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What happened to the West Country's weather in February?

February followed a similar sort of pattern to the end of January on the whole; fairly mild and often wet, with no less than three named storms. It does tend to be an energetic month in terms of stormy weather, yet we’re only up to “Dennis” in the season so far, suggesting that things haven’t been that severe this winter.

However, we have had plenty of rainfall though through February alone with only a handful of dry days. It hasn’t been especially cold either with far fewer frosts than average, but it has felt cold thanks to the strong northwest winds that have been associated with our changeable weather.

It’s been the storms that have brought the worst of the weather, with Ciara arriving on February 8. This storm didn’t bring that much rain but it did bring gusts of wind close to 90 mph.

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Storm Ciara brought gusts of up to 90 mph to the West Country

Storm Dennis arrived a week later during the weekend February 15-16 and this did bring huge amounts of rainfall – more than 125 mm cross Dartmoor in 48 hours. The average West Country rainfall for February is only 98.4 mm!

Storm Dennis brought much more rain than Ciara

We then had a weekend off where the weather wasn’t that bad, but the end of the month was punctuated by Storm Jorge, named by the Spanish meteorological service. This brought plenty more rain and wind.

In-between these storms we often had frequent showers and other low pressure systems, so it’s probably not a surprise that it was the wettest February on record, with the UK having more than double the average rainfall.

The winter as a whole was the 5th wettest and 5th mildest too…

Actual rainfall on the left. Rainfall compared to average o the right. Credit: Met Office

For the West Country the figure was 231.8 mm of rain, making it the second wettest. Here’s hoping that March will give us a bit of a break and bring more spring-like weather with a few more direr days.