January weather in Marlborough - grey, gloomy but significantly warmer than averageAfter a cool start to the month a wedge of warm air from the Azores arrived lifting temperatures into double figures with a maximum of 11.8C on 7 January, which was 4.8C above the 35-year average.
Shortly afterwards Storm Brendan, named by the Eire Metrological Office, arrived from the Atlantic bringing wet and windy conditions. There was a particularly turbulent period in the second week with maximum gusts of 46mph on 11 Jan and 42mph three days later on 14 Jan as squall lines traversed the area.
Storms bring rain and this storm was no exception as rain fell every day from 6 to the 17 Jan as depressions followed depressions. There were particularly heavy rainfalls on the 13 and 14 Jan with daily totals of 11.6mm and 21.6mm respectively.
Notable worldwide unusual events during this period saw 377mm of rainfall lash Jakarta in one day and Texas with 6cm of snow.
On the 14 Jan it was reported that the world’s oceans were the warmest in 2019 than at any other time.
Mid-month the Jet Stream pushed a pocket of unusually high pressure over the UK as the result of a greater contrast in temperatures across the USA. The air pressure rose rapidly during 18 and 19 Jan to peak at a maximum of 1049.6mb. This was a record for my weather station that started in 1984 and was close to the UK record of 1053.6mb set in January 1902, beating the previous high set in January 1957.
It is no coincidence that the highest barometric pressures have been set in January. In that month the air is cold and thus more dense, therefore heavier.
The intense anticyclone brought a break from the wet and windy weather to give us three continuously dry days and calm conditions. January 18 and 19 saw maximum gusts of just 8mph and 9mph but many hours of total calm.
There was all change again for the last week of the month as the intense high pressure slowly ebbed away to reach the lowest pressure all month on the 28th with a minimum of 989.3mb. As a result the wind swung into the quadrant between south and west and brought modest rainfall of 5.9mm and 9.4mm respectively on the 26th and 27th.
A slight fall of snow, the first of the winter, fell in the early hours of 28 Jan, which slowly melted as the thermometer edged to a maximum of just 5C, the month's second coldest day.
There were 12 sunless days across the month due to the frequent progression of depressions running across the country. This resulted in a warm month with a mean temperature 1.9C above the 35-year average, the fourth warmest I have recorded since the station started in 1984 and the warmest January since 2008.
The total rainfall for January of 92.5mm was just 2.1mm above the average. It has been a month remembered for the number of gloomy, dismal days, only seven were dry when the average is twelve. The extreme months were in 1997 with only 9.4mm and the very wet January in 2014 when 219.1mm of precipitation was recorded. The wettest day occurred on Jan 14 with 21.6mm.
There were a number of days when the wind was very strong, two in particular, when extreme gusts of 46mph and 42mph were logged on the 11 and 14 Jan respectively.