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Spring 2012 Blog - Review, Analysis And Key Events

A Winter's Tale


[center][b]SPRING 2012[/b][/center]


[b]MARCH 2012:[/b]

[b]SCOTLAND MEAN: 7.0C (NEW RECORD), CET: 8.3C, MAX TEMP: 23.6C, MIN TEMP: -8.5C[/b]
[b] [b]Scotland diary of highlights[/b][/b]

[b]The first part of the month was unsettled, but thereafter high pressure was dominant, giving plenty of fine, dry weather and record-breaking high temperatures for many.[/b]
[b]The mean temperature was 3.1 °C above the 1971-2000 average, provisionally the equal warmest March in a series since 1910 (tied with 1938). It was much drier than normal, with about half the normal amount in the Western and Northern Isles but less than a third of normal across the eastern side; Eastern Scotland had provisionally its 3rd driest March in a series since 1910. Sunshine amounts were above normal except for Shetland.[/b]

[b]1st to 9th:[/b]
[b]Light rain over north-western areas on 1st moved south on 2nd to affect some central areas. The 3rd saw a band of rain in the south-west in the morning, moving north-east during the day to leave a scattering of showers which became more widespread during 4th. The 5th saw more in the way of sunshine, and just a few scattered showers for the far north. After a bright start on 6th, rain spread from the west during the afternoon, clearing overnight. The 7th was showery, with strong north-westerly winds, and snow over higher ground in the north, Aviemore (Highland) reporting a snow depth of 3 cm by 0900 on 8th. After a bright start on 8th, rain spread into western and central areas during the afternoon. The 9th started wet in the northwest, although the rain became more patchy as it moved south-eastwards during the afternoon leaving some scattered showers.[/b]

[b]10th to 20th:[/b]
[b]It was dry, mild but generally cloudy from 10th to 14th, eastern areas seeing the best of any sunshine. On 15th a band of patchy light rain affected far western areas, with the east staying largely dry but cloudy. The 16th was a wet day for central and southern areas, but the north remained largely dry. The 17th and 18th gave scattered showers in the far north-west, elsewhere having long sunny spells. Some places were cold by night, Braemar (Aberdeenshire) recording -8.5 °C in the early hours of 18th. By contrast, 19th saw rain in most areas, heaviest in the north-west, clearing overnight to give a drier and brighter day on 20th.[/b]

[b]21st to 31st:[/b]
[b]The dry and sunny theme continued on 21st and 22nd, with Lossiemouth (Morayshire) reaching 17.6 °C on 21st. The 23rd started with some mist and low cloud for eastern areas although the far west saw patchy rain later in the day. Dry, sunny and warm weather returned from 24th until 30th, and Scotland’s March temperature record was broken on three successive days. Firstly on 25th, Fyvie Castle (Aberdeenshire) recorded 22.8 °C, then Cromdale (Moray) peaked at 23.2 °C the following day, and finally Aboyne (Aberdeenshire) reached 23.6 °C on 27th to set the new record. Temperatures began to drop from 29th onwards, as winds turned north-westerly, with 30th and 31st continuing mostly dry but cloudier.[/b]

:[b]MY ANALYSIS:[/b]

A very interesting month with an incredible warm and sunny end which made March 2012 the warmest March in Scotland since records began. However, it wasn't all warm. The month saw High pressure continue around the Azores to begin with before moving northwards where for around a week or two the UK was under settled, dry conditions. There was snow and frost at the beginning and of course there was heat, records and there was typical Spring-like conditions with interesting skies, sunshine so overall a nice month but not perfect with a cloudy period inbetween and I would have liked to have seen more snow. Nonetheless it had lots of different elements of Spring weather, it was pretty seasonal and pleasant and also record breaking.

