Sunniest January in 15 years in Sheffield

Snow covered fields in Wortley near Sheffield.  Pic. ''Andrew McCaren/
Snow covered fields in Wortley near Sheffield. Pic. ''Andrew McCaren/
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With ice on Sheffield’s pavements and freezing temperatures, it is hard to believe January was the sunniest since 2000.

However, that is exactly what official figures from the city’s Weston Park weather station have revealed.

In January, Sheffield basked in 68.8 hours of sunshine – the third sunniest on record and well above the 43-hour average for the month.

And despite several severe weather warnings during the month, the weather station also recorded the highest January maximum temperature since 2003 – with the mercury reaching 14.8C.

Alistair McLean, curator of natural sciences at Museums Sheffield, who manages the station, said: “We have been recording sunshine here since 1896.

“Up until relatively recently, we were using a Campbell-Stokes sunshine recorder, which is pretty Victorian in its design.

“It’s a glass sphere that focuses the sun’s energy onto a piece of card and it burns a mark in the card as it travels across the sky.

“That tells you how many sunshine hours you got.

“Nowadays, we use a solarimeter, which is basically an electronic equivalent.”

Mr McLean has also recorded data relating to the snow which blanketed the city twice last month.

He said: “What’s funny about January is we had the blanket of snow come down, then it thawed, then we have another blanket of snow come down just as we were getting used to life without it.

“We had 11cm of snow on both Wednesday, January 21, and last Thursday.”

The minimum temperature in Sheffield last month was – 1.4C, the same as last year. In 2013, the temperature plummeted as low as – 5C.