WEATHER ANOMALIES IN LATVIA, 2014

The year 2014 average air temperature in Latvia was + 7.4ºC (1.7 degrees above the normal for the period of 1961-1990), putting it as the 7th warmest in the long term data row. In the 21st century year 2014 was the second warmest after the year 2008 (Fig.1.).

With an annual precipitation amount of 725 mm (109% of normal) the year 2014 was the 24th wettest in the last 91 years and the 7th wettest in the 21st century (Fig.2.).

For most of the months of 2014 as well as all of the seasons, the average air temperature was above the normal (Fig.3.).

December 2013 was the second warmest (after year 2006), February 2014 the eighth warmest, March the third warmest and April 2014 the fifth warmest, but spring (March, April, May) - the warmest in the corresponding long term data rows (since year 1924). On 19, 23, 24 and 25 May 2014 daily maximum air temperature reached +31...+31.7°C, thus these days  became the hottest ever observed not only in a large part of the observation stations, but also throughout the whole of Latvia.

The second part of June was significantly colder than normal – the third 10-day period was the coldest ever recorded (3.4 degrees below the 1961-1990 normal).

Heat came back in early July. July as a whole was the fifth warmest in the long term data row, but the first 10-day period of August in Latvia was the warmest ever recorded (5.4 degrees above the 1961-1990 normal). During the period from 2 to 8 August and on 11 August the daily maximum air temperature in Latvia was above +30ºC, on 3 and 4 August in the western part of the Latvia - above +35ºC.

In Ventspils (western part of Latvia, Baltic Sea coast), which in those days was the hottest place, new whole country maximum temperature records were set. On 3 August 2014 it was + 36.7°C, 0.3 degrees surpassing the previous record which was almost 70 years old. The next day, 4 August 2014, it was replaced with a new, even more impressive: + 37.8°C. It was the highest daily maximum air temperature in Latvia since the beginning of daily maximum air temperature observations in the year 1883. Also the August 4th daily average air temperature (+28.8°C, which is 12.1°C above normal) in Ventspils was the highest ever recorded in Latvia.

The warm season of the year 2014 as a whole had 21 days with maximum temperatures above +30 degrees which is the second highest (after 24 days in year 2010) number of days with such a temperature in the long term data row. In the end of July and the beginning of August 2014 there were two 7-days periods with maximum temperatures above +30 degrees with only two days with slightly lower temperature between them.

The amount of precipitation during the year 2014 was variable (Fig.4.).

June was the 10th wettest, August the 5th wettest, but September and November accordingly 5th and 4th driest in the corresponding long term data rows. The largest daily amount of precipitation in the year 2014 was on 29 July in Sigulda, one of the most picturesque and popular tourism and active recreation place in Latvia. During 6 hours  the amount of precipitation reached 122.8 mm, which exceeded corresponding 10-days normal 3,7 times and monthly normal 1,3 times. That was the greatest daily amount of precipitation ever recorded in Sigulda and the sixth largest daily rainfall in Latvia (data since year 1891). Such an amount of daily precipitation in Latvia is recorded on average once every 20 years.

Annual average wind speed was the second slowest in the long term data row. The strongest wind during the entire year 2014 was brought to Latvia on 13 December by cyclone "Billie" - on the Baltic Sea coast wind gusts reached 35 m/s. Such a wind speed in gusts in Latvia is recorded on average once every 5 years.