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Jersey tops sunshine charts in British Isles

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THE scores from around the nation are now in... and show that Jersey was once again the sunniest place in the British Isles in 2019.

Jumping for joy as the sun shines in St Brelade's Bay. Picture: DAVID FERGUSON (26969707)

With a total of 2,298 hours of sunshine measured at the weather station at Fort Regent, the Island was more than 200 hours ahead of the sunniest places in the UK.

The provisional average sunshine total for the whole of the UK in 2019 was 1,455 hours, which was 6% above the 1981–2010 average. Eastern areas fared best relative to this average, getting within the top ten sunniest years for some areas.

The three sunniest places in the UK in 2019 were East Malling and Manston, both in Kent, and Shoeburyness in Essex – all three locations recorded approximately 2,000 hours of sunshine.

Last year was the fourth-sunniest year on record in Jersey, and also saw a Caesarean win in the so-called ‘weather Muratti’, with Guernsey’s annual total of 1,875 hours of sunshine lagging more than 400 hours behind.

John Searson, principal meteorologist at Jersey Met, said the Island was typically sunnier than Guernsey, with an annual average of 1,986 hours of sunshine during the 30 years to 2010 against the Sarnian average of 1,868 hours.

‘Jersey’s location is tucked further into the Bay of St Malo, and with the wind flow being predominantly from the south-west that means greater protection is provided by the Brittany hills than is the case for Guernsey,’ he said.

Mr Searson added that Fort Regent was typically the sunniest of the three locations in Jersey where measurements are recorded, due to its elevated location on the south coast and far-reaching views to the horizon at both the beginning and end of the day.

Fort Regent achieved an average of just over an hour’s more sunshine each week in 2019 than Gorey, where a total of 2,240 hours were recorded. But there was gloom for proponents of the age-old ‘west is best’ argument, as Jersey Airport recorded only 1,781 hours of sunshine – even lower than Guernsey.

In 2011 there was a weather-related spat between Jersey and the Scilly Isles, with the archipelago off the coast of Cornwall disputing Jersey’s claim to be the warmest place in the British Isles. This marketing strap-line has since been changed from warmest to sunniest, but in any case Jersey was warmer in 2019, with a mean temperature (including each day’s maximum and minimum readings) in St Helier of 12.79°C, while the reading at St Mary’s Airport on the Scillies was 12.4°C.

A spokeswoman for the UK Met Office said sunshine was not officially measured for the Scilly Isles.

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