Winter ‘the sunniest since 1929’

Published: Friday 27th February 2015 by The News Editor

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This winter is likely to have been the sunniest in records dating back nearly 90 years, the Met Office has said.

The winter has seen fairly average temperatures and rainfall – unlike last winter which was the wettest on record – but 2015 is on track to be the sunniest in records stretching back to 1929.

By February 25, with three days left to go of the meteorological winter, the UK had already seen 189 hours of sunshine, equalling the previous record year in 2001.

The Met Office predicts that with sunshine in the last three days of winter, the UK is likely to beat the record by seven hours.

Unlike last year’s wet and stormy winter, the season this year has recorded just 8% more rainfall than the long term average, with 375 mm (14.8in) of rain across the UK, with the southern, eastern and north eastern areas of England drier than usual.

But in Scotland the winter has been one of the top 10 wettest in records dating back to 1910, the Met Office said.

Despite being so wet and stormy, many areas in winter 2014 also had above average sunshine, the weather experts said, because the storms brought rain in short, sharp bursts, often overnight, leaving plenty of time for sunshine in between.

This year, winter temperatures are expected to be slightly above average, at 3.8C (38.8F), compared to the long term average of 3.7C (38.7F).

But it was much less warm than last winter when temperatures averaged 5.2C (41.4F), beginning what became the UK’s hottest year on record.

Early figures for February from the Met Office suggest the month was drier than average and likely to be slightly cooler than average.

But it was notably mild on February 18, with 15.6C (60F) recorded at Fyvie Castle, Aberdeenshire.

In a statement the Met Office said: “The month showed the variety of winter weather we can get in the UK – the first half of the month being dominated by high pressure, bringing mostly dry and settled and cold weather, while the second half of the month was more unsettled with westerly winds bringing Atlantic frontal systems.”

Published: Friday 27th February 2015 by The News Editor

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