Quick stats summary for February and a medley of photos below…
Average temp 9.8c (5.9c 2013)
sunshine hours 101.7hours
Total rainfall 139.1mm (42mm 2013)
Strongest wind gust 43 mph
The sun rose for the first time over Svalbard, Arctic on Feb 15 after months of darkness. Whilst the news from Reigate was not quite as dramatic, the weather in Surrey continued wet and stormy for much of the time.. check the sat pics below for the amazing run of spectacular low pressures that swept across the UK.
On the ground in Reigate this meant higher than average rainfall of nearly 140mm for the month, compared with 42mm last year. February rainfall for the whole of SE England was 273% above average, so the Reigate total was not too far off that figure and highlights our generally sheltered location relative to other places in the region (i.e. the coast). Whilst not quite as bad as the Dec/Jan storms for Reigate, February wind gusts locally in the town peaked at over 40mph mid-month, and were considerably higher over the Downs (50mph+).
A notable feature of the month were big showers and occasional claps of thunder in cumulonimbus clouds (Cb) produced in unstable streams of polar maritime air often sweeping in behind occluded fronts. These Cb shower clouds sometimes produced splendid rainbows and clearing skies at night, ideal for star gazing. An unusual aurora (from solar coronal outburst) late in the month caused spectacular displays of the northern lights to be seen all over the UK. In Reigate the aurora could be seen as a faint red glow away from the lights of London. Although plainly less spectacular than the amazing aurora displays further north, this was nevertheless a special sight considering the rarity of such events.