Harpenden weather boffins record wet and warm 2020

RoCRE. Aerial photograph courtesy of Rothamsted Research.

Rothamsted Research in Harpenden. - Credit: Rothamsted Research

2020 was warm, wet and sunny according to Rothamsted Research weather experts.

It was the second wettest year since records began in 1853, with 1032.8mm rainfall recorded compared to the annual average of 733.0mm.

It rained 0.2 mm or more on 205 days, with 61.0 mm on October 2. In fact, October was the wettest month with 198.4mm and the driest was May with just 3.2mm.

2020 was also the ‘sunniest’ year since records began in 1891. The total hours of sunshine was 1800.9 hours compared to an average of 1592.3 hours. The ‘sunniest’ month was May with 308.6 hours.  

The overall mean temperature for the year was also above average at 11.1°C compared to a mean of 9.80. The mean maximum and minimum temperatures were above average with 15.1 ºC (+1.50) and 7.0 °C (+1.04) respectively.


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The hottest day was the July 31 reaching 34.6 and the coldest night was January 24 which dropped to -4.0ºC. We had 84 ground frosts compared to 112 in 2019.

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