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Weather Records

Weather readings have been recorded at Durlston since 1988. Readings are taken at 09:00 every morning except 25th and 26th December.

  • The Stevenson Screen is located beside Durlston Learning Centre and consists of:
    • Thermometers: Maximum; Minimum; Dry; Wet
    • Adjacent rain gauge
  • The Anemometer (wind speed measure) is at the gable end of the Learning Centre roof
  • Live Data from our weather station (this new station needs calibrating so it is not yet suitable for research purposes) 
  • Annual Summaries are written and the daily records can be downloaded as pdf's.

Durlston’s climate:

  • Durlston enjoys warm summers and cool winters with prevailing south-westerly winds. Due to the coastal location, there is a less of a temperature range than inland


Please contact us if you would like the Weather Records as an excel file, also please email us to let us know if you are using these records - it helps to show the importance of monitoring.

All records are PDF's:

Durlston Annual weather records
  Weather Records 2023  
Weather Records 2022 Weather Records 2021 Weather Records 2020
Weather Records 2019 Weather Records 2018 Weather Records 2017
Weather Records 2016 Weather Records 2015 Weather Records 2014
Weather Records 2013 Weather Records 2012 Weather Records 2011
Weather Records 2010 Weather Records 2009 Weather Records 2008

Weather Records 2007

Weather Records 2006 Weather Records 2005
Weather Records 2004 Weather Records 2003 Weather Records 2002
Weather Records 2001 Weather Records 2000 Weather Records 1999

Annual Summaries

Durlston weather summary - 2024 - year to date

Note: The averaging period for this assessment was 1991-2020 as used by the Met Office.

January The winter continued on a mild, wet and unsettled note with a succession of Atlantic low pressure systems.  Storm Henk on 4th January caused flooding in Corfe Castle, road damage in Swanage and extensive erosion at Studland.  There was a respite mid month when high pressure built with cold, sunny and dry conditions for a fortnight.  Sub-zero temperatures were recorded on 3 days, the minimum of -2.8C on 18th. A return to wet and windy weather followed with a gust of 66mph recorded on 21st.  For the month as a whole, average rainfall and temperature.

February   A mild but wet month with generally unsettled weather caused by a succession of low pressure fronts, record rainfall of 213.6mm for the month, the highest since recording began at Durlston and three times the February average of 74.2mm.

March   The continuing “conveyor belt” of low pressure zones, brought in by an active jet stream resulted in unsettled, wet and dull weather with only a few dry days.  The rainfall of 123.7mm was slightly lower than March 2022 but double the March average.


Since a record dry June 2023, rainfall has been around or above average every month.  

July 2023 – March 2024, a total of 1269.7mm rain was recorded; the average for this 9 month period is 782.1mm

Durlston weather summary - 2023

A total of 1279mm rain made 2023 the wettest on record at Durlston.  Measurements have been taken for 36 years since 1988.

The 30 year averaging period for this assessment was 1991-2020 as used by the Met Office.  In contrast to 2022 only February and June were drier than average, May and August about average, during the rest of the months an extra 40% or more was recorded with March and July being almost twice as wet as the average.   In the period October – December 556mm of rainfall was recorded, 135% of the 30 year mean of 348mm.   This can be seen on the graphs below.

The Stevenson screen containing the thermometer was damaged by gales in Nov 2022 and there were supply problems with its replacement.  2023 temperature data will show the weather trends but absolute values may be over stated.  References are made to the Met Office’s data from their Swanage weather station.

January   Wet and windy in the first half of the month with most of the month’s rainfall by 19th followed by frosts and near-zero temperatures.  A minimum temperature of -3.8oC was recorded in Swanage on 23rd.  Above average rainfall.

February   High pressure influenced the weather for much of the time although it was unsettled at the beginning and end of the month.  It was remarkable for its dryness; only 18.1mm of rain was recorded at Durlston, the driest February since 2012. 

March   Dry with cold N / NE winds for the first week, then a series of low pressure fronts from the SW, with gales on 31st.  Rainfall was double the 30 year mean, making it the wettest March since 2001. 

April   A predominantly unsettled month with above average rainfall.  There was little in the way of consistent warmth although it was sunny with high pressure at Easter. Above average rainfall.   

May   Average monthly rainfall, mostly in the period 4th – 11th, including the Coronation Bank Holiday weekend. High pressure then built and the rest of the month was fine with NE / E winds and cold nights.

June   A dry, sunny and settled month, very warm daytime and night time temperatures and light winds from 9th onwards.  The hottest day of 2023 in Swanage was 12th June when a maximum temperature of 27.4oC was recorded.  There were thunderstorms but rain missed Purbeck; only 7mm was recorded on 3 days mid month, approximately 12% of the 30 year average of 57.6mm.

 July   A contrast to June and also to July 2022.  It was very unsettled and windy month, with rain on 14 days, feeling autumnal.  The jet stream was to the south of the UK, bringing a succession of frontal systems across the country and a heatwave to Southern Europe.   There were below average temperatures and double the average July rainfall for Durlston.

August   An unsettled month with low pressure dominating and bringing strong winds at times (mostly at weekends).  There were short spells of high pressure but the month was mainly cloudy with average rainfall.

September   A warm month overall with a temperature of 23.7oC recorded in Swanage on 9th.  High pressure for the first half of the month brought dry and settled conditions.  This was followed by an abrupt change with Atlantic low pressure systems bringing windy and wet weather during the second half with thunder and lightning on 17th. Above average rainfall.

October   A warm and dry start to the month.  Storm Barbet brought Easterly gales and 31mm of rain on 18th, causing overtopping at Swanage seafront.  Consistently wet and windy weather for the rest of the month led to one of the wettest Octobers on record for Durlston.

November   One of the wettest Novembers on record with the ongoing influence of Atlantic low pressure systems.  Storm Ciarán on 2nd was exceptionally powerful but fortunately the strongest winds were to the south of the UK.  However some of the concrete winter flood defences in Swanage were moved by gusts and Studland beaches experienced considerable coastal erosion.  

December The month started with a cold snap,  sunny days and overnight frosts and fog.  However the run of wet and windy weather continued with rain on most days until year-end.  Above average rainfall.

Download 2023 PDF Summary   : Daily Records 2023

Durlston weather summary - 2022

 At Durlston, the total rainfall for 2022 was 806mm, 85% of the 30 year mean.  The averaging period for this assessment was 1991-2020 as used by the Met Office.  10 months were drier than average whilst 2 were much wetter.   July was exceptionally dry, the total of 1.9mm being the lowest rainfall in any month since recording started in 1988.

