Skip to main content

February 2021

February 2021

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

Mean daily maximum: 7.5     Difference from average: -0.2

Mean daily minimum: 1.1      Difference from average: -0.3

Mean air temperature: 4.3      Difference from average: -0.3

Absolute maximum: ()

Absolute minimum: -9.4 (12th)

Mean grass minimum: 0.7     

Absolute grass minimum: -7.6 (9th)

Mean concrete minimum: 1.5

Absolute concrete minimum: -4.1 (1st)

Number of ground frosts: 14

Number of air frosts: 10

Mean soil temperature at 300 mm depth: 4.2

Mean soil temperature at 1000 mm depth: 5.1

Rainfall (all totals in millimetres; all averages 1981-2010)

Total for the month: 79.8        Difference from average: +34.5

Percentage of the average:  197

Wettest day: 18.2 (2nd)

Number of rain days (>0.1 mm): 21

Number of wet days (=>1.0 mm): 13

3-month total rainfall to 28th February 2021: 328       Difference from average: +176.5

6-month total rainfall to 28th February 2021: 510.6    Difference from average: +176

12-month total rainfall to 28th February2021: 814.3   Difference from average: +145

Sunshine (all totals in hours; all averages 1981-2010)

Total for the month: 74.0                    Difference from average: -5.2

Percentage of the average:  93%

Mean daily sunshine: 2.6       Difference from average: -0.2

Sunniest day: 7.1 (26th)

Number of days with no recorded sunshine: 7

Note that the monthly sunshine total given here is the actual amount observed; an update based on the UKMO E&NE region will be provided in due course. Daily sunshine totals quoted here and in the data summary are uncorrected observations.

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

Average wind speed: 6.2

Maximum gust: 57.9 (20th)

Comments on February 2021

The mean air temperature for February was the 103rd equal highest in 172 years, below the 1991-2020 average but still in the third quartile of all winters since 1850. It was the 18th wettest February since 1850 but nevertheless drier than last February (87.2 mm in 2020). Sunshine was only a little below average, perhaps a surprise given it was quite a wet month. The first half of the month was dominated by easterly winds and there was some very cold weather in the middle of the month, with one ice day and an absolute minimum of -9.4 C on the 12th. Mild spring-like weather towards the end of the month saw an absolute maximum of 14.5 C on the 27th.

The mean air temperature for winter as a whole was 3.7 C, 0.6 C below average, the 90th equal coldest on record since 1850. If it seemed unusual, it was in fact only the coldest winter since 2018. Most significantly, it was the wettest winter on record since 1850, beating the previous record from 1854 (315 mm). Notwithstanding a dry spring in 2020, it has been a very wet last 12 months. There were 182 hours of bright sunshine, just 9 hours below the winter average, in the third quartile for winter totals since 1883.

Please note I have had some computer problems in preparing this report; an update will be provided as soon as possible.

Emeritus Professor Tim Burt

Department of Geography

Durham University

2nd March 2021