An historical perspective of the climate statistics for Coventry during February 2019

Temperature

There appeared to be little variation in February's average temperature between 1892 and 1989, apart that is for that dreadfully cold decade in the 1940's. Recent warming is however very evident since 1990, with an increase in February monthly mean temperatures of 1.2C into the second decade of the 21st century.

After the coldest February in Coventry in 2018 (2.7C) since 1996 (2.6C), February 2019 (6.7C) has become the mildest February in the city since 2002 (7.0C), 2.2C warmer than the Bablake 30-year averages 1981-2010.

With records dating back to 1892, only six February months have been milder than 2019:

7.6C            1990

7.3C            1998

7.1C            1903

7.0C            2002

6.8C            1961,1997

 

It is interesting to note that 4 of the mildest 5 February months in Coventry were recorded at Bablake between 1990 and 2002. We have to go back to 1986 to find the last really cold February in Coventry (-1.2C).

Late February 2019 will be long remembered for its late winter touch of summer in Coventry, with 3 consecutive days recording temperatures over 17C from the 25th to 27th, in 27.2 hours of unbroken sunshine by day from clear blue skies.

Every day from the 4th day of the month recorded maximum temperatures higher than daily averages, with the consequence that the mean temperature by day (11.4C) was the highest in Coventry since before 1892, though as a contrast it is worth noting that there was a ground frost on each of the final 7 nights of the month, to somewhat compensate that day time warmth.

Days of note:

3rd            with a grass minimum temperature of -10.3C, this was the lowest ground temperature in any February since 2012 (-14.0C).

27th          the mildest day of the month (17.9C) was the warmest February day in Coventry since 2012 (18.0C). Only two February days have been milder since 1892, the warmest being 18.1C in 1990.

Rainfall

February is the shortest and driest month of the year in Coventry - even the wettest day is likely to record less than 10mm of rain, and there are only 10 wet days on average.

The wettest February decade on record recorded 53.7mm of rain in the 1970’s, and the driest decade with 39.7mm in the 1960’s. More recently, we have averaged 48.7mm between 2011 and 2019.

February 2019 (33.2mm) has become the 4th February in the past 5 years to record a rainfall total lower than 30-year averages (44.2mm).

Looking at recent trends in Coventry, this has been the 8th month out of the past 9 months to record less rainfall than average, with just 70% of average rainfall in the city since last June.

Sunshine

Thanks to "Clean Air Acts", local sunshine records reveal a 56% increase in February's average sunshine total during the 20th century. The first decade of the 21st century averaged 86.5 hours, compared to just 55.3 hours between 1901 and 1910. More recently, we have averaged 90.0 hours of February sunshine this decade (2011-2019).

No fewer than 9 Februarys have now recorded more than 100 hours of sunshine (1949, 1988, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2008 2016 2018 2019), the sunniest five listed below:

137.0hr           2008

128.8hr           2019

115.9hr           2016

110.1hr           2018

105.6hr           1998

So February 2019 has become the third February in the past four years to record more than 100 hours of sunshine, and the sunniest February in Coventry since 2008, the only February to record more sunshine than 2019 since 1895.

There were three mornings with fog at 0900hr in Coventry during February 2019, the highest incidence in the city since 2003 (4).