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1986 Very cold February in an otherwise fairly average Year
In the year that the Swedish Prime Minister, Olof Palme was assassinated in Stockholm, a nuclear reactor at Chernobyl (Ukraine) exploded, and Samora Machel, the President of Mozambique, died in a plane crash. In the world of music, the most dominant chart-toppers, each with 4 weeks at number 1, were Billy Ocean, the Communards, Berlin and the Christmas hit by Jackie Wilson 'Reet Petite'.
Weather Notes:-
1st-28th February - No measurable rain at  Aberporth and Aberaeron (both Ceredigion) all month.
9th July - Minimum temperature of minus 3°C at St Harmon (Powys).
14th October - A drought over parts of the Midlands and North Wales ended after 42 consecutive days without measurable rain.
 
In London..
 Temperature 9.9°C  Rainfall647.0 mm  Warmest 30.6°C
 Sunshine1515 hrs   Coldest -9.6°C

January Wet and rather sunny with near normal temperatures.
 Mean Temperature  4.1°C  
 Monthly highest 12.4°C  Total Rain 106 mm
 Monthly Lowest -5.7°C Total Sun 63 hrs

The first 2 days were very unsettled as a deep area of low pressure passed eastwards across southern Britain.  Around 24mm of rain fell on the 2nd. Later in the week it turned cold. The next depression stalled as it moved east, with sleet, and a little snow, falling on the 7th and 8th. Milder air followed during the middle of the second week, and it then stayed changeable with rain and mild weather, alternating with quite sunny days and near normal temperatures..
     
FebruaryVery cold and dry with below average sunshine.
 Mean Temperature -0.5°C  
 Monthly highest  4.1°C  Total Rain 15 mm
 Monthly Lowest -9.6°C Total Sun 62 hrs

Bitterly cold east to northeast winds blew through much of February.  On the opening 3 days it was dull with drizzle, or snow grains, but late on the 5th, snow fell with 4cm lying by the following day, and then snow was visible on the ground until March. On the 13th, the high was just above 4°C. for the only time during the month. Generally, highs were 2 or 3 degrees above freezing, but on the 6th, 21st and 25th the temperature stayed below freezing all day.  
 
MarchAbove average sunshine with rainfall and temperatures close to normal.
 Mean Temperature  5.9°C  
 Monthly highest 14.0°C  Total Rain 43 mm
 Monthly Lowest -3.9°C Total Sun 124 hrs

The month started very cold with outbreaks of powdery snow which lay to a level depth of 4cm on the morning of the 1st.  The temperature stayed below freezing all day, but  It slowly became milder, but with further night frosts. The following 2 weeks were rather unsettled, but amounts of rain were small. Mist formed at times bringing a few cold days, but it was often mild at with sunny periods. The last 2 weeks of March were very changeable, windy and mostly mild. 

April Cold and rather wet with below average sunshine.
 Mean Temperature  7.1°C  
 Monthly highest 16.7°C  Total Rain 61 mm
 Monthly Lowest -1.1°C Total Sun 135 hrs

After a rather mild start to the month, the first fortnight was dominated by cold northeast winds bringing, showers, some thundery, and longer spells of rain, drizzle and sleet. On the 10th, the temperature failed to rise above 5°C. There were also some frosty nights. Around mid month it became milder but very cyclonic. Showers were often heavy and thundery, but over the last 6 days of April it became warmer and mainly dry,  with highs near 17°C on the 25th and 26th. 

May Rather cool and dull with above average rainfall.
 Mean Temperature 12.1°C  
 Monthly highest 22.0°C  Total Rain 52 mm
 Monthly Lowest  3.2°C Total Sun 172 hrs

The first 2 days of the month were warm and sunny, and on the 2nd the temperature reached 22°C., 1 of only 3 occasions during the month when the temperature exceeded 20°C.  Apart from a very  brief mostly sunny and rather warm interlude after mid month, the remainder of May was changeable with temperatures close to, or a little below, normal. Thunderstorms gave 13mm of rain on the 20th, and on the 31st, the afternoon temperature barely rose above 11°C. 

