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Marlborough escaped January's storms, but figures prove the month was wet, warmer and dull

The famous snowdrops at Welford Park near Newbury (see below)(Photo:Eric Gilbert - 2015)The famous snowdrops at Welford Park near Newbury (see below)(Photo:Eric Gilbert - 2015)This paragraph written in 1832 could well describe our current winter:  

“We have had the mildest weather possible. A great part of the vegetable world is deceived and beginning to blossom, not merely foolish young plants without experience, but old plants that have been deceived before by premature springs; and for such, one has no pity. It is as if a Lady were to complain of being seduced and betrayed.” (Sydney Smith, clergyman.)

January 2016 was the third consecutive month with a mean temperature above the long-term average (+0.8C), which was totally due to the warmer days, as during the nights temperatures were average. There were wide variations in temperatures with a maximum of 13.2C on January 24 with 3.4C just eight days previously.

Similarly, there were contrasting minima as the coldest night of January 20 brought a low of -7.4C with a very warm night just seven days later producing a minimum of +8.4C.

Just a week apart, those setting out in the morning for work faced wide-ranging choices of what to wear with -7.3C at 08.00 on January 20 whereas it was +11.8C seven days later.

It is interesting to note that over the past 32 years the range of daytime temperatures has increased. In the 1980’s and 1990’s it varied between 11C and 12C whereas since the year 2000 the variation has often been between 12C and 16C.

The total rainfall was 112.0mm, which is 122 per cent of the long-term average. There were substantial falls of 15.8mm on January 10 and an almost identical total of 15.7mm on January 26.  There were nine days without rainfall, which is three less than the 31-year average.

Due to the substantial cloud cover that we experienced on many days, the hours of strong sunshine were reduced with a total of 42.7 hours, just 70 per cent of the amount recorded in January 2015.

The peak day for sunshine was January 15 with 6.2 hours and blue skies almost all day. This instrument is a new addition for my weather station so I have no long-term average with which to compare it.

However, figures for global energy over the past six years would indicate that January 2016 was close to the average.

Welford Park's snowdrops can be visited from Wednesday, February 3 to Sunday March 6. You can find out more about Welford Park's snowdrops, visiting times and events here.

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  • Silbury-Sunset---10-06-08-----07
  • IMG 8472
  • IMG 9097
  • Marlborough-2013-04-18 St Peters
  • Town-Hall-2011-05-03 08-