February Sunshine


    AS everybody is aware, February 1891 was remarkable for its excessive dryness and for the absence of anything approaching stormy weather. Many will also be disposed to remember it as a month in which we had more than our ordinary share of fog, particularly during the second half, when fog seemed to be very general over the eastern and south-eastern parts of England. It will be a surprise, therefore, to learn that, in spite of the exceptionally foggy character of the month, the amount of bright sunshine which was registered, over England especially, was altogether abnormally large. And what is still more surprising is that the second half, which included the days when the fogs were reported as most dense and widespread, was very much more sunny than the first half. According to the statistics published weekly by the Meteorological Office, the average duration of bright sunshine in the twelve forecasting districts for the month of February is 89 hours in the Channel Islands, 72 hours in the south of Ireland, 46 hours in the extreme north of Scotland, and in the other nine districts it varies between 60 and 69 hours. In the period now under review, however, the recorders registered 167 hours in the Channel Islands; 126 hours in England, S. W.; 108 hours in England, S.; 102 hours in England, E., and Midland Counties; 97 hours in England, N.W.; 90 hours in Scotland, E.; 88 hours in England, N.E.; 80 hours in Ireland, S.; 73 hours in Ireland, N.; 59 hours in Scotland, W.; and 54 hours in Scotland, N. With the exception, therefore, of the West of Scotland, where there was a deficiency of one hour, every district showed a considerable excess of sunshine, England and Wales taken as a whole having 104 hours against an average of 65 hours, the increase being 60 per cent., the south-western counties showing an excess of 83 per cent.; while the Channel Islands had 88 per cent, more than the average. The records for the individual stations in the several districts are even more interesting. Out of forty-one stations the following twenty had at least 100 hours of bright sunshine for the month, the excess above the average being shown in the second column of figures. The corresponding figures for the second half of the month are given in the third and fourth columns:—

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    February Sunshine. Nature 43, 453 (1891) doi:10.1038/043453a0

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