The month began quite wet but there were pleasant sunny periods inbetween and temperatures fluctuated so a Spring feel to things. NWly winds followed low pressure systems and that gave my only Snow event of the month which kept the wintry feel going. The unsettled and continued start continued until mid-month where there was a very long period of cloudy and uninteresting weather thanks to high pressure. However after the wintry start, dull middle, summer would prevail in the final third of the month with memories of April 2011. The 21st-25th were sunny and warm around 15-17C temperatures but after that things got even warmer. Scotland became the warmest place in Europe and the UK with a 5-day period of very warm temperatures around 20C and fantastic sunshine. The previous record warm March temperature in Scotland got smashed around 4 times until we reached 23.6C at Aboyne. The following days were still settled and quite pleasant though a bit cooler. Of course it wasn't perfect with not as much snow as I'd like and a perfect March would have even more changeable and interesting and pleasant seasonal conditions but this month was very interesting and pleasing with records going and a decent variety of weather. I would rate this month at around 8/10.

A very good month for interesting, record breaking warmth and sunshine aswell other types of weather.

[b]APRIL 2012:[/b]

[b]SCOTLAND MEAN: 4.9C, CET :7.2C, MAX TEMP: 19.7C, MIN TEMP: -8.2C[/b]

[b] [b]Scotland diary of highlights[/b][/b]

[b]With low pressure over or near the UK for most of the month, the weather was generally unsettled with plenty of showers and some snow in the first few days.[/b]

[b]The mean temperature was 0.8 °C below the 1971-2000 average, making it the coldest April since 1998. It was wetter than normal across the eastern half of Scotland, especially in parts of Aberdeenshire, Moray and Banffshire where over 250% of the normal amount fell. In eastern Scotland, it was provisionally the equal-second wettest April on record, with only April 1934 wetter, and the number of days with rain was the highest in over 50 years. Rainfall totals were close to or below average in the western half of Scotland. It was a relatively dull month in the east, especially in Aberdeenshire, but sunshine totals were somewhat above normal along the west coast and in the Western Isles.[/b]
[b]1st to 10th: [/b]
[b]It was dry and bright on 1st although rain spread into northern areas during the afternoon and spread south overnight to leave a showery day on 2nd for central areas with more persistent rain for the north. The 3rd saw a band of rain, sleet and snow move south, with 22 cm of snow lying at Whitehillocks (Angus) early in the day. This cleared overnight to leave drier, brighter but still chilly days on 4th and 5th although some light, patchy rain reached north-western areas later. The rain edged further south on 6th to reach central and eastern areas before clearing overnight to give a drier and brighter day on 7th. Although the 8th started dry, a band of rain moved eastwards, clearing during the afternoon to leave scattered showers. The 9th was generally unsettled with rain or showers for most areas; 29.4 mm was recorded at Edinburgh and 28.0 mm at Tyndrum (Stirling). On 10th a band of rain, sleet and snow spread from the north during the early hours affecting eastern areas before clearing southwards during the evening. [/b] [b]11th to 30th: [/b]
[b]The 11th saw frequent and heavy showers, some of hail with thunder for Dumfries and Galloway. The showers became more scattered from 12th to 14th before becoming largely confined to north-eastern areas on 15th. The 16th started bright but rain spread from the west during the late afternoon, with Lochgilphead (Argyll and Bute) recording 37.6 mm and Machrihanish (Argyll and Bute) 28.0 mm. The rain affected the north-east for much of 17th with other areas having a blustery day with scattered showers. The 18th saw more sunshine but scattered showers developed, continuing into 19th with a cool north-east wind affecting eastern and northern areas. The showers continued on 20th and 21st with some heavy bursts particularly for central areas. On 22nd and 23rd showers were widespread, frequent and at times heavy. A brisk north-east wind brought further showers to most areas on 24th before northern areas had more persistent rain on 25th with the showers more scattered for eastern and southern areas; 41.0 mm was recorded at Drumnadrochit (Highland). The 26th saw rain spread from the south during the day reaching central areas by evening with northern areas having showers and feeling cool once again in a brisk north-east wind. On 27th central and southern areas saw more sunshine and fewer showers although northern and north-eastern areas continued to have frequent, heavy showers. After a cold start on 28th, with the temperature down to -7.2 °C at Tulloch Bridge (Highland), any showers were lighter and confined to northern areas. After another cold start on 29th, with -6.4 °C at Tulloch Bridge, it was generally a better day with early sunshine, although rain spread from the south in the early evening. This reached northern areas overnight before clearing to leave a cloudy day on 30th with some drizzle for eastern coastal areas. [/b]


