Monifieth weather station

Since July 2003, I’ve maintained a weather station in my backyard in Monifieth, Scotland. Data from the weather station is posted regularly to my web site (every 15 minutes when the computer is switched on, but updates are made at least every day). A goodly selection of data, including graphs of weather trends, are also on the web site. Month-by-month graphs from past years are available here.

2016 report

December 2016 was significantly warmer than average at the Monifieth weather station, although not as warm as Dec 2015. The mean temperature for Dec 2016 was 6.9 C, which is 2.24 C above average. It was a fairly dry month, with only 30.2 mm of rain, 13 mm below average. Although a few storms did hit the UK in December, none of them affected Monfieth much, so the wind stayed fairly quiet for most of the month, with a predominantly western flow. Although December is the darkest month, Dec 2016 was especially dull, with only 7.8 hours of bright sunshine over the whole month.

For 2016 as a whole, most statistics are fairly close to average. The annual mean temperature was only a few hundredths of a degree different from the 13-year average, so there was no sign of global warming here. The highest temperature was 24.8 C on 19 July, and the lowest was -4.3 C on 21 November.

Total rainfall for the year was 493.7 mm, 33 mm below average. There were no storms of note, with the highest wind speed for the entire year being only 54.7 kph, in January. All in all, quite an unremarkable year.

November 2016 report

Move along folks – no global warming to see here, at the Monifieth weather station . Although there were a few milder days, November 2016 came out to close to 2 degrees below normal with a mean temperature of 5.0 C. This is close to the 4.9 C recorded in 2010, which was followed by an exceptionally cold December, so we can only hope that Dec 2016 won’t repeat this pattern.

November 2016 was also the sunniest November on record, with a total of 77 hours of bright sunshine, although this time of year, any kind of daylight is in short supply.

On the rain front, it was considerably drier than normal, with 24.8 mm of rain, about 24 mm below average.

August 2016 report

August 2016 at the Monifieth weather station was slightly warmer than average (only about 0.2 C above normal, with a mean temperature of 15.3 C). Days were reasonably warm, with 14 days having a maximum temperature above 20 C; the highest temperature was 24.2 C on the 30th. The lowest temperature was a surprisingly cold 4.6 C in the early hours of the 10th – almost cold enough for a frost.

On the rain front, August was quite dry, with only 28.2 mm – around 40 mm below average.

There was one storm of note on the 7th and 8th, with a maximum wind speed of 53.1 km/h, although there was very little rain accompanying the wind.

Disappointingly from the astronomy point of view, the longer nights were mostly cloudy so there weren’t any opportunities to dust off the telescope. Hopefully September will be better.

Almost a frost in mid-summer

Last night at the Monifieth weather station, the temperature dipped to 4.6 C, which is the lowest August temperature I’ve ever recorded (going back to 2003), although we came close on 31 Aug 2012 (with a temp of 4.8 C). It wouldn’t surprise me if a touch of ground frost did hit further inland.

July 2016 report

July was pretty much average at the Monifieth weather station, both with regard to temperature and rainfall. The mean temperature was very slightly (0.16 C) below average at 15.3 C (mean daily max was 19.4 C and low was 11.8 C) and the rainfall was almost exactly equal to the average amount, at 58.2 mm.

There was a mini-heat wave of 4 days from the 18th to the 21st (highest temperature for the month was 24.8 C on the 18th), which ended with a dramatic morning of thunderstorms and torrential rain. Other than that, the month was fairly placid, with a total of 9 days where the temperature topped 20 C. The wind was almost exclusively from the west, which usually means warmer temperatures.

Two-day ‘heat wave’ ends with lightning and rain

What passes for a heat wave in Monifieth occurred over the past 2 days, where the temperature reached 24.8 C on Monday July 18, followed by 24.2 C on Tuesday. The rest of the UK was considerably warmer, especially southern England where temperatures up into the 30s were widespread.

The local heat wave ended this morning with thunderstorms and torrential rain and an 8-degree drop in temperature. Perhaps the biggest difference was in the level of sunshine. Yesterday at midday we were getting around 800 watts per square metre (which is about normal for summer at this latitude). Today, it was around 20 – 30 watts. It was so dim that plants at the botanic garden were going into night mode, with leaves and flowers folding up.

June 2016 report

June was colder than average at the Monifieth weather station, with a mean temperature 0.6 C below normal. This was due to particularly cold temperatures in the first half of the month, when the daily highs struggled to reach 15 C. Temperatures recovered somewhat in the last couple of weeks, with 3 days seeing a temperature of just above 20 C. The highest temperature was 22.7 on the afternoon of the 1st. The lowest temperature of 4.9 C was recorded on the 2nd; not quite low enough for a ground frost, but scarily close.

The low temperatures in the first two weeks were due mainly to an ‘omega block’; a pressure pattern in the Atlantic that drew in cold easterly winds. The block broke down around the middle of the month and the winds changed to the west, bringing in warmer air.

Rainfall was pretty close to normal, with 43.4 mm, although there were no notable storms; the rain occurred in dribs and drabs over the month.

The only record set this month was the lowest bright sunshine total for June, with 298.3 hours. This is the only June with a total less than 300 hours on record.

May 2016 report

May 2016 was a dry month at the Monifieth weather station, with only 15 mm of rain, the lowest on record.The mean temperature was 1.1 C above average, which is surprising given that there were a lot of days that felt quite cold. However, there were 4 days with a maximum temperature above 20 C, including the 31st when the temperature reached the monthly high of 23.6 C.

There were no storms of note, and the dominant wind direction was from the ENE off the North Sea, which is why we had a number of cold days.

April 2016 report

April 2016 was a cold month at the Monifieth weather station, with average temperatures around 1.5 C below normal, putting it on similar terms to April 2012 and 2013 (April 2016 was the 2nd coldest April on record, after 2012). Surprisingly, there were no air frosts, though there were several ground frosts. The last few days of the month were particularly cold, with frequent snow showers here on the coast. None of the snow stayed on the ground, although further inland there were significant snowfalls.

The highest temperature was 15.4 C on the 19th and the lowest was 0.3 C on the 17th.

Historically, April is the driest month here, but this year we did get a reasonable amount of rain with just over 50 mm. Sunshine amounts were around average.

March 2016 report

March 2016 wasn’t a very interesting month at the Monifieth weather station. Virtually everything was pretty close to normal, although it was a fairly dry month. There were 3 days with an air frost (a few more days with a ground frost). The mean max temperature was slightly above normal and the mean min temperature slightly below. No wind storms. There was a period of very high pressure around the middle of the month which unfortunately did not mean clear skies (so not very good for astronomy).