View From the Rear Window - December 2022

Despite a colder-than-normal December, the Met Office reported this year, 2022, to be the warmest on record for the UK (going back to 1884). Ireland, France and Spain also had their hottest years in 2022. December was certainly cold in this part of the UK as this photo from the 15th of December shows ...

15th December 2022
The above photo was taken at 11 o'clock on the 15th following a dip in overnight temperatures to -9 ℃. Note the frosted roofs just starting to thaw a little in the weak winter sunshine. The first six days of the month recorded average daily temperatures, followed by 10 days of freezing temperatures (mean daily temperatures at or below freezing point, 0 ℃).

The final 13 days of the month were well above the expected mean daily temperatures for December. A strange month indeed. The next photo was taken at 11 o'clock on the 30th of December which was warm (maximum daytime temperature = 13 ℃) and damp (2.6 mm rainfall) ...

30th December 2022

Jobs in the Garden

  1. Pick final celery on 7th December
  2. Harvest spinach, chard, red cabbage and cauliflower (7th) before big freeze 
  3. Bring onions inside from the drying shed (7th) before big freeze
  4. Tidy up the kitchen garden after the big freeze. Lost quite a few plants!
  5. Remove frosted leaves from spinach and chard - hope for regrowth if the weather warms
  6. Mulch rhubarb plants
  7. Maintain one HotBin for composting through the winter.
December 2022 Weather

General weather parameters for December 2022 are summarised below.  The very cold spell in the second/third week meant that, overall, it was a below-average cold month though dry if not especially sunny.

December 2022

Weather Parameter

Value

Dates

Average Monthly Temperature 

4 oC


Maximum Monthly Temperature

14 oC

19th

Minimum Monthly Temperature

-9 oC

15th

Number of Air Frost Days

12


Number of Hot Days (> 25 oC)

0


Monthly Precipitation

41.0 mm


Greatest 24 h Precipitation

12.0 mm

23rd - 24th

Number of Dry Days

13


Monthly Sunshine Hours (estimated)

37



Average Wind Speed

2 km/h


Highest Wind Speed

42 km/h

23rd

Maximum Barometric Pressure (Sea Level)

1030.5 hPa

1st

Minimum Barometric Pressure (Sea Level)

985.4 hPa

30th

Average Barometric Pressure (Sea Level)

1010.5 hPa



The monthly time series of daily minimum and maximum temperatures (below) illustrates the three 'periods' from 'normal' to 'cold' to 'mild'. Indeed, from the 19th December, the daily mean temperatures were about 4 ℃ above 'normal' December values.

In the garden, it was the severe and prolonged cold spell that killed off many of the less hardy plants in the garden and kitchen garden. We won't know until next year whether a major restocking will be needed.

Minimum and Maximum Daily Temperatures - December 2022

In what was a dry month, most of the rain fell in the latter part of the month when the weather was mild.


Daily Rainfall & Sunshine (Solar Radiation) - December 2022

My Davis weather station was installed in November 2019 with the first full month of data collected for December 2019. The next two graphs compare December's weather for the four-year period (2019 - 2022). December 2022 was significantly colder, on average, than the previous 3 years; largely as a result of the much lower daily minimum temperatures and more frequent air frost days.

December Temperature Data for 2019 to 2022 Period

Rainfall in December 2022 was similar to 2021 and less than 50% of the levels observed in 2019 and 2020. Sunshine hours in each of the four December months have been comparable as have the number of dry days and maximum windspeeds.

December Rain, Sun & Wind Data for 2019 - 2022 Period

The Met Office provide a summary of weather parameters for December 2022. The data only included values upto December 29 when I accessed the data - a full set for December will be available in due time. The following three plots show mean temperature anomalies, % average rainfall and % average sunshine hours for the UK - all relative to the 1991-2020 reference period. I have circled Herefordshire since this relates closely with the weather parameters from my weather station.

Herefordshire was significantly colder than normal, drier than normal with slightly above average sunshine.

Met Office Data: Mean Temperature Anomaly for Herefordshire (circled)

Met Office Data: % Mean Rainfall for Herefordshire (circled) 

Met Office Data: % Mean Sunshine Hours for Herefordshire (circled)

Finally, a video and some photos from the garden in December. This video shows, very briefly, a long-tailed tit alighting from an old lettuce plant near the house. A small flock of these birds is often seen flying over or visiting the garden.


After an overnight frost (-4 ℃), the Paradise Garden and the Wild/Secret Garden ...

Paradise Garden (9/12/22)

Wild/Secret Garden (9/12/22)

The celeriac bed was also affected by the same overnight frost (8/9th December) ...

Celeriac after frost on 8/9th December

... but had recovered somewhat by the 11th of December ...

Celeriac two days later

... only to be clobbered again by a more severe frost (-9 ℃) four days later ...

Celeriac in the background on 15th of December




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