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December 2022


December 2022

Temperatures (all temperatures in degrees Celsuis; all averages 1991-2020)

Mean daily maximum: 6.2     Difference from average: -0.9

Mean daily minimum: 0.5      Difference from average: -0.9

Mean air temperature: 3.4      Difference from average: -0.9

Absolute maximum: 13.2 (19th)

Absolute minimum: -6.3 (13th)

Mean grass minimum: -1.4    Difference from average: -1.1

Absolute grass minimum: -8.8 (13th)

Mean concrete minimum: -1.1

Absolute concrete minimum: -6.8 (16th)

Number of ground frosts: 16  Difference from average: 0

Number of air frosts: 13         Difference from average: +2

Mean soil temperature at 300 mm depth: 5.3

Mean soil temperature at 1000 mm depth: 8.0

Rainfall (all totals in millimetres; all averages 1991-2020)

Total for the month: 60.2        Difference from average: -1.0

Percentage of the average: 98%

Wettest day: 12.2 (31st)

Number of rain days (>0.1 mm): 20               Difference from average: +1

Number of wet days (=>1.0 mm): 14

3-month total rainfall to 31st December 2022: 253.8   Difference from average: 54.1

6-month total rainfall to 31st December 2022: 415.6   Difference from average: 31.0

12-month total rainfall to 31st December 2022: 654.4 Difference from average: -26.6

Sunshine (all totals in hours; all averages 1991-2020)

Total for the month: 62.7                    Difference from average: +5.8

Percentage of the average:  110 %

Mean daily sunshine: 2.0       Difference from average: +0.2

Sunniest day: 6.6 (26th)

Number of days with no recorded sunshine: 2

Note that the monthly sunshine total is now calculated from the UKMO E&NE regional total. Daily sunshine totals quoted here and in the data summary are uncorrected.

Wind (kph; all data from the West Building roof, Lower Mountjoy campus)


Average wind speed: 4.4

Maximum gust: 70.8 (29th, 16:45, WNW)

Comments on December 2022

December was the only month in 2022 to record below-average temperatures. Despite this, 2022 was the warmest year on record at Durham since 1844 (10.59 °C), easily beating the previous record from 2014 (10.21 °C). The maximum temperature at Durham Observatory on 19th July was 36.9 °C, a full 4 degrees higher than the previous record set on 25 July 2019. All in all, a year of remarkably high temperatures!

This was the coldest December since 2010, and the first December to include an ‘ice day’ (when the maximum temperature remains below zero) since 2010. The maximum air temperature on the 12th only reached -1 °C. The next night was also very cold (minimum temperature: -6.3 °C), the equal 150th coldest December night since 1850 (n=5310). The mean maximum was the equal 70th lowest since 1843 and the mean minimum the equal 55th lowest since 1843. Despite the low temperatures, the absolute maximum on the 13th is the 76th mildest December day on record. As might be expected, there was the lowest December mean grass minimum since 2010. It was an average month for both rainfall and sunshine.

Emeritus Professor Tim Burt

Department of Geography

Durham University

[email protected]