Monthly Archives: June 2015

Spring 2015 – Summary

The arrival of June heralds the end of the northern hemispheres’ meteorological spring which consists of the months of March, April and May. Unsurprisingly to those who live here, this spring was the wettest and windiest on record here at Askernish and we also experienced lower than average temperatures during this period.

For the first time since 2009, computer simulations are suggesting that an El Niño event is likely as we head into the second half of the year while scientists have already declared that El Niño conditions exist in the Pacific. The fact that they exist so early in the year is unusual and worrying considering Texas has already experienced severe flooding and people have died in India’s recent unseasonal heat wave.

El Niño is the name given to describe an up welling of warmer than average water in the Equatorial Pacific, and is known to disrupt climate patterns around the world. During previous El Niño events, much wetter winters have occurred in Southwest USA. For California, the developing El Niño will therefore be very welcome news as the state has recently suffered the worst drought on record due to a chronic lack of rainfall. Amongst other areas which will be affected is Northern Australia, where drought conditions are expected. El Niño is also associated with warm and very wet weather during summer months along the coast of northern Peru, an increase in typhoon activity in South East Asia and a weaker monsoon on the Indian sub-continent.

As for Europe and the UK, the consequences of El Niño are much less clear. Research suggests that the main impact is more likely to be felt in winter, causing colder, drier conditions in Northern Europe, and wetter, milder winters through southern Europe and the Mediterranean.

During the last El Niño of 2009/2010, the winter across northern Europe, including the UK was exceptionally cold. But there are many other variables which affect Europe’s climate and there was a deep, protracted solar minimum at the same time, which is known to increase the likelihood of colder winters. One of the other main consequences of the predicted El Niño later this year would be to boost global temperatures. It could mean 2015 will become the hottest year globally on record – but probably not here in Askernish.

One way or the other, El Niño will certainly have the potential to grab the headlines later this year and is it’s influence already at work?

Summary for period  March – May 2015, the meteorological spring

Temperature (°C):
Mean (1 minute)            7.7
Mean (min+max)           7.8
Mean Minimum           5.1
Mean Maximum         10.4
Minimum                    -0.4                 24 March 2015
Maximum                   16.8                14 May 2015                                  Lowest spring maximum
Highest Minimum       9.1                  21 April 2015
Lowest Maximum        4.7                02 March 2015
Air frosts                          2

Rainfall (mm):
Total for period       297.6                                                                        Highest spring rainfall
Wettest day                22.6            05 May 2015
High rain rate           44.4              10 May 015
Rain days      70
Dry days      22

Wind (mph):
Highest Gust      69.0                 09 March 2015                                  Highest spring gust
Average Speed    12.1                                                                         Highest spring record
Wind Run        26682.4 miles                                                                Highest spring record
Gale days 1

Pressure (mb):
Maximum           1037.86           21 April 2015
Minimum             976.87            30 April 2015

Days with snow falling   0
Days with snow lying at    0900 0

Total hours of sunshine    431.2

May 2015 – Summary

May was a month to forget, it being cold, wet and windy! In fact it was the coldest and windiest May on record here at Askernish, not helped by above average rainfall. It’s only redeeming factor was that there was plenty of sunshine.

Throughout the month the weather was a mixture of sunshine and showers, some heavy at times, but the brisk chill wind was a constant. Temperatures struggled, only reaching a maximum of 16.8°C on the 14th, a new record low for May. While there were no ground frosts, the average temperature for May was only 9.0°C, another new low for May.

It was often difficult to appreciate the sunshine in the chill conditions although there were 165.1 hours on 28 days, both record highs for May. It was the wind that dominated with very little rest bite before it brought yet more cloud and showers. The wind peaked on 10th gusting to 48mph resulting in a wind run for that day of 520.3 miles. The average wind speed for the month was 12.4 mph and the wind run was 9240.6 miles, all these being record highs for May.

While not the wettest May on record, rainfall was 51mm above the 10 year average (2001-2010) and some 30mm above the recent 5 year average (2011-2015) at 121.0mm. Some heavy overnight showers on the 5th resulted in 22.6mm of rain falling on that day making it our wettest May day on record.

Unfortunately for us, this unsettled weather seems set to continue into June.


Summary for May 2015

Temperature (°C):
Mean (1 minute)       9.0                               Record low for the month of May
Mean (min+max)      9.1                               Record low for the month of May
Mean Minimum         6.6
Mean Maximum      11.7                               Record low for the month of May
Minimum                    3.0                7th
Maximum                 16.8              14th          Record low for the month of May
Highest Minimum      8.9               20th         Record low for the month of May
Lowest Maximum      9.6                6th
Air frosts 0

Rainfall (mm):
Total for month   121.0
Wettest day        22.6           5th           Record daily rainfall for the month of May
High rain rate     44.4          10th
Rain days  24
Days >= 0.2mm –  24
Days >= 2.0mm –  15
Days>= 20.0mm –  1
Dry days   7

Wind (mph):
Highest Gust   48.0           10th             Record high for the month of May
Average Speed   12.4                          Record high for the month of May
Wind Run   9240.6 miles                        Record high for the month of May
Gale days 0

Pressure (mb):
Maximum 1027.40      22nd
Minimum 982.67       5th

Days with snow falling 0
Days with snow lying at 0900 0

Total hours of sunshine 165.1            Record high for the month of May
Number of Sunshine days 28            Record number for the month of May
Sunniest Day 14.4 hours          14th