Lockdown and self-isolation have brought many problems for much of the local population in Keswick and the North Lakes to complain about – but the weather has not been among them.
It will be a month tomorrow (Thursday 23rd April) since prime minister Boris Johnson announced his “stay at home” message to the UK and since then there have only been two days when more than one millimetre of rain has fallen here, says Keswick Reminder weather watcher Lorna H G Holden.
“In fact, since right back to March 18 – the Wednesday before social distancing and isolation measures came in – we have had only two days of significant rainfall. That’s 36 dry days out of the last 38 – or 20 dry days so far this April when the average for the entire month is 13,” added Lorna.
The glorious and prolonged spell of unseasonally dry, sunny weather has left gardens parched and the River Greta on the verge of drying up barely seven weeks after the end of Keswick’s wettest ever February which brought 493mm of rain – that’s nearly 20 inches and more than four times the average. Temperatures hit a high for this April on Good Friday at 22.5C (72.5F) and the daytime average so far is 16C (60.8F), comfortably above the norm of 11.9C (53.4F).
Lorna said: “I don’t have sunshine records but it has been predominantly sunny from dawn to dusk on 14 of the first 22 days of the month, which is about 14 hours of sunshine per day. That must be exceptionally above average sunshine for April. I know Penrith on average has 135 hours of sunshine through April, which averages out at 4.5 hours per day. We have certainly smashed that this year.
“It’s been glorious and dry and we have only had 11.5mm of rain so far this month, with 10mm of this coming on the morning of Monday 6th April. The average rainfall for this month is 92mm, so we’ve only had just over 10 per cent of that so far with less than a week to go. We had a fine April last year with a top temperature of 25C on Easter Saturday 2019 but last year we had 89mm of rain through the month, including 38mm of rain from Storm Hannah.”
At the other end of the scale, Keswick has registered just two night-time air frosts so far, the coldest morning being Tuesday April 14 with a minimum of -0.8C. Meanwhile, the coming weekend looks set to stay dry and warm but the high pressure may decline through next week with an increasing risk of showers developing and temperatures nearer normal for the end of April.