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Rhode Hill Gardens
|Data for year|
The site is located in East Devon, three kilometres north of the Cobb, Lyme Regis and four hundred metres west of the county border with Dorset.
Map reference is SY334944 at 113 metres above sea level.
The recording of rain falling on this site was originally begun in January 1994. But data gathered before 2000 is a little suspect and accordingly has been removed (see Accuracy of the Data below).
Following the convention, readings are not taken until 09:00 GMT (10:00 BST) on the day following that to which the data refers . This strange procedure originated when all readings were taken manually and it was not at all convenient to take the readings at midnight or 1 am in the summer. This practice does give rise to a certain amount of confusion. For instance in early October 2004 it was recorded that 44.5mm of rain fell on the 3rd. Most of this rain however occurred during the early morning of the 4th before the reading for the 3rd was taken and is therefore recorded for that day.
12 Month TotalFor the first time since recording rainfall at this site the amount of rain falling in any 12 month period has fallen below 800mm. This was achieved during the 12 months to 31st January 2005 with 794.9mm and further decreasing to 734.3mm. for the 12 months to 20th March 2005.
The trend to 'drier' conditions has continued with the 12 month rainfall dipping below 700 mm for the first time on 22 October 2011 at 691.8 mm. This was a fleeting visit soon returning to around 740 mm. No doubt 600 mm is just a matter of time.Click here to see A Rolling Chart of the yearly rainfall.
1st October 2012
Number of Wet Days in a YearDoes it really rain nearly every day! Take a look at this Chart showing the number of days on which it rained over the previous twelve months.
1st October 2012
Monthly AveragesWhat is the wettest month of the year?
Chart showing the average monthly rainfall since 2000.
home-made rain gauge , the accuracy of the data cannot be guaranteed. I made a slight modification to the home-made gauge at the end of 1999, for I was becoming concerned that the gauge in certain conditions was reading falsely. Following the modification I am confident that the data for the period from the beginning of the year 2000 until the change to the Met gauge on 16th May 2002 is reasonably accurate.
ClimateChange and Barbecue SummersIt is generally accepted that the British Isles will experience hotter and drier summers and wetter winters as climate change takes hold, but although my records only go back 15 years an opposite trend seems to be playing out regarding the summers.
Since 1994, when recording rainfall began at this site, I have noticed that the proportion of the annual rainfall that is recorded in the winter half of the year (January to March and October to December) has decreased. By dividing the winter rainfall by that of the summer I arrive at a factor which peaked out at 2.69 in 1995. The general trend is declining, dipping to 1.00 in 2008, with rainfall of 526.0 mm in the summer and 527.2 mm in the winter. This has been due to both an increase in summer rainfall and a decrease in winter rainfall. The increase in summer rainfall being mainly due to wetter Julys. These two trends are graphically illustrated in the following two charts (click for larger images)
The Met Office in a forecast for the summer of 2009 named it the "Barbecue Summer" and suggested that we would not have a repeat of the atrocious summers of 2007 and 2008. The 146 mm of rain recorded for July 2008 made it the wettest July since records began at this site in 1994. July 2009 took up this record with 166.2 mm. and now with 186.6 mm the record goes to July 2012.
Are we merely experiencing a run of freak summers or is it an indication that global warming is not happening?
Of course this is just a theory of someone with no education in the field of meteorology but I do fear that as global temperatures continue to increase very wet Julys will become, at least in the west of the country, the norm. Further with Atlantic temperatures in June and August warming to those now found in July these months will also become increasingly wet. But for the moisture ladden air to turn up on our coasts it still requires westerly winds associated with areas of depression. Recently - summer 2012 - we have been experiencing these in a continuous procession due we are told to the fact that the jet stream is far to the south of 'where it should be' in fact overhead instead of over Iceland. What has disrupted the positioning of the jet stream? You've got it for indeed it seems that the culprit once again is climate change.
The record for the driest calendar year since records began at this site held by 2010 has now passed to 2011.
The record driest 12 month period set in March 2005 has now fallen, by 42.5 mm, to the 12 month period to 22 October 2011 in which 691.8 mm of rain was recorded. See chart 12 Month Total
The summer months of June, July and August proved relatively dry with a total of 212.7 mm when compared with the summers of 2007,8 and 9.
2010 was the driest calendar year since records began at this site in 1994.
Although the driest 12 month period was that up to 20 March 2005 with a total of 734.3 mm. See chart 12 Month Total
Rainfall for the three summer months of June, July and August grouped closely with the two previous years, 10mm covering the spread with 284.7mm in 2007, 294.0mm in 2008 and 285.1mm in 2009.
Although June was the driest month of the year it was followed by the wettest month and a fairly wet August making the three summer months of June, July and August with 294 mm the wettest summer since 1997 - 9.3 mm wetter than the summer of 2007. It is interesting that 124.3 mm of July's rain fell in the first nine days of the month and this represented 42.3% of the "summer's" rainfall. August's rainfall was more evenly spread giving the impression of a wetter month.
2007 will be remembered for its particularly wet summer causing widespread flooding particularly of the Severn in Gloustershire. Except for 1997 the total of 284.7 mm for the three summer months of June, July and August was the wettest for this same period since records began at this site in 1994. The average for these three months since 2000 is 176 mm, this summer's rain was 61.8% above that.
The wet summer followed an exceptional dry April but a wet May
2006 was the second driest year since records began at this site in 1994. 2003 was drier by 12.4 mm.
The driest 12 month period ending within the year was that up to 8 November with a total of 770 mm. See chart 12 Month Total
February was the second driest February in the last twelve years.
The relatively dry spring put a stop to land slippage and work began on emergency measures to arrest the slippage east of the town.
Plans have in the last few months been agreed for the stabilization work to protect the Langmoor and Lister Gardens above Marine Parade. Of course the finished project is some years away.
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