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Extreme weather

Extreme weather in the UK

Examples of extreme weather events in the UK:

  • Drought - caused by a lack of rain.
  • Flash floods - caused by too much rain in a short period of time.
  • Strong winds and storms.
  • An extreme cold spell.
  • An extreme heat wave.

All of these have happened in the UK between 2000 and 2010:

A lack of rainfall leading to drought

  • During 2004-06 the UK received below average rainfall. This meant that reservoirs and groundwater supplies were not recharged with the water needed.

Flash flooding

Floods in Boscastle, north Cornwall

Emergency services on the scene of flooded village of Boscastle

  • Boscastle in Cornwall suffered a flash flood in August 2004. Nearly three times the average rainfall for the whole of August fell in just one day. The rain ran down the steep valley sides causing flooding in the village. The floodwater picked up cars and trees in its path.

Strong winds and storms

  • In January 2005 stormy weather brought havoc to roads in the North of England as lorries overturned. Power was also cut off in 80,000 homes. Winds of over 100 mph were recorded.

An extreme cold spell

  • In December 2010 much of the UK was under snow. Arctic air caused the temperatures to drop significantly below the average. At night temperatures of -10°C were not uncommon.

An extreme heat wave

  • In summer 2003 Europe suffered from an intense heat wave. In the UK the temperature of 38.5°C was the highest ever to be recorded.

Back to Weather and climate index

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