Reigate December 2015 summary statistics:
- Tmax 15.5C
- Tmin 1.6C
- Average temperature 10.1C warmest on record (2014 5.3C)
- Total rainfall 79mm
- max gust 37mph
- sunshine 79.8 hours
Like the rest of England and Wales, Reigate had an exceptionally warm December and the warmest on record by a huge margin.
Central England Temperature December records smashed!
2015 warmest December CET ever recorded: 9.7C
December 1934, 1974: 8.1C
This is warmer than any March CET.
Warmer than any November barring 1994
There have been 171 colder Octobers
There have been 26 warmer Aprils
There have been 34 cooler Mays
The CET mean minimum was higher than any April mean minimum ever recorded. It was higher than the May’s CET minimum
The gap between September and December’s CET was less than 3.0C, the gap between their respective minima was just 1.1C!
The CET mean maximum was 1.8C higher than the previous record of 1974.
(source CET data from UKWW)
In Reigate the average temperature was 10.1C compared to 5.3C, 5.8C and 6C in 2014, 2013 and 2012 respectively. Whilst our own Reigate records only go back to 2012 (neighbour stations extend this locally back further to 2009), the Central England Temperature record extends back to 1772 and, at 9.8C monthly average, December 2015 smashed all previous mean monthly temperatures by a long way. The official Central England Temperature anomaly (temperature departure from normal long term average) came out at a whopping 5.2C above average, way above previous warm Decembers of 1934 and 1974.
The chart above shows the monthly average data in Reigate this year as an anomaly departure from the long term average for SE England – (source MetOffice Hadobs 1910-present). It starkly shows how much warmer December was from the long term average extending back to 1910, Reigate was a full 5.6C above normal! How much is this down to El Nino? As discussed in previous posts the El Nino ENSO Pacific warming natural cycle cannot explain all of this extraordinary warmth. In fact, there is little established link between El Nino and UK winter weather. This is shown in the charts below for previous mega-El Ninos in 1982 and 1997 which had markedly different impacts on our December winter weather. So there appears to be no real solid link between El Ninos and any crazy warm winter / December weather here.
Remember that the recent Paris climate change conference has sought to set a target of limiting global temperature rise to no more than 2C temperature increase over pre-industrial levels. Locally we can expect spikes in temperature of course but this 5C anomaly for December, and the fact that 2015 will certainly be the warmest on record globally, shows the huge challenge that lies ahead in keeping temperatures down to less than 2C globally.
It was so warm for so long that wild flowers and plants around Reigate such as daffodils, camelias, forsythia and rhododendrons came into flower as if it was Spring. This was a lot to do with minimum temperatures being so high with no frosts recorded at all.
Many records were broken across the UK for highest minimums overnight, which frequently stayed in double figures. Indeed, this December has had a similar mean temperature to that expected in May. Our own station recorded the highest December Tmax at 15.5C on 19 December and the highest overnight Tmin at 12.4C on 26 Dec.
Despite the record breaking deluge further North which made this the UK’s wettest December of record overall), rainfall in Reigate came out around or even a tad below average at 79mm.
Whilst 2014 was drier still at only 49.4mm, 2013 saw 110mm. Regionally, South East England got around the average rainfall normally expected in December. Like November 2015, December continued the sun-less theme with only 79.8 hours of sunshine.
Apart from the incredible and perturbing warmth (which extended to the North Pole at the end of the month courtesy of Storm Frank) December 2015 was not remarkable for much else weatherwise locally. Unfortunately, in Cumbria, Yorkshire and North Wales, there was extensive flooding which caused much misery and disruption especially over the Christmas period. For more on the flooding and other weather stories please check this Flipboard magazine account.
Have a Happy New Year! Data for Reigate and 2015 has been updated in the data page.