Review of 2019

  Slightly warmer than average with rainfall very close to average - one notable hot spell

Overall a quiet year, but with a poor summer and the final seven months all exceeding 100 mm of rain.

  2019 was a fairly quiet year with no particular extremes, albeit a brief and intense hot spell saw the temperature rise above 30°c across the whole county in July, but unlike other counties in the UK, Cumbria did not see its highest temperature record broken.

  For the first five months of the year the rainfall total was running a deficit, but then June started a poor summer and every month thereafter notched up at least 100mm. Whilst June to September were all wetter than average, the final three months were, despite having over 100 mm of rain, drier than normal.

  Quite widely across the county, the winter was the driest season in 2019 - slight more common than one would imagine. In a record back to 1856, Appleby-In-Westmorland has now seen this happen on twenty occasions (7 times during 1857-1899, 11 times in the 20th century and this is the second time this century).

  It was broadly a 'Wet Year' (between 110-125% of average) across Cumbria with some locations managing to exceed 110% of their average. Seathwaite, Warcop and Appleby were just either side of 117%, although at Newton Rigg it was as high as 124%, yet at Shap it was down at 106.6%.

  As for temperature, it was slightly warmer than average, typically in the area of +0.4°c.

  Whilst May and June were colder than average it was only really the fact that the three months of September to November (the latter two months especially) were colder than average that ensured the final mean temperature did not venture too much above average.

  The summer never really experienced any sustained period of heat, but the three days of 23rd to 25th July saw a sudden explosion of warmth that peaked with temperatures widely over 30°c across Cumbria (even at Shap), Carlisle the highest at 32.2°c (90.0°f).

  In Cumbria it has provisionally been the coldest and wettest year since 2015 albeit with slight variations at a few sites (eg: wettest at Seathwaite since 2017, coldest since 2017 at Newton Rigg).



  Locally all sites were warmer than average during 2019, ranging from just +0.1°c at Brampton to 0.6°c at Keswick.

  Yet again this has seen Keswick, for at least the sixth year in succession, once again being just that little bit more above average than everywhere else - it will now become interesting to see how Keswick fares in a colder than average year, should we get one!

  With a mean temperature of 9.03°c (mean minimum of 5.19°c and mean maximum of 12.86°c) at Newton Rigg, 2019 becomes the 14th warmest in a complete series back to 1957. That 9.03°c being 0.4°c above the 1981-2010 mean.

  Staying at Newton Rigg, six months were warmer than average during the year, with five being colder and one having the same mean temperature.

  There was only the one month that finished either above or below the average by more than 1.5°c and this was an exceptionally warm February that was 2.6°c warmer than average.

  At the Met' Office site at Shap 66 air frosts were recorded during 2019, its average being 74.5 and which had an annual mean temperature of 8.14°c (0.3°c above average).

  Cumbria maintained its wide spread of temperatures, the warmest and coldest sites having a margin of over 2.0°c and this saw Walney finish with a mean temperature of 10.52°c and Spadeadam at just 8.0°c

  Here at Maulds Meaburn a mean temperature of 8.88°c (mean minimum of 5.11°c and maximum of 12.66°c) was 0.12°c above the average for my short period of records for (2009-2018), but which is very much in keeping with the picture throughout Cumbria.

  The highest and lowest temperatures recorded at a standard site during 2019 were: a maximum of 32.2°c (25th July at Carlisle) and a minimum (excluding Great Dunn Fell) of -10.0°c (31st January and like 2017 and 2018, at Shap).

  Here at Maulds Meaburn it was: 31.7°c (89.1°f) 25th July and -8.2°c (17.2°f) on the 3rd February.

  We had just the one 'Ice Day' (when the temperature remains below freezing for the 24hr period) during 2019, this been on the 1st December (maximum of -0.4°c) when after a very cold night the fog descended mid morning and stayed for the rest of the day. Sites such as Shap which stayed clear of the fog did see the temperature rise above freezing.


  A selection of monthly mean temperatures is shown below:


Local Temperatures



  Quite widely 2019 was the wettest year since 2015 and as already mentioned, winter was the driest season across the county. Final averages when compared to the long-term averages were typically in the range of 105-117%.

