Thursday, 28 February 2019

Another February Record

The rather unbelievable weather has continued with Wednesday producing another 10 year high temperature for February reaching 16.9°C or 62.4°F.
Maximum & Minimum Temperatures for February 2019
Amazingly only the first two days of the month have had daytime temperatures below the average. However, nighttime lows have been much more up and down with a few frosty mornings. The unseasonably mild weather has now come to an end so the last day of the month is unlikely to set a new record.

Saturday, 23 February 2019

A New Record For February

After all the media hype about the very warm spell of weather for February it didn't dare not to produce a new record warm day for February. Friday produced the goods setting a new ten year high temperature for February at 16.7°C or 62.1°F. It was a close call though as the previous high was 16.6°C (61.9°F) set back in 2012.
Temperature Records 17-23 February 2019
We've been making use of the excellent weather getting more tidying up done and beds prepared for spring planting at the allotment.
The forecast is for the warm weather to continue through the weekend before starting to gradually cool down to more normal temperatures for the time of the year. We have so far resisted the temptation to do any early planting.

Friday, 22 February 2019

Just Makes It!

Thursday just made it to warmest day of the year by the narrowest of margins 0.1°C. The early afternoon temperature reached 15.9°C (60.6°F) just managing to beat the 15.8°C (60.4°F) reached on 15 February.
Temperature & Rainfall Records for February 2019
Meanwhile, as you can see from the chart above, February has been a dry month so far with just 17.2mm (0.68in) and there's no forecast of any substantial rainfall before the end of the month. Average rainfall for February is around the 40mm (1.57in) mark, equivalent to almost a full column of blue on the chart. It follows on from a dry January with only 17.6mm or 0.69in.
It does mean that the ground is in good condition for digging and weeding. The bed above was dug over a few months ago and as much bindweed was removed as possible. I started digging it over again yesterday removing any bindweed and wick grass roots that were left in after the first digging. I'm sure there will be some little bits of root I've missed but hopefully not too many.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Record Breaking February?

The last week has been very mild for February and the forecast is for the mild weather to continue for the rest of the month.
Maximum & Minimum Temperatures for February 2019
For the last week the red blocks which show the daytime high temperatures have been well above average (the red line). The blue blocks indicating night time lows have also been well above average (the blue line) and more like what we might expect for daytime temperatures. It remains to be seem if the high temperatures forecast for the next few days will exceed my highest daytime high temperature of 16.6°C (61.9°F) set on 23 February 2012.

Our seed potatoes have been stored in the dark, in our garage, since we bought them. It's cold enough in the garage to stop them sprouting and unless it's exceptionally cold it's frost free. However, with the mild temperatures of the last week or so, I thought I'd better check them out to see if any were starting to sprout. It was a good job I did.
Some varieties had certainly started to form sprouts but luckily I'd caught them before they became long, white and straggly. I decided that I'd better move them into the greenhouse and into the light in order for them to chit. It's a little bit earlier than I'd normally move them into the greenhouse, so I'll have to make sure to give them extra protection if some very cold and frosty nights are forecast.

The excellent February weather also means that we've made good progress at the allotment. I can't remember being this well prepared for the new season in February.
The plot is probably at its barest at the moment with all our winter cutting back of shrubs and trees completed, and this year's growing yet to begin. Hopefully, things will only improve from now on but I can't help wondering if there will be a sting in the tail and we'll get a cold and frosty spell of weather in March or April. I'm hoping that won't be the case.

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Spring's Here ?

The last few days have been very mild for the middle of February and with the afternoon temperature on Friday reaching 15.8°C (60.4°F) it felt very spring like. That makes it our second mildest February day in the last 10 years only being beaten by 23 February 2012 with 16.6°C (61.9°F).
February High & Low Temperatures for 2019
However, there was a sting in the tail as early on Friday morning the temperature fell to -1.5°C (29.3°F).