The maximum temperature recorded was 27.9oC  on Aug 12th; temperatures above 25oC were recorded on 13 days in July and August.  The minimum was -2.7oC on Dec 9th, with sub-zero temperatures recorded on 5 days in December.   

 January Overall, the month was cold, dry and sunny with some frosts.  

February   A dry first half of the month was followed by  a very active jet stream with 3 named storms (Dudley, Eunice and Franklin) in a week causing significant disruption to travel and power infrastructure across the UK.  Durlston Country Park was closed on 19th due to the red wind warning from the Met Office for Storm Eunice, the first time the Park has been closed because of weather conditions. .  A 68mph gust was recorded at Durlston whilst a 122mph gust recorded at Needles Old Battery, Isle of Wight set a new England gust.  Overall, the month was warm with average rainfall.

March   High pressure / cold dry periods were interspersed with a few consecutive wet days, resulting in above average rainfall for the month.  It was sunny in the last week of March with early morning fog.

April   Frosts for the first few days were followed by a period of rain and wind before more settled and dry conditions developed for the remainder of the month, resulting in about half the average monthly rainfall. 

May   It was generally settled with less than half the average rainfall.  A plume of warm unstable air moved in from the South, triggering rain and overnight thunderstorms on 15/16th.

June   It was showery at times with a warm spell mid month, temperatures peaking at 22.7oC.

July   The UK experienced a brief but unprecedented heatwave from 16th-19th July as hot air moved north from the near-continent.  This spell broke temperature records with the UK’s first ever readings above 40oC.  No records were broken at Durlston although temperatures exceeding 25oC were recorded on 8 days.   The month was exceptionally dry, the total of 1.9mm being the lowest rainfall in any month since recording started in 1988.

August The weather was dominated by high pressure and the second week became very hot with temperatures exceeding 25oC on several days.  The hottest day of 2022 was on Aug 12th when a temperature of 27.9oC recorded.  It was another drier than average month.

September A warm month with most of the rain on consecutive days from 5th – 15th.

October   A predominantly unsettled and warm month with S / SW / W winds, thunder and lightning on 24th/ 25th and only 7 dry days.

November Gales on 1st and gusts reaching 64mph overnight caused the weather station (Stevenson’s Screen) to be blown off its legs, breaking instruments.  It was an exceptionally wet month which followed a period of 7 months with below average rainfall.  Rain was recorded on 25 days totalling 214mm, a contrast to Nov 2021 when only 7.6mm was recorded.  The average for November is 123mm. 

December   An Arctic Maritime air mass brought an extended cold spell and snow nationwide from 8th – 18th nationwide.  At Durlston, there were sub-zero overnight temperatures, frosts, fog and sleet, followed by warmer and wetter conditions until the end of the month.

Download 2022 PDF Summary

Durlston weather summary - 2021

For the UK the overall picture of the year as a whole was fairly ‘average’, with temperature and sunshine levels fairly close to the long-term average and rainfall slightly below. 

Extreme events included the first ever Amber extreme heat warning and the first ever named July storm.  There was an exceptional wet spell in the Lake District in October when two rain-gauges recorded daily totals of over 200mm.  Storm Arwen in November was one of the most powerful and damaging storms of the latest decade, More than one million homes experienced a loss of power as falling trees brought down power lines, with over 100,000 homes in NE England and Scotland  experiencing several days without power.

 At Durlston, the total rainfall for 2021 was 793.7mm, 84% of the 30 year mean (1991-2020) it was the driest year since 2011.  February, May and July were wetter than average whilst March, April, August, September and November were drier.  November is, on average, the wettest month of the year but in 2021 it was the driest month of the year and the driest November recorded at Durlston.

The maximum temperature recorded was 27.0oC on 21st July; temperatures above 25oC were recorded on 4 days in July.  The minimum was -1.6oC on 7th January, with sub-zero temperatures recorded on 10 days (January, February, March and November).   

 January   Frosts and sub-zero temps in the first half of the month were followed by wet and windy (Storm Christoph 19th -20th)

February  Cold NE / E winds from 7th – 13th feeling the effects of storm Darcy on 7th, snow flurries on 11th then warmer,  wetter than average.

March   Cold NE / E winds at the beginning of the month with gales from 8th – 10th, then milder, overall drier than average.

April   A sunny month, warm daytime temperatures but colder overnight with snow flurries on 6th, excellent visibility, drier than average. 

May   Still cold with low pressure and gales on 8th and 20th/21st, wetter than average.

June   Warmer with a mixture of NE and SW winds

July   Generally a wet month with a very warm and dry spell from 13th-23rd and temperatures above 25oC recorded on 4 days.   Lower pressure at month-end, winds associated with Storm Evert on 30th.

August   A series of low pressure from SW, consistently windy and unsettled, then high pressure building from 23rd with NE winds, overall a dry month.

 September   Dry, warm and settled for the first 3 weeks then a change to gales and rain from 27th.

October   Generally warm, day and night with heavy rain recorded from 18th -20th.  An 80mph gust was recorded on 31st, the joint highest recorded at Durlston.

November   Mild for the first 3 weeks, then colder with strong N winds and a minimum temperature of -0.3oC on 30th. The driest November recorded at Durlston (7.6mm rain, the 30 year average is 123.5mm). Autumn (September-November) was very dry, with only about half the average rainfall.

December    Dull, damp and warm; wet and windy on Christmas Day, still and warm on Boxing Day.

Durlston weather summary - 2020

Nationwide, 2020 was a year of extremes with the wettest February on record, the sunniest spring, a heatwave in the summer and a day in October breaking rainfall records.

2020 was one of the top five hottest on record for the UK, but also one of the top ten wettest and the top ten sunniest years.

Winter (Dec 2019, Jan, Feb) was the 5th wettest on record (Met Office records from 1862) for the UK, as well as the 5th mildest. The strong jet stream high in the atmosphere allowed a succession of Atlantic low pressure systems to push across the UK, including Storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge in February.

Rainfall totals were well above normal virtually everywhere, with many places getting more than three times their expected average. It was the wettest February on record with the UK recording 237% of its average rainfall. It was also the fifth wettest of any calendar month on record.

Spring (March, April, May). There was a marked change to much drier and more settled weather patterns in mid-March, and the UK had a record-breaking sunny spring. It proved to be the sunniest April and also the sunniest spring with 626.2 hours of sunshine (Met Office records from 1919). The UK saw more sunshine than in most summers, with only three summer seasons being sunnier (1976, 1995, and 1989).

It was the eighth warmest spring on record for the UK, with both England and Wales having their fifth warmest spring on record and the fifth driest spring for the UK overall.

