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.

1st half of March 2019 – Windy, wet and not very sunny

No sun here today making it the first sunless day since the 16th February.

Breezy but with a maximum gust of only 31 mph, a much ‘calmer’ day than recently, and dry too.

Wind run (1st – 15th) at 2691 miles, some Marches record less than that for the entire month. Looking at the forecast for something settled next week, I suspect this month will not end up record-breakingly windy. That record goes to March 2008 with 4601 miles.

Nearly half-way though the month and it has been milder, wetter but much cloudier than average:

Mean maximum = 12.5°C
Mean minimum = 6.3°C
Mean = 9.4°C
Rain = 59 mm
Sunshine = 47 hours.

Cold Front – 12th March 2019

Windy then it poured down (top rate around 60 mm/hr) and the temperature dropped away as the wind veered from SSW to NW.

Time Temp mph   

10:00 10.5C 20 SSW
10:05 10.4C 10 WNW
10:10 10.2C 12 NW
10:15 8.7C  10 NW
10:20 7.6C  8  NW
10:25 7.1C  9  WNW
10:30 6.7C  9  NW
10:35 6.4C  9  NW
10:40 6.2C  9  NW
10:45 6.1C  11 NW
10:50 5.9C  15 NW
10:55 5.6C  10 NW

Temperature went down to 4.7C by 11:40 and it did feel raw for the time of day. Then the sun came out and things warmed up a little, though only to a maximum of 8.3C. First sub-10C afternoon maximum by quite a margin this month.

Summary of Winter 2018/19

Warmer and a little drier than normal with slightly below average sunshine.

Mean Max: 10.8ºC
Mean Min: 4.0ºC
Mean: 7.4ºC

High Max: 16.3ºC 27th Feb
Low Max: 3.2ºC 1st Feb
High Min: 13.1ºC 2nd Dec
Low Min: -5.2ºC 3rd Feb
Grass Min: -8.3ºC 3rd Feb

Days >15°C 3 Days
Days >10°C 62 Days
Days >5°C 88 Days
Nights <-5°C 1 Day

Rain Total: 210.1 mm
Rain Days >0.2 mm: 40 Days
Rain Days >1.0 mm: 33 Days
Max 24 hrs: 22.0 mm 15th Dec
Days without any rain: 50

Air Frost: 21 Days
Grass Frost: 44 Days
Snow Falling: 3 Days
Snow (50%) @ 9am: 1 Day
Thunder Heard: 1 Day
Hail <5 mm: 2 Days
Hail >5 mm: 0 Days
Fog @ 9am: 1 Day

Total Annual Sunshine: 249.9 Hours
Most Sunshine in a Day: 10.2 Hours 27th Feb
Average Daily Sunshine: 2.8 Hours
Sunless Days: 22 Days
Cloudless Days: 12 Days
Total Possible Sunshine: 795 Hours
Percentage of Total Sun: 31%

Summary of February 2019

Whilst this February may have broke a few warmth records Up Country, nothing that extreme here. Warmer, sunnier and drier than normal. Cold for the first three days then mild throughout. Notably dry air on the 25th with RH of 35%. Unusually severe air and ground frost (for here) on the 3rd (-5.2C/-8.3C).

Warmest February since 2011 (8.0C) though many have come very close; sunniest since 2018 (136 hours); driest since 2018 (39 mm).

Mean Max: 12.0ºC
Mean Min: 3.5ºC
Mean: 7.8ºC

High Max: 16.3ºC 27th
Low Max: 3.2ºC 1st
High Min: 8.8ºC 17th
Low Min: -5.2ºC 3rd
Grass Min: -8.3ºC 3rd

Days >10°C 25 Days
Days >5°C 27 Days
Nights >5°C 12 Days
Nights >0°C 21 Days

Rain Total: 48.6 mm
Rain Days >0.2 mm: 11 Days
Rain Days >1.0 mm: 10 Days
Max 24 hrs: 9.6 mm 10th
Days without any rain: 20

Air Frost: 7 Days
Grass Frost: 16 Days
Snow Falling: 1 Day 1st
Snow (50%) @ 9am: 1 Day 1st
Thunder Heard: 0 Days
Hail <5 mm: 0 Days
Hail >5 mm: 0 Days
Fog @ 9am: 0 Days

Total Monthly Sunshine: 131.2 Hours
Most Sunshine in a Day: 10.2 Hours 27th
Average Daily Sunshine: 4.2 Hours
Sunless Days: 4 Days
Cloudless Days: 5 Days
Total Possible Sunshine: 313.2 Hours
Percentage of Total Sun: 42%
Average Sunny Interval: 22.1 mins

Ave 10 Min Wind >39 mph: 0.00 Days
Calm: 4.18 Days 23%
Mean Wind: 4.4 mph
Max Gust: 55 mph 7th

Mean Pressure: 1019.1 hPa
Max Pressure: 1035.8 hPa 25th
Min Pressure: 981.0 hPa 1st

Max Dewpoint: 11.7ºC 27th
Min Dewpoint: -6.3ºC 3rd
Mean Dewpoint: 4.8ºC

Max Humidity: 99% 5th
Min Humidity: 35% 25th
Mean Humidity: 78%

First ‘Spring’ Day of February

There was a touch of spring in the air today here too. The extra intensity of the light is now really noticeable after the ‘weak’ sun of winter. The sun is getting to 26° elevation today and it has some kick in it. Blackbirds and thrushes are singing their little hearts out, grass is growing strongly again and it has taken on that deeper spring green.

Still, we might get a BFTE like last year and scupper it for a week or two.

Max = 12.1C
Sun = 6.0 hours.

Monthly sunshine now at 41 hours which is around average for this date in February. My average for the last 14 years is 92 hours.

C-c-c-c-cold Night

It didn’t look like it was going to be that cold last night but in the end the wind died away and the temperature dropped to -5.2°C making it the coldest night since the 4th February 2012 and only the 2nd sub -5°C temperature I have recorded since the 26th December 2010.

And last night’s temperature was not over snow (none here).

Still, the compensation was unbroken sunshine yesterday and with the sun reaching over 23°, it has a lot more oooomphh in it than just a week ago.

Counted 30 stars in the ‘rectangle’ of Orion last night.

Winter’s over  :o)

First snow flakes of the Winter

Awoke to a few snowflakes falling this morning though it wasn’t a true snowfall, more like a wintry mix of rain/sleet/snow but it soon completely turned to rain then cleared away by mid-morning to a sunny day.

First snowflakes seen since the ‘Beast from the East’ of last March.

Max temps
23rd 7.9C
24th 8.7C
25th 11.7C
26th 11.2C
27th 8.7C
28th 9.4C
29th 6.3C
30th 6.8C

This month’s mean temperature is running slightly below my eLTA and with 33 mm so far, it will end up drier than normal. Sunshine at 66 hours, so it will be below average by the close of tomorrow.

Another Cloudy Winter Month

December was my dullest recorded with 51.7 hours, and was the 2nd dullest of any month.

This month is continuing in a similar manner though not quite as bad with the total now at 55 hours.

My average January sunshine over the last 13 years has been 81 hours.

I cannot even say ‘at least it’s been mild’ as the mean monthly temperature is slightly below my eLTA.

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.