2012 on course to be in wettest top 10

Tuesday 4 December 2012, 15:21

Paul Hudson Paul Hudson

Only two thirds of average rainfall needs to fall across the UK in December for 2012 to end up in the top ten wettest years on record, according to Met Office data which was first collated over a hundred years ago in 1910.

Should this be the case, it would also mean that nearly half of the years since 1998 would be in the UK's top ten wettest years on record.

2000 (wettest), 2008, 2002, 1999, 1998, and if rainfall is sufficient, 2012, would all make it into the top 10.

1923, 1927 and 1928 are also in the top 10, illustrating that wet years do come in clusters, but the 1920's sequence is nothing like what we have experienced in recent years.

Such a rainfall sequence suggests that over and above any cyclical change to weather patterns that are naturally occurring, other factors are likely to be at work, fuelling suspicions that climate change is playing its part.

November was another wet month.

Across England and Wales, rainfall was 128 per cent of the 1981-2010 average, making it the 8th successive month with above average rainfall.

And in the last 100 years only 20 Novembers had more rainfall, despite the fact it was only the wettest since 2009.

The continued positioning of the jet stream further south than normal is responsible for the very wet weather.

Current computer projections suggest that December is unlikely to be another washout month dominated by the Atlantic.

Although more rain (or snow) is expected at times, high pressure is likely to exert much more of an influence than in recent months, leading overall to colder but somewhat drier conditions to develop.

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    Comment number 1.

    "Current computer projections suggest that December is unlikely to be another washout month dominated by the Atlantic. "

    Yup, Met talking about a "Sudden Stratospheric Warming" disrupting westerlies:-

    "For the UK in winter, that means a disruption to the westerly flow that usually brings mild air from the Atlantic and there is a potential to allow easterly winds to take hold, bringing in cold air from the continent."

    Full post:-

    "Cold weather clue in upper atmosphere"

    http://metofficenews.wordpress.com/

  • rate this
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    Comment number 2.

    Some people perform better in cold conditions, i always feel Christa stands out when it gets nippy.
    Bring on the snow...

  • rate this
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    Comment number 3.

    Paul I can remember the weather men going on about the drought conditions in spring, that it would take years to recover from it, even if we were deluged by rain. It was suggested that the weather had been too dry the last few years. Watch out for the cold and snow to throw even more scorn on predictions of man made global warming. Happy white Christmas Tim.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 4.

    Interesting post Mr Hudson, but it would have been nice to see some numbers or a graph alongside a statement like "but the 1920's sequence is nothing like what we have experienced in recent years."
    As it stands, it's difficult to get a grasp on the relative difference which leads you to say "suggests that over and above any cyclical change to weather patterns that are naturally occurring"

  • rate this
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    Comment number 5.

    4. lateintheday wrote:

    "... it would have been nice to see some numbers or a graph alongside a statement like "but the 1920's sequence is nothing like what we have experienced in recent years."

    Yes, I thought that was a slightly odd comment.

    You can download the UK precipitation data from here and work out your own graphs, LitD: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/datasets/

    The current period, in terms of both the last ten years and the decade 2001-2010 was wetter than the 1920s in the UK, but only by a few mm per year on average.

    Not sure if that warrants the term "nothing like we've experienced"? It's pretty close.

    Perhaps Paul was referring to some other aspect of it that we've overlooked?

 

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Hello, I’m Paul Hudson, weather presenter and climate correspondent for BBC Look North in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. 

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I worked as a forecaster with the Met Office for nearly 15 years locally and at the international unit, after graduating with first class honours in Geophysics and Planetary physics at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1992. I then joined the BBC in October 2007, where I divide my time between forecasting and reporting on stories about climate change and its implications for people's everyday lives.

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