Summer (June, July, Aug) was warmer, wetter and duller than average with all months seeing some settled, hot spells. The third hottest day ever recorded in the UK, 37.8°C, was recorded at Heathrow Airport on July 31st.

Unseasonable weather brought Summer 2020 to a close with two named storms, Storm Ellen on August 19th and Storm Francis on August 24th; two of the most notable August storms in the last 50 years.

Autumn (Sept, Oct, Nov) was marginally warmer than average; a relatively sunny and dry September gave way to a dull and wet October balancing out rainfall and sunshine for the autumn overall.

The strong winds and heavy rain from Storm Alex (Oct 2nd) brought some impacts and travel disruption, while large waves affected parts of the south coast exposed to the east – for example at Swanage. Oct 3rd provisionally holds the record for the UK’s wettest day on record, (Met Office records from 1891).

November was generally mild, with fewer frosts than usual.

December was generally unsettled and mild but with some colder interludes. Very wet weather affected parts of south-west England and south Wales just after mid-month. Heavy rains led to flooding and Storm Bella brought more heavy rain and strong winds to parts of the UK on December 26th with the highest wind gust of 2020 (106 mph) recorded on the Isle of Wight.

At Durlston, the total rainfall for 2020 was 1013mm, just above the rolling 30 year mean of 944mm but made up of very wet months ( Feb, Oct, Dec) and exceptionally dry months(April – July, Sept)

The maximum temperature recorded was 31.3C on August 9th, the minimum was 0.2C on December 8th and 31st, with no sub-zero temperatures recorded during the year.

January – mild, Storm Brendan midmonth – 60mph gust and 48mm rain in 2 days

February – storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge – 60mph gusts, one of the wettest February’s on record for Durlston, double the 30 year mean rainfall.

Over the winter (Dec – Feb) a total of 441mm rain recorded, about 50% more than the 30 year mean.

March – wet up to 15th, then N and E winds, settled and sunny

April – mostly dry and settled, below average rainfall

May – dry, sunny and settled, rain only recorded on 3 days, one of the driest May’s on record for Durlston

June / July – continued settled spell, below average rainfall

August – hot for first half of the month, then wet and windy, Storms Ellen (19-21st) and Francis (25th) The third highest recorded at Durlston 31.3C was recorded on 9th, warm nights, temperatures didn’t drop below 19 °C for several nights resulting in a mean temperature for the month of 18.7C.

September – calm and dry until 23rd then colder and wetter

October – windy, Storm Alex on 2nd/3rd, 62.9mm rain in 3 days, rainfall total of 197mm was almost double the 30 year mean of 104mm

November – below mean rainfall

December – generally wet and windy with above average rainfall, sunny at Christmas, followed by Storm Bella with 62mph gust and frosts at year end

Monthly Records 2020
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Rainfall (mm)













Mean Temp













Durlston weather summary - 2019

Nationally, records were broken in 2019

  • The warmest winter day on record: 21.2 °C recorded at Kew Garden on 26th February

  • The hottest day on record: 38.7 °C recorded in Cambridge on 25th July

Durlston didn’t see such extremes. The total rainfall for 2019 was 984.4mm, above the 10 year mean of 950mm with above average rainfall in March, June, Aug, Oct and Dec. In contrast, Jan, April, May and July were drier than average.

The maximum temperature recorded was 25.4C on July 12th, the minimum was -0.6 on Feb 2nd, one of the only 2 days in 2019 when sub-zero temperatures were recorded.

January – sunny and dry, some frosts, scattering of snow on 31st

February – cold, then wet and milder, remnants of Storm Erik on 8th / 9th

March – unsettled, wetter than average, gales, Storm Freya on 4th

April – sunny and temperatures above 21C at Easter (20th-22nd), drier than average, settled conditions

May – very dry, only 20mm, less than 40% of the 10 year mean for May

June – mixed, wetter than average, a contrast to June 2018

July – below average rainfall, many days with temperatures above 20C and sunny, windy at month-end

August – windy, above average rainfall, then warmer and settled at month-end for the August Bank Holiday weekend

September – mostly dry until 21st, then wet and windy

October – unsettled with rain most days

November – average rainfall and temperatures

December – wetter than average, strong winds associated with Storm Atiyah on 8th / 9th


Durlston weather summary - 2018

2018 started with Storm Eleanor on Jan 3rd when large waves affected the coasts of the south and west.

The UK experienced a spell of severe weather with very low temperatures and significant snowfall in late February and early March – informally referred to as “The Beast from the East”. Daytime temperatures remained widely below freezing on Feb 28th to March 1st with a strong east wind. This was the most significant spell of snow and low temperatures for the UK since Dec 2010. At Durlston the maximum temperature on Feb 28th was -1.2C, the minimum -5.9C with a covering of snow. The arrival of Storm Emma on March 1st brought freezing rain and black ice to Durlston and snow drifts to SW England.

In contrast the UK experienced some unusually high temperatures from 18th-22th April with high pressure drawing very warm air from the south, breaking April records around the country.

Summer brought plenty of warm, dry, sunny weather, often under the influence of high pressure, particularly during June and July. This was the UK’s joint hottest summer on record (together with 2006, 2003 and 1976), the driest since 2003 and the sunniest since 1995. June was exceptionally dry across parts of southern England. Durlston recorded 3.7mm rain, Swanage only 1.2mm with rain on only 4 days in the period June 2nd to July 28th.

At Durlston, the total rainfall for 2018 was 857mm, about 90% of the 10 year mean of 950mm with above average rainfall in Jan, March and Dec and low rainfall in May, June, July, Sep and Oct.

The maximum temperature recorded was 26.7C on August 5th, the minimum was – 5.9C on Feb 28th with sub-zero temperatures on 15 nights in Feb and March.

January – warm, windy and wet, gusts of 60mph (Storm Eleanor) on 3rd

February – cold with NE winds and frosts particularly at the end of the month, snow on 28th

March – snow and freezing rain at the beginning and middle of the month with NE winds

April – very mild from 18th-26th, lightning storm

May – mild, low rainfall

June – one of the driest months on record for Durlston

July – mostly dry until 28th

August – hot, dry start (26.7C on 5th) then milder with rain

September – mostly dry

October – strong winds and rain mid month (storm Callum and low pressure fronts)

November – wet and windy

December – above average rainfall


Durlston weather summary - 2017

A calmer year nationwide. The UK experienced a spell of hot sunny weather in June associated with a high pressure drawing warm air in from the near continent. This was reflected at Durlston with a temperature of 31.9C on 23rd June, a new high for Durlston (the previous highest of 31.3C was recorded on 3rd August 1990).