  At Newton Rigg the rainfall record commenced in 1900 (3yrs data is incomplete) and average rainfall for 1900-2018 was 927.4 mm. A final total of 1149.4 mm (124%) for 2019 makes it the 11th wettest year in its records.

  However, there was no real sustained spell of wet weather during the year (the end of September, beginning of October being the closest to something resembling wet) and Seathwaite Farm in the Lake District was especially wet during 5-10th December, during which time it had daily falls of: 135.0 mm (5th), 71.2 mm (7th) and 80.0 mm (10th). That 135.0 mm being the highest 24Hr total during the year.

  At Appleby In Westmorland 1044.3 mm (116.9%) made 2019 the 26th wettest in its record which commenced in June 1856. Staying with Appleby and looking at the decade as a whole, it throws up a few interesting details, one of which (which I save for last) is a little depressing:

  In that record all the way back to 1856, this current decade (2010’s) has become the second wettest decade, although its average of 987.6 mm still lags some way behind the 1026.9 mm of the 1920’s.

  But the 2010’s has provided, on average:

  • the wettest June (75.3 mm)

  • and less surprisingly, the wettest December (131.4 mm)

  but with an average of 268.7 mm, the 2010’s has also experienced its wettest ... summers!


  A selection of local rainfall totals from various standard sites is shown below:


Local Rainfall Totals


   **‘Data kindly provided by the Hydrometry and Telemetry team of the Environment Agency (Penrith)’.

    An even longer record is held for Seathwaite, back to 1845 (this being the 175th year). With 3941.0 mm of rain (155.18 in - 117.4%), 2019 has been the wettest year since 2017 - in its records 153 years have been drier and 21 have been wetter.

  Rainfall at Maulds Meaburn was 1231.0 mm (48.46 inch) with rain recorded on 221 days (4.1 above average) of which 158 were 'wet days' (days of 1.0 mm=>)(3.1 below average).

  This makes 2019 the fifth driest in my twelve complete years of records.

  An inch or more of rain falling within 24hrs was recorded on six days and the year's wettest day, 33.8 mm on the 10th December represents just 2.75% of the annual total.

  This is the fifth full year that I have had a rain gauge in Crosby Ravensworth (CR), just 0.7 miles from my own gauge in Maulds Meaburn (MM) and the monthly differences between the two remain relatively small.

  The annual total of 1349.8 mm (53.14") at CR is 109.6% of that at MM and once again compares quite favourably to the previous four years (114.2% in 2015 - 110% in 2016+17 - 107.5 in 2018).

  This is the fourth year of a gauge at CastleHowe Scar (between CR and Shap) and the final total of 1652.4 mm is still showing a fine correlation to that at MM and CR as the amount of rainfall increases closer to Shap.

  In those four years the percentage difference between Castlehowe Scar and Maulds Meaburn have been:

  2016 = 115.3%          2017 = 132.0%          2018 = 132.7%          2019 = 134.2%.




  Here in Cumbria the winter of 2018-19 just never really happened and that was despite the forecasters suggesting something cold following a 'Sudden stratospheric warming' (SSW) during December.

  December did not even see a single flake of snow and February became incredibly warm with record breaking daily temperatures. Winter was confined to a very small corner of six days at the end of January and beginning of February. During this time snow that had fallen early on the 29th managed to hang about up to the 3rd and temperatures fell below -8.0°c on both the 31st and 3rd - and then that was it!

  At Newton Rigg rainfall totalled 178.0 mm and had a mean temperature of 4.86°c. In comparison to the 1981-2010 averages this represents 63.4% of winter rainfall and it was 1.43°c warmer than average.

  That made the winter of 2018-19 the 21st driest in a series back to 1900-01 (3 yrs of missing data) and in a series back to 1953-54 it is the 7th warmest. In the much longer series back to 1914-15, but with 8 missing years, it would be the 8th warmest.



  The season finished very average for temperature - whilst April was close to average, May then cancelled out a warmer than average March. Despite drought like conditions during April and which along with May were drier than average, it still managed to be the tenth wettest spring in Newton Rigg's records - all due to a very wet March.

  At Newton Rigg rainfall totalled 258.0 mm and had a mean temperature of 7.97°c. In comparison to the 1981-2010 averages this represented 140.1% of spring rainfall and the mean temperature was slightly above average at 7.97°c by 0.2°c.

