February 2008

The averaging period used for the following assessment was 1961-1990.

UK overview

Mean temperature generally 1.5 °C to 2.5 °C above average across the UK. Maximum temperatures over 3.5 °C above average across parts of eastern Scotland, but minimum temperatures slightly below average across parts of England and Wales. Rainfall generally below average across the UK, but well above average across north-west Scotland, with some stations recording over 200% of average rainfall. Sunshine generally well above average, with England, Wales and the UK all having their sunniest February in the areal series back to 1929.

Trawsgoed (Ceredigion) recorded a maximum temperature of 18.2 °C on 12th. Copley (County Durham) recorded a minimum temperature of -10.7 °C on 20th. 77.6 mm of rainfall was recorded at Honister Pass (Cumbria) on 25th. A wind gust of 94 mph was recorded at Capel Curig (Gwynnedd) on 29th.

England diary of highlights

A dry and very sunny month, with above average mean temperatures.

1st to 3rd: Cold at first, with showers feeding down from the north-west. Windy with some snow for a time over the north Pennines and north-east England, with Copley (County Durham) recording 5 cm and Hunt Hall Farm (County Durham) recording 6 cm of lying snow, both at 0900 UTC on 2nd. It turned a little milder later on the 2nd with south-westerly winds and a band of rain extending eastwards. A very active cold front was the main feature of this period, moving southwards on the 3rd. This brought some heavy bursts of rain, severe gale force winds ahead of it, and quite a large and sudden drop in temperature.

4th to 10th: The week started with plenty of showers of rain, sleet, snow and hail. Showers continued on the 5th, but then cloud thickened on the 6th after a bright start. This brought rain at times on the 7th and 8th, mainly to western parts and very mild conditions generally. The week ended on a fine note, with dry and mostly sunny conditions, after overnight patchy mist and fog. Temperatures reached a very mild 16 °C at several London stations on the 9th.

11th to 17th: Dry with some sunshine on most days, after early morning frost and fog patches, and with the cloud rather persistent over many parts on 14th. Woodford (Greater Manchester) recorded a temperature of 16.3 °C on the 12th and Preston Moor Park (Lancashire) recorded 16.8 °C on the 13th. Minimum temperatures below -4 °C occurred in many areas on the 17th, with Topcliffe (North Yorkshire) recording -9.3 °C.

18th to 25th: This week continued the dry trend, with some sunshine, but also overnight frost and fog at times, this lingering for much of the day in some inland areas. Copley recorded a temperature of -10.7 °C on the 20th. More-cloudy conditions spread from the west for the 22nd and 23rd, but it still remained mostly dry, with only a little patchy rain in the west. A cold front then moved south-east on the 24th, bringing the first significant rainfall in nearly two weeks to many northern and central parts. Several stations in Cumbria recorded 24 hour rainfall totals over 50 mm on 25th, with Seathwaite recording 63.0 mm.

26th to 29th: The final week was a contrast to recent weeks, with very unsettled weather spreading from the west and north-west, bringing rain and severe gales, especially to northern England, with 72 m.p.h. recorded at Boulmer (Northumberland) on the 26th. The 27th and 28th were much quieter days before more severe gales developed during the 29th, along with some heavy rain, although amounts of rain were small by the time a south-eastward moving cold front reached southern England. Spadeadam (Cumbria) recorded a gust of 74 m.p.h. on the 29th. Several stations in Cumbria recorded 24-hour rainfall totals over 50 mm on 29th, with Brothers Water (Hartsop Hall) recording 63.0 mm.

Wales diary of highlights

A very sunny month, with above average mean temperatures and below average rainfall.

1st to 3rd: Cold at times, with rain or sleet showers feeding down from the north-west, although it did turn milder with south-westerly winds for a time on the 2nd. A very active cold front was the feature of this period, moving southwards on the 3rd. This brought some heavy bursts of rain, severe gale force winds, and quite a large and sudden temperature drop.

4th to 10th: The week started with reports of a waterspout near Aberystwyth on the 4th, and in the unstable air there were plenty of showers of all types. Llanwddyn (Powys) recorded a 24-hour rainfall total of 52.7 mm on 4th. Showers continued on the 5th, but then clouds thickened on the 6th. This brought some rain to the area during the 7th and 8th, although not large amounts. The week ended on a quieter note, with dry and mostly sunny conditions, after early mist and fog.

11th to 17th: Dry with some sunshine, although with early morning frost and fog patches at times, and the cloud rather persistent on other days. Trawsgoed (Ceredigion) recorded a very mild temperature of 18.2 °C on the 12th and was one of the highest known February temperatures recorded in Wales. The February record is 18.6 °C at Velindre (Powys), which was recorded on the 23rd February 1990. Minimum temperatures below -4 °C occurred in many areas on the 17th, with Alwen (Clwyd) recording -9.2°C.

18th to 25th: This week continued the dry trend, with some sunshine, but also overnight frost and fog at times. Capel Curig (Conwy) recorded a minimum temperature of -6.7°C on the 19th. Cloud spread from the west on the 23rd, but it remained mostly dry, with just a little patchy rain in the west. A cold front moved south-east across Wales on the 24th, bringing the first significant rainfall in nearly two weeks. Capel Curig recorded a 24-hour rainfall total of 48.6 mm on the 25th.

26th to 29th: The final week was a contrast to recent weeks, with unsettled weather spreading from the west and north-west, bringing rain and severe gales, with Capel Curig recording a gust of 94 m.p.h. on the 29th.

Scotland diary of highlights

A mild month. Wet in the west but much drier in the east. An unsettled start and finish with high pressure dominating mid month.

