UK 2018 summary
Much sunnier than average with it being the third sunniest year (1559.9 hrs) for the UK since records began in 1929 behind only 2003 (1585.8 hrs) and 1995 (1579.1 hrs). This high total was very much owed to a sunny winter and summer - the second sunniest winter since 1929 (191.6 hrs) and sunniest since 1962-63, whilst summer was the sunniest since 1995. Late February/early March provided some of the most severe wintry weather in the UK on a widespread scale since December 2010. In contrast, the summer of 2018 was an exceptional warm one beginning as soon as mid-April with the warmest April conditions since 1949, one of the warmest Mays, Junes and Julys on record only let down by an average August. There was widespread drought during the summer too with June being exceptionally dry in particular and some places having very little rainfall between late May and late July. The autumn was average overall but with a cool September and October offset by a mild November leading into a mild start to the winter.
January. A near average month for the UK as a whole but with a north-south divide in temperature as the north was exposed to cold polar maritime northwesterly winds at times, particularly in the third week. The CET for the month was 5.3°C, mild but not exceptionally so. The month began on the mild and stormy side with Storm Eleanor on the 2nd/3rd giving wet and windy weather. High pressure ridged in close to the UK by the 6th bringing frost and fog at times but settled conditions. It turned stormy again from the 14th as the westerlies intensified and collapsed the ridge to the east. The jet stream lined up northwest to southeast bringing polar maritime air from the North Atlantic and there was plentiful snow in the north, especially on the 16th and 17th. Eskdalemuir (Dumfries & Galloway) had a snow depth of 38cm on the 17th. It was a fair bit milder in the south with very strong westerly winds amplified by the arrival of Storm David (named by Metéo-France) on the 17th into the 18th which resulted in a max gust of 93 mph at Capel Curig (Gwynedd) on the 17th. A ridge built in temporarily on the 20th into the 21st resulting in a minimum temperature of -13.7°C at Altnaharra and Kinbrace (Sutherland) on the morning of the 21st before rain from the west returned and turned to snow in the cold air over the Midlands and eastern England - it turned milder later with rain and snowmelt giving localised flooding. It was generally mild for the rest of January with the highest temperature for the month of 15.1°C at Monks Wood (Cambridgeshire) on the 28th. An active cold front associated with Storm Georgina spread southeast on the 24th and gave a narrow band of intense rainfall at the leading edge of the front (known as a squall line). Rainfall was 110% of average and most places had above average rainfall with it being very westerly a lot of the time, away from parts of Aberdeenshire where it was notably dry. Sunshine was 103% of average with the north tending to be sunnier than the south.
February. A cold month with all places seeing below average temperatures - the coldest February since 2010 with a CET of 2.9°C. The first half of February was changeable but often cold with attempts of an easterly early on becoming more northwesterly later - wintry or snow showers were recorded on many days but did not accumulate to much. High pressure ridged from the south on the 19th settling the weather down and temporarily milder at first including the highest temperature of the month with 14.2°C at Cardiff Bute Park (South Glamorgan) on the 19th but it was not long before it turned colder again as the high pressure ascended north and allowed an easterly flow to bring polar continental air. This resulted in many days of late winter crisp sunshine and cold nights. As severe cold air approached from the east (widely dubbed as the 'Beast from the East' from the media) on the 25th, wintry showers started appearing on eastern coasts which consisted of graupel at first but turned more to snow as time went on and by the 27th, there were widespread snow showers across the country with significant accumulations. There was also widespread ice day conditions on the final day of the month which for the daily CET was the coldest 28th February since 1785. The airmass was extremely cold with the 850hPa temperature achieving as low as -15 at the radiosonde station in Albemarle (Northumberland) and the UK had not seen such a cold airmass being advected from the north or east since February 1991. The minimum 500hPa thickness (a way of seeing how dense the airmass is) of 502 dam at Albemarle (Northumberland) was the lowest in the UK since January 1987. The maximum temperature on the 28th at Braemar (Aberdeenshire) was only -4.9°C. Other very low maxima on the 28th included -1.2°C at Heathrow (Greater London), -2.4°C at Bedford (Bedfordshire) and -3.3°C at Waddington (Lincolnshire). Even St. Mary's Airport (Isles of Scilly) only got up to 0.8°C all day on the 28th. In a UK areal-average series that began in 1960 for daily maximum temperature, 28th February 2018 was the UK's coldest day since December 1995 and was colder than any day in December 2010 (again in terms of daily maximum temperature) which was nuts considering how late into the season it was and a reflection of just how exceptionally cold the airmass was; a true beast drawn directly from Siberia. There was a max snow depth of 21cm at Copley (Durham) on the 28th. The minimum temperature of the month was also recorded on the 28th with -11.7°C at South Farnborough (Hampshire) and -14.2°C at Faversham (Kent) - the latter was the lowest temperature for England since February 2012. It was a very sunny February with few places recording under average sunshine and the country as a whole had 137% of average making it the second sunniest February on record (records since 1919) in the UK with the southwest in particular doing well. Rainfall was 73% of average and it was the driest February since 2012.