  In a complete series back to 1952 (1 yr with data missing), 22 had been warmer and 45 have been colder.



  The general consensus would be that despite having recorded the warmest day in living memory, summer has been fairly poor! Every month saw well over 100 mm of rain with August being especially wet with rain on virtually every day!

  During the season there was no sustained warm spell and by contrast the 13th June failed to reach 10°c.

  It would be easy to forget that the first 19 days of July hardly saw a drop of rain (and which continued the cool weather experienced in June) with just how wet August became and which was evenly spread throughout the month.

  At Newton Rigg rainfall totalled 383.2 mm and had a mean temperature of 14.97°c. This represented 192.7% of summer rainfall and was 0.8°c warmer than average.

  This made 2019 the second wettest to that of 1930 (440 mm) (3 years of incomplete data) and in a complete series back to 1952 it was the equal 9th warmest.

  Rainfall at Seathwaite Farm this summer was 974.0 mm (156.8%) and since records began there in 1845 it is now the 14th wettest. To give a 'like for like' comparison with Newton Rigg, just using the period from 1900, it would have been Seathwaite's 7th wettest summer.



  was slightly drier but much colder than average.

  It did not provide any extremes, but all three months were colder than their respective averages, especially the final two months which were both well in excess of 1°c below average, November experiencing some quite cold nights and a high number of air frosts. September only saw two days attain 20°c and for the first time, October's highest temperature was below 15°c.

  However, and despite all three months notching up at least 100 mm of rain, the season was just drier than average! Rainfall was frequent but not especially heavy, the wettest period coming during the last ten days of September and through to the 10th October - those twenty days accounting for just over half (51.3%) of the entire fall for the season at Maulds Meaburn.

   At Newton Rigg rainfall totalled 280.8 mm (99.1% of average) and had a mean temperature of 8.41°c (0.7°c colder than average).

   That made the autumn of 2019 the 49th wettest in that series back to 1900 (3 yrs of missing data) and with 12 having been colder, 54 warmer and one with the same mean temperature in a series back to 1951 (1 year of missing data).


2019 Rainfall Anomalies %                                                                                    2019 Temp' Anomaly   



   The following is the monthly breakdown of the weather at Shap during 2019.


  OTHER - Maulds Meaburn data:

   • A Mean Minimum of 5.11°c - Mean Maximum of 12.66°c

   • During 2019 snow lay on the ground* on 6 days (6.7 below average) and was seen to fall on 14 (inc' sleet) with hail falling on 7 days.

   • Fog* was recorded on 5 days with thunder heard on 8 days (4.1 above average).

   • Mean cloud* cover was 79.1% with 141 days having a 100% cover* and 10 days being totally clear.

   • Mean air pressure* was 1012.5 Mb - Lowest pressure was 969.4 Mb (13th Dec') and the highest was 1046.6 Mb++ (2nd Jan').

   • Mean wind speed* was 7.04 Mph - the highest gust = 60 Mph (13th March) - the windiest day with a mean speed of 21.6 Mph was the 13th March.

   • Gales (a 10 min' mean wind speed of 39 Mph) were recorded on one day.

   • We had 55 air frosts (5.1 below average) - 117 ground frosts (0.2 below average) - with 40 days attaining 20°c+ (7.1 above average) of which 4 went on to attain 25°c (0.6 below average) and one 30°c.

   • There was one 'Ice day' when the temperature remained below freezing all day.

   • The 30 cm soil temperature had a mean of 10.2°c with a low of 2.0°c (4th Feb') and a high of 18.6°c (26th July).

   • The 100 cm soil temperature had a mean of 10.2°c with a low of 5.1°c (7th Feb') and a high of 15.8°c++ (7th Aug').

   • * Refers to 0900 GMT – the hour of observations.

   • ++ = a new record for this site.

   • Met' office data is still provisional for August onwards.

   • THANKS:- There are several people whom I would like to thank for their help, support and assistance over the past year: For the supplying of data: to Susan Sandelands and Martin Wilson of the                          Hydrometry and Telemetry team at the Environment Agency (superbly efficient). And then to a my deputy observers who stand in for me when required, Alison, Margaret, Alan and especially Sarah.