1st to 9th: The month started on a very cold and wintry note with frequent sleet and snow showers in many areas with north to north-west gales causing blizzard conditions. Stornoway (Western Isles) recorded a gust of 71 m.p.h., Aviemore (Highland) recording 15 cm of lying snow at 1800 UTC on the 1st and Balmoral (Aberdeenshire) recorded a temperature of -9.6 °C on the 2nd. Further snow showers affected the west and far north early on the 2nd then milder with rain preceded by snow over the Highlands, with Tyndrum (Stirling) recording a 24-hour rainfall total of 51.4 mm on the 2nd. Rain continued on the 3rd, heaviest in the west, with snow on the mountains and on some lower hills later. It was also windy with gales in places. Rain cleared north-eastwards during the morning of the 4th with widespread frost developing. Showers pushed north-eastwards through the day, falling as snow across the hills. Windy with gales in exposed parts, the wind easing later with another frost developing. The 5th to 7th saw further periods of heavy rain or showers for western Scotland with snow on hills, but drier and brighter in the east. Mild on the 7th, with temperatures reaching 14.2 °C in Edinburgh. Patchy rain but sunny spells in the north-east on the 8th, with gusts 50 to 70 m.p.h. Dry and bright in the south on the 9th, but cloudy with rain north of the Great Glen.

10th to 19th: This period was dominated by high pressure keeping dry, settled weather across Scotland. Sunny spells by day but mist and fog at night with some sharp frosts. The warmest temperatures were 16.0 °C at Glenlivet (Moray) on the 11th and 16.0 °C at Aboyne (Aberdeenshire) on the 12th. However, temperatures only reached 4 °C at Edinburgh on the 11th due to persistent fog. On the 13th, Eskdalemuir (Dumfries & Galloway) recovered from an overnight low of -3.0 °C to record their highest ever February temperature of 14.8 °C, in a record going back more than 90 years. Overnight temperatures fell to -6 °C in rural areas during the period but on the morning of the 19th, Braemar (Aberdeenshire) and Dawyck Botanic Garden (Scottish Borders) recorded a minimum temperature of -8.1 °C.

20th to 29th: Rain spread south-eastwards on the 20th with drier brighter conditions following. The 21st and 23rd saw heavy persistent rain over the west of Scotland but it was drier and brighter near the east coast. On the 21st, Dyce (Aberdeenshire) recorded a temperature of 15.4 °C, Sella Ness (Shetland) recorded a gust of 91 m.p.h. and 24-hour rainfall totals of 74.5 mm at Invergulas (Argyll & Bute) and 65.2 mm at Tyndrum. The 22nd was a brighter colder, showery day with gale force westerly winds. Sunny intervals and scattered showers on the 24th then mainly cloudy on the 25th with outbreaks of rain, mostly in the west. Windy with severe gales in the west and Tyndrum recording a 24-hour rainfall total of 52.6 mm on the 25th. The 26th was a very windy day with severe gales in places, and Blackford Hill Observatory in Edinburgh recorded a gust of 70 m.p.h. and very wet in the west Highlands. Drier and brighter on the 27th and 28th with a few showers and winds easing down. On the 29th, there was heavy rain then showers for much of western Scotland but lighter rain in the east. Very windy with a gust of 75 m.p.h. at Edinburgh Blackford Hill and 24-hour rainfall totals of 62.5 mm at Invergulas and 53.0 mm at Tyndrum.

Northern Ireland diary of highlights

A sunny month with above average temperatures and below average rainfall. An unsettled start and finish but high pressure brought a settled period in between.

1st to 5th: The month started on a cold and wintry note with strong to gale north to north-westerly winds bringing sleet and snow showers. The snow showers died out early on the 2nd with rain then spreading from the south-west, preceded by snow on high ground. Lough Navar Forest recorded 7 cm of lying snow at 0900 UTC on 2nd. Wet and windy at first on the 3rd, but the rain cleared from the west through the afternoon. Showers developed during the morning of the 4th, initially falling as sleet or snow across the hills, but with more general rain in the south later. On the 5th, rain spread to all parts during the early hours, heavy at first then lighter and more patchy.

6th to 19th: A band of showers crossed during the morning of the 6th, dying out by early afternoon. A band of light or moderate rain then moved north-east across the Province during the evening. The 7th was rather cloudy with patchy rain. Very mild, with temperatures up to 15.3 °C at Stormont Castle (County Antrim). Cloudy with patchy rain on the morning and evening of the 8th, but mainly dry and bright during the afternoon. Mainly dry and bright but quite breezy at times on the 9th, but with rain into the north-west later in the evening. The 10th to the 19th was dominated by high pressure keeping all parts dry. Sunny spells by day but often frost and fog patches at night. Highest daytime temperatures were on 13th, with Dungonell Filters (County Antrim) recording 16.2 °C. By the 19th the frost and fog was taking longer to lift with Katesbridge (County Down) recording a temperature of -8.8 °C on the 18th.

20th to 29th: Frosty and misty again overnight, but rain spread south-eastwards through the morning of the 20th, with drier, brighter weather during the afternoon. More rain reached the north-west during the evening. The 21st to the 23rd was mostly cloudy and milder with some patchy light rain. The 24th saw a mixture of sunny intervals and showers. Cloudy on the 25th with outbreaks of rain and fresh to strong southerly winds. The 26th was a bright day with sunny intervals and frequent showers and a strong to gale force westerly wind. Ballykelly recorded a gust of 61 m.p.h. on the 26th. Winds were much lighter on the 27th and 28th, otherwise mainly dry with some bright spells. The 29th was mostly cloudy and windy with periods of rain, heavy at times. There were west or south-westerly gales with severe gales in the north, with Ballykelly recording a gust of 69 m.p.h. and Orlock Head (County Down) recording a gust of 79 m.p.h. on the 29th.

Last updated: 27 February 2013