Record breaking February, mild winter
Author: Press Office
14:35 (UTC) on Fri 1 Mar 2019
No one could have missed that February was record breaking.
Daily maximum temperatures have been the highest on record (dating back to 1910), averaging out at 10.0C, ahead of the 9.8C recorded in 1998.
When considering mean temperatures (24 hour temperature totals) the provisional end-of-February statistics show it is the second warmest with 6.0C recorded, behind 1998 at 6.8C. Daily minimum temperatures were also well above average, but a cold start to the month, and some clear skies at the end resulted in some colder nights meaning they were not record breaking.
|Maximum temp||Minimum temp||Mean temp|
|Area||Actual temp C||Anomaly C||Actual temp C||Anomaly C||Actual temp C||
Despite starting with snow and freezing temperatures, the month ended with the UK as a whole and England, Scotland and Wales all recording the warmest February day as well as the warmest winter day. 21.2C was recorded in Kew Gardens in London on 26 Feb – which is also now the UK record. 18.3C was recorded at Aboyne in Abderdeenshire on 21 Feb setting a new Scottish record. 20.8C was recorded in Porthmadog, Gywnedd on 26 Feb setting a new Welsh record.
In total 21 locations in the Met Office observing network broke previous national (England, Scotland, Wales) records, some of these on multiple days. On 26 February, the previous UK record (19.7 at Greenwich on 13th February 1998) was broken as far north as Rochdale, Greater Manchester (20.4 C) and Myerscough, Lancashire (19.8 C).
With the high temperatures came plenty of sunshine. The month has been provisionally the second sunniest February on record for the UK as a whole and also for Wales. England in fact has narrowly beaten 2008 to record its sunniest February in records back to 1929
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February concluded what has been a relatively warm, dry and sunny winter season (December to February) for the country as a whole. Late January into early February experienced the most significant cold spell of the season. The season experienced only two named storms, Deidre in mid December and Erik in early February so it was not a notable as a stormy season either.
Overall It was the 7th warmest, 6th sunniest, and 23rd driest winter in series from 1910. It will go in the record books as the first winter in which we have officially recorded a daily maximum temperature above 20 C (and it was also the first winter to see a temperature above 70 F). There were some regional differences, for example parts of north east England and east Scotland were notably dry, with east Scotland region having its 4th driest winter and driest since 1964. The eastern side of the country also saw the sunniest weather with E. Anglia and east and north east England recording their 2nd sunniest winters.
|Area||Actual C||Anomaly C||Actual hours||%||Actual mm||%|
While the latter part of February had a spring-like feel to it, for many as we head into the start of meteorological Spring we are seeing a change in the weather. Weather warnings have been issued and a named storm, Storm Freya, is expected to push north-east across parts of England, Wales and southern Scotland through Sunday afternoon before clearing into the North Sea early on Monday. Gusts of 55-65 mph are likely widely, with the potential for gusts of 70-80 mph for coastal parts of Devon and Cornwall, as well as Irish Sea coasts of Wales and north-west England.
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