w e a t h e r   e x t r e m e s

A short discussion of Northamptonshire's climate including a selection of weather extremes recorded in England, Northampton and here at Pitsford Hall.

Sunshine

At Pitsford we record on average 1,392 hrs of bright sunshine during the year. This is typical for inland areas in lowland Britain. The south coast receives the highest amount owing to the absence of convective cloud and annual totals can exceed 1,750 hrs. Mountainous areas receive the least owing to shadowing and orographic cloud.

Maximum duration anywhere in England 383.9 hrs at Eastbourne in July 1911
Minimum duration anywhere in England 0.0 hrs at Westminster in December 1890
Maximum duration in Northampton (since 1963) 278 hrs in July 2006
Minimum duration in Northampton (since 1963) 17.4 hrs in December 1989
Maximum duration at Pitsford Hall (since 1998) 278 hrs in July 2006
Minimum duration at Pitsford Hall (since 1998) 18.5 hrs in December 1998

Rainfall

At Pitsford we record on average 659 mm of rain during the year. Northamptonshire is one of the driest parts of the UK with little relief to cause any orographic rain and being far from the coast and in a significant rain shadow produced by the uplands of Wales. Most of our rain falls during the summer by convection and in thunderstorms which occur on average 15 days each year.

Maximum in a day anywhere in England 279 mm at Martinstown (Dorset) on 18 July 1955
Maximum in a day at Pitsford Hall (since 1998) 68.8 mm on 14th June 2007
Maximum monthly total in Northampton (since 1880) 186.9 mm in July 1880
Minimum monthly total in Northampton (since 1880) 0.5 mm in June 1925
Maximum monthly total at Pitsford Hall (since 1998) 176.1 mm in June 2007
Minimum monthly total in Pitsford Hall (since 1998) 1.6 mm in April 2007
Maximum annual total in Northampton (since 1880) 1149.4mm in 1919
Minimum annual total in Northampton (since 1880) 347.2mm in 1921
Maximum annual total at Pitsford Hall (since 1998) 784.1mm in 2007
Minimum annual total at Pitsford Hall (since 1998) 399.5mm in 2011

Wind

Wind speeds are low across the county in contrast to more exposed coastal locations and upland areas. Gales are rare as wind speeds are reduced by friction over land. The prevailing wind in Northamptonshire is from the SSW, although some of the highest gusts recorded at Pitsford are experienced when the wind is from the NE. This is due to the open prospect in this direction towards the Wash and North Sea.

Highest gust recorded anywhere in England 118 mph at Gwennan Head (Cornwall) on 15 December 1979
Highest gust recorded at Pitsford Hall (since 1998) 70 mph on 27 October 2002

Temperature

The mean average temperature recorded at Pitsford is 10.5C. This is at the higher end for England as a whole where mean temperatures range from 8.5C in upland areas to 11C in Cornwall. Northamptonshire held the UK's highest temperature record from 1911 to 1990. High temperatures are common in the summer as the county does not benefit from the cooling effect of the sea, although in winter nights can be cold with frequent air frosts again because of our distance from the sea and lower wind speeds. The mean maximum temperature for Pitsford ranges from 7.2C in January to 22.4C in July, whilst the mean minimum temperature ranges from 1.8C in January to 11.0C in July.

Highest recorded anywhere in England 38.5C at Brogdale (Kent) on 10 August 2003
Highest recorded in Northampton (since 1880) 36.7C on 9th August 1911 (recorded at Raunds)
Highest recorded at Pitsford Hall (since 1998) 35.5C on 19th July 2006
Lowest recorded anywhere in England -26.1C at Newport (Shropshire) on 10 January 1982
Lowest recorded in Northampton (since 1880) -18.3C on 8 February 1895
Lowest recorded at Pitsford Hall (since 1998) -13.0C on 11 February 2012

Current Climatological Averages for Pitsford Hall (1981-2010)

 

Mean Max (C)

Mean Min (C)

Mean (C)

Rain (mm)

Sunshine (hrs)

January

7.2

1.8

4.7

55.3

49

February

7.5

2.2

4.9

41.2

69.5

March

10.2

4

7.4

45.6

100.2

April

13.4

5.4

9.4

54.8

151.3

May

16.6

8.2

12.8

56.9

175.7

June

19.6

10.2

15.4

53.6

167.1

July

22.4

11

17.5

52.9

179.7

August

22.1

10.7

16.8

54.7

177.2

September

18.8

8.3

14.2

61.5

136.3

October

14.7

7

10.9

67.5

90.1

November

10.2

3.7

7.2

59.4

54.4

December

7.5

2.4

5

55.1

41.4

Year

14.2

6.2

10.5

658.5

1391.9