Sunny end to a wet year

PUBLISHED: 11:12 17 January 2008 | UPDATED: 12:46 06 May 2010

SUNNY December was marked by slightly below-average rainfall and one night-time temperature which was the coldest since 2000. Figures from Rothamsted in Harpenden reveal that December was a relatively bright month with sunshine at 76.9 hours well above th

SUNNY December was marked by slightly below-average rainfall and one night-time temperature which was the coldest since 2000.

Figures from Rothamsted in Harpenden reveal that December was a relatively bright month with sunshine at 76.9 hours well above the average for the month of 48.1 with 6.6 hours alone notched up on December 12.

Though there were seven days without any sun at all, December was the third sunniest since sunshine records began in 1890 following 1962 and 2005 which recorded 87 and 82 hours respectively.

Rainfall was below average with 67.1mm, just 3mm below the mean. There were 18 days with 0.2mm or more of rain and seven days with more than 5mm. The wettest day was Christmas Eve with 11.7mm.

December had only slightly above-average maximum and minimum temperatures with the highest daily temperature 14 degrees on the December 6 - the peak daytime figure since 1994 and two degrees above average.

The lowest night temperature was -4.5 degrees on December 20 which was the coldest night-time figure since 2000 and 0.7 degrees below average.

There were also 11 air frosts and 12 ground frosts during the month.

Overall 2007 was a mixture of sunshine and rain. There was above-average sunshine on seven of the 12 months and the year had a total of 1,679 hours of sunshine, 141 hours above average.

By contrast eight months had above-average rainfall and the total of 842mm was 138mm more than usual.

One month, April, was out of the ordinary. It was by far the sunniest month of 2007 with 239 hours - that's more than 90 hours above average. It was also the driest with a barely-measurable 2.8mm of rain. However that was followed by the wettest month of the year, May, with nearly double the average rainfall and only two-thirds of the average sunshine.

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