At Durlston, the total rainfall for 2017 was 963.5mm (10 year mean is 949.8mm) with above average rainfall in January and July, contrasting with dry months of April and November.

The maximum temperature recorded was 31.9C on 23rd June, sub-zero temperatures were recorded in January and December.

January – mixture of very wet days (30.5mm on 15th) and sunny days with sub-zero temperatures and frosts from 18th -26th

February – variable winds, fog, snow flurries on 11th

March – misty, cold NE winds

April – misty, NE winds, very dry, 17.2mm rain on 3 days, 3rd driest April since recording started in 1988

May – warm nights, E winds mid month, lightning storms at the end of the month

June – hot, mean temperature of 20.2C (compared to 14C the previous year), maximum 31.9C on 23rd, 17 days with max temperature over 25C

July – hot until mid-month, lightning storm and 36mm rain on 19th, then cooler and wetter

August – mixture of rainy days with calmer dry days

September – many rainy days with W winds, 48mph gust on 13th

October – storm Brian on 21st, with 50mph gust, fog

November – variable winds, drier than average

December – mixture of dry frosty days with N winds, sub-zero temperatures, and milder wetter days


Durlston weather summary - 2016

Storm Katie hit the south of the UK on Easter Monday bringing heavy rain and severe gales for the end of the Easter weekend. There were gusts of 69mph at Durlston and a gust of 106mph was recorded at the Needles Old Battery.

The first autumnal storm, Angus, arrived on 20th November 2016. South and south-west England were the main areas affected by heavy rain and severe gales. Gusts widely exceeded 70mph along the south coast. Many coastal areas saw damage from huge waves, including the sea wall at Swanage, and the railway line near Exeter was closed due to flooding. Meanwhile, in the English Channel, a ferry became stranded for 26 hours and a barge collided with a cargo ship.

At Durlston, the total rainfall for 2016 was 1010.2 mm, above the 10 year mean of 949.8mm, with above average rainfall in Jan, Feb, March, June, Aug and Nov. In contrast, May and Dec rainfall was significantly lower than average.

The maximum temperature recorded was 21.8C on 25th August, the minimum was -1C on 16th February with sub-zero temperatures recorded on 2 consecutive nights.

January – mild, much wetter than average, 200mm rain, almost double the 10 year mean, fog

February – variable winds pressure, frosts, 61mph gusts on 8th (Storm Imogen) and on 23rd

March – high pressure and dry mid month, 69mph gusts on 28th (Storm Katie)

April – variable winds

May – dry, mostly E / NE winds with misty/foggy days at the start of the month

June – 117.3mm rain, double the 10 year mean of 54.6mm, heavy rain and wind on 20th

July – warm, light winds, only 6.1mm rainfall compared to the 10 year mean of 47.9mm

August – very wet at the start of the month, then drier, max temperature of 2016, 21.8C on 25th

September – mostly westerly winds with light rain

October – easterly winds at the start of the month, then westerlies

November – a wet month with over 200mm rain, Storm Angus on 20th, with 55mph gust, 26.7mm rain

December – an unusually dry month, only 43.8mm, compared to the 10 year mean of 125.6mm, some fog and frost, high pressure at the end of the month


Durlston weather summary - 2015

In 2015 the Met Office in collaboration with its Irish counterpart Met Éireann introduced a storm-naming calendar which is reset every September. Storms deemed able to have a "substantial" impact on the UK are named to raise awareness.

Heavy rainfall from Storm Desmond in early December led to widespread flooding in Cumbria and across Northern Britain. 341.4mm of rain (about a 1/3 of Durlston’s annual rainfall) fell at Honister Pass, Cumbria in 24 hours, a new UK rainfall record. Further storms followed and the sustained period of wet weather meant that December 2015 was the wettest calendar month for the UK (records from 2010) while November and December combined was the wettest any two month period.

At Durlston, the total rainfall for 2015 was 962.8mm, close to the 10 year mean of 949.8mm, with above average rainfall in Jan, July and Aug. The August rainfall was the highest recorded at Durlston (records from 1988), January was the only month recording higher rainfall. In contrast March was a particularly dry month.

The maximum temperature recorded was 25.2C on July 3rd, the minimum was -2C on February 2nd, with sub-zero temperatures recorded on the next 4 nights.

January – a wet and warm month

February – cold at beginning of month, clear with ice and sub-zero temperatures, snow lying on 2nd, very high pressure and crisp days mid month

March – variable winds, below average rainfall, 23.6mm compared to the 10 year mean of 57.7mm

April – warm, max temperature 18.9C on 18th, several foggy days

May – blustery start to the month, some foggy days

June – warm, very strong winds on 2nd, thunder and lightning on 11th/12th

July – hot at the start of the month, 25.2C on 3rd, followed by thunder and lightning and 25.4mm rain overnight, misty

August – cooler, the wettest August on record at Durlston,139mm compared to the 10 year mean of 47.9mm, gusts of 42mph on 26th

September – variable winds

October – mostly high pressure with E / NE winds, many dry days, less than half the average monthly rainfall

November – windy W / SW winds, dull

December – warmer than average, very windy with max gust of 63mph on 30th/31st


Durlston weather summary - 2014

The period from mid-December 2013 to mid-February 2014 saw at least 12 major storms and was considered the stormiest period of weather that the UK had experienced for at least 20 years. Strong winds and huge waves made conditions dangerous around exposed coastlines, particularly in the south and west. There were major flooding problems in the Somerset Levels and sections of the River Thames. The main-line railway at Dawlish Devon was severely damaged in early February. The “Valentine’s Day” storm of 2014 caused extensive damage along the South Coast, particularly at Chiswell and Chesil Beach in Dorset.

At Durlston, the total rainfall for 2014 was 1098.1mm, above the 10 year mean of 949.8mm, with significant and above average rainfall in Jan, Feb, Aug, Oct and Nov. The rainfall of 231.3mm in January, followed rainfall of 221.7mm in December 2013, some of the wettest months recorded at Durlston.

The maximum temperature recorded was 27.2C on July 13th and 27th, the minimum was -2.5C on 29th December, the sole sub-zero temperature recorded in 2014.

