The month fell into two unequal halves for weather
pattern. The first of these (up until 11th) continued the generally dry and settled type which had lasted since November 12th. These first days of December contributed just 1.3mm of rainfall. So this twenty nine period yielded just 10mm. In the first part of December winds were often light and variable, and with an anticyclone positioned to our southwest the atmospheric pressure never fell below 1025mb. This period gave us two significant frosts; -3.4C followed by the lowest maximum day temperature of 8.5C on the 1st, and a night time low of -3.9C on the 5th equalling the November coldest figure.
A change to a wetter, unsettled pattern for the last three weeks of December was as sudden and dramatic as the change from
such conditions to dry weather a month previously. Every day from the 12th onwards recorded some rain, even if there were two days when the falls were not recordable. The weather became increasingly stormy too. Some heavy falls with more than 10mm on any one day were measured on six days; the wettest being 39.9mm during the severe gale of the 23-24th. My
monthly total which includes an estimated figure for the 31st. came out at 199.9mm. December 2013 thus becomes the seventh wettest month in my series. The rainfall distribution was quite similar to 2012 which also started quite dry and then amassed a large total in the second half of the month.
Whilst winds were generally from a SW’ly direction it was
not particularly mild. I recorded my highest daytime temperature of 14.2C on the 8th which was aided by calm sunny conditions. Although December 2013 would be rated a mild month, it was very slightly colder than that of 2012 and 0.6C colder than that of 2011.
Year 2013 Weather.
In summary, a cold end to Winter, an exceptionally cold
Spring, a warm July, an average to mild autumn, and a gentle decline of temperature into Winter again, brought about a mean temperature of 10.1C, about 0.1C cooler than 2012, and 1.0C cooler than 2011. I recorded a total 72 Air Frosts; 10 more than in 2012 and about thirty more than in 2011.Rainfall was above average in January, March, May, October and December; the summer appeared to end the wet spell which had dominated the weather in the 12 months from April 2012. With October and
December giving us the fifth and seventh wettest months in my record however, we seem to be flipping back to a wet spell again. It seems that extremes seem to becoming more apparent in every direction. My total rainfall for the year was 1034.9mm. This was about 430mm less than 2012 and 330mm more than 2011. Rainfall was recorded on 178 days compared to 206 days in 2012. The total in 2013 was however only ten higher than in ‘dry’ 2011, suggesting many more significantly heavy daily totals.
January was a fairly typical month of its sort, without
extremes in any respect, and February seemed to give the impression that we were getting away from any severity this winter. However,on the 19th the wind became NE’ly and temperatures fell. This pattern then extended right through March. The lowest night minimum was around -5C, higher
than in many years, but this month proved the coldest of its name for about fifty years. My minimum temperature averaged below freezing. Dry and cold conditions persisted through April and much of May. Ominous comparisons with the Spring of 1962 (the year before the cold winter of 1962-3) were confirmed with a fine, sunny cool start to June. But then in July, summer arrived with a record breaking warm day on the 13th at 33C. August matched up fairly well to this standard with many warm sunny days, and September kept the pattern towards drier than average conditions. As mentioned already October reversed this, but on the credit side, remained frost free. It was not until the month-long dry spell which started in mid November that a light frost occurred. The frosts gained a little more intensity, but the sort that help to harden up growth and help plants prepare for dormancy.
Peter at Pottlelake