Tuesday, 3 May 2011

April 2011....a remarkable month

April 2011 was a sunny month, about the 15th sunniest since 1900. It was also a dry month, the 2nd driest since 1900 behind the April of 1938. It was also the driest early Spring (March/April combined) since 1938. However, the most remarkable feature about April 2011 was the temperature. It was the warmest April since reliable instrument records began in the 19th century, and in doing so beat the outstandingly warm April of 2007. To put the event into perspective statistically; the mean temperature for April 2007 was 13.0, which was a massive 1.4 Celsius higher than the previous record set in 1943. The mean temperature for April 2011 was 13.6! If the month was May instead of April it would have been ranked the 21st warmest May since 1900. The very dry ground aided overnight cooling, and although no air frosts occurred, the mean minimum temperature was only 2.5 Celsius above normal. The mean maximum temperature (19.3) was 4.9 Celsius above normal. This figure was truly incredible. Since 1900, there have only been 8 Mays with higher average maxima. None of these warmer Mays occurred between 1923 and 1988 inclusive. Not only were April 2011 days warmer than most May days, there were several summer months in recent years that have been cooler by day: namely the Junes of 1953,1954,1955,1956,1971,1972,1977,1978,1979,1980,1981,1985,1987,1988 and 1991: the Julys of 1954 and 1980; and the Augusts of 1956 and 1963. What next?

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