January – mild, very wet (231.3mm compared to 10 year mean of 96.7mm), windy, successive storms

February – mild, wet, above average rainfall, windy, gales mid month

March – variable winds, below average rainfall

April – warm, light winds and dry periods, variable wind direction

May – mixture of fair and wet days, above average rainfall

June – warm, below average rainfall

July – hot (27.2C recorded on 2 days), high pressure, below average rainfall

August – mostly fair, light winds, low pressure and rain mid-month, remnants of ex-Hurricane Bertha, above average rainfall

September – mostly settled with light E / NE winds, exceptionally low rainfall (2.4mm rainfall compared to 10 year mean of 94.2mm), one of the driest months recorded at Durlston

October – warm, variable winds, above average rainfall

November – mild, periods of heavy rain and gales

December – variable wind directions, high pressure, below average rainfall, some frosts


Durlston weather summary - 2013

A spell of severe weather brought significant snowfalls and unseasonably low temperatures to many parts of the UK from around 10th March to 10th April. The most severe weather occurred from 22nd to 24th March as frontal systems associated with an area of low pressure to the west of the UK moved north. In SW England, most of the precipitation fell as rain, leading to localised flooding. However there were prolonged and heavy snowfalls across North Wales, northern England, SW Scotland and Northern Ireland. 20cm or more of snow fell quite widely with significant drifting in easterly winds. As low temperatures continued, much of the snow lay across the higher ground until early April. The unseasonably late severe winter weather particularly affected hill farmers during the lambing season and several thousand sheep and lambs died.

In July, many areas in the UK, particularly in the south and west experienced a spell of hot, sunny weather with almost unbroken sunshine with an area of high pressure established across the UK. This heat wave was notable for its duration rather than its intensity, a contrast to the run of mainly unsettled summers from 2007 to 2012 and the most significant UK heat wave since July 2006.

A powerful autumn storm brought damaging winds across much of southern England on 28th October. Most of the damage was associated with falling trees which were still in full leaf.

From mid-December to early January, the UK experienced a spell of extreme weather as a succession of major winter storms brought widespread impacts to the UK, caused by a powerful jet stream driving a succession of low pressure systems across the Atlantic. The first storm of 5 th December caused a major storm surge affecting North Sea coasts. The storm of 23rd to 24th December caused widespread flooding across southern England, stretching through Dorset, Hampshire Surrey and Kent.

At Durlston, the total rainfall for 2013 was 986.6mm, drier than 2012. There was significant and above average rainfall in Jan and Dec with 54.2mm rain recorded on 24th December.

The maximum temperature recorded was 28.6C on 3rd Sept, the minimum was -2.5C on 12 March. Sub-zero temperatures were recorded on 15 days (Jan, Feb, March, April).

January – mixed, snow lying on 18th, torrential and above average rainfall, 54.3mm on 23rd, fog

February – mostly fair, cold, high pressure

March – mostly cloudy, snow lying on 12th, then heavy rain and easterly winds, low temperatures

April – frosts at beginning of month, high pressure, mostly dry, fog

May – mixture of fair and cloudy days, some heavy rain

June – mixture of fair and cloudy days, fog, high pressure

July – heavy rain then fine and hot until 22nd (26.8C on 16th) with high pressure and light winds, humidity rising then rain and fog

August – mostly fair, very heavy rain (59.5mm) on 18th

September – fair at start of month (28.6C on 3rd) then periods of heavy rain, gales on 14th, fog

October – fair at start of month then periods of heavy rains and storm force wind on 28th

November – periods of heavy rain and storms then fair and cloudy

December – fair with gales then storm force winds and rain (69mph gust on 23rd, 54.2mm rain on 24th), above average monthly rainfall (221.7mm), fair by year-end


Durlston weather summary - 2012

The year began with a storm judged to be the most severe for 13 years bringing very strong winds on 3rd January, followed by further strong winds which brought widespread travel disruption to the UK. Gusts of 64mph were recorded at Durlston.

From April to July 2012 the UK experienced a period of exceptionally high wet weather, breaking previous records and bringing the England and Wales drought of 2010 to early 2012 to an abrupt end. The period April to July was the wettest on record in the Met Office’s England and Wales precipitation series since 1766, while for the UK overall all, the summer (June, July and August) was the wettest since 1912. The jet stream shifted to a much more southerly track than usual, bringing a succession of Atlantic low pressure systems and associated fronts across the southern half of the UK.

A sequence of low pressure systems at the end of November resulted in one of the wettest weeks in England in the last 50 years, leading to flooding and landslides.

At Durlston, the total rainfall for 2012 was 1091.9mm, about 15% above the 10 year mean rainfall and a contrast to 668.4mm recorded in 2011.

The maximum temperature recorded was 25.7C on 26th July, the minimum was -5.5C on 11th Feb. Sub-zero temperatures were recorded on 14 days (Jan, Feb, November, December)


January – below average rainfall, storm force winds on 3rd and 21st, mild until frost on 31st

February – high pressure, E winds and hard frosts until mid month then mostly W winds, warm, very low rainfall

March – fair, warm, no frosts, very low rainfall

April – fair until 8th then heavy rain showers, above average rain (118.7mm, contrast to 5.1mm rain recorded in 2011 (10 year mean 72.4mm), cool

May – mostly fair, warm, heat wave from 23rd, average rainfall

June – cool, periods of heavy rain and gales, above average rainfall, wettest June in Durlston records since 1988

July – above average rainfall, periods of heavy rain in first half then hot, max temperature of year (25.7C) recorded on 26th. London Olympics started on 27th

August – mostly fair in the first half, gales on 25th and periods of heavy rain

September – mostly fair, high pressure, gales and periods of heavy rain at the end of the month

October – warm, periods of heavy rain and gales, above average rainfall

November – variable, periods of heavy rain and gales, hard frosts at the end of the month

December – variable, fair periods, heavy rain, 125.6mm in total


Durlston weather summary - 2011

Nationally, Spring 2011 (March, April and May) was remarkable for the unusual warmth during April and the persistent lack of rainfall during March and April, particularly over England and Wales.

It was the warmest Spring across the UK in the previous 100 years, just warmer than Spring 2007, and the second driest Spring across England and Wales, with 1990 marginally drier. April was an exceptionally warm, dry and sunny month – the warmest and third sunniest April on record for the UK. This had adverse effects on the environment and agriculture, with eastern counties most affected.

At Durlston, the total rainfall for 2011 was 668.4mm, just over 70% of the 10 year mean of 949.8mm. January, June and August were the only months with above average rainfall.

The maximum temperature recorded was 23.8C on 25th June, the minimum was -3C on 1st Feb. In total, below zero temperatures were recorded on 16 nights (Jan, Feb, March).


