For anyone who experienced February 2021 in the UK, you would have thought it was a cold month. But this can be very deceptive, the month started mild for the first few days and then it went very cold across the whole country. The final third of the month was very mild and this resulted in an above-average month on the CET. It ended up at 5.1c a massive 1.4c above the long term average. An amazing turnaround.
The notable weather for the month occurred when a beast from the east reared up but it wasn’t snowy everywhere. In the east of the country, there was a lot of snow especially in places like Suffolk and Kent. Plus up in the north and Scotland was particularly snowy.
On the 24th a max temperature of 18.4 °C was recorded at Santon Downham (Suffolk). At Braemar (Aberdeenshire) a minimum temperature of -23.0 °C was recorded on the 11th. On the 24th, 125.8 mm of rain fell at Honister Pass (Cumbria) during a 24 hour period. A wind gust of 83 mph was recorded at South Uist (Western Isles) on the 14th. During the snowy week with winds from the east, on the 10th a snow depth of 38 cm was recorded at Aboyne (Aberdeenshire).
The maximum temperature in Watford occurred on the 24th with 16.6c and the minimum of -4c on the 10th. The 2nd week was cold with easterly winds which resulted in a sub zero day on 8th with a maximum temperature of -0.5c. Lots of snow fell from the sky for 6 days but with hardly any settling in our area a maximum of 0.5cm during the week.
An average amount of rain fell 27.6mm with the wettest day being on the 5th with 6mm. There were equal wet and dry days of 14 each.
It was windy for most of the month especially when the easterly winds occurred. On the 23rd a gust of 21.3mph was recorded.
Around the world in February
The polar vortex was in the news a lot this winter with the Sudden Stratospheric Warming causing the winds to reverse. Which may have caused our easterly winds in the UK. But in the USA it was more pronounced with arctic winds pushing all the way down to Texas and causing the deep freeze.
Category 5 storm Yasa hit Fiji tore through the countries northern islands at the beginning of the month. Bringing torrential rain and high winds resulting in disruption to the country.
Storm Darcy which brought snow to Kent and East Anglia also brought extreme conditions to Holland. Where a code red emergency was enforced for the whole country. It brought 55mph winds and a major snowstorm and at least 10 days of sub-zero temperatures. The canals froze over for the first time since 2010.
Looking ahead to March
All change for March with lots of high pressure at first it will be an extension of the Azores high bringing some warmth but as it heads north then it could bring in more easterly winds and making it feel very chilly. Though at this time of the year the sun is high in the sky and it should feel warm.
Below is a chart for London on the 1st March which shows a dip in the upper air temperature from the 5th bringing colder air. It looks like it will last to mid month. No heatwave on the models yet, but I expect a warm-up in the last half of the month.
Summary for February 2021 in Watford
Mean (1 minute) 5.9
Mean (min+max) 6.2
Mean Minimum 3.1
Mean Maximum 9.3
Minimum -4.0 on 10/02/2021
Maximum 16.6 on 24/02/2021
Highest Minimum 10.1 on 20/02/2021
Lowest Maximum -0.5 on 08/02/2021
Air frosts 8
Total for period 27.6
Wettest day 6.0 on 05/02/2021
High rain rate 10.8 day 05/02/2021
Rain days 14
Dry days 14
Highest Gust 21.3 on 23/02/2021
Average Speed 0.5
Wind Run 359.6 miles
Gale days 0
Maximum 1036.0 on 27/02/2021
Minimum 985.3 on 02/02/2021
Days with snow falling 6
Days with snow lying at 0900 4
8th Feb – 0.5cm
9th Feb – 2cm
10th Feb – 0.5cm
11th Feb – 0.5cm
Thanks for reading, next update for March weather coming out at the beginning of April 2021.
Met Office – https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/cet_info_mean.html
Met Office Summary – https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/summaries
Real-time Watford Weather – https://weather.andrewlalchan.co.uk/
Flickr Winter Photos – https://www.flickr.com/photos/alalchan/albums/72157717256371497
Weather Outlook – https://www.theweatheroutlook.com/twocommunity/
January – https://blog.andrewlalchan.co.uk/watford-weather-in-january-2021/