Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Soft January days

At the moment, with a third of the month gone, this January is the mildest since before 1900. It hasn't been wall to wall sunshine, but the soft grey clouds with chinks of blue showing through are nevertheless uplifting when accompanied by a temperature that frequently tops 10 Celsius. Since 1900, a total of 4 out of the top 10 mildest Januaries have occurred during the last 10 years and only 2 of the mildest Januaries occurred before 1974. The mildest January, 2007, had maxima above 10 Celsius continuously from the 3rd to the 20th, and on 6 days the high topped 13 Celsius, a figure we haven't reached this January. The highest value was 14.2 Celsius on the 18th, a day of destructive winds when a gust of 58 knots (64 mph) was recorded here. Although the month was record-breakingly mild, it was not without its wintery moments. Sleet or snow fell on 5 days towards the end of the month and on the 24th there were 3 centimetres of snow carpeting the garden for most of the morning.

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