March. Overall a cold month but not exceptionally so with a CET of 4.9°C which was more than 2°C warmer than March 2013. The cold weather wasn't as persistent this March as it was in 2013 but it included an exceptional cold and snowy spell at the start with national records set continuing on from the extreme cold end to February. 1 March was the coldest day of the spell widely with ice day conditions again achieved for most and it did not get above -4.7°C at Tredegar (Gwent) all day which was a new national March record low max beating the previous record of -4.6°C at Cassley (Sutherland) on 2 March 2001. England also had its lowest March max temperature on record with -3.7°C at Pennerley (Shropshire) beating -3.3°C at Buxton (Derbyshire) on 5 March 1942 and at Spadeadam (Cumbria) on 2 March 1965. The lowest temperature of the month, -10.7°C at Cawdor Castle (Nairnshire), was also recorded on the 1st and was the lowest March temperature in the UK since 2013. There were widespread significant accumulations of snow from further lake effect showers being caused by a stark contrast between the severe cold airmass being drawn from the east overtop the relatively warm seas surrounding the UK. Storm Emma (named by the Portuguese Met) made its presence later on the 1st into the southwest of the country and the easterlies increased in strength bringing nationwide gales and absolute bitter windchill below -10°C. Wind gusts from Emma peaked at 73 knots (84 mph) at Warcop (Cumbria) on the 2nd. The strong winds combined with more precipitation from Storm Emma allowed significant drifting to occur and skewed snow depths. Emma attempted to dislodge the cold air and turn things milder from the southwest through the following days and eventually pushed through all parts by the 4th but it remained cool with average temperatures at best. Across northern England and southern Scotland, depths were recorded of over 40cm including 49cm at Drumalbin (Lanarkshire), 46cm at Glasgow (Bishopton) and 41cm at Spadeadam (Cumbria) on the 2nd March. Southern England and south Wales also received significant snow with 49cm at St. Athan (South Glamorgan), 25cm at Hereford (Herefordshire), 20cm at Seavington (Somerset) and 16cm at Yeovilton (Somerset). It turned more zonal from the 5th with wet and cloudy conditions becoming dominant for at least the next week as the blocking feature to the north which helped feed the exceptional cold to the UK had retrogressed to North America. The maximum temperature of the month was reached on the 10th with 16.6°C at Colwyn Bay (Clwyd). Heights rose again over Scandinavia by the 17th temporarily bringing a renewed push of severe cold polar continental air on yet again quite bitter easterly winds with wind gusts peaking at 73 knots (84 mph) at Warcop (Cumbria). There was widespread snow showers on these cold easterly winds from the 17th into the 18th once more but this outbreak was not as long nor quite as severe as that at the beginning of March. Nevertheless, the second outbreak of cold easterly winds was still notable with localised regions of the Midlands, Hertfordshire and parts of Wales recording snow depths on the 18th March in excess of 10cm including 26cm reported at Berkhamsted (Hertfordshire). It did not get above -2.7°C all day at Liscombe (Somerset) on the 18th - exceptional for so late in the season. The snow showers eased on the 19th as pressure rose from the north with crisp sunshine becoming widespread for a couple of days before pressure lowered again and the Atlantic was unleashed giving way to generally milder, wet and often cloudy conditions for the rest of the month. It was a wetter than average March with 110% of average - southwestern regions, eastern coasts and the Midlands had over twice their average March rainfall whilst the northwest of Scotland and Cumbria were significantly drier. Sunshine was 83% of average - unsurprisingly a dull March with very little anticyclonic weather and a fair amount of cloudy easterly and westerly winds. The Western Isles tended to be sunnier sheltered from the easterly winds.