Overall, April was interesting month, strangely it was colder than March, with a Scotland mean of 4.9C, a reading more familiar with some winter months than Spring. The month included plentiful frosts, first UK and Glasgow snowfall since 2008 and one of the main snow events of the season, the wettest UK April on record, a lot of wet and dull weather for the south, but somewhat better conditions further north.

The month started bright following a record March warm spell, then a cold spell followed. The first April snowfall in the UK and here in Glasgow since 2008 occured on the 3rd, it also brought lying snow to large areas of the northern half of Scotland including 22cm in some areas and widespread distruption. In some respect, it was the most notable snow event of the season for some. Snow showers from an easterly followed the main snow event on the 3rd. This cold spell followed a record warm spell which made the event even more special, although any snowfall at this time of year is special, especially when some areas get a major snowfall. The following days saw regular periods of fronts, generally cool temperatures, some showers and short periods with some clear patches in the sky. The rest and majority of the month saw lots of showers, cloud cover, lots of hail showers and a few frost and pretty cold nights in areas. There was a lack of warm days, and there was never a fully settled day but there were periods of clear skies. High pressure over Greenland resulted in this April being so unsettled and cold with northerly winds. Overall, I'll rate this month 6/10.

A very interesting month, but could have been better with some more sunny periods.

[b]MAY 2012:[/b]

[b]SCOTLAND MEAN: 8.6C, CET: 11.7C, MAX TEMP: 29.3C (New Scottish record), MIN TEMP: -6.2C[/b]

[b] [b]Scotland diary of highlights[/b][/b]

[b]The weather was generally cool and unsettled during the first three weeks, with some strong winds at times. There was then a mostly dry, sunny and very warm interlude with some unusually high temperatures, particularly across Highland Scotland. Conditions turned cooler and unsettled again at month-end. [/b]
[b]The mean temperature equalled the 1971–2000 average, the very warm spell towards the end of the month offsetting the earlier cool conditions. Rainfall was above normal in Shetland and much of north-west and south-east Scotland, with about 150% of average in the Lothians, the eastern Borders and parts of North-west Highland. Elsewhere, amounts were close to or somewhat below normal, being about 75% of normal in Aberdeenshire and the Western Isles. Sunshine amounts were above normal, especially over Northern Scotland where, provisionally, it was the third sunniest May in the series from 1929.[/b] [b]1st to 6th:[/b] [b]The 1st was generally dry with sunny spells, although rain reached extreme south-western areas during the afternoon and spread up the west coast overnight before dying out. The 2nd and 3rd were dry, sunny but cool although low cloud took time to burn off near eastern coasts. A band of rain spread southwards overnight leaving a bright day on 4th with light, scattered showers and the showery theme continued on 5th and 6th with the heaviest and most frequent showers being in the north and east.[/b] [b]7th to 18th:[/b] [b]The 7th started bright but cloud and rain spread from the south-west to reach all areas by the end of the day. This cleared northwards overnight to leave drier, brighter days on 8th and 9th with only a few light and scattered showers. The 10th saw rain spreading from the south to all areas and it was very cool with maxima typically around 7 to 9 °C. It remained wet and cool for most areas on 11th. The 12th saw an improvement with bright spells and only scattered showers for western areas. However 13th was a stormy day with strong winds and heavy rain spreading in from the north-west. There were large rainfall totals, mainly in the north where Kinlochewe (Highland) recorded 101 mm, and a gust of 67 mph was recorded at Blackford Hill (Edinburgh). The 14th saw the winds ease slightly although there were frequent showers in a cool northerly wind with thunder in Fife. A cool north-westerly wind brought further showers on 15th and 16th, these dying out later in the day. The 17th saw rain and cold easterly winds, with maxima typically around 7 to 9 °C. There was a slow improvement on 18th as the rain moved slowly eastwards. [/b] [b]19th to 28th:[/b] [b]The 19th was a drier and brighter day with only a few scattered showers in the east, and the gradual improvement continued on 20th and 21st with plenty of sunshine. The 22nd was dry, sunny and warm and 23rd was warmer still with temperatures rising close to 27 °C across parts of the Highlands and to 28.4 °C at Cromdale (Highland). The hot conditions triggered some scattered heavy showers for central areas, with Livingston (West Lothian) having a thunderstorm and 36 mm of rainfall. The period 24th to 28th remained very warm and sunny with temperatures reaching the mid to high 20s, although eastern coastal areas saw mist and low cloud during some mornings. The Scottish temperature record for May was broken on 25th when Achnagart (Highland) recorded 29.3 °C. Other high values included 27.3 °C at Bishopton (Glasgow) on 24th, 28.1 °C at Kinlochewe on 26th, 29.0 °C at Cromdale (Highland) on 27th and 26.6 °C at Aberfeldy (Perth and Kinross) on 28th. [/b] [b]29th to 31st:[/b] [b]The 29th and 30th were cloudy and some heavy showers broke out in the Borders during the late afternoon with Floors Castle (Borders) recording 19.3 mm on 30th. The 31st saw a band of rain spread from the west which cleared during the afternoon to leave showers for eastern areas.[/b]