January – above average rain, gales, fog, waterlogged ground, then high pressure, frosts and NE winds

February – frost, then mostly W winds, stormy, occasional heavy rain, thick fog

March - mixture of cold NE winds with overnight frosts and mild with SW winds, low rainfall

April – very dry, 5.1mm rain (10 year mean 72.4mm), recorded on 6 days, fair, high pressure, warm max temp 21.4C

May – mostly fair, variable winds, mini-whirlwind on 6th, dry, salt laden southerly gales at the end of the month, a gust of 80mph on 29/30 May, one of the highest recorded at Durlston

June – variable, warm at start and end of month (23.8C max of 2011 on 25th), gales and heavy rain

July – mostly fair interspersed with periods of wind and heavy rain

August – mostly fair, rainfall recorded on 14 days, total 75.5mm, above 10 year mean of 47mm

September – mostly fair, warm overnight, interspersed with periods of wind and heavy rain

October – mostly fair, high pressure, warm winds, below average rainfall

November – mostly fair, warm, below average rainfall, wind speeds not recorded

December – heavy rain, 112mm in total, periods of low pressure, variable wind direction


Durlston weather summary - 2010

In another year of marked contrasts 2010 began and ended very cold, with frost, ice and snow. December 2010 was exceptional in this. Countrywide it was the coldest since records began, as was the monthly mean temperature in Durlston. This anomaly was caused by an unusual position of the jet stream, which curved south to keep Atlantic weather away from the west, and allowed the penetration of a continuous flow of Arctic or Siberian air over the country. This reduced the customary progression of rain bearing westerlies, which meant a lower than average total precipitation. Although last winter was wet, the subsequent spring, summer and autumn were relatively dry, even with above average monthly totals in March, August and November. The 745.9mm (29.4in) annual total was the third lowest on record. Temperatures remained well down into spring, easing somewhat at the equinox but falling back until May, struggling to reach a seasonal level at the summer solstice. The highest daily maximum was 26.2C (79.2F) on the 26th July, but throughout the summer the maximum only reached 70F on 14 days. Autumn was cool, with the prevalence of northerly winds, and in late November and December it became bitingly cold, frosty, and icy with some snow.

Monthly Summary

Jan very cold; frost, snow; heavy rain at times, stormy
Feb cold, frosty, wet and windy; low pressure.
Mar wintry and dry until warmer wet equinox, ending cold
Apr began wet; very dry from 5th, cool
May very dry and cool, almost drought conditions until 26th
June wet start, very dry from 8th, warm
Jul warm and dry; cooler mid-month
Aug wet, cool, until sunny last week
Sep low rainfall, seasonal temps, but some cool nights
Oct wet first week then mainly dry, warm start and end
Nov mild and wet until 20th, then dry and very cold NE winds
Dec very cold, very frosty, some snow, low precipitation total

Durlston weather summary - 2009

In a year of marked contrasts, catastrophic floods in the north of the country were followed by country-wide and unusually persistent cold conditions with snow and ice later. In the south it was less extreme: even so here the total precipitation, 1001.6 mm (39.4 in) was well above average, being one of only seven years when the total has exceeded 1000 mm since our records began in 1988. The average for Durlston is in the order of 36 inches per annum. The jet stream had moved further south than usual, allowing the constant passage of Atlantic depressions across the British Isles. Some of these exceptionally vigorous, resulting in storm force winds, gusting to more than 60 mph as they moved up-Channel along the south coast. Autumn was the wettest season with an above average rainfall total, falling predominantly in November. Spring was amongst one of the driest on record, and summer was below average in rainfall, although July was unusually wet. It was not a cold year, despite a cold beginning and the extreme conditions at the end, when snow and low temperatures disrupted train services from Wareham around Christmas. Spring was warm with equinoctial high pressure and above average temperatures; summer was a cool disappointment, apart from one hot day in mid-August, on the fringe of a continental heat wave which caused many deaths abroad.

Monthly Summary

Jan cold, wet, windy. max gust 67 mph; thunder
Feb wet, lightning. hard winter ended mid-month.
Mar spring began with 2cm snow, then warm and dry spell
Apr unusually dry and warm
May hot, dry end to spring
June warm to very warm (23C, 74F). thunderstorms
Jul very wet, windy
Aug cloudy, dull, damp. disappointing end to summer
Sep equinoctial high pressure; particularly warm at first
Oct warm for autumn, dry. St Lukes summer at close
Nov very wet, thundery, mild. 5th wettest Autumn
Dec wet, with thunderstorms (gusts to 67 mph). turned cold, with widespread frost.

Durlston weather summary - 2008

Although all four seasons were wet, spring and autumn in particular, the 891.2mm (35.1in) total precipitation for the year was close to the average for Durlston. A mild and wet winter ended with an exceptionally dry February. Vigorous depressions with gale-storm force winds, maximum gust 64 mph, in January were offset by very high pressure and a long dry period in February. March was windy, particularly at the spring equinox. A maximum gust of 67mph with nearly an inch of rain on the 10th came from a deep low pressure system, 951mb. March was also mild at the beginning and the end, but frosty on the 4th and the 21st, and an early Easter was cold. Snow flurries followed in April, and a burst of cold Arctic air. There were two thunderstorms this month and a warm, very wet ending. May was also warm, maximum temperatures exceptionally above 21.6C (71F) between the 10th and the 13th, and this spring warmth continued into summer. June was warmer and drier than average with a maximum temperature of 24.2C (75.6F) on the 8th (the highest maximum this year) although the summer solstice was cool and damp. June was relatively dry, but July was very changeable. Very wet weather at first, a recording of 48mm (nearly 2 inches) of rain between the 8th and 10th, was followed by a long, dry period. Summer ended with a very wet August, the accompanying cloud cover keeping temperatures below average. September was very wet and windy at first, drier, quiet and warm at the autumn equinox. October and November, frequently wet and very windy from a succession of Atlantic depressions, brought a turbulent autumn to a close. December began exceptionally cold, with stormy Arctic air behind cold fronts. A milder period ensued leading up to a sunny Christmas, only to be replaced by bitterly cold continental air and hard frost finally.

Monthly Summary

Jan Mild, wet, windy (64mph gust) from Atlantic depressions, then high pressure, cold frosty nights.
Feb Mild, spring-like, dry, high pressure
Mar Wet, windy (deep low pressure, 67mph gust); gales at equinox; mild at times, cold in between.
Apr Spells of cold northerly winds, snow flurries, ending mild, wet, thundery.
May Warm winds off continent, high temperatures 11-16th, wet final week
June Warmer, highest max. of year (24.2C), and drier than average, but frost on 11th; summer solstice cool and wet.
Jul Changeable; wet, cool, windy, then long dry, warmer period.
Aug Very wet and cool end to summer.
Sep Began very wet, warm and windy, ended dry, quiet, cooler; autumn equinox mild.
Oct Wet again and windy, ending with cold Arctic winds.
Nov Cool, wet (some heavy downpours), windy (59mph gust), with sunny spells between.
Dec Very cold beginning, warmer sunny Christmas, bitterly cold end.