June Very dry, rather warm and sunny.
 Mean Temperature 16.6°C  
 Monthly highest 30.6°C  Total Rain 17 mm
 Monthly Lowest  6.4°C Total Sun 226 hrs

The first 11 days of the month were mostly cool and unsettled. From the 3rd to the 6th daily maximum temperatures were only around 15°C. From the 12th to the end of the month it was mostly sunny and warm, although there was a short cooler and more changeable interlude at the beginning of the fourth week. There were some hot days, and on the 16th the temperature reached 29°C.,  with nearly 31°C recorded on the last afternoon of the month.

July Above average rainfall, below normal sunshine and average temperatures.
 Mean Temperature 17.9 °C  
 Monthly highest 29.1°C  Total Rain 55 mm
 Monthly Lowest  7.4°C Total Sun 181 hrs

The opening 2 days of the month were very warm and mainly sunny. The temperature on the 2nd rose to 28°C. It became cooler from the 3rd, and unsettled from the 5th. On the 5th, over 21mm of rain fell. It became sunny and very warm for a few days around mid month, and on the 15th the high was 29°C. Cooler weather set in on the 17th, and although dry at first, from the 20th until the end of the month it was rather cloudy with rain at times and often fairly cool. 

AugustCool with below normal sunshine and above average rainfall.
 Mean Temperature 15.8°C  
 Monthly highest 25.0°C  Total Rain 67 mm
 Monthly Lowest  5.9°C Total Sun 158 hrs

After bright days with average temperatures on the 1st and 2nd, it turned very cool and wet with thundery rain on the 3rd.  Over 25mm of rain fell and the temperature only just reached 15°C. Apart from thunderstorms on the night of the 10th/11th, the following fortnight was dry with sunny periods and temperatures close to normal. On the 10th the high was 25°C. From the 18th until the end of the month highs were below 21°C.and it was often wet and windy.  
 
September Dry and cool with above normal sunshine.
 Mean Temperature 12.8°C  
 Monthly highest 21.5°C  Total Rain 23 mm
 Monthly Lowest  3.9°C Total Sun 157 hrs

Some rain occurred early in the month, but from the 4th to the 12th no measurable rain fell. There was plenty of sunshine, but no warm days, and there were some chilly nights. A wet spell between the 13th and 15th produced 17mm of rain on the 13th, and on the 15th the high only just exceeded 11°C. After the 15th, there was no more measurable rain and plenty of sun. It was cool at first, but it warmed, and highs of 21°C. occurred on each day from the 20th to the 22nd.   

OctoberMild and rather wet with above average sunshine.
 Mean Temperature 12.5°C  
 Monthly highest 22.0°C  Total Rain 72 mm
 Monthly Lowest  2.5°C Total Sun 116 hrs

There was no measurable rain during the first fortnight of October, and there were some pleasantly warm days. On both the 7th and 9th the temperature reached 22°C., both warmer than on any day during the preceding September. A wet period on the night of the 14th/15th produced 21mm of rain, but after a couple more dry and quite sunny days the weather then stayed changeable with temperatures near, or rather below, normal until the end of the month. 

NovemberMild and rather wet with near normal sunshine.
 Mean Temperature  8.7°C  
 Monthly highest 16.2°C  Total Rain 75 mm
 Monthly Lowest  1.7°C Total Sun 66 hrs

The month was mostly mild and unsettled, although fronts were often weak, and substantial intervening ridges were accompanied by long periods of sunshine. On the 10th, the temperature rose to 16°C. Fronts were more active for a while during the third week, with more than 10mm of rain falling on 3 days. A strong ridge of high pressure dominated the weather during the last 5 days, but it became cloudy and misty, and on the 29th the high was only 5°C.  

December Mild and rather sunny with above average rainfall.
 Mean Temperature  6.5°C  
 Monthly highest 14.8°C  Total Rain 61 mm
 Monthly Lowest -1.1°C Total Sun 55 hrs

The beginning of the month was mostly cloudy and very mild,  the temperature on the 4th almost reached 15°C. Changeable weather then continued until the 18th with temperatures ranging from near normal to mild as a succession of fronts brought bands of rain followed by sunny periods. On the 19th, a short cold interlude developed and sleet fell on the 21st and 22nd. The high on the 22nd was under 4°C. but the end of the year was mild and changeable.

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