So long Winter, see you in nine months time

After the Winter we have witnessed here in the United Kingdom, I think most would welcome a human type gestation period of calm before the rebirth of a Winter anything like the one we’ve just witnessed. By way of example, just how wet was it? Here is the view from the UK Met Office. To add a personal perspective, here’s the Davis data for my locale from Berkshire in England.

December 2013 precipitation
December 2013 precipitation
January 2014 precipitation
January 2014 precipitation
February 2014 precipitation
February 2014 precipitation

When viewing the above charts, I have put in a false red line which shows in my view at least, the days you would normally describe as soakers, i.e. those producing 10mm or more, which is the equivalent of approximately 2/5ths of an inch. In actual Meteorological terms, a “wet” day is where precipitation exceeds 2mm and a “very wet” day is classed as a day on which 20mm is exceeded. So yes, you can safely say Winter 2013/14 has been wet in my patch with only 20 out of the 90 days registering as a day without precipitation*. However, it wasn’t necessarily my region which made the headlines. The attached link from the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) shows the devastating effects of the flooding from Somerset. On there you should be able to view other reports, complete with video clips, from other UK regions which were affected by the odd Winter weather. We should not forget that it was also very windy on occasions, although my own readings are lower than most, you can see from the attached images, where winds have exceeded the 38mph mark as indicated by my red line. This dates can be described as Gale days, although perhaps not strictly under Meteorological definition. Any wind gusts which exceed the green line shown would normally represent a windy day for my location, based on my own experiences of past events.

December 2013 Top Wind Gusts
December 2013 Top Wind Gusts
January 2014 Top Wind Gusts
January 2014 Top Wind Gusts
February 2014 Top Wind Gusts
February 2014 Top Wind Gusts

As for snow, well, Scotland nicked it all, this article again from the BBC being typical of highland Scotland’s Winter in 2013/14. For the rest of the British Isles, it had been a very poor one for those who wanted to see some wintry ice crystals, in fact I barely saw two days of sleet throughout the whole Winter. The Air Temperatures weren’t especially noteworthy with the mean for the Winter as a whole, somewhere around 1c above the long-term average, based on the 1981-2010 CET series. The lack of Air Frosts was notable for my location however, with only nine (9) being achieved in total and not all of these were before dawn due to my 24 hour reporting periods. As for the effect on the Natural World by way of phenology, more reports on that are forthcoming.

*only one dry day in January and this fell within a period of 33 days with only the one dry day in total

and

10 thoughts on “So long Winter, see you in nine months time

  1. So you all in Europe for all the warm temps and rain… We here in Illinois had -F temps and enough snow to feel like we were in an ice age! ⛄ I’m not sure of the accuracy of this, but I heard we got 80 inches so far this year here and there is still more in the forecast this week. 😬 I hope it melts slow and fills our aquifers. If it melts fast, hello flooding. Yuck.

    1. Hi MPG,

      Yes, so I hear, your story stateside was well illustrated in our news too. Whether this is “Climate Change” par se, (note I use Capital letters which indicates my view on this) we really need a longer usable dataset. Aside of all that, as each year goes by, the weather is playing havoc with our wildlife, our farming sector and more importantly our ecosystems are under constant assault, clearly we need to do something.

      Best Wishes

      Tony

  2. I think everyone will be glad to see the passing of this winter as most seem to have suffered in some way as a result of the extreme weather conditions. I think here in North Wales we shall be feeling the effects financially for years to come through Council Taxes to pay towards repairs and reinforcements of sea defenses! Hey ho …

    1. Yep, we’re entering a new world of weird weather I reckon and it will be interesting to view how the world’s wildlife copes with it, yet alone us humans of this good earth. Thanks for the like Theresa, much appreciated.

      Best Wishes

      Tony

    1. By way of farmers growing food for our tables, the same issues of the last few years will no doubt resurface I would imagine, as across the globe it has been most difficult and the general public as such wouldn’t be aware of this. I suppose we have it in our powers to adapt to this changing climate and we have the option of growing our own produce too.

  3. I was reading through some old notes, and this year has been very wet, this time last year I was putting out dormouse tubes in snow, this time in 2012 I was also getting rather wet (but not as much as this year), and in 2011 I was starting to do a few newt surveys in a T-Shirt because it was so mild. And now the weather is beautiful this week and extremely mild. So. Next year we have snow again? Who knows!

  4. Yes Rachel, sure is bizarre weather and from a broader perspective one which will only get weirder I believe. Which extreme will be facing next would be the most pertinent question that springs to mind. In fact, your good self and the rest of my readers might find the following collaboration of interest as shown by the following link.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2014/natural-england

    All the best and good luck for the new season of further fun and games.

    Tony

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s