February 2016 weather statistics for Reigate, Surrey, England.
- Tmax 13C
- Tmin -3C
- T Average 5.3C
- Rainfall total (CoCoRaHs) 48.2mm
- Sunshine 99.6hours
- Average MSLP 1010mb
- rain days 18
Feb CET 4.9C (anomaly +1.1C)
Mean UK temp 3.9C
Storm Henry opened February weather with inclement wet windy conditions for the far NW but no significant impact here in the SE.
Storm Imogen on the 8 Feb impacted Wales and the SE more with the highest gusts of the month exceeding 41mph here in Reigate, with a max gust of 81mph on the Needles, Isle of Wight.
February was another mild winter month, though not on the scale of record breaking December 2015. February UK average was 3.9C, the Central England temperature (CET) for Feb was 4.9C, an anomaly +1.1C above the long term average. Locally our February average was 5.3C showing that the SE was warmer than the rest of the UK.
February was the sunniest winter month with nearly 100 hours of sunshine, compared to 94 hours in January and a dull 80 hours in December.
The mean 500mb heights for the month (above) shows a trough placed over the UK for much of February and an overall Atlantic flow bringing milder than average temperatures, mainly to the south and SE. The continent was even warmer with some anomalous temperatures exceeding 10C in E Europe and Russia.
Rainfall for February was about average for the month at 48.2mm, similar to the MetOffice official SE England precipitation figure of 49mm.
Global mean temperatures turned out warm again for February, in fact 0.47C warmer than the previous record.
A notable atmospheric event that went mostly unnoticed at the surface was a significant stratospheric warming in February (and March). The sudden warming of temperatures high in the stratosphere, much anticipated by the weather community and long range forecasters as a key tool to forecast winter conditions in the Northern Hemisphere, came too late to cause much cold winter weather in Europe. El Nino winters are often accompanied by Sudden Stratospheric Warmings (SSW) events in late winter. Such events can cause cold weather in mid latitudes as pressure eventually rises in the troposphere some 2 weeks after a SSW. The warming during an SSW is truly remarkable, with temperature rises exceeding 80C in a matter of days at 10hPa (30km), from -80C to +10C in some SSW events.
An SSW is like inflating a balloon in the high atmosphere, pressure is expected to propagate down and eventually rise in the lower atmosphere some weeks after an SSW. Importantly, the pressure rise often disrupts the zonal westerly flow of the jetstream. This appears as negative anomalies on the zonal wind chart below (blue colours). Unfortunately for this winter, the SSW came too late for much significant winter cold to penetrate into Europe. You can spot that the anomalous easterly winds only got going in March… too late for deep cold to push into Europe.
The JMA snow charts below also show how February came out as an anomalously un-snowy period for much of Europe.