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Winter 2017/18

The following represents an assessment of the weather experienced across the UK during Winter 2017/18 (December, January, February) and how it compares with the 1981 to 2010 average.

This winter generally was rather unsettled, with weather systems coming in from the west for most of the time, allowing only brief settled spells.  Temperatures fluctuated either side of average, with some mild spells (especially in southern areas) but also spells with widespread frosts, with the most widespread cold weather coming right at the end of the season.  Rainfall has not been far from average overall, though some places were rather wet in the first two months.  Sunshine overall has been above average, with few exceptions.

December 2017 saw temperatures close to average in most areas, and slightly above in the south-west and the far north; the UK monthly mean temperature was 0.2 °C above the long-term average. January 2018 was warmer than average across England and Wales, but somewhat colder than average in northern Scotland, and the UK as a whole saw mean temperatures 0.4 °C above average.  February was a cold month generally, with a mean temperature 1.3 °C below average.

December was rather drier than average in some north-eastern areas, but central and south-east England, especially East Anglia, were rather wet.  Overall the UK had 99% of average rainfall.  January was rather wet in some western areas, but dry in Aberdeenshire.  The UK overall had 110% of average rainfall in January.  February was rather drier, especially in the second half, with 73% of average for the UK overall.

Many areas had somewhat more sunshine than average during December, although some western and northern fringes were duller.  January sunshine was above average across northern Scotland, and broadly close to average elsewhere.  February was sunnier than average nearly everywhere, and the second sunniest for the UK in a series since 1929.  Sunshine totals for the UK overall were 115% of average in December, 103% of average in January, and 137% in February.

UK statistical summary

Mean Temperature Rainfall Sunshine
The provisional mean value is 3.6 °C, which is 0.2 °C below the 1981-2010 average. The provisional total  is 317 mm, which is 96% of the 1981-2010 average. The provisional total is 191 hours, which is 121% of the 1981-2010 average.


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