February was our sunniest on record, say Norfolk forecasters
PUBLISHED: 10:01 15 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:19 15 March 2019
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Last month was the sunniest February on record for our region, with almost no rain after the first ten days, according to Norfolk weather analysts.
Adam Dury, operational forecaster for Weatherquest in Norwich, said 135 sunshine hours were recorded last month – far beyond the usual average of 77.5 hours and the highest February figure since records began in 1929. It beat the previous record set in 2008.
“Overall February had well above-average mean temperatures, by 2.5C compared to the long-term average,” he said. “It was also the sunniest February on record for our region. Even with many air frosts towards the end of the month there were still fewer air frost days across the region than average.”
Mr Dury said the month started cold and cloudy with showery rain, sleet and snow spreading eastwards across the region on the 2nd, mainly around the north Norfolk coast.
But the temperatures soon increased as low pressure systems moved in from the 4th bringing cloud, rain, windy conditions, with a particularly deep depression from the 7th to the 9th bringing gusts of 40-55mph across the region, with a maximum gust of 56mph was recorded at Weybourne.
The cloud and rain cleared the region on the 10th to bring generally dry and settled weather until the last day of the month, he said.
Terry Mayes, of the Norfolk Rainfall Association, also noted the exceptionally dry February – particularly from the 11th onwards.
“Remarkably, literally all the rain fell in the first ten days, with no more than 1.0mm from the 11th onwards,” he said. “This drought in the last 18 days culminated in some remarkable warmth for late February in the last week of the month.
“Combined with a dry first half of January this means that the first two months of 2019 have given only around 65pc of the expected rainfall, making it the driest opening two months of the year since 2012.
“However, with March starting and continuing with a very unsettled theme, some of the deficit should be recovered by the end of the month.”