April. Quite a mild month with a CET of 9.8°C but with flip flops in temperature - the start of the month was cold with northeasterly winds followed by a period through the second week with mild nights but relatively cool days and a lot of cloud. Tulloch Bridge recorded a minimum temperature of -8.8°C on the 1st - the lowest April temperature in the UK since 2013. The maximum temperature on the same day at Alston (Cumbria) was also only 0.6°C. There was some snow in the north, mainly on high ground, during the first week with a max snow depth of 18cm recorded at Nunraw Abbey (East Lothian) on the 5th. Low pressure deepened in the Atlantic by the 16th which forced the wind direction to a southerly and unusually warm air was advected northward into the UK from the 18th to the 21st resulting in near or record breaking high temperatures for the time of year. It was initially very windy in the west however with a max gust of 64 knots (74 mph) at South Uist (Western Isles) on the 17th. The max temperature on the 18th was 25.3°C at St. James' Park (Greater London). On the 19th, the same location reached a max temperature of 29.1°C which was the highest April temperature in the UK since 1949 and the second highest on record. The minimum temperature also did not drop below 15.9°C on the 19th at Kenley (Greater London) which was a new April record for the UK. On the 20th, 26.8°C was recorded at Frittenden (Kent), on the 21st 24.9°C was achieved at Wisley (Surrey), Kew Gardens (Greater London) and Bude (Cornwall). The 22nd was the warmest London Marathon on record with a max temperature of 25.0°C at Gravesend (Kent) but this was the last day of warmth as the westerlies returned for the final week bringing much cooler conditions and spring showers. Towards the last few days of the month, a depression to the south of the country brought unseasonably cold conditions to southern and southeastern parts of England with maximum temperatures widely only getting up to 6 or 7°C at best all day long on the 29th. It tended to be sunnier up in the north but even here it was relatively cool for the most part. Mean minimum temperatures for the month were well above average and tended to have greater anomalies than mean maxima - England had its second warmest April on record in terms of mean minimum temperature. Rainfall was 119% of average and the only standout dry place was northern Scotland where it was also a sunnier than average month but most others had a dull April - particularly the southwest of England with 90% of average sunshine overall for the UK.
May. A very warm and sunny month - part of a long hot and dry summer. The CET for May 2018 was 13.2°C - equal to May 2017 and the warmest since 2008. It was the equal second warmest May on record since 1910 for the UK as a whole. The month initially began unsettled with westerly winds giving cool conditions and rain at times continuing on from the end of April including a minimum temperature of -4.6°C at Aboyne (Aberdeenshire) on the 1st but it quickly turned much warmer by the 3rd as the wind veered more southwest and then southerly as pressure rose resulting in the warmest early May Bank Holiday on record since it was introduced in 1978 on the 7th with a max temperature of 28.7°C at Northolt (Greater London) beating the previous record of 23.6°C on 3 May 1999. This was the highest temperature of the month. The overall May Bank Holiday weekend record was also beaten - previous record was 29.6°C back in May 1995. A cooler period followed but it remained generally dry with a fair amount of sunny weather. By the end of the third week of May, high pressure developed over Scandinavia but unlike March when such a pattern gave extremely cold weather, this time it was much warmer. There was sunshine at times, especially in the north and west sheltered from the easterly winds but it was often cooler and cloudier near the east coast. Meanwhile, the last week of the month brought showers and thunderstorms in the south of the country with 81.0mm falling at Winterbourne (West Midlands) in the 24-hour period ending at 0900 GMT on the 28th. There were persistent thunderstorms around London on the 29th. Castlederg (County Tyrone) recorded a max temperature of 25.3°C on the same day - the highest May temperature in Northern Ireland since 2012. Overall, rainfall was 69% of average for the month in the UK but it was close to normal across central and southern England due to thunderstorms in the final week. Sunshine was 132% of average for May 2018 making it the second sunniest May on record since 1919 behind only May 1989 and eventually May 2020. Only south and west Cornwall as well as local parts of north Wales and northern Scotland didn't have a sunnier than average month.
