February - a month of changes in the weather

Storm Doris caused a bit of a stir
Storm Doris caused a bit of a stir

February was another changeable month with a marked contrast between a mainly cold first half, especially from Sunday the 5th to 12th and a notably warm second half, especially from the 13th to Saturday the 26th.

This helped to bring the mean temperature to 3.5F above average and it was the seventh equal warmest February since 1950.

Southerly winds gave a rather mild, wet start to the month from the 1st to 4th. On the 2nd, the min was 48F (9C) and the max 51F (10.4C), while Atlantic fronts gave 21.5mm of rain over the four days.

From the 5th to 12th, high pressure over Scandinavia saw a return of easterly winds and it was cold, especially by day. A shallow Low over NE France made it humid and cloudy so there were only two very slight air frosts with min of 31.7F (-0.4C) on the 11th(there were only two air frosts in the whole month). Days were much colder with the max 14F below average at 36F (2C) on the 9th but once again Mid-Sussex missed the intense cold on the Continent. The Low brought some snow late 10th/early 11th but at 9am on the 11th it was only 0.5cm deep.

As the High moved southwards, and the wind veered back to SW again, with the air coming from the sub-tropics, it was very warm, particularly from the 17th to 22nd. On Monday the 20th the max of 62F (16.4C) made it the fifth warmest day inFebruary since 1950.On the 21st and 22nd, the min was 49F (9.5C) and these were the seventh equal warmest nights since 1950. During this period it was mostly dry.

The autumn and winter had been notable for the absence of strong winds but the last five days of the month were windy. Storms Doris and Euan were not particularly significant in Mid-Sussex; however, Doris did give a gust of 51mph on Thursday 23rd, which was the highest since 27th March 2015. Then Euan’s fronts brought over half an inch of rain (16mm)on the 26th, making it the wettest day of the month. Behind these Storms cooler air came in and the min was down to 33F on the 28th. Dull and sunny periods alternated but the sunshine total was 32% below average