Skip Navigation Links > Home > Today > Weather > Weather Summaries


Please email us to let us know if you are using these records - it helps to justify the expense of monitoring.

All records are PDF's:

Rainfall records up to 2003 for Swanage

Durlston Annual Weather Summaries

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



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



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.



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%



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.



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.

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.



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.



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.



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.