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Sunny Decembers


reef
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Posted
  • Location: Skirlaugh, East Yorkshire
  • Location: Skirlaugh, East Yorkshire

    Is anyone else having a sunny December, or indeed a run of them?

     

    Over the last decade or so the sunshine totals for December have been almost exclusively well above average here. So much so, that since 2001 only 2002 has been below average and 2007 close to average. This month is well up there too, currently on 78hrs, which is 150% of the monthly average.

     

    December Sunshine Levels in Hedon:

     

    2001: 65hrs (138%)

    2002: 21hrs (45%)

    2003: 64hrs (136%)

    2004: 67hrs (143%)

    2005: 75hrs (160%)

    2006: 64hrs (136%)

    2007: 43hrs (91%)

    2008: 64hrs (136%)

    2009: 82hrs (174%)

    2010: 65hrs (138%)

    2011: 73hrs (140%)2012: 75hrs (144%) to the 29th.

     

    It seems to be a feature of very westerly winter months here as you'd expect, but it has sort of crept up by surprise this month as half way in we were actually running slightly lower than the mean. The last 6 days have been almost exclusively clear though, meaning just 5 more hours today or tomorrow will see it hit a new record.

     

    The figures are reflected in the mean temperatures aswell. the 1971-2000 average here was 47 hours, with an increase to 52 hours for 1981-2010. I wouldn't be surprised on current trends if that increases again when we get 1991-2020. Its certainly welcome in the darkest month of the year, but its pretty unique.

     

    Anyone else seeing similar?

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    For Wales, compared to 1971-2000 average of 35.4 hrs, only 2006 and 2011 were below average sun wise.

    The 1981-2010 average was 40.4hrs and 2002 is also below average compared to this stat.

     

    For this year, I would imagine that we would be below the 40hrs, but maybe above 35hrs, as you can imagine Westerly winds don't do much for sunshine total here, even though there have been sunny days, with High Pressure and ridges at times.

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    Posted
  • Location: Reading
  • Location: Reading

    Yes, I think Decembers have generally been slightly sunnier than average in recent years in this area.  The major exception here was December 2010 - I've just had a look at the records from Reading University and they only recorded around 20 hours all month (the 1981-2010 average is 46.9).  The UK as a whole had a bitterly cold, dry and sunny month, but much of the south-east actually had an exceptionally dull month.

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    Posted
  • Location: halifax 125m
  • Weather Preferences: extremes the unusual and interesting facts
  • Location: halifax 125m

    I think December must be the least sunniest month,sure was in 1992 giving just 7 hours here....yes 7..!

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    Posted
  • Location: Skirlaugh, East Yorkshire
  • Location: Skirlaugh, East Yorkshire

    Its looking like the total will be 78.4hrs for this December, 151% of the 1981-2010 average and only 3.6hrs short of the record.

     

    I suspect we'll be in the minority having a sunny month this time though. These extreme westerly months are pretty favourable for dry, sunny weather here in winter. Rainfall was only 40% of normal aswell.

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

    Quite a common type of sunshine distribution for such a westerly-dominated month. 

     

    Incidentally, I have a strong suspicion that for most of central and eastern Britain, the wet/unsettled second half of the month probably produced somewhat more sunshine than the dry/settled first half, while in the west the second half was probably at least as dull as the first- again, this quite often happens in winter months, when eastern areas can get significant sunny spells in between frontal systems and, unlike in summer, the lack of homegrown convection means relatively few issues with cumulus hitting a cap and spreading into stratocumulus.

    Edited by Thundery wintry showers
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    Posted
  • Location: Keyingham, East Yorkshire
  • Weather Preferences: Spanish plumes, hot and sunny with thunderstorms
  • Location: Keyingham, East Yorkshire

    Today is a prime example how how eastern parts are favoured and benefit from the lions share of the sunshine whilst showers or longer spells of rain pile into western facing coasts.

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    Posted
  • Location: Berlin, Germany
  • Weather Preferences: Ample sunshine; Hot weather; Mixed winters with cold and mild spells
  • Location: Berlin, Germany

    Guessing easterners need to win somewhere... not forgotten that very chilly & cloudy start to last summer whilst the west baked!

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    • 11 months later...
    Posted
  • Location: Skirlaugh, East Yorkshire
  • Location: Skirlaugh, East Yorkshire

    It looks like we're going to add another one to the list.

     

    Just over half-way through the month we're already on 50.2hrs compared to the 1981-2010 average of 52hrs and 53hrs in November.

     

    We require only 32hrs in the remaining 15 days and we'll beat the record. If the trend of polar maritime north-westerlies this month continues then its highly probable to happen.

     

    Interesting to note it comes after the dullest Autumn I've ever recorded aswell.

    Edited by reef
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    Posted
  • Location: The Purbeck Microclimate, Dorset.
  • Location: The Purbeck Microclimate, Dorset.

    It seems like the complete opposite here reef. It has been horrifically overcast this December! The odd few days have been good but not compared to you under that clearer PM air.

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    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    I do recall 2005 and 2010 being very sunny in particular.

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    Posted
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts
  • Weather Preferences: Rain/snow, fog, gales and cold in every season
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts

    30.03 hrs here in December so far. The 30 yr average for the whole month is 50.3 hrs so it's above average but not exceptionally so.

    A long way to go to beat 2001 which recorded 81.39 hrs.

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    • 2 weeks later...
    Posted
  • Location: Skirlaugh, East Yorkshire
  • Location: Skirlaugh, East Yorkshire

    Despite being relatively dull in the run up to Christmas we're now up to 75.9hrs compared to the 1981-2010 average of 52 hours for the entire month. Just 6.1hrs more are required for this to be the sunniest December on record.

     

    We're actually only 22 hours behind September 2014!

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    Posted
  • Location: halifax 125m
  • Weather Preferences: extremes the unusual and interesting facts
  • Location: halifax 125m

    A quick look at met office figures for this area gives a rough average of 44 hrs for December sunshine since 2000

    Yet the average between 1913 and 1922 was a lowly 11 hours and only 14 hrs between 1908 and 1922 !!!!

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    Posted
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts
  • Weather Preferences: Rain/snow, fog, gales and cold in every season
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts

    A quick look at met office figures for this area gives a rough average of 44 hrs for December sunshine since 2000

    Yet the average between 1913 and 1922 was a lowly 11 hours and only 14 hrs between 1908 and 1922 !!!!

    I think we have the 1956 Clean Air Act to thank for most of  that increase. All that fire smoke and soot did a very effective job of shutting out sunshine.

    47.7 hours in December here, which makes it sunnier than October and November, and is just below the monthly average.

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    Posted
  • Location: Skirlaugh, East Yorkshire
  • Location: Skirlaugh, East Yorkshire

    After another 6.0hrs of sunshine today we're now up to 81.9hrs (0.1hrs below the record). Assuming its sunny as forecast tomorrow we could well beat the current record quite comfortably.

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    Posted
  • Location: Llanwnnen, Lampeter, Ceredigion, 126m asl (exotic holidays in Rugby/ Coventry)
  • Location: Llanwnnen, Lampeter, Ceredigion, 126m asl (exotic holidays in Rugby/ Coventry)

    Sunny December here an estimated 61 hours (158%)

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    Posted
  • Location: Skirlaugh, East Yorkshire
  • Location: Skirlaugh, East Yorkshire

    In the end we finished on 91hrs, some 175% of the 1981-2010 average and beating the existing record by 9hrs.

     

    The 10 year average is now 71hrs, significantly above the 1981-2010 average of 52hrs, which shows how sunny Decembers have been recently.

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