Record Warm February Recap & Europe March 2019 Outlook

Written by on February 27, 2019 in Rest of Europe, United Kingdom & Ireland with 0 Comments

February 2019 will go down as my biggest monthly bust since first issuance of them back in February 2014 and one of the biggest 2nd half to winter busts since 2009. What was expected to be a very cold and snowy month has likely turned out to be one of the warmest on record for the UK.

Scotland, Wales, England, UK record warmest February days on record & UK’s warmest for winter

February’s remarkable record streak started off in Scotland with a high of 18.3C recorded in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire which surpassed the previous Scottish February record of 17.9C set in Aberdeen back an incredible 122 years ago.

While warmth has been dominant following the cold start to the month which ironically saw the temperature dip below -15C in Braemar on the 1st (coldest for Scotland since 2010), yesterday, the 25th has been historically warm on FOUR levels.

1) a new February record was achieved for Wales, 2) a new monthly record was set for England 3) a new monthly record was set for the whole UK 4) the UK’s warmest daytime winter temperature on record fell.

How warm? Trawsgoed, Ceredigion, Wales was the place to be today by looking and feeling more like late May or early June with a high reaching 20.6C. This surpassed the previous monthly and winter UK record high of 19.7C set in Greenwich, London on 13 February, 1998. The thermometer also exceeded 20C at Hampton Water Works with 20.1C. This exceeds England’s previous February record high of 19.7C set in 1998.

Then came yesterday and it reaches 21.2C at Kew, London.

Dry, clear, calm air allows 22C difference within 12 hours

Warmest February night

On top of the record warm days, it’s been confirmed that a minimum of 13.9C recorded Saturday morning at Achnagart, Highland made for the UK’s warmest February night on record. This surpasses the previous record of 13.7C set in 1998 at Aboyne, Aberdeenshire.

All the typical UK weather has went south… Cold, very snowy for some


Two highs, VERY different weather.

Last February was driven by high pressure and this February has too but the contrast couldn’t be any greater…

While we enjoy t-shirt weather and the warmest ever February days, this very time last year, we were entering the grip of the UK’s coldest ever end to February and beginning to March.

Upper air pattern difference between February 2018 and 2019.

28 February 2018.


21 February, 2019

2 metre anomaly difference.

Credit: Michael Ventrice

February 2019

Credit: Michael Ventrice

Nice comparison shots

Credit: BBC Weather Watchers

Why the persistent late April pattern in February?

The NAO has been positive while the AO has been strongly positive, this has aided the persistence of this pattern.

Last year at this time.

Credit: Dacula Weather

This year

Credit: Dacula Weather

The position of an unusually strong area of high pressure has rerouted Atlantic weather north and south of the UK and drawn warm air northwards from the Canaries and Africa. The lack of cooling snow cover and dry ground has helped further dry out this air mass. So much so that the strengthening February sun was used to it’s full potential.

All these factors have allowed temperatures to rise uniformly 5-10C above the seasonal average. One final aspect needs to be added in order to explain the very localized 2-4C higher temperatures than surrounding areas.. the downslope or foehn effect.

Will winter return in March? Unlikely!

Based on what we’ve seen and the fact that the MJO is amplifying into phases 1, 2 and 3 over the next few weeks, I see little winter left this year. We shall return to a more typical unsettled Atlantic pattern then turn to mild and dry like we have now perhaps into week 2 and 3 of March.

Credit: Michael Ventrice

CFSv2 indicates a trough centred south of Iceland (wet and windy, esp north and west) followed by building high pressure over Europe backing westwards.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Warmer than normal would be a given with the above 500mb means

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Featured image credit: Iain Cameron

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