Author Archives: Otter Valley Weather

About Otter Valley Weather

The Otter Valley Weather Station is situated alongside the River Otter near Dotton, between the villages of Newton Poppleford & Colaton Raleigh in the hinterland of south-east Devon, England, four kilometres west of the coastal regency town of Sidmouth.

Dry January

Not the absence of homebrew but the absence of rain…..

Now on our 16th consecutively dry day here. No rain since some drizzle on Xmas Day (all 1.4 mm of it).

And as the DPs have been low, everything has dried up nicely after the December deluges.

Long dry spells are not unusual and 16 days doesn’t even come near any record. My longest consecutive winter dry spell was from December the 13th until the 11th January 2009, a total of 29 days.

Looking at the forecast, this dry spell could continue until the middle of next week or longer

In the Doldrums

Grey, overcast, calm, cold, dry.

Clear, starry skies last night allowed the temperature to fall below freezing before cloud rolled in at dawn this morning and made for a sunless day.

With not a breath of wind to break up the inversion boundary, and no sunshine to warm things up the temperature did not rise above 3.6C here today. Leaving the Otter Valley behind I saw 7C above the IB; tropical.

Very unusual to have a highest maximum so low, and this was the coldest since 0.7C on the 18th March (The Beast from the East). A year or two can go by without the day maximum being so low.

Air pressure reached 1043.2 hPa yesterday, getting near to my record and the highest since 1043.9 hPa on the 27th December 2016.

Still, the air feels crisp and with low humidity, everything has dried up nicely after all that December rain and damp.

Dull December 2018

The brightness of this morning soon disappeared as the cloud filled in the blue gaps of sunshine.

This December will go down as my dullest ever with just 51.6 hours of sunshine to date. My December average over the last 12 years has been 82 hours.

The persistent dry weather since the 24th isn’t going to stop this month from being rather wet

At least it’s been mild……

A few likely 2018 stats….
Mean temp: 12.0C; warmest since 2014 (12.1C)
Sunshine: 1938 hours; sunniest since 2014 (1960 hours)
Rainfall: 854 mm; wettest since 2014 (1014 mm)

Summary for Autumn 2018

Average temperature, rainfall and sunshine belies a season of contrasts and extremes.

Mean Max: 16.4ºC
Mean Min: 7.7ºC
Mean: 12.1ºC

High Max: 25.9ºC 3 Sep
Low Max: 7.8ºC 20 Nov
High Min: 17.1ºC 13 Oct
Low Min: -4.3ºC 30 Oct
Grass Min: -6.1ºC 30 Oct

Days >25°C 1 Day
Days >20°C 23 Days
Days >15°C 51 Days
Days <10°C 7 Days

Rain Total (gauge): 253.6 mm
Rain Days >0.2 mm: 30 Days
Rain Days >1.0 mm: 26 Days
Max 24 hrs: 25.6 mm 22 Sep
Days without any rain: 60

Air Frost: 6 Days
Grass Frost: 12 Days
Snow Falling: 0 Days
Thunder Heard: 3 Days
Hail <5 mm: 4 Days
Hail >5 mm: 2 Days
Fog @ 9am: 1 Day

Total Autumn Sunshine: 411.8 Hours
Most Sunshine in a Day: 11.3 Hours 26 Sep
Average Daily Sunshine: 4.5 Hours
Sunless Days: 11 Days
Cloudless Days: 13 Days
Total Possible Sunshine: 980 Hours
Percentage of Total Sun: 42%

Summary for November 2018

A little warmer than average but very wet and rather cloudy. Warmest November since 2015 (mean = 11.2C); wettest since 2012 (187 mm); dullest since 2015 (49 hours).

