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New analysis suggests that the number of UK weather records has increased markedly in recent years.

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  • It’s a feeling that many meteorologists like myself have had for some time, that breaking weather records seems to be becoming more and more common.

    I’ve not had anything to back this up other than a gut feeling, but new analysis by the Met Office suggests that the number of weather records being established across the UK is indeed increasing.

    The article in this month’s Royal Meteorological Society magazine Weather primarily looks at the modern data set which extends back to 1910.

    The work uses a scoring system to give more weight to the more significant records.

    The main findings are quite striking:

    TEMPERATURE RECORDS

    Since 2000, there have been 10 times as many hot records (204) as cold records (20)

    The period since 2000 accounts for two thirds of all hot record scores; but only 3% of the cold record scores.

    70% of the cold record scores are in three decades; 1910s, 1920s and 1960s

    These hot records are replicated in the CET data set too, which dates back to 1659.

    RAINFALL RECORDS

    Since 2000 there have been 10 times as many wet records (106) as dry records (11)

    The period since 2000 accounts for 45% of all wet record scores.

    The 1910s also saw a clustering of wet records.

    By…

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  • Provisional figures released by the Met Office indicate that 2014 could become both the warmest year on record globally and across the UK.

    Across the UK, 2014 is currently the warmest on record, although there are still five weeks of data to come and a significantly colder December may change that. This is based on the modern temperature data set which began in 1910.

    The much more important CET (Central England Temperature) data set – the longest such dataset in the world which began in 1659 – shows that Jan to Nov 2014 is the warmest such period on record.

    Already, global temperatures, based on the Met Office and the University of East Anglia’s data (HADCRUT4), are fractionally ahead of the current global record set in 2010. This global data set dates back to 1850.

    Much of the world has been warmer than average in 2014, with the main exception being parts of North America.

    And according to new research from the Met Office, the current elevated level of global temperatures is highly unlikely in a world without man-made carbon dioxide.

    Moreover, the research shows that human influence has made breaking the current UK temperature record around 10 times more likely.

    In the years…

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  • Provisional figures released by the Met Office show that autumn has been the 3rd warmest on record across the UK in data that started in 1910.

    The three warmest autumns on record have all occurred in the last few years, with 2014 behind 2006 and 2011.

    Rainfall has been close to average for the season, with wet conditions in October and November making up for the record dry weather of September.

    November itself across the UK is so far the fourth warmest on record.

    Based on the Central England Temperature (CET) measure, which dates back to 1659, it seems likely that 2014 will end up in the top three warmest years on record.

    With NOAA reporting that the first ten months of the year globally were the warmest such period on record, 2014 is turning into an exceptionally warm year both in the UK and globally and across the world.

    END

  • Ex-Hurricane Gonzalo will bring some stormy weather to the UK in the next 24 hours.

    The first stormy weather of the season will hit the UK in the next 24 hours, courtesy of Ex-Hurricane Gonzalo.

    Thankfully Gonzalo has weakened considerably since it battered Bermuda with 127mph winds a few days ago - thanks in part to the cold waters of the Atlantic.

    That said, it is still a potent area of low pressure, with lots of high energy air within its circulation.

    Current indications suggest, for Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, gusts generally in the range 50-60mph, but locally around 70mph in the most…

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  • Hurricane Gonzalo

    News reports of Hurricane Gonzalo strengthening in the Atlantic reminded me just how quiet the hurricane season has been, for the second year running.

    In an average season, which runs from June to November, there should be around 12 storms, 9 of which would develop into hurricanes.

    But Gonzalo is only the 7th named storm of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season – which yesterday was upgraded to the season's 6th hurricane.

    Meteorologists had been expecting this season to be quiet.

    But last year – contrary to predictions – was also very quiet, with the fewest number of…

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  • Autumn is expected to arrive this weekend, with heavy rain and strong winds across all parts of the country on Friday night and into Saturday morning.

    Although the weather pattern bringing the wind and rain is normal for early October, it will feel very different from the glorious conditions of September.

    According to provisional Met Office figures, September across the UK was the driest and fourth warmest (based on the mean temperature) September in modern day records, going back to 1910.

    September was also the driest calendar month since August 1995.

    It continues a run of remarkable…

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  • El Nino

    This year I’ve written regularly about the possibility of an El Nino event, the name given to describe an upwelling of warmer than average water in the Equatorial Pacific.

    The implications of such an event on our climate are felt around the world, as I describe here.

    But over the last few months talk of a ‘super El Nino’ similar to the one which propelled global temperatures to a record high in 1998, have receded.

    And where-as back in June, the ECMWF model put the probability of an El Nino at a bullish 90%, the latest guidance from NOAA is for a 60-65% chance of an El Nino…

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  • Driest first half of September for over 50 years

    Figures released by the Met Office have confirmed how exceptionally dry the first half of September has been.

    With high pressure dominating for virtually the whole of the month so far, rainfall across the UK has totalled just 6.7mm.

    This makes it the driest first half of September since records began in 1960 and is just 7% of the monthly average of 96mm.

    It has also been warmer than average, with the UK mean temperature 1.3C above normal.

    And there’s little change expected, with high pressure forecast to remain with us well into next…

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  • High pressure is expected to dominate our weather for some time to come, allowing fine weather to continue across the country.

    An area of low pressure which brought a temporary spell of unsettled weather to parts of Northern Britain for a time this weekend is now in the North Sea, allowing pressure to rise once more.

    At first there should be plenty of sunshine, but cloud amounts may generally increase later in the week, especially in eastern areas, with the best of the sunny breaks by then in the west.

    Temperatures by day will be close to, or a little above, normal but at night there’s…

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  • Provisional figures released by the Met Office show August was the coolest since 1993.

    This brings an abrupt end to a run of warmer than average months which began in December last year.

    It was also a wet month, with around 142% of average rainfall across the UK, but amounts of sunshine were close to normal.

    Following a warm June (equal 9th warmest since 1910), and a warm July (equal 8th warmest since 1910), the cool August means that summer as a whole was very close to average, with mean temperatures just 0.5C above normal and average rainfall.

    Early September, in contrast to August, is…

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