WEATHER WATCH: Mild month for Wick with plenty of rain
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Weather Watch by Keith Banks
Water in the form of invisible vapour is intermixed with the air in the atmosphere. The physical processes called condensation, deposition, evaporation, and sublimation facilitate common weather phenomena such as clouds, fog, rain, dew and snow.
The quantity of water vapour that is present in a sample of air is usually expressed in terms of the actual mass that is present in a specified volume of air – usually the grams per cubic metre, or absolute humidity.
There is a limit to the amount of water vapour that any given volume of air can hold. When this limit has been reached the air parcel is said to be saturated.
Most of the time, however, the air is not saturated. This is because it contains only a fraction of the potential amount that it can hold for that specific temperature and pressure – this fraction is expressed as a percentage called the relative humidity. When the relative humidity is low, the air is deemed to be "dry", and it feels fresh and invigorating.
Conversely, if the relative humidity is high, the air is moist and damp – in summer it feels sultry or even oppressive, and in winter, muggy or raw.
April 2022 was Wick's mildest since that of 2020. The burgh's record for mean air temperature for April revealed that it is currently the 35th most mild in a series commencing from 1910.
In terms of precipitation, April 2022 was Wick's wettest since that of 2016, and it is presently the 26th most wet since 1910.
April 2022 experienced two "days of gale" by definition.
Wick's mean air temperature for April 2022 was 6.74C (44.13F). The long-term average in terms of the averaging period 1991-2020 is 6.94C (44.49F).
Wick's average daytime maximum air temperature for April 2022 was 9.37C (48.87F). The long-term average is 9.97C (49.95F). Highest maximum was 14.9C (58.8F), observed on April 28.
The lowest maximum was 4.8C (40.6F), recorded on April 5.
The town's average overnight minimum air temperature for April 2022 was 4.1C (39.38F). The long-term average for April is currently 3.90C (39.02F).
The highest overnight minimum air temperature was 7.5C (45.50F), witnessed on April 16.
April 2022 hosted three air frosts. The lowest ambient temperature for the month was minus 2.6C (27.3F), recorded on April 2.
The temperature fell to 0.0C (32.0F) or lower at 5cm over the grass on eight dates. The lowest value noted over the grass was minus 4.9C (23.2F), on April 2.
Precipitation was logged on 25 dates. The total for the month was 61.2mm (2.41 inches), or 128.9 per cent of the long-term average for April.
The wettest day was April 4. The quantity for the 24 hours commencing 9am (GMT) was 15.2mm (0.60 of an inch).
Traces of snow were visible over the grass at dawn on April 9 and wet snow was also observed during the day. Showers of graupel (soft hail), were observed on April 7 and 9.
"Days of gale" occurred on April 6 and 7; however, wind velocities reached or exceeded gale force 8, (39.0mph/33.9knots), on seven dates.
The strongest wind velocity was recorded during the hour ending 00.00 hours/12.00am (GMT) on April 7, when a force 8 north-easterly wind gusted up to 58.7mph/51.0knots, storm force 10 on the Beaufort scale.