% average rainfall: winter 119% spring 152% summer 131.7% autumn 178.1%
annual total 96.5%

Durlston weather summary - 2007

Although not the wettest year since the millenium, this years total precipitation, 1025.8mm (40.4in), was well above the average for Durlston, which is 924.7mm, (36.4in).  The winter was wet;  the spring total was average, a very dry April (2.5mm) contrasting with a very wet May;  a very wet summer, July being the wettest here at Durlston (160mm, 6.3in) in the 19 years of keeping records;  and autumn was relatively dry.  The year ended with a wet December.  The heaviest fall was 49.2mm (1.9in) on 27-28th May.  The rain frequently fell in heavy showers with strong, gusty winds; the maximum gust recorded was 67mph, storm force, on March 6th, and 61 mph occurred on 2nd December. Nationally 2007 was the second warmest year since 1914 but here temperatures were only marginally above average.  July, August and September were rather cool, but April was very warm for spring.  The coastal location and southerly aspect on the cliff modified summer temperatures and in autumn and winter reduced the incidence of frost.  The prevalence of cloud was another important factor.

Monthly Summary

Jan Warmest since 1989.  Average rainfall, gusty winds. Cold snap 23-28th, frosty.
Feb Very wet and windy.  Max. gust 58mph.  Thunderstorm 24th
Mar Windy, 67mph 6th;  mostly very mild, but cold snap 18-25th with snow shower
Apr High pressure, very warm, 71.6F on 26th, tempered by sea breezes. Very dry.
May Very wet, max. fall 49.2mm 27th, with cold Arctic winds, cf. 72F on 17th
Jun Wettest June since 1991 here, after early dry spell.  Cloudy but warm
Jul Very wet, windy and cloudy.  Wettest July on record here
Aug End of wettest summer on record here;  38.9mm (1.5in) 13/14th; 74.5F on 23rd
Sept High pressure, low rainfall, cloudy, windy; warm at first, cool later
Oct Generally dry, mild.  Some frontal rain with gusty winds.
Nov Dry at first; wet from 18th when 24.5mm (almost 1 in) fell
Dec Wet, some heavy falls, windy, max. gust 61 mph.  Mild with short cold snap pre-Xmas.

Durlston weather summary - 2006

In a year of exceptional weather, broken records in temperature, long periods of drought, Durlston, with its southerly coastal location and the modifying effects of proximity to the sea, did not always participate in the extremes.  Nevertheless it was a year of distinct contrasts, changing from cold and dry for the early months to noticeably warm from the end of April until and including December.  There were few frost records. The warmth was such that the cold snap just before Christmas was striking.  The warmest month this year was July, with the highest July mean temperature since 1989 here.  The yearly mean temperature of 10.9C is equal to the Central England Temperature for 2006.

The total precipitation, 811.6mm (32in) was 88.2% of the average for Durlston, much of it in the form of heavy, gusty rain showers.  Winds of gale force were frequently experienced, with gusts of 50-60+ mph, and a maximum gust of 80mph on 2nd December.  June was the driest month, April and August were also low in rainfall.  Spring would have been dry except for the heaviest May rainfall in our records.  Other months were below average until September, ending the year with a wet autumn and close.  Thunderstorms were recorded in May, July, September, November and December.  A few flakes of snow fell in February.

Monthly Summary

Jan Cold, dry.  6 records of frost.
Feb Cold.  Gusty rain showers, light snow flurries 23rd, 4 frost records.
Mar Cold.  Gusty rain and hail showers.  4 frost records.
Apr Cool start, predominantly dry, noticeably warm end.
May Warm and wet.  Very heavy rain showers, thunderstorm.  Sunny end.
Jun Warm and dry. 
Jul Hot.  Low rainfall, thunderstorms.
Aug Warm, dry.
Sept Warmest on our records; dry start, wetter end.  Thunder, 11th, 24th
Oct Warmest on our records; average rainfall.
Nov Warm, very wet, thunderstorm 16th, gusty winds.
Dec Very mild excluding frosty week before Christmas.   Wet.  Thunderstorm, gust 80mph.


Durlston weather summary - 2005

In a year with a total precipitation of 834.0mm (32.8in), 11% more than down in Swanage, the seasonal distribution was surprising:  a  relatively dry winter, driest here since 1997 (in the UK since 1962/3),  followed by a wet spring, and an even wetter summer in which the totals  were two thirds above the average for Durlston (based on records since 1988).  The wettest months were April, June, August, and October.  The rain was often in the form of blustery showers, with storm force winds on two occasions when maximum gusts recorded were 66 and 67 mph.   There  were some heavy falls of rain, 30.6mm (1.2in) on the 23/24th July, and the heaviest in October on the 24th, 37.4mm, and 25th, 34.1mm,  measuring 2.8 inches in all.  Thunderstorms were reported in March, April, June, August and September.

In general it was a warm year with some cold snaps, particularly in the first three months, and again in December.  The highest maximum temperature, 25.4C (77.7F) was recorded on the 11th August, the lowest minimum, -4.6C (23.7F) on the 28th December.  Snow flurries were reported in January, but unfortunately none in the very cold, frosty spell around Christmas.  On the last day there was a dramatic change to strong southerly and then westerly winds bringing warmer conditions and rain.

Monthly Summary

Jan Mild except 5 day cold snap. 3 frosts;  storm, gust 66mph 7/8th.
Feb Dry, mild spells;  ending with 9 day cold snap, 7 frosts.
Mar Continued cold snap for  6 days, 5 frosts; low rainfall; equinoctial thunderstorm.
Apr Unsettled, wet, thunderstorms with hail, 1 frost behind cold front.
May Long dry periods but above average rain, some heavy, blustery showers.
Jun In total very wet, but long dry periods.  Warm;  thunderstorms 23rd, 24th, 28th.
Jul Long dry periods, max. 25.4C, then very wet, 30.6mm (1.2in) 23/24th.
Aug Wet;  27.5mm (1.1in)18/19th with thunder;  sea breezes reduced heat.
Sep Unusually dry;  blustery showers during final week;   mild.
Oct Very wet: 37.4 and 34.1mm 23/24/25th with gales, 56mph gust;  warm end.
Nov Below average rainfall; high pressure, 1042mb, 23rd;  frosty final week.
Dec Varied: first low pressure, heavy rain, then high to very high pressure, 1046mb and cold, white with frost, but not on Christmas Day.  Ended wet.

Durlston weather summary - 2004

The total precipitation, 835.8mm (32.9in), was the lowest since 1992 at Durlston Country Park, but included some very wet spells, particularly in January, July, August, and October. January and October were the wettest months, with rainfall exceeding 100mm (4 in). The torrential rainfall, 32.6mm, of mid-December was only exceeded by a fall of 34.2mm on the 8th July.