June. Exceptionally dry month for England - the third driest June since 1910 here. Essex had 1.7mm all month whilst Dorset had 2.0mm and Middlesex had only 0.7mm. For the long-term England & Wales Precipitation series since 1766, it was the driest June since 1925 and the fifth driest on record. With 49% of average rainfall for the UK as a whole, it was the driest June since 1995. With a CET of 16.1°C, it was the joint warmest June with 2003 since 1976. Northern Ireland had its second warmest June on record since 1884 with a mean temperature of 14.8°C and was beaten only by that of June 1887 (15.7°C). It was the third warmest June for the UK since 1884 and the warmest since 1976 with mean maximum temperatures widely 2-3°C above average. Eastern coasts were much cooler on some days due to onshore easterly winds with outbreaks of sea haar. The first 2 weeks of the month were mainly dry and warm, particularly in the north with sunny days at times and scattered thunderstorms continuing from the pattern that had established through late May. The minimum temperature of the month was -1.0°C at Altnaharra (Sutherland) on the 6th under clear skies and northeasterly winds. The westerlies returned mid-month and brought cooler, cloudier conditions with rain at times though mainly in the north whilst the south tended to stay dry. A 971 hPa depression, named Storm Hector, gave summer gales to Northern Ireland and Scotland with a max wind gust of 64 knots (74 mph) at Orlock Head (County Down) on the 14th - not far from the June record for Northern Ireland which was 67 knots (76 mph) at Ballykelly (County Londonderry) back in June 1962. At the same time, Achnagart (Ross & Cromarty) recorded 44.6mm of rain in the 24-hour period ending at 0900 GMT on the 14th. High pressure ridged into the UK on the 21st and it was initially cool with some fairly chilly nights but it became increasingly warm and hot as a tropical continental airmass was advected northward by the 24th and set up a heatwave for the final week of June. An omega block of high pressure was well established by the 25th sitting right over top of the country. There was long spells of sunshine with maximum solar radiation given the time of year and the baked ground from the dry weather resulting in widespread high 20s and touching the low 30s in sheltered western areas from the easterly winds. 30.1°C was recorded at Hampton W Wks (Greater London), Teddington and Bushy Park (Middlesex) on the 25th; 30.7°C at Rostherne (Cheshire) on the 26th; 31.9°C at Porthmadog (Gwynedd) on the 27th; 33.0°C at Porthmadog (Gwynedd) on the 28th; 32.5°C at Porthmadog (Gwynedd) on the 29th and 30.0°C at Cromdale (Moray) on the 30th. The Porthmadog 33.0°C value on the 28th was the highest temperature of the month and was the highest June temperature in Wales since 1976, but was lower than the national absolute max of June 2017 (34.5°C). Derrylin (County Fermanagh) and Thomastown (County Fermanagh) recorded a max temperature of 30.5°C on the 28th - the first 30°C in Northern Ireland since 2013, highest for June since 1976 and highest for any month since July 1983. A provisional new max temperature record for Scotland was recorded at Motherwell (North Lanarkshire) on the 28th with 33.2°C but it was later found in quality checking that this may have been influenced to an extent by the passage of an ice cream van near the station so was disregarded from official climatological records. It was the seventh sunniest June in a series since 1919 and the sunniest since 1975. A severe wildfire broke out at Saddleworth Moor (Greater Manchester) on the 26th with the hot and dry weather only helping to fuel the fire.
