A wet February in the Anglia region but not a record-breaker

There's is no getting away from it - February was a wet month, very wet.

Storms and heavy downpours meant the UK has it wettest February on record and many parts of the country had widespread and devastating floods.

But while East Anglia has seen nearly twice the normal rainfall, the region has seen wetter Februarys.

The regional rainfall total for the Anglia region in February 2020 was 80 mm (3.1 inches) compared with 202 mm (8 inches) for the UK as a whole.

The River Deben overtopping the banks at Woodbridge in Suffolk on 11 February 2020. Credit: Paul Coates

The weather statistics for February are still being finalised but it currently looks like East Anglia has had more rain during the month on at least six or seven occasions and possibly more since regional rainfall records started in 1862.

There was more rain, for instance, in 2010 with 82.3 mm and in 2001 with 84.5 mm.

The wettest place in the Anglia region was Harpenden in Hertfordshire with 104 mm (4 inches) of rain.

The driest place in the Anglia region was also the driest place in England - Wattisham in Suffolk with 63 mm of rain (2.5 inches).

The extra day in February meant at extra day of rain; this was Hinxton in Cambridgeshire on Saturday 29 February 2020. Credit: Joanne Joyce

Although the East Anglia regional rainfall record for February was not broken, a couple of sites in the region did break their own individual records.

It was the wettest February in 57 years of records at Charsfield in Suffolk and the wettest one at Holbeach in south Lincolnshire of any of the past 31 years.

Rainfall totals in the Anglia region in February 2020

  • 103.8 mm at Harpenden, Hertfordshire (218% of average)

  • 97.0 mm at Stowe, Buckinghamshire

  • 88.6 mm at Writtle, Essex (226% of average)

  • 87.4 mm at Houghton Hall in Norfolk

  • 86.6 mm at Marham in Norfolk (220% of average)

  • 86.4 mm at Santon Downham, Suffolk (211% of average)

  • 85.6 mm at Charsfield, Suffolk (222% of average)

A stunning sunset at Freethorpe in Norfolk on Friday 21 February 2020. Credit: Kevin Grint

February 2020 will also go down as one of the mildest on record in the East of England although it was very similar in temperature to last February.

Daily maximum temperatures during the month averaged about 10°C which is nearly 3°C higher than normal.

There was plenty of sunshine too for the third year in a row. An average February sees just over 2¾ hours of sunshine per day where as 2020 delivered 3¼ hours.

It may be only half an hour more per day on average but every minute of extra sunshine at this time of year is precious.

The three named storms that hit the UK during the month did bring damaging wind gusts to the Anglia region.

Peak wind gusts in the Anglia region in February 2020

  • 78 mph at Holbeach, Lincolnshire on Sunday 9 February (Storm Ciara)

  • 81 mph at Weybourne, Norfolk on Sunday 16 February (Storm Dennis)

  • 54 mph at Weybourne, Norfolk on Saturday 29 February (Storm Jorge)

Storm Ciara causes disruption and damage across the East of EnglandStorm Dennis brings strong winds and heavy rain to Anglia regionITV Weather's Aisling Creevey on why it has been so stormy