Showery conditions predominated, often very windy; gusts of over 60 mph were recorded on 7/01, 31/01, 14/03, 24/06, 17/12. The wettest seasons were winter and autumn, the driest months May, June, and November.  Measurable snow fell on 28th January, but not over Christmas when so much of the country was white. Here it was a sharp frost.

Although nationally 2004 was the fifth warmest year on record and globally probably the fourth since 1861, the temperatures here were generally close to average. Proximity to the sea and frequency of cloud cover tempering the hot spells and reducing the hours of sunshine, as well as keeping us warmer in winter.

The highest maximum was 26.7C (80.1F) on the 14th June. Minimum temperatures below freezing were infrequent - January (3), February (7), March (2), and December (2).

Monthly Summary

Jan Very variable: snow, thunderstorm, very wet, sometimes mild Max. gust 69mph
Feb Began wet and windy, turned cold, north winds, windchill, frosty, some short-lived snow showers.
Mar Cold alternated with very mild, calm with very windy, storm 14th
Apr Very showery, wet, storm 3/04, but very mild at Easter
May Wet 4-5th, otherwise high pressure, dry, 71F on 20th, then cool, Thunderstorm on 10th
Jun Mostly dry, near drought, heat wave; ending stormy rain showers
Jul Torrential rain storms gave way to high pressure and heat wave
Aug Dry, warm (74F) start and end, wet in the middle with thunder
Sep Began dry and warm (75F), then changeable, frequently wet, (thunder 13th, 14th), cool.
Oct Very wet, frequent wild heavy showers, (thunder 16th).
Nov Frequent northerly winds, low night temperatures, low rainfall.
Dec Cool, dry first half, storm, torrential rain in middle, then quiet cold and frosty for Christmas, ending the year mild.

Durlston weather summary - 2003

Nationally 2003 was noted for :

  • June - hottest since 1976
  • August - record temperature 38.5' (East Anglia)
  • September - sunniest in 30 years
  • October - sunniest ever

Here at Durlston things were less dramatic, sea breezes by day in the hot weather reducing the temperature (highest daytime maximum 30.2'C (86F)  in August) and frequency of cloud cover reducing the hours of sunshine.  Apart from one or two spells of frosty weather in the winter months of January, February and just before Christmas, temperatures were near or above the average.

The  rainfall total of 875.7mm (34.5") was lower for Durlston than it has been for the last six years: in fact for five of the last ten years the total has exceeded 1,000mm. The wettest seasons in 2003 were spring and autumn separated by a rather dry summer in which the absence of moisture was accentuated by the heat and attendant evaporation.

Much of the rain fell in heavy, squally rain showers, some of them thundery,  with winds gusting to gale force. This meant that the absorption rate was low and run-off high.

There were some exceptionally heavy falls during the year:



1-2 Jan




31 Oct



19-20 Jan




24 Nov



7 June




26 Nov



23 Oct




1 Dec

(These amounts were recorded at 09:00hrs on the dates given, referring to the previous 24 hour period.)

Monthly Summary

Jan Began warm with heavy rain and storm force winds, but quickly turned cold, 9 nights below freezing in periods of high pressure. High total  rainfall.
Feb Cold, with long spells of easterly winds, 6 nights below freezing: mild end to month.
Mar Sunniest on record, long periods of high pressure, dry (66% av rainfall).
Apr More high pressure but only one frost: dry until showers late in the month, average temperatures.
May Mild with well distributed rainfall above average in total.
Jun Wet with heavy, thundery showers: 3 days with 70+F temperatures.
Jul Long dry spells, bulk of rain in last 10 days giving well above average total.
Aug Dry, fairly sunny but very warm; sea breezes.
Sep Very dry, only 5 days with rain, warm.
Oct Again long dry spells, but heavy thunderstorms, cool. Downpours at end.
Nov Much fair weather and a cold snap: some showers until final 8 days when  heavy downpours and strong winds, 150% average rainfall.
Dec Heavy rain to begin with, some dry spells and a cold snap just before Christmas, then heavy, stormy rain showers.

Durlston weather summary - 2002

Records have been broken this year:  the highest total rainfall since records began at Durlston (1988) and Swanage (available since 1972) - Durlston  1248.8mm (49.2in), Swanage 1159.8mm (44.5in);  highest single monthly total (November), Durlston 285.5mm (11.2in), Swanage 255.9mm (10.1in);   highest single fall 128.7mm (5.1in) at Durlston on the 8/9th September;  and it was one of the warmest years since records began nationally.

Only recently have the annual rainfall totals exceeded 1000mm, three times in Swanage, four in Durlston, since 1993.

Beginning  quiet and dry, 2002 declared itself by the end of January in terms of heavy, squally downpours of rain, gale force winds, thunder at times,  but generally mild.  The first quarter of the year was characterised by spells of strong winds and heavy rain, ending with 255mm (10in) total rainfall, with some remarkable single falls, on the 26th January  (32.7mm) and the 3/4th February (38.1mm).

April was dry, until a wild end with more heavy rain and gales, which continued throughout May, punctuated by some short, dry spells of high pressure, but ending with twice the average total rainfall for Swanage.

June was drier, with less than average rainfall, but damp, cloudy and cool, only to revert to a wet beginning to July, 37.2mm (1.5in) on the 2nd and virtually 1 inch on the 8th.  But after the 10th summer arrived:   fair weather, warm (18-20C, 64-68F) and dry, with sea breezes.  The highest daily maximum temperature for the year was 26.6C, 79.9F, on the 29th July.

Summer continued throughout August as spells of sunshine, though more often cloudy with some heavy thundery showers.  In September came national fame with that 24 hour deluge and disastrous flooding, but it was virtually dry thereafter, and pleasantly warm and sunny.  The autumn equinox was quiet.

October saw more heavy rain, showers and stormy conditions with some thunder,  followed by the unrelenting downpours and thundery showers of November,  amounting to three times the average total for Swanage.  There were storm force winds, gusting 71mph on the 13th (not a record here however), and on the 14th exceptionally low pressure, 959mb.   Temperatures were mild, but it felt cold in the strong winds.  More wet conditions carried on through December, with the exception of two short cold snaps, when there were some hard night frosts, particularly inland.  Then another downpour, 38.5mm (1.5in) on the 21st, the winter solstice, ushered in a mild and wet Christmas, and above average temperatures thereafter.

Altogether a wet year, with April, June and August the only (relatively) dry months.  Autumn remains well and truly our wettest season.