Spring 2020

As has been widely reported, this Spring was remarkably sunny. Although this weather station does not record daylight hours, there were many more days with sunshine than we usually experience, at any time of the year.

This was not reflected in unusually high temperatures. The March, April and May average temperatures were all typical (at 7.8C, 11.8C and 14.1C respectively) and the number of days where the maximum temperature exceeded 20C were typical too (0, 7 and 13). There were no air frosts at all between 1 Mar and 31 May, but this happened last year too and is "normal" in this location. There were 4 ground frosts in March and 1 in April. There were three days in May where maximum temperatures exceeded 25C.

It was a very dry Spring and the Forest is at very high fire risk as a result. There were a number of wildfires locally during May.

March had 67mm rain, which is significantly less than in recent years. That was 12 days where more than 0.5mm fell including two "wash-outs" with more than 10mm in a day. 

April had 63mm which is close to the average, but much less than last year. This fell on only 5 days in the month, 3 of which were "wash-outs", giving long periods were no rain fell.

May was very dry with only two days where measurable rain fell to give a total of 2.4mm and no rain at all from 4th onwards. 

Spring was also remarkably calm with only two gale warnings in early March. There was often a gentle breeze (and that included the sea breeze on many days), so not many calm days, but very few windy days too.

This all reflected the dominance of High Pressure with the mean for all three months of at least 1017hPa and a mean of 1022hPa in May. The jet stream was to our North through almost all of the Spring season. This meant we had fewer showers and few Atlantic frontal systems than we might expect. The only thunderstorms registered were over the sea.

This has felt like a long period of summer weather, especially in May, but gardens and the Forest are suffering from a lack of rainfall.

This article was updated on Monday, 1 June 2020