May 2012 was another interesting month. We had some very warm temperatures and fantastic weather here in Glasgow at the end of the month but also had a pretty wet and notably cool first half to two thirds with some late season frost and snow. The month was dominated by high pressure over Greenland which resulted in a notable cool and wet first half to May. It wasn't all dull and cool with some pleasant enough days here in Glasgow although further south it was quite dire and even up here we had the odd dire day. The beginning of the month also had a notable cold spell which saw Glasgow had it's coldest May minimum since I can remember with -4C and on a few days we had snowfalls. The quite typical/classic example of a May cold spell in the start to some very wet, changeable conditions in between and a very potent and spectacular spell of weather at the end resulted in May being another fascinating month in 2012.

The start of the month was cool and with some nice, clear spells of weather aswell as intervening fronts bringing spells or rain and cloud cover. There were a few nice warm days in the first 3 days with temperatures up to 19C although the odd rainy day split up these pleasant spells. From the 5th-7th May we had a cold spell that included some snowfall here in Glasgow and other parts of Scotland and we had 3 consecutive frosts. -6.2C was recorded in Ayrshire which continues the run of years with May minima in the -6Cs. Beyond this, saw less frosts but more wet and cool weather with the odd sunny and clearer spell. This period was quite dull and disapointing at times with surpressed temperatures and very dark and wet conditions.

The end to May was very spectacular as Scotland's record maxima for May was broken aswell as my personal record maxima for May was also broken. The 21st saw temperatures up to 18C with sunshine but the following day saw the first 20C of the month. We then had two very warm days after that with 26C then followed by 27C (the latter a personal record for me). 3 days of 20C+ and two days of 25C+ is as good as it gets in May. The following days saw temperatures at 24C and 23C and the 27th and 28th saw temperatures at 25C. That was 7 consecutive days of 20C+ temperatures - a total tally that's very good for May and this was probably the warmest and longest spell of hot weather since summer 2006 here. It was warm everywhere in the UK but the NW had the best of conditions. This was really as good as it gets in Glasgow when it comes to summer weather and Scotland broke it's May record with 29.3C. The final days of the month were cooler and a bit wetter. I would rate this month at 8 or even 9/10.

A very interesting month - not perfect - with varied conditions and periods, some fantastic pleasnant weather on both spectrums of cold and warm May weather and some records broken with a very spectacular warm spell.


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