February was month of contrasts

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THIS winter might have proved to be one of the wettest on record but last month helped to make up for it with 111 hours of bright sunshine.

In fact February proved to be a month of extremes: it was the fifth sunniest since records began back in 1948. The amount of sunshine was 42 per cent above the average for the month and the sunniest day was on the 25th with nine and a half hours.

By contrast the prolonged wet weather lasted right up to the middle of the month before the high pressure became established over the British Isles bringing dry weather along with a cold easterly wind.

Although the second half of the month was completely dry, particularly heavy rain during the first two weeks still produced slightly more than the mean average for the whole month. At Ronaldsway 66.6mm of rainfall were recorded.

Average temperatures for the month were lower than normal with a mean maximum of seven degrees centigrade and a mean minimum of two and a half degrees - one degree below the long-term average in each case.

The final day of the month saw the coldest ground temperature recorded which was 6.8 degrees.

There were four air frosts and 14 ground frosts.

Heavy rain as well as sleet in places on low ground fell as snow on high ground and caused some significant travel disruption on February 13.

This proved to be the wettest February day for 10 years with 23.4mm of precipitation measured at Ronaldsway. There was sleet on three days, hail on one day but no thunder or fog.

Average wind speed at the airport was 15.1mph compared to a long-term mean of 17.0mph.

A 55mph gust on 5th, along with saturated ground, caused trees to topple.

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