The weather of Reading in February

Average air temperatures reach their lowest annual values during early-mid February, and then begin to rise. Average daytime temperatures dip to around 7.5 ºC while average night minimum temperatures dip to around 1.5 ºC with the average temperature for the month being 5.4 ºC. Temperatures in February have ranged from 19.5ºC (26 February 2019) to -12.9ºC (15 February 1929) during the period 1908-2014. Daily maximum temperatures remained below freezing on 14 occasions during 1908-2020, with the highest temperature on 1 February 1956 and 7 February 1991 being the just -3.8 ºC. The longest sequence of ice days, with maximum temperatures below 0 ºC each day, was one of six days from 11 February 1929. Air minimum temperatures below -10 ºC do occur occasionally in February, having occurred in six February months since 1908.

February 1990 was the warmest February in the Reading record (mean temperature 8.1 ºC) with 1947 (-1.2 ºC) and 1986 (-1.0 ºC) being the coldest February months locally since 1895. Worthy of note is the low maximum temperature reading of 3.9 ºC for the entire month of February 1986. Despite February sometimes being the coldest time of the year, there were no air frosts in the February months of 1961, 1966, 1990 and 2014. However in February 1947 (26 days) and February 1942 (25 days) almost every morning had an air frost. In 1979 there was ground frost every morning from 17 January to 1 March inclusive.

The monthly mean rainfall for February in Reading is about 45 mm. Precipitation is more likely to fall as snow in this month than in any other month. 2014 (with 117 mm) was the wettest February on record while in 1934 only 2.5 mm of rain fell. The two wettest days were on the 24 and 25 February 1933 when 28.4 mm and 29.2 mm, respectively, fell.

The sunshine duration in February amounts to about 78 hours, with about 8 days being sunless on average. In 2008 127 h of sunshine were measured, while only 33 h were recorded in 1965 and 1966. 10 days from 3 February 1993 were sunless.

On average, snow and sleet falls on 3.1 days during February but there are large variations from year to year. During 1968-2020 there were 10 February months without snowfall while the snowiest February month since 1908 was in 1963 (16 days). In 1986 there were 15 mornings with 50 % snow cover at 0900 GMT, with 17 days in February 1963. The greatest snow depth observed during February was 18 cm on 6 February 1986. During 1991-2020 fog was present at 0900 GMT on an average of 2.1 days in February with at least five mornings of fog occurring in about one February in five.

MSL pressure during February at 0900 GMT has ranged from 1048.8 mb on 15 February 1934 to 962.4 mb on 25 February 1989. The latter was possibly the lowest MSL pressure for any month locally back to before 1692. The highest gusts noted in February occurred in 1990 - 71 knots on the 26th and 70 knots on the 7th (both 36 m/s).

All averages refer to the period 1991-2020 unless otherwise stated.

Statistics last updated 1 August 2022.