Weather

Temperatures overall in January were just 0.4C below the UK mean of 3.7C according to the Met Office, based on data which started in 1910.

But this is one example of how statistics can hide extremes and give a misleading impression of one month’s weather.

The first ten days were often mild, with temperatures reaching double figures, as was the last week, when double figure temperatures returned for a time.

But sandwiched in the middle was a cold spell which lasted around two weeks, and which gave the heaviest snowfall since December 2010.

That said, it’s the monthly average that climatologists will look back at in time, and from that perspective January 2013 very much a middle ranked month in the 103 year Met Office data set.

From a UK point of view, to illustrate how unremarkable it was, January came in 52nd coldest.

And according to Philip Eden writing in the Sunday Telegraph, in the last 100 years, based on the Central England Temperature (CET) data set, 40 Januarys were colder, 54 warmer, with 6 the same.

In fact the CET temperature ended up at 3.8C (38.8F), just 1 deg F below the long term average.

It shows just how incorrect some of the tabloid headlines continue to be, fuelled by a small number of private weather outfits, some of whom talked of January being one of the coldest on record.

Early February has seen a return to unsettled, cold weather, although the air is not as cold as it was mid-January.

With little expected to change at least until early next week, the UK will continue to be at risk of further wintry weather.

Follow me on twitter @Hudsonweather

Comments

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  • Comment number 27. Posted by QuaesoVeritas

    on 6 Feb 2013 11:47

    Evidently there is still a posting time-limit, but no count-down, only a pink bar, so you just have to keep trying.

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  • Comment number 26. Posted by QuaesoVeritas

    on 6 Feb 2013 11:44

    Yes, lets not have a "ratings war".
    A bit of a pity there aren't "reply to" or "edit" options though.

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  • Comment number 25. Posted by QuaesoVeritas

    on 6 Feb 2013 11:32

    #24.lateintheday
    "Newdwr54 . . .Spencer has another post up already. Disappointingly so in my view since he leaves himself open to (valid) criticism by knocking this quite remarkable January update off top slot."
    That crossed my mind as well!
    After not posting for nearly a month, suddenly he comes up with two in one day.

    "I have a sneaking feeling that he doesn't trust his own numbers this month, despite double checking them. Will it be reflected in other data sets? mmmm....."
    Evidently not, judging from RSS, although it may just be the satellites.

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  • Comment number 24. Posted by lateintheday

    on 6 Feb 2013 00:11

    Newdwr54 . . .Spencer has another post up already. Disappointingly so in my view since he leaves himself open to (valid) criticism by knocking this quite remarkable January update off top slot.
    I have a sneaking feeling that he doesn't trust his own numbers this month, despite double checking them. Will it be reflected in other data sets? mmmm.....

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  • Comment number 23. Posted by lateintheday

    on 6 Feb 2013 00:03

    Greensand - trust all goes well.

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  • Comment number 22. Posted by lateintheday

    on 6 Feb 2013 00:00

    I don't get it folks. Chris@9 - could you explain why or when heat sinks are likely to purge?
    The last few monthly counts looked to have followed pacific ssts reasonably closely without much of a lag, but here we have a significant divergence. What's more, global sea ice extent (not volume, I agree) has just popped above average so albedo should not be an issue.
    Confused . . .

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  • Comment number 21. Posted by QuaesoVeritas

    on 5 Feb 2013 23:22

    11.newdwr54
    "Nobody wants to talk about the January 2013 UAH figure?"

    There is now a separate blog topic for that - so far I am the only comment!

    See below under "Next"

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  • Comment number 20. Posted by Gadgetfiend

    on 5 Feb 2013 23:14

    Paul's on the ball tonight, 2 blogs in one day with an update on the UAH temperature. I bet Roy Spencer didn't enjoy updating his website!

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  • Comment number 19. Posted by ukpahonta

    on 5 Feb 2013 22:57

    #11 newdwr54

    It's as though the atmosphere has gone El Nino without the oceans, it will be interesting to see where the heat has come from.

    #17 greensand

    Good luck.
    Seems as though all the HTML formatting has been removed, ah well!

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  • Comment number 18. Posted by newdwr54

    on 5 Feb 2013 22:09

    Best of luck with No. 2.

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