Well the last week has certainly seen spring finish and summer begin with a strong reminder of winter and autumn. Everything feels like it is a few weeks behind this year so I thought I would look at the weather records to see how this spring compares to previous years. Thanks to the nearby location of Wittering Airbase we have reasonably indicative data for the reserve for the past 20 years.
This graph shows the average daily temperatures for the months March to May (meteorological spring). The boxes and lines show the spread of daily average temperatures and the heavy line joins up the averages for each spring.
So whilst not the coldest spring, 2013 still holds that record by some way, it has certainly been colder than most. Perhaps a look at the temperatures for the winter just passed (December 2015 to February 2016) gives a clue as to why we think this has been so cold!
Here we clearly see it was the mildest winter in 20 years and for the third year running the average temperature for any day very rarely dropped below freezing. A fact that is evident from the devastation the slugs and snails are causing in my garden!!
Whilst on the topic I thought for a bit of fun and for those planning a visit to the reserve I would identify the statistically warmest day to visit and for those planning ahead the warmest week (on average). So based on the average daily temperature over 20 years Thursday’s appear to be the warmest day to visit whilst Tuesday on average almost 0.2 degrees colder might be worth avoiding. Not surprisingly the warmest average week is at the beginning of August so a visit on 4th August this year should see you “basking in sunshine” if the statistics are to be believed!!!!!!