By Paul Homewood
A quick recap on the weather this summer:
Mean temperatures across the UK were slightly above average, but well below the record years of 1976, 2003, 2006 and 2018.
Rainfall too was above average, but again well below the record years of 1879 and 1912. Moreover there is no evident long term trend.
With both temperatures and rainfall, it is year-to-year variability which dwarfs any slight trend.
There have been three days over 30C in the Central England Temperature series this summer (marked blue). The hottest day, 31st July, reached 33.2C, tying with top temperatures in 1976 and 1990.
But overall this summer’s heatwave did not match the sustained intensity of the summers of 1975, 1976 and 1995.
Given recent discussion about the impact of Storms Ellen and Francis in England particularly, it is worth looking at the rainfall figures for August:
Despite continued projections of “drier summers” by the Met Office, these never seem to materialise, particularly in August. However, the only really wet August recently was in 2004.
This is in stark contrast to the earlier part of the record when wet Augusts were commonplace.
Neither is it the case that heavy downpours are becoming more common in summer.
Storm Ellen and Francis brought 18.0 and 18.7mm peak daily rainfall across England and Wales. Neither were in any way exceptional, although the fact they were just days apart made their combined effect worse.
Across the summer as a whole, they appear even less significant. Since daily records began in 1931, there have been forty seven summer days with 18mm rain and more – effectively a biennial event on average.
Given the extremely wet summers seen regularly prior to 1931, it must be inevitable that much wetter days occurred then.
Finally, given talk about this year’s cereal harvest, perhaps we should take another look at what the Guardian had to say back in 2014:
Mild winters, early springs, hot sunny summers? All the things the Met Office have been promising!
Not much to worry about there then!
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September 7, 2020 at 07:54AM