FEBRUARY 2022 VERY WET, MUCH WARMER THAN AVERAGE, AND SLIGHTLY DULLER. WINTER 2021/2022 ALSO MUCH WARMER THAN AVERAGE, WETTER AND SLIGHTLY DULLER

Armagh Observatory reports that February 2022 at Armagh was very wet, much warmer than average, and with slightly less strong sunshine than average. The meteorological winter (December 2021, January 2022, and February 2022) was also much warmer than average, wetter than average and slightly duller.

Total precipitation was 111.8 mm (4.40 inches) including 2 trace values, that is, 111.7 mm if trace values are ignored. The 183-year long-term (1838–2020) average February precipitation at Armagh is 55.49 mm and the most recent (1991–2020) 30-year average is 59.02 mm, so February 2022 had approximately twice the long-term average and nearly 90% more than the most recent (1991–2020) 30-year average. This continues a recent trend at Armagh for slightly higher February precipitation than the long-term February average. This was the wettest February at Armagh for two years, that is, since the exceptionally wet February 2020 (147.45 mm), and the ninth-wettest February at Armagh since daily rainfall records began at the Observatory around 1838.

The wettest day was the 20th with 17.1 mm of precipitation, preceded by the 19th with 16.5 mm and the 5th with 15.3 mm. Unusually, there were three named storms within a single week this month: Storm Dudley on the 16th, Eunice on the 18th, and Franklin on the 21st.

Snow was recorded on the 18th, 19th and 24th; sleet on the 10th; and hail, associated with Storm Eunice on the 18th, and also on the 24th. The wind gusted to gale and near-gale during the early hours of the 21st associated with Storm Franklin. Gulls were seen and heard most days this month, but fewer in number than January. Rainbows were observed on the morning of the 8th and on the afternoon of the 9th.

The mean monthly temperature was 6.5 degrees Celsius (43.7 F), showing that February 2022 was very mild. With a mean temperature nearly 1.9 C warmer than the 225-year long-term (1796–2020) February average at Armagh (4.65 C) and nearly 1.2 C warmer than the most recent (1991–2020) 30-year average (5.33 C), this was the warmest February at Armagh for three years, continuing a recent trend for February at Armagh to be slightly warmer than recent 30-year February averages.

The highest maximum daily air temperature was 13.5 C, which occurred during the early afternoon of the 16th associated with passage of Storm Dudley. The second-highest daily maximum temperature was 12.0 C, a value that occurred in the small hours of the same day but was conventionally attributed to the 15th. The coldest day, or lowest maximum daily air temperature, was a relatively mild 5.3 C on the 24th, followed by 6.2 C on the 18th associated with Storm Eunice.

The lowest minimum daily air temperature was again a relatively mild -0.1 C on the 24th, followed by 0.0 C on the 11th. The highest minimum air temperature was 8.9 C in the small hours of the 2nd followed by 8.0 C on the 3rd.

There were 13 nights with ground frost, that is, with a minimum grass temperature less than or equal to zero Celsius, the lowest two of which were -5.3 C on the 11th, followed by -3.3 C on the 7th. There were only two nights, that is, the 24th and 11th, with nighttime air frosts.

With 65.2 hours of strong sunshine, February 2022 had slightly fewer hours of strong sunshine than the most recent (1991–2020) 30-year February average at Armagh (70.9 hours), but almost the same as the 140-year (1881–2020) long-term average for strong February sunshine (65.4 hours). The sunniest day was the 22nd, with 6.8 hours of strong sunshine, followed by the 9th with 6.6 hours.

Taking the meteorological winter 2021/2022 as a whole, that is, the three months December 2021, January 2022 and February 2022, this year’s winter at Armagh was much warmer than average, wetter than average and slightly duller.

The mean winter temperature for winter 2021/2022 was 6.46 C (43.6 F), which is nearly 2.0 C warmer than the 225-year (1796/1797–2020/2021) long-term average winter temperature at Armagh (4.48 C), and 1.25 C warmer than the most recent (1991/1992– 2020/2021) 30-year average (5.21 C).

This was the warmest winter at Armagh for three years, that is, since the exceptionally warm winter 2018/2019 (6.67 C), and the equal fifth-warmest winter at Armagh — shared with winter 1934/1935 — since daily temperature records began at the Observatory around 1795. This continues a trend towards warmer than average winters at Armagh.

Total winter precipitation was 265.3 mm including 10 trace values, that is, 264.8 mm if trace values are ignored. This is nearly 30% more than the 183-year (1838/1839– 2020/2021) long-term average winter precipitation at Armagh and approximately 23% more than the most recent (1991/1992–2020/2021) 30-year average winter precipitation at Armagh. This was the wettest winter at Armagh for four years, that is, since 268.0 mm of precipitation was recorded during winter 2017/2018.

The total number of hours of strong sunshine recorded during this winter 2021/2022 was 145.6 hours. This is approximately 98% of the 140-year (1881/82–2020/21) long-term average winter sunshine at Armagh (149.7 hours) and 92% of the most recent (1991/92– 2020/21) 30-year average winter sunshine at Armagh (161.5 hours).

These data refer to observations at Armagh Observatory, which has been recording the weather at Armagh since 1795.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Mark Bailey at the Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG. Tel.: 028-3752-3689; mark.bailey@armagh.ac.uk; URL: http://climate.armagh.ac.uk/.


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