With the pleasant early spring weather, at the allotment, we're getting on with a few jobs that need doing before the main planting season begins. So far February has been reasonably rain free and following on from a dry January it means our clayey soil is in good condition for digging over. This week one of our hazel trees was coppiced for pea sticks and bean poles.
The larger of the two trees was cut back and it will take it a couple of years to grow back to a similar size. The coppiced poles will be used for pea sticks and bean poles but will need some further trimming before they can be put to use.
At the moment the coppiced branches are all in a rather large pile on part of the allotment. The top more twiggy parts of each branch will be cut for pea sticks and the remainder will be used as supports for sweet peas or runner beans.
I'm hoping that we wont get a repeat of last year when the "Beast from the East" descended on us in March bringing exceptionally cold and snowy weather delaying the start of the growing season.

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Storm "Erik"

Storm Erik has blown through leaving Sunday morning much calmer. Saturday became our wettest day of the year with 6.2mm (0.24in) of rainfall which is nothing out of the ordinary. Storm Erik did manage to make it into my list of top twenty windiest days of the last ten years.
It's probably fair to say that 13 January this year was windier as it had a higher average wind speed measured over the whole day.
Temperature & Wind Speed Records 08-10 February 2019
The highest wind speeds were in the early hours of Saturday morning with storm Erik finally easing through Saturday afternoon.

At home the garden has survived without any damage and hopefully there will be nothing damaged at the allotment either.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Wettest Day of the Year!

It's only mid morning on Thursday but surprisingly it has become our wettest day of the year. I say surprisingly because we've only had 3.4mm (0.13in) of rainfall early on Thursday morning but that relatively small amount still makes it the wettest day this year.
Rainfall Records 09 January to 07 February 2019
The cold weather at the beginning of February meant I didn't get round to posting the facts and figures for January. The low rainfall in January was more worthy of note than the temperature. As you can see from the table below January this year was easily the driest over the last few years.
Rainfall January 2010 - 2019
Temperature wise this January turned out to be more or less average with some rather mild days cancelled out by some colder days.
Average January Temperatures 2010 - 2019

We're now starting to get a bit of colour into the garden. The hellebores have been in flower for a few weeks and our snowdrops are in bud and will be in flower any day now.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Coldest Night of the Year

Dawn on Sunday morning produced our lowest temperature of the year as the thermometer plunged to -5.2°C or 22.6°F.
Temperature Records 01-03 February 2019
It's not quite the lowest temperature I've recorded in February, that record is still held by 11-February 2012 with -5.9°C or 21.4°F. However, it's still cold enough to move it into my list of top twenty lowest temperature since 2010.
Top Twenty Lowest Temperatures Since 2010
A few weeks ago I compared a couple of weather model outputs to show just how much the output could vary over a 10 day period. It's worth a quick look at this morning's output for the GFS and GEM models especially regarding the low overnight temperatures.
GFS (Top) and GEM (Bottom) Output for 03-05 February 2019
Whilst neither model has accurately modelled the temperature, at least the GEM suggests something rather unusual. The GFS model suggests nothing other than a slight frost, nothing out of the ordinary for a February night. The GEM is suggesting another cold night Monday into Tuesday, so it will be interesting to see if it continues this trend over the next day or so as the output updates.
Our newly purchased seed potatoes will be staying bagged up in the garage, hopefully protected from the cold temperatures, rather than moving into our unheated greenhouse to chit. There will be plenty of time for them to chit before planting time if they move into the greenhouse in March.

Friday, 1 February 2019

February Starts With A Dusting of Snow

January certainly departed on a cold note with the temperature remaining below freezing all day.
Temperature & Wind Chill Records 30 January - 01 February 2019
It remained misty all day long too along with a temperature of around -2.5°C (27.5°F) for most of the daylight hours. The coldest was -3.1°C (26.4°F) at 18:40.
Although it was the coldest day of the year it wasn't a record breaker. It was the coldest January day since 25 January 2013 when the temperature fell to -4.8°C (23.4°F) but to find a colder day, we only have to go back to late last February when the "Beast from the East" struck. On the 28 February 2018 the average daily temperature was -4.2°C (24.4°F) with a low of -5.7°C or 21.7°F.

February has started off with a very light dusting of snow.
The bird bath was well and truly frozen over and it looked like someone had already been trying to get a drink.
Some hot water soon thawed it out but I'll need to keep checking it throughout the day to see if it freezes over again.