°C) at Durham since 1850, 0.1°C warmer than last year. Of the 16 warmer years, nine have been since 2000; in a stationary series, only two would be expected. Only two months fell below the 1961 – 1990 average temperature: April and November. Whilst the decadal running mean for annual temperature has fallen slightly from a peak in 2002 (9.7°C), it remains higher than at any stage before 1998. As a result the number of ground frosts was well below average, the 3rd equal lowest total since 1931 (beaten only in 2000 and 2014). … [Read more]

2015 Yearly Summary

For the year as a whole, three months fell below the 1961-1990 average temperature (June, July, September) so, despite a warm end to the year, the overall average (9.3°C) was well down on last year. Whilst well above the 1961-1990 average, it is only just above the average for the last 30 years. 2015 was the 37th wettest year on record at Durham, a dry first half to the year and a wet second half. Five of the last ten years have been wetter. Sunshine hours were once again below average, for the fourth year in a row. There was, … [Read more]

2014 Yearly Summary

For the year as a whole, only August experienced below-average temperatures and overall 2014 was the warmest year in Durham since records began in 1850. Indeed, if the 2014 average temperature (10.07°C) is expressed to two decimal places, this was the first time that the annual average has exceeded 10°C at Durham; the previous records holders (2004, 2011) both averaged 9.96°C. Of the ten warmest years at Durham, eight have been since 2000; 1990 and 1949 are the only exceptions. The mean maximum temperature (13.5°C) was the 12th highest since 1900 whilst the mean minimum temperature (6.6°C) was the highest … [Read more]

2013 Yearly Summary

For the year as a whole, the mean air temperature was 9.0°C, ranking equal 134th in 164 years. Whereas the 12-month running mean was only 8.2°C at the end of March, temperatures recovered well thereafter. 2013 was another wet year. The total of 764.6mm is the 23rd wettest year on record at Durham since 1850. In terms of all possible 12-month totals (n=1957), 2013 was the 330th highest total, well into the top quartile therefore. As noted earlier, the 12-month total to March 2013 was the highest for any 12-month period on record (1143.8mm) and, whilst the calendar year 2013 … [Read more]

2012 Yearly Summary

In summary, as noted at some length, this was easily the wettest year on record at Durham since records began in 1850. The total of 1033mm is remarkable, more than 100mm larger than the previous record in 1872 (914.9mm). In statistical terms, the probability of an annual total this large is something less than I in 10,000 – so perhaps the wettest year since the last Ice Age! Curiously there were 4 fewer rain days (183) than normal. In terms of temperature, it was above average (8.92°C), ranking 127th out of 163 years. Not surprisingly, it was disappointing year for … [Read more]

2011 Annual Summary

Following a below-average year in 2010, 2011 was a remarkable transformation: the warmest year on record at Durham, equal to 2004 at 9.96°C (to two decimal places) but 10°C to all intents and purposes! There was a remarkably low number of ground frosts, only 78; only 2002 (71), 2003 (77) and 2004 (67) have had fewer. Only 2000 (19) and 2002 (16) have had fewer ground frosts than 2011 (20) in the second half of the year. Nine months were below average in 2011 so the low rainfall total for the year was no surprise. The low total was not … [Read more]

2010 Yearly Summary

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 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 … [Read more]