July. Exceptionally hot - the hottest July since 2006 and the third hottest on record for the CET with a mean temperature of 19.1°C. It was only the fourth time that the CET has reached 19.0°C or higher; other times were July 2006, July 1983 and August 1995. For the UK as a whole in a series since 1884, it was the second hottest July on record behind only July 2006 and the joint third hottest month on record with August 1997. Mean maximum temperatures were over 4°C above average across central and southern parts of England with some stations recording 20°C or greater every single day including Heathrow (Greater London). There was a drought ongoing for widespread parts of the south through much of July with some places in southern England achieving a run of over 50 dry days up to late July - the longest dry spell of this kind probably since 1995. The first half of July was dominated by high pressure continuing the pattern that had established through the last week of June and the heatwave seemingly had no end date. There were 16 days during the month where somewhere in the UK achieved at least 30.0°C - the most such days in a single calendar month since August 1995. If it weren't for one single day (4th July when the country daily max was 29.1°C), there would have been a run of 15 consecutive days from 25th June to 9th July where somewhere achieved at least 30.0°C, such a spell has not been observed in the UK since 1976. All the dry and hot weather culminated in a hosepipe ban for Northern Ireland early on in July - the first since 1995 and the first hosepipe ban anywhere in the UK since March 2012. It became relatively cooler and cloudier through the second week of July but remained settled generally. The third week had a north-south split with the north having outbreaks of light rain and a fair amount of cloud whilst the south stayed hot. The fourth week of July was the hottest part of the month away from the north with max temperatures again widely getting into at least the low 30s over England with the heat peaking on the 26th and 27th including a max temperature of 35.6°C at Felsham (Suffolk) on the 27th - the highest temperature since 2015 and the highest temperature of the year. It had also reached 35.3°C at Faversham (Kent) on the 26th. This was the first instance of at least two consecutive days where somewhere reached 35°C or greater in the UK since 2006. Hastings (East Sussex) did not get below 21.5°C on the 27th. The heat went out with a bang on the 27th as thunderstorms broke out across eastern England and over 152,868 lightning strikes were detected making it one of the most thundery days in recent years. These thunderstorms resulted in a temporary change for final few days of July dominated by low pressure off the Atlantic and there were some very wet conditions including 89.8mm of rain at Aldergrove (County Antrim) on the 28th ensuring it wasn't a very dry July for most away from parts of Norfolk and Cambridgeshire despite much of the month being rainless. Nevertheless, with 71% of average rainfall, it was still the driest July for the UK since 2006. Westerly winds were also blustery in nature with a max gust of 57 knots (66 mph) at Needles (Isle of Wight) on the 29th. Sunshine was 138% of average and it was the sixth sunniest July since 1919 for the UK and the sunniest since 2013 whilst it was the third sunniest on record for England.
August. The unsettled weather of late July continued into the first day or so of August but pressure rose again from the south by the 3rd and brought hot temperatures back but this time the warmth was much more focused on the south where sunshine was most frequent whilst the north tended to be cloudier in a humid southwesterly flow. 33.2°C at Kew Gardens (Greater London) on the 3rd was the max temperature of the month. By the 7th, cooler Atlantic air filtered in from the west and brought more changeable conditions which became dominant for the rest of August and any warmer intervals were very temporary or brief from southwesterlies. 90.0mm of rain fell at Prestatyn (Clwyd) in the 24-hour period ending at 0900 GMT on the 13th. The final week of the month brought significantly cooler conditions and the mean temperature dropped a lot with only slightly above average temperatures overall and provided a huge contrast to the very warm and sunny May to July. The CET was 16.6°C, much cooler than July but still relatively warm, particularly compared to older averages. -1.3°C was recorded at Braemar (Aberdeenshire) on the 31st. Rainfall was 95% of average with a few places only having around half the average amount but parts of southeast England had over 150%. Sunshine was 90% of average with the west being duller than the east whilst Shetland had more than 150% of its normal August sunshine.
