January 2024 Weather at Durham – An eventful month

January 2024. An eventful month. The month opened as a wild one, with Storm Henk on 2nd January bringing damaging winds. There was a cold northerly outbreak mid-month. There were frequent snow showers, particularly across northern and northeastern Scotland, but they also affected the south. The lowest temperture of the spell was -14.0 at Dalwhinnie on the morning of the 17th, the lowest January temperature in the UK temperature since January 2019.

Then Storm Isha unusually affects nearly all of the UK with severe gales and heavy rain. The strongest gust recorded was 99 mph at Brizlee Wood near Alnwick (Northumberland). Then two days later Storm Jocelyn arrived, brining more rain and very strong winds, with 97 mph recorded at Capel Curig. Then on Sunday 28th 19.6º C was recorded at Kinclochewe (Wester Ross, Highland), beating the previous January high by 1.3º. The warmth was due to a Foehn effect combined with very warm air being drawn up from Africa.

It is later reported that Achfary (NW Higlands) recorded 19.9 the same day – a new UK record for January and indeed for any winter month in Scotland. There was a notable fall of Saharan dust, carried by the same plume of warm air, across the British Isles the same day, most noticeable of course across the south. On the 25th, Gavarda, SE Spain, recorded 30.7C, the new highest temperature ever recorded in Europe in January.


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