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February Weather Present & Past

March 7, 2021
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By Paul Homewood

Last month we looked back at January weather in 1941, 1951, 1961 and 1971, to see how it compared with this year. Time to take a look at February.

Overall both temperatures and rainfall in England were close to average. (Note the Met Office are still incorrectly using 1981-2010 as the baseline).

 

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/climate/maps-and-data/uk-temperature-rainfall-and-sunshine-time-series

Comparison with our four other years shows that this February is in the middle for both temperature and rainfall:

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The Met Office highlights indicate at all unusual, having to resort as usual to Honister Pass for rainfall extremes:

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https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/climate/maps-and-data/summaries/index

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February 1941 was largely notable for heavy snowfall, particularly from the 18th to 20th, when some barely believable amounts fell in north east England and south east Scotland, with 42 inches at Durham.

There were also severe gales at times:

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February 1951 was a cold, snowy and wet month, with particularly heavy rainfall in the south east, which received three times the monthly average.

It was a very stormy month too.

Although cold dominated, there were some exceptionally mild days with temperatures reaching 54F, or 12C.

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Ten years later, February was unusually mild. The highest temperature during the month was 18.3C at Bromley, while Hampstead and Kew had their warmest February on record.

Despite the overall mildness, snow was widespread in the Midlands and North.

It was also a particularly stormy month, with a record gust at Tiree of 101 Kt, 116 mph. Winds reached gale force on 22 days in Scotland, and 20 days in England & Wales.

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February 1971 was dry for much of the country, but there were heavy falls of rain in the north west.

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https://digital.nmla.metoffice.gov.uk/SO_7498a04d-6a40-4207-a27f-772663ffd2fc/ 

These four years from the Met Office archives show above all that there is no such thing as “normal weather”. Heavy rain, snow, gales, mild and cold weather all appear, often separated by only a few days.

10 Comments
  1. March 7, 2021 12:45 pm

    The Met Office report for February says it became much milder in the second half of February. My recollection is that it only became mild in the last week of the month

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      March 7, 2021 1:56 pm

      I’ve already predicted people would misremeber Feb 2021. In the CET, it was mostly an exceptionally mild month with a short cold snap, coming out mild overall +1.4C anomaly – in contrast the first week of March is almost a degree below.
      Perception and memories are strange things.

  2. Steve permalink
    March 7, 2021 1:31 pm

    My rule of thumb is when do the frogs spawn in my pond
    I live in South Dorset in the U.K. and most years in the last 25 since I put the pond in there has been spawn in the last week in January. Some milder years in mid January. This year my amphibian friends arrived in the first week in February and spawned about the 8 or 9 February. Up the road on the exposed heathland they spawned just a few days ago. So I reckon we have been a bit colder than usual !! It has certainly felt that way up to the last week in Feb. Cold now as well for early March.
    Mothers and hundreds of tadpoles are doing very well………………………………..

  3. StephenP permalink
    March 7, 2021 2:18 pm

    Ì have used the date when our cherry-plum flowers as an indication of the earliest or lateness of the Spring, in mid Somerset.
    The average since 1983 has been the first week in March, with the earliest the first week in February and the latest the first week in April.
    This year it is the first week in March, so an average year. Although we are having nightly frosts, and I hope we don’t have a repeat of the nasty one in mid May last year which caused havoc in the garden. (The latest I have had snow is early June.)

    • dave permalink
      March 7, 2021 5:18 pm

      “…when our cherry-plum flowers…”

      Would that be an instance of ‘cherry picking’ the date ?

      Interesting, early, freeze, off Antarctica’s shores:

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        March 7, 2021 9:54 pm

        It’s a data error.

      • dave permalink
        March 8, 2021 9:44 am

        “…data error…”

        Perhaps.

        It comes from NSIDC without a caveat.

        Their accompanying bird’s-eye-view map shows extra ice, for the time of year, off West Antarctica.

        The Japanese Space Agency tracker shows the same increase.

        I was just wondering if whatever caused the Antarctic Sea Ice to be widespread a few years ago was kicking in again.

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        March 8, 2021 11:13 am

        They had a similar straight line dip in the Arctic ice – they have acknowledged that they have problems, it’s highly probably this is now affecting the Antarctic data.

        I looked at the ice diagram before replying, eyeballing the excess and deficit areas it didn’t look way above average to me – and the errors may be affecting the ice chart anyway.

        Any straight line deviation like that is highly suspect.

  4. March 7, 2021 4:59 pm

    Helpful data….Snow in the UK is unusual (or not?) stands out measured in February over decadal periods confirming the “fable of a stable climate” and denying the oft IPCC alarmist predictions of moderate winters without snow. Note the sharp decline of temperatures in 1961 when world leaders in US and Russia truly feared a new ice age with Arctic expansion. Surely this evidence says any warming over the last century is only natural climate variability and not a climate crisis.

    • dave permalink
      March 10, 2021 9:12 am

      Various data sources seem to show Antarctica sea-ice still growing. The SHARPNESS of the up-kink may have had something to do with with the data difficulties Feb 19 – Feb 23, but the fact is that a fairly rapid refreeze is occurring. Just another normal summer season giving way to another winter.

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