Weather Reports

January to April 2007

Written by Richard Ball. Posted in Weather Reports

January  2007 - The year started on a very unsettled theme with constant areas of low pressure moving in from the Atlantic; this made January 2007 a very mild, wet and windy month. It was the warmest January in England since 1921. The most notable weather event of the month was the severe gale on the 18th when wind gusts reached 70-80 mph causing much damage.


Rainfall across Norfolk and Suffolk was above average for most places; Norfolk being wetter than Suffolk with monthly rainfall totals of 70-110mm. Suffolk and the NW of Norfolk down to the Wash was the driest area with 50-70mm. Howe in south Norfolk was the wettest place with 130.25mm, Alby in north Norfolk had 87mm and Pakenham in Suffolk had 63mm. There were several very wet days during the month with the 6th, 9th, and 16th-18th being the wettest. Howe recorded 20.5mm on the 9th. There was one short cold spell during the month from the 23rd to the 26th; snow showers measuring 2-3cm in a few places.

At my station in Calthorpe, north Norfolk my rainfall total was 80.4mm, 147% of average and the wettest January since 2004. My wettest day was the 17th with 14.9mm. It was the warmest January on my 19-year record; my mean temperature was 7.3°C, 2.4°C above average. It was also sunnier than normal; my sunshine total was 76.4 hours, 110% of the average. I recorded two days with gale force winds - 11th and 18th. My anemometer measured gusts of 60 mph on the 11th and 73 mph on the 18th. These were the highest winds in January since 25th January 1990.


February 2007 - It was another mild and wet month across the country. With temperatures above average for all three winter months of December, January and February, it was the warmest winter on record for England. The rain in February fell on many days but in mostly small amounts. By the end of the month the saying “February fill the dyke” was true with ponds and ditches full to the brim.

Most of Norfolk and Suffolk had monthly rainfall totals of 50-70mm. The wettest area was the eastern strip of Norfolk and Suffolk with 70-90mm. The far west of Norfolk was the driest area with 40- 50mm which is about average for February. Again Howe was the wettest place with 97mm, Pakenham had 71mm and Alby had 53mm. The wettest days were the 10th and 27th with around 10mm falling including 10.5mm at Howe on the 10th.

A brief cold spell came at the end of the first week with some very cold nights; temperatures fell below -5°C in inland areas. An occluded front pushed into the cold air over us on the 8th resulting in a period of snow for many. The heaviest snow fell across inland parts of Suffolk with 3-5cm but only light snow fell across Norfolk.

My rainfall total at Calthorpe was 54.4mm, 116% of the average. My wettest day was the 10th with 8.6mm. Snow did fall here on the 8th but didn’t settle so it was the first February without lying snow since 2002. My mean temperature was 6.2°C, 1.1 °C above average and it was the warmest February since 2002. With all the rain around February was duller than average; my sunshine total was 67.5 hours, 77% of the average.


Winter (Dec, Jan, Feb) I also recorded the warmest winter on my 19 -year record; my mean temperature was 6.7°C, 1.7°C above average. After two drier than average winters this winter was wetter than average; my rainfall total was 193.6mm, 116% of the average. Sunshine was below average with a total of 194.8 hours, 88% of the average.


March 2007- A mild, very sunny month with rainfall for most places close to average. The month had warmer than average daytime temperatures but were close to average at night. Norwich had the highest temperature for March across the UK with a high of 19°C on the 12th.

Rainfall came in two periods during the month, lst-5th and 18th-20lh. Rainfall totals were between 35 & 60mm over most of Norfolk and Suffolk which is either side of the 45mm average for March. The wettest day of the month was the 2nd when heavy rain overnight 2nd/3rd gave 10-20mm. Monthly rainfall totals were 47.5mm at Howe with 16mm on 2nd, 43mm at Pakenham and 42mm at Alby.

At Calthorpe I recorded 41.4mm, 92% of my average. I measured 17.2mm on the 2nd, the third wettest March day in my records. It was my warmest March since 1998; my mean temperature was 7.7° C, 0.8° C above average. My maximum temperature was 17.4°C on the 12th. I recorded only 1 air frost which is the equal lowest total with 1992 in my 19-year record - compare this with the record 12 ° air frosts in March 2006! It was the sunniest March since my sunshine records began in 1991 with 195.9 hours, 153% of the average, beating the previous sunniest (March 2003) by 4 hours. The plentiful sunshine dried the farmland enough to produce dust storms on the 18lh when winds gusted to 52 mph.


April 2007 was a record-breaker in all three categories - temperature, rainfall and sunshine. It was the warmest, driest and sunniest on record. Daytime temperatures reached values we would normally have in July with highs of 20-23°C. The last 12 months have been the warmest on record on the Central England temperature record which goes back to 1659.
The long dry spell began around the 20th of March and lasted throughout April with several places having no measurable rainfall. Most of Norfolk and Suffolk had monthly rainfall totals below 3mm. The only rain that fell was from slight showers on the 2nd/3rd and 23rd-26th. Howe had the highest total with 1.75mm and 1 .0mm fell on the 25th, Alby and Pakenham had no measurable rainfall.

My rainfall total at Calthorpe was 0.3mm, 0.6% of the average. It wasn’t just my driest April on record but the driest month on my 19-year record. I had two days with measurable rainfall - 0.2mm on 2nd and 0.1mm on 23rd. Temperatures were above average overall but daytime temperatures were some 4°C above average. My mean temperature was 11.1 °C, 2.4°C above average and highest for April on my 19- year record. My maximum temperature was 22.4°C on the 25th. Sunshine was well above average and it was the sunniest April on my record; a total of 238.4 hours, 136% of my average.


May 2007 - update. The dry spell continued for the first five days of May then the weather broke with over 50mm of rain falling in a week up to the 13th. Here at Calthorpe the dry spell lasted 46 days - 21st March to 5th May with only 3 rain days amounting to 1.2mm. Continuing the warming trend it looks as though spring 2007 is on course to be the warmest on record!