September. A rather changeable month after a fine and warm start in the south. It became unsettled by the 4th which set the theme for most of September up to the final week when an anticyclone settled the weather down but it was also rather cool with early season frosts and ensured the month was relatively cool overall. The CET for the month was 13.7°C - not as cool as September 2017. It was cooler in the north as compared to the south - Northern Ireland had its coolest September since 1994. The third week was autumnal especially with a succession of active Atlantic depressions giving some notable wet and windy weather. It began with the remnants of ex-hurricane Helene on the 17th which approached the UK from the southwest but fortunately, it declined in intensity as it came close to shores. The forced southerly flow from Helene brought the highest temperature of the month with 26.5°C recorded at Cambridge Botanic Gardens (Cambridgeshire). On the 19th, Storm Ali brought a max wind gust of 79 knots (91 mph) at Killowen (County Down) which was the highest September wind gust in Northern Ireland since Debbie in September 1961. Storm Ali was generally the most disruptive early autumn event since the remnants of Nadine in September 2012. Storm Bronagh on the 20th brought heavy rain and localised flooding to parts of Wales, the Midlands as well as east and northeastern England. Sheffield (South Yorkshire) recorded a daily rainfall of 61.4mm on the 20th which was its wettest September day since records began in 1883. The highest rainfall of the month was 78.6mm at Capel Curig (Gwynedd) in the 24-hour period ending at 0900 GMT on the 21st. As mentioned previously, it settled down in the final week of September with spells of sunshine but nights became very cool with Katesbridge (County Down) getting down to -3.6°C on the 29th - Northern Ireland's lowest September temperature on record until 2020. Rainfall was 108% of average for the UK but this masks significant regional variation with a few locations only having around half the average amount but much of northwest Scotland had over 150%. Sunshine was 108% of average with the east being sunnier generally than the west whilst it was very sunny in the London area where sunshine was over 130% of average and the sunniest September here since 2003. In some locations, September was sunnier than August.
October. Generally a very sunny month but with some notable temperature fluctuations and extremes. The first half was mostly milder than average with the first week bringing changeable conditions in a westerly flow to the north but the south was drier close to high pressure. The second week became increasingly warm with southerly winds giving way to some unusually warm conditions for the time of year. There was also widespread sunny conditions on the 9th and 10th. A very deep depression in the North Atlantic, named Storm Callum, with a central pressure of 938 hPa brought wet and windy weather on the 12th to most parts but whilst some trees were brought down in Northern Ireland and Scotland, the worst was avoided as the low pressure stayed out at sea. Nevertheless, there was some very heavy rain in the west on the 12th into the 13th with a daily fall of 159.8mm recorded at Libanus (Powys) in the 24-hour period ending at 0900 GMT on the 13th whilst the max wind gust from Callum was 75 knots (86 mph) at Capel Curig (Gwynedd) on the 12th. On the eastern side of the rain, it continued to get very warm for the time of year in sunshine. Donna Nook (Lincolnshire) recorded a max temperature of 26.5°C on the 13th which was the highest October temperature since 2011 in the UK and the highest on record for so late in the year. High pressure tended to become dominant through the third and fourth weeks of October giving chilly nights at times in any clear skies but all in all pretty benign weather. A notable push of cold air from the north became evident on the 26th and 27th resulting in a very cold end to the month with wintry showers including snow on high ground as well as to local low levels of the northeast on the 27th. A snow depth of 6cm was reported at Tomnavoulin (Morayshire) on the 27th, this was the first instance of October snow to low levels since 2012. Pennerley (Shropshire) got up to only 3.7°C all day on the 27th whilst Dalwhinnie (Inverness-shire) achieved a max of 3.0°C on the same day - quite notably cold for the time of year. What was probably most impressive was the nights as St Harmon (Powys) recorded a minimum temperature of -8.6°C on the 30th which was the lowest October temperature in the UK since 1993. Shap (Cumbria) fell to -7.3°C on the same morning which was also the lowest October temperature for England since 1993. Mean temperatures for the month were average overall due to the temperature fluctuations but it was still the coolest since 2012 with northern areas tending to be cooler than the south similar to September. The CET for October 2018 was 10.6°C. Rainfall was 82% of average for the UK with most parts having drier than average conditions away from northwest Scotland exposed to westerly winds. This made it the fourth consecutive drier than average October for the UK. It was the sixth sunniest October for the UK since 1919 and the sunniest since 2003 with 122% of average. East Anglia had its third sunniest October on record.
