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FEBRUARY 2021 WARMER AND WETTER THAN AVERAGE WITH ABOUT AVERAGE SUNSHINE. WINTER 2020/2021 COOLER AND WETTER THAN AVERAGE WITH AVERAGE SUNSHINE

Armagh Observatory reports that February 2021 was warmer and wetter than average with roughly average sunshine. The meteorological winter (December 2020, January 2021 and February 2021) was cooler and wetter than average with about average sunshine.

Total rainfall in February was 74.2 mm (2.92 in) including 6 track values, i.e. 73.9 mm if track values ​​are ignored. The 183-year long-term (1838-2020) average rainfall in February is 55.49 mm and the most recent (1991-2020) 30-year average is 59.02 mm, so February 2021 was about 34% wetter than the long-term average and 26% more than the most recent 30-year average. This continues a recent trend in Armagh for precipitation slightly higher in February than the long-term average for February.

There were no exceptionally wet days, the wettest and second wettest being the 2nd and 18th with 9.6mm and 9.3mm respectively. Snow pellets were recorded as falling on the 7th, with snow falling on three other days. Storm winds were recorded on the 13th, with strong gusts to near storm on the 14th. A rainbow was noticed on the afternoon of the 21st.

The mean monthly temperature was 6.04 degrees Celsius (42.9 F), meaning that February 2021 was very mild despite a cold start to the month, about 1.4 C warmer than the 225-year long-term average (1796-2020) in February in Armagh (4.65 C) and 0.71 C warmer than the most recent (1991–2020) 30-year average (5.33 C). This continues a recent trend towards warmer average February temperatures in Armagh, for example the 30-year average from 1981–2010 was 4.92 C.

The two hottest days (highest maximum air temperature) were 13.4 C on the 23rd and 13.3 C on the 14th. The coldest day (lowest maximum air temperature) was 2.8 C on the 7th, followed by 3.2 C on the 11th. The two lowest minimum air temperatures were -3.3 C and -2.6 C on the 10th and 11th respectively. The highest minimum air temperature was 9.8 C on the 24th, followed by 8.1 C on the 16th.

There were 16 nights with ground frost (minimum grass temperature below or equal to zero), the lowest two of which occurred on the 10th and 11th, with minimum grass temperatures of -10.6 C and -9.4 C. There were five nights with nighttime air frost, that is, with minimum air temperatures lower than or equal to zero.

With 69.2 hours of strong sunshine, February 2021 was sunnier than the 140-year (1881–2020) long-term average February sun in Armagh 65.4 hours), but slightly duller than the most recent (1991–2020) 30-year average (70, 9 o’clock). The two sunniest days were the 25th and 22nd, with 8.2 and 7.4 hours of sunshine, respectively.

Looking at the 2020/2021 meteorological winter as a whole, i.e. the months of December 2020, January 2021 and February 2021, the winter in Armagh was cooler and wetter than average this year with about average sunshine.

The mean winter temperature was 4.61 C (40.3 F), which is about 0.13 C warmer than the 225-year long-term mean (1796 / 1797-2020 / 2021) mean winter temperature in Armagh (4.48 C), and 0.6 C cooler than the most recent (1991 / 1992-2020 / 2021) 30-year average (5.21 C). This was the coolest winter in Armagh in three years, that is, since an average temperature of 4.5 C was recorded for the 2017/2018 winter. The total winter rainfall was 255.65 mm (10.06 in) including 21 track values, i.e. 254.6 mm if track values ​​are ignored. This is about 24% more than the 183-year-old
long-term average winter precipitation (1838 / 39-2020 / 21) in Armagh (207.0 mm) and almost 19% higher than the most recent (1991 / 92-2020 / 21) 30-year average (215.7 mm) . This continues a recent trend towards slightly wetter winters in Armagh compared to the long-term average.

In the winter of 2020/2021, there were a total of 162.8 hours of strong sunshine in Armagh. This is almost 9% more than the 140 year old (1881 / 82-2020 / 21 average winter sun in Armagh (149.7 hours) but only about 1% more than the most recent (1991 / 92-2020 / 21) 30- annual mean winter sun at Armagh (161.5 hours).

These data refer to observations at Armagh Observatory, which has been recording Armagh weather since 1795.
For more information contact: Mark Bailey of the Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG. Tel: 028-3752-2928; FAX: 028-3752-7174; mark.bailey@armagh.ac.uk; URL: http://climate.armagh.ac.uk/.

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