Mean Max: 12.5ºC
Mean Min: 6.9ºC
Mean: 9.7ºC

High Max: 14.7ºC 5th
Low Max: 7.8ºC 20th
High Min: 12.6ºC 16th
Low Min: -2.3ºC 2nd
Grass Min: -4.4ºC 2nd

Days >10°C 24 Days
Days >5°C 30 Days
Nights >10°C 10 Days
Nights <5°C 9 Days

Rain Total (gauge): 150.9 mm
Rain Days >0.2 mm: 15 Days
Rain Days >1.0 mm: 14 Days
Max 24 hrs: 21.4 mm 27th
Days without any rain: 14
Air Frost: 3 Days
Grass Frost: 6 Days
Snow Falling: 0 Days
Thunder Heard: 3 Days
Hail <5 mm: 3 Days
Hail >5 mm: 2 Days
Fog @ 9am: 0 Days

Total Monthly Sunshine: 72.9 Hours
Most Sunshine in a Day: 9.0 Hours 2nd
Average Daily Sunshine: 2.4 Hours
Sunless Days: 7 Days
Cloudless Days: 2 Days
Total Possible Sunshine: 269.6 Hours
Percentage of Total Sun: 27%
Average Sunny Interval: 15.3 mins

Ave 10 Min Wind >39 mph: 0.00 Days
Calm: 4.07 Days 16%
Mean Wind: 5.4 mph
Max Gust: 74 mph 29th

Mean Cloud Cover: 67%
Mean RH @ 9am: 92%
Frost Duration: 18.7 Hours
Air Frost in a Day: 9.0 Hours 2nd

Mean Pressure: 1009.6 hPa
Max Pressure: 1027.5 hPa 2nd
Min Pressure: 986.9 hPa 7th

Max Dewpoint: 13.4ºC 6th
Min Dewpoint: -3.2ºC 2nd
Mean Dewpoint: 7.3ºC

Max Humidity: 100% several days
Min Humidity: 51% 1st
Mean Humidity: 87%

A rather cloudy November

Makes a change to see some sunshine today though yesterday was a lovely day too.

Sunshine has been a bit on the low side this month. Only up to 66 hours (1st – 26th) and this November will probably end up one of the duller of any months I’ve recorded since 2006. And to think, the last two Novembers had 126 & 128 hours.

Mean monthly temperature at 9.8C, so nearly a degree above normal. Rainfall coming up to 100 mm and with more forecast, this month is going to be a really wet one.

Super Severe October Frost

I recorded the lowest October temperature since before 2005 and completely trounced my previous lowest October minimum of -2.2C (21st October 2010).

Last night’s minimum was -4.3C. I frequently have recorded entire years where the temperature never gets that low.

It was exceptional, especially given that October frosts are fairly rare (the last one being in 2010). But a beautiful day ensued with unbroken sunshine yet again and a maximum of 11.2C.

Going off chilly again! Could be another humdinger.

October Air Frost

A fairly rare October air frost here today with -0.1C. Did a bit of scraping of ice off the windscreen this morning. Something I normally don’t do until well into November or even December.

A maximum of 11.7C here today with cloudless skies and unbroken sunshine all day. Sunshine total now at 150 hours, so definitely into the sunny category.

Going off chilly with another frost possible though if that land breeze sparks up again, it might just stave off another air frost.

Monthly mean temperature anomaly now just +0.1C, though the mean maximum temperature is still above normal at 16.7C.

October 2018 – 1st to the 18th, Warmer than normal

A little over halfway through this month and so far it has been warmer than normal by both day and night.

Rainfall above average and sunshine somewhat below.

1st – 18th
Mean minimum = 9.8C
Mean maximum = 17.5C
Mean = 13.7C
Rain = 49 mm
Sunshine = 67 hours.
Days of no sunshine = 3.

A rare, early October grass frost recorded on the 7th (-1.1C). Only 4.1 hours of sunshine recorded from the 12th – 17th!!

A windy day thanks to Storm Callum

Not quite as windy here in this reasonably sheltered river valley spot as other areas of the South West but we are exposed somewhat to the south (the coast) and the wind was frequently gusting over 40 mph with one gust reaching 52 mph. This is the highest wind speed I have recorded this year.

Rain has mainly been in the form of drizzle but there have been the odd heavier bursts. Today’s rain now up to 15.6 mm. Monthly total at 25.2 mm.

Wind has eased off a little recently but still hovering around 25 to 35 mph. A few trees and large branches down here and there. Exmouth seafront was impassable in places due to flooding from the waves crashing over the wall. Any cars left alongside the Esplanade in Sidmouth will have been totally pebble-dashed by now. Dangerous to walk along there without a hard hat on.