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Thursday, 28 May 2015

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Tynedale: Mild, wet and dull in February

WHILE much of Southern England was ravaged by floods and high tides in February, Tynedale once again escaped relatively unscathed.

Indeed, the winter so far has proved exceptionally mild, with temperatures 1.7 degrees above normal – although rainfall has been higher than normal too.

The average maximum temperature at the Plunderheath weather station at Haydon Bridge through December last year and January and February this year was 7.8C, with the average minimum 2.8 C compared with the usual 1.3C.

Rainfall totalled 272 mm, 18 per cent above the long-term average rainfall of 230.7 mm.

In February, the sequence of Atlantic low pressure systems stretched like a necklace, bringing unsettled, mild and at times dull and wet weather.

The wind came from a broadly westerly direction for 25 days and was occasionally strong, with gales on the 1st, 4th, 8th and 12th which caused some local damage.

The pressure fell to a remarkable 957mb late on the 8th. However, Tynedale again escaped the worst of the bad weather .

Cold polar air swept in behind a cold front late on the 11th which resulted in the only snowy weather of the month.

Heavy snow fell overnight and lay briefly early on the 12th, but the snow was sleety and the ground relatively warm, so the last of the snow cover had disappeared by late morning. There was further sleet and snow for the next two days, but this lay only on higher ground.

By the 17th, milder air had moved in from the south-west and it remained generally mild and frost-free for the remainder of the month.

A ridge of high pressure on the 28th heralded the start of more settled weather, but with clearer night skies, the only air frost of the month occurred that morning.