January 2013 Weather Report

January 2013 continued the trend of the previous month
to be less mild and considerably wetter than its counterpart a year ago.

The month contained four definable weather patterns.
From 1st to 10th, mild, cloudy and fairly dry. From 11th to 15th,
bright, unsettled and colder. From 16th to 25th, cold, with regular
frosts and two snowfalls. 26th to 31st, mild and wet.

Temperatures, taken overall, were not particularly
extreme, although the highest reading of 0.0C on the 20th occurring
under overcast conditions with an easterly wind, was the lowest daytime
maximum since 19th December 2010; a similar sort of day. The lowest
reading  of -4.3C occurred the following night, but thanks to the
frequent quilt cover of cloud that the South West kept, the valley
escaped the very low night time temperatures that occurred elsewhere in
the country, and gave us a temperature overall around average for the
whole month of 5.2C. whereas it has been rated a colder than average
January nationwide.  January was considerably milder than those of
2009,2010 & 2011 however. The low on the 21st was virtually the same
figure as was recorded in January last year, and the highest reading of
13.8C on the 29th was just lower than the 14C recorded in January 2012.

Recordable rain and snow fell on twenty one days
which was only three more than last year’s ‘dry’ month, but my total of
127mm made this more than 250% wetter.  Three falls with totals between
14 and 19.5mm occuring within five days, and including snow melt,
brought back some flooding concerns on our potholed roads. Here, low in
the valley, we never really had a proper snow covering; perhaps 1cm. at
most, but it was fascinating to look  around at the snowline on the
surrounding hills. It reminded me of February 2009, when a short trip up
the hill past Watchcombe revealed hedge high drifts of snow, whilst down
here there was a slushy mess.

My grateful thanks to Ann Shepherd and Chris
Pickersgill, who kept the temperature and rainfall readings for the week
from January 27th, whilst we were away sunning ourselves in the Canary

Peter at Pottlelake