* 2019 TEMP'     8.88°c -- RAIN    1231.0 mm

* 2018 TEMP'     8.99°c -- RAIN    1077.0 mm

* 2017 TEMP'     9.14°c -- RAIN    1096.7 mm

* 2016 TEMP'     8.89°c -- RAIN    1072.1 mm

* 2015 TEMP'     8.75°c -- RAIN    1663.8 mm

* 2014 TEMP'     9.58°c -- RAIN    1343.8 mm

* 2013 TEMP'     8.49°c -- RAIN    1232.1 mm

* 2012 TEMP'     8.26°c -- RAIN    1415.9 mm

* 2011 TEMP'     9.17°c -- RAIN    1305.4 mm

* 2010 TEMP'     7.42°c -- RAIN     702.9 mm

* 2009 TEMP'     8.86°c -- RAIN    1264.5 mm

* 2008 TEMP'     -- RAIN    1381.3 mm

2019 Rainfall Register for Maulds Meaburn  



JANUARY 2010    FEBRUARY 2010    MARCH 2010    APRIL 2010    MAY 2010    JUNE 2010    JULY 2010    AUGUST 2010    SEPTEMBER 2010    OCTOBER 2010    NOVEMBER 2010    DECEMBER 2010   

JANUARY 2011    FEBRUARY 2011    MARCH 2011    APRIL 2011    MAY 2011    JUNE 2011    JULY 2011    AUGUST 2011    SEPTEMBER 2011    OCTOBER 2011    NOVEMBER 2011    DECEMBER 2011   

JANUARY 2012    FEBRUARY 2012    MARCH 2012    APRIL 2012    MAY 2012    JUNE 2012    JULY 2012    AUGUST 2012    SEPTEMBER 2012    OCTOBER 2012    NOVEMBER 2012    DECEMBER 2012    SUMMER 2012    REVIEW OF 2012   

JANUARY 2013    FEBRUARY 2013    MARCH 2013    APRIL 2013    MAY 2013    JUNE 2013    JULY 2013    AUGUST 2013    SEPTEMBER 2013    OCTOBER 2013    NOVEMBER 2013    DECEMBER 2013    REVIEW OF 2013   

JANUARY 2014    FEBRUARY 2014    MARCH 2014    APRIL 2014    MAY 2014    JUNE 2014    JULY 2014    AUGUST 2014    SEPTEMBER 2014    OCTOBER 2014    NOVEMBER 2014    DECEMBER 2014    WINTER 2014    REVIEW OF 2014   

JANUARY 2015    FEBRUARY 2015    MARCH 2015    APRIL 2015    MAY 2015    JUNE 2015    JULY 2015    AUGUST 2015    SEPTEMBER 2015    OCTOBER 2015    NOVEMBER 2015    DECEMBER 2015    REVIEW OF 2015   

JANUARY 2016    FEBRUARY 2016    MARCH 2016    APRIL 2016    MAY 2016    JUNE 2016    JULY 2016    AUGUST 2016    SEPTEMBER 2016    OCTOBER 2016    NOVEMBER 2016    DECEMBER 2016    REVIEW OF 2016   

JANUARY 2017    FEBRUARY 2017    MARCH 2017    APRIL 2017    MAY 2017    JUNE 2017    JULY 2017    AUGUST 2017    SEPTEMBER 2017    OCTOBER 2017    NOVEMBER 2017    DECEMBER 2017    REVIEW OF 2017   

JANUARY 2018    FEBRUARY 2018    MARCH 2018    APRIL 2018    MAY 2018    JUNE 2018    JULY 2018    AUGUST 2018    SEPTEMBER 2018    OCTOBER 2018    NOVEMBER 2018    DECEMBER 2018    REVIEW OF 2018   

JANUARY 2019    FEBRUARY 2019    MARCH 2019    APRIL 2019    MAY 2019    JUNE 2019    JULY 2019    AUGUST 2019    SEPTEMBER 2019    OCTOBER 2019    NOVEMBER 2019    DECEMBER 2019   



The Oldest Inhabitant    An Inch Of Scotch Mist    But it's meant to be Summer (Summer 2017)  


   © Darren Rogers 2010-19

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