November. A mild month - the mildest since 2015 with a CET of 8.3°C. However, the first few days were relatively cold with benign weather continuing on from late October. It quickly became mild from the 3rd with southerly winds dominating. It was dry in the east and southeast of England but slow-moving bands of rain lingered in the west and gave heavy outbreaks of rain at times. The highest temperature of the month was seen on Bonfire Night with 18.3°C at Otterbourne (Hampshire). High pressure developed over Scandinavia by the 15th and although initially very mild, it turned cooler as the winds veered easterly with good sunshine at first followed by plentiful cloud with rain showers in the south. Days were cool generally in the low to mid single figures including a max of 2.6°C at Malham Tarn (North Yorkshire) on the 21st but cloud and rain showers prevented nights getting low for most parts. Any snow was limited to high ground as the continental airmass was not cold enough to favour widespread snow as compared to 2010. The lowest temperature of the month was -6.7°C at South Newington (Oxfordshire) on the 22nd - higher absolute min than October and the first time the November min was lower than the preceding October since 2012. It turned mild, wet and windy again from the 27th for all parts of the country with Storm Diana (named by the Portuguese Met) giving a max wind gust of 78 knots (90 mph) at Capel Curig (Gwynedd) on the 28th and 56.0mm of rain fell at Keswick (Cumbria) in the 24-hour period ending at 0900 GMT on the 29th. Rainfall was close to average overall for the UK with 101% of average but with significant variation; well above average in the southwest of England, parts of southern and eastern Scotland and Northern Ireland whilst it was well below average in northwest Scotland. Sunshine was 110% of average with some regional variation including below average sunshine in eastern Scotland and extending from Devon to Northumberland whilst it was a very sunny month in northwest Scotland and East Anglia.
December. Generally westerly and mild but there was a cold snap mid-month as high pressure developed over Scandinavia and ushered in easterly winds for a few days. Storm Deirdre brought freezing rain on the 15th and very little snow including a reported depth of 1cm at Bowhill (Selkirkshire), Tulloch Bridge (Inverness-shire) and Gartocharn (Dunbartonshire) on the 16th. This was much less snow than was forecasted and upper air temperatures were just too mild. It turned changeable again from the 16th to the 23rd but after this it settled down whilst remaining on the mild side with a lot of cloud. Mean temperatures were close to 2°C above normal in the south and west with mean minimum temperatures in particular being well above normal. The CET for December 2018 was 6.9°C, the mildest since 2015 and the joint 9th mildest since 1659. The highest temperature of the month was 15.9°C at Kew Gardens (Greater London) on the 2nd whilst the lowest was -8.8°C at Braemar (Aberdeenshire) on the 5th. Rainfall was 99% of average with most places having near or above average rain whilst the north and east of Scotland and northeastern England were drier. The highest rainfall of the month was 64.6mm at Cluanie Inn (Ross & Cromarty) in the 24-hour period ending at 0900 GMT on the 8th. The max wind gust of the month, 71 knots (82 mph) at Isle of Portland (Dorset), was also achieved on the 8th. Sunshine was 92% of average with the same areas that were dry also tended to be sunnier than average whilst it was well below normal in the west where places had less than half their average December sunshine. It was the fifth dullest December since 1919 in Northern Ireland and the dullest since 1977.
*Averages refer to 1981-2010.