February 2019 was another month with a broken record – twice – with the warmest February day in Marlborough since 1998. On February 25 the thermometer rose to a maximum of 17.7C with the following day higher again at 18.2C, which was 11.1C above the 35-year average.
It was a warm month with a mean temperature of 5.92C but that did not break any records – although it was 1.3C above the average. February 2011 was warmer with a mean of 6.29C. To offset the very warm days a frost was recorded on 11 days with the thermometer registering a severe frost on the morning of February 3 with a low of -11.3C.
Although the end of the month was predominantly dry, it began with a number of very wet days that included much snow on the first day of the month. Two days – February 1 and 5 – produced a daily precipitation of 9.7mm.
The precipitation for the month registered 65.3mm, which was just 0.4mm above the 35-year average. There were 16 dry days. There was 50 per cent coverage of snow on the ground from February 1 to 4.
The barometric pressure began to rise on February 19, with the centre settling over the continent. This brought a succession of nine dry days and with the wind coming from the south carrying very warm air from around the Canary Islands, temperatures rose as we enjoyed several days of wall-to-wall sunshine. On four days we enjoyed a daily total of almost 10 hours. The monthly total for sunshine was 163 hours.
Fog occurred during the early morning on five days with visibility restricted to 100m on February 14 and 23
We have just enjoyed a warm winter with a mean temperature of 4.89C, which was 0.6C above the 35-year average. The winter of 2015 was the warmest since my records began in 1984 – with a mean of 6.4C. By contrast, the coldest winter since that date was in 2009 with a mean of just 2.03C.
Precipitation for the three winter months totalled 222mm, which was 25mm below the 34-year average and the driest for five years. The extremes were in 2013 with 528mm and 1991 with just 94mm. The last three winters have shown a deficit over the average of 119mm.
There is daily inmformation on Eric Gilbert’s Windrush Weather website.