No, you did not imagine it, it has been miserable for far too long so I haven't ventured out much. This is partly the reason for my lack of posts, alongside a busier working life. More news to come, honest!
Posted in news, Scientific, weather
Tagged April, climate, climate change, cool, England, environment, Environment Agency, Met Office, meteorology, naturestimeline, news, Rain, showers, spring, united kingdom, weather
Today has been a mix of wet snowflakes and cold sleety rain. Temperatures, which had been falling earlier, are now on the rise, so I am somewhat glad to be indoors.
Now that the official winter climate statistics are in, it is time to have a look back at how the season fared. This is achievable courtesy of this link – here. My figures tie in nicely with the actual C.E.T. Temperatures, with my anomaly being approximately 0.6C above average. The rainfall figures continue to show their undeniably downward trend, with a deficit of 43mm or so. According to my figures, we have received only 73% of the average precipitation across the winter season with 82% officially reported for England as a whole. After the warmth and dryness of autumn, I do hope spring brings us much-needed rainfall. With plans locally for yet more urban development (many thousands of new houses), our natural ecosystems will face damage beyond recognition.
On a lighter note, the spring equinox, is approaching fast and migrant birds are on the move. I like to track this phenomenon online and there are many ways to do so. A website that I would highly recommend is The Gibraltar Ornithological and Natural History Society. The aforementioned website can be an excellent resource for tracking the incoming and outgoing African migrants due to its global position. In addition, from a UK perspective, I use reports from birdguides and it is from here, that I will quote a few recent highlights.
Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica) have possibly overwintered in the UK once again, with more recent coming from Cork and East Sussex.
Sand Martins (Riparia riparia) are being quite widely reported in low numbers. Yorkshire, Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Manchester and Pembrokeshire, has reported this species so far.
Reports of Stone-curlews (Burhinus oedicnemus) received from Devon and West Sussex and a Hoopoe (Upupa epops) from Nottinghamshire are interesting. I am also aware of two reports of Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus), one being in January from West Yorkshire and a February sighting from Gloucestershire.
I suspect there are other tales of interesting sightings and it shows the build up to migration changeover is gathering pace.
Posted in birding, Environmental, my calendar, news, weather
Tagged Barn Swallow, Bird migration, climate, climate change, Ecosystems, England, environment, Equinox, Hoopoe, Ornithology, Osprey, Planning Regulations, Politics, Rain, Sand Martin, seasons, Snow, Stone-curlew, united kingdom, weather
So the UK's winter is finally set to bite. Will I be getting snow or cold rain, come the weekend? Some answers to this being above, courtesy of the professionals.
The year 2012 is upon us and the UK’s climate is continuing with its bizarre approach. Today, the 3rd January has seen 54mph gusts at my sheltered location and winds in excess of 100mph in other parts. Christmas Day and New Years Eve and New Years Day all possessed temperatures 3 to 4c above normal.
So, what of this new era, how is nature coping with the upheaval?
One thing for sure, the phenological indicators are keeping me on my toes.
Firstly, Winter Aconite (illustrated below) has bloomed in my garden at its earliest date on record, the 27th December. The range, being represented by 12 personal records is from 27th December right through to 24th January.
Winter Aconite -Eranthis hyemalis.
Known as choirboys in Suffolk and more commonly as wolfs bane, Winter Aconite is a member of the Buttercup family. It is a tough plant, being tolerant of frost, snow and ice. The harshest winters bring about the best show of this beautiful flower. It will bloom all the way into March in most years. Although a popular ornamental plant, it is known to be poisonous. Occasionally planted alongside Snowdrops and other early bloomers, they are a joy to behold on a crisp sunny winters day. I know of a wonderful display under a canopy of deciduous trees near Andover in Hampshire, England. I will be visiting there in a couple of week’s time to see how the Aconites are progressing.
More phenology will be forthcoming, people.
Posted in Environmental, my calendar, news, phenology
Tagged climate change, England, flowers, gardening, gardens, nature, naturestimeline, phenology, weather, winter aconite
A weather related post again from me.
Here’s the latest advice for the upcoming working week, from those in the know, in the world of meteorology.
Wild Week Ahead – Latest Weather News – Netweather.tv.
Enough said and confidence is very high as its been on the weather forecasts since Friday Night.
Welcome to winter, well only in terms of the meteorological calendar, is it winter. Confused, see the winter solstice pages here.
So on reflection, what was meteorological Autumn like, well when looking back at my weather station, you can clearly see the UK (at least the southern part) was both, exceptionally mild and dry. The figures in the red boxes show consecutively warmer months, with November notably warmer than average. The figures in the blue boxes show the worrying rainfall deficit, each month, being well below normal.
- Looking back at Autumn
Actually, if December was to become even a normal month, in terms of precipitation, i.e. with 64.7mm falling from the skies from this point on. The deficit would still be, well over 100mm (4 inches) in old money. It would be depressing times indeed, if this were to continue, furthermore the official forecasts I’ve seen, suggest it will. Into 2012 and beyond, there is likely to be a desperate need for water in Southern England, because bizarrely, the current government wishes to reinvigorate our economy, by creating yet more urban development. This part of the country is already under strain in terms of its population, a crude estimate of 25 million, with 12-14 million in the London area alone. Sadly, in my opinion, the first thing requiring reinvigorating is the rainfall. Statistically, the trend of decreasing rainfall down south has been continuing for many a recent year. However, much further north, the reality is most certainly different.
This is most definitely, a cause for debate.