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Records Tumbling.

PostPosted: 2014 Jan 30, 01:04
by IanCurrie
I have now recorded the wettest January on record for my area going back to records researched to at least the 1870s with every prospect of even more significant rain to come later on Friday. The rainfall for January has now reached 205mm and it is still raining as I write late on the 29th. This is also the wettest of any month I have recorded at my Coulsdon station in personal measurements since Sept 1979. A nearby station recorded 231.6mm in September 1968. The combined total so far of December and January at Coulsdon is now 404mm and this is going to rise given the weather situation before the end of the month and this is the largest combined Dec/Jan monthly total on record for the area. It is just 15 miles from central London.
This fall of rain is unprecedented and is a major weather event particularly as the Southeastern infrastructure is not really used to such large amounts of rain as say North Wales or the Lake District is and I do not think it is actually appreciated by the public at large and to a large extent the government just how unusual it is and the effects it is likely to produce for months to come. Remember the Southeast is normally one of the driest areas of the UK. It is on par with the 1987 Oct. storm, the 1976 Summer or the 1947 plus 1963 winters. Everything from destabilisation of surfaces causing landslips, wearing away of roads, massive upwellings of water with bourne flows due to enormous amounts of water now inexorably seeping into our rising aquifers. This is apart from all the surface flooding that has occurred and the enormous amount of wind damage that has taken place with fallen trees in part due to the very wet and unsupporting soils. Even the noticeable amount of moss growing on roofs and walls reflects the prolonged wetting that buildings are suffering with no real drying days since the first part of December but growth still occurring because of the mild weather. Virtually all of the rain has occurred since the 12th December so the percolation of water through the porous rocks such as chalk is only now beginning to show its hand. Other areas too are reflecting this enormous rainfall such as Dorset and Somerset with the Somerset Levels suffering a prolonged inundation. With the weather to come and the drainage through the porous Mendips continued flooding here and elsewhere will occur for some time.
We are also now heading for the wettest winter on record. There was a three month event that recorded 500mm between December 1st 1914 and 28th February 1915 in Surrey ( 359mm in London).There are no signs yet of any cessation to this remarkable weather so there is every prospect that this winter record will be broken ( we have all February to go yet) with very unsettled weather and windy conditions over the next 96 hours and well beyond.
Also this January has recorded more days with thunder heard (4) than any other January in my records. There has been little thunder in recent summers when most days of thunder are usually heard. It has been very mild, though Jan. 2007 and Jan. 2008 were milder.

Ian Currie-Coulsdon and Chipstead Valley.

Re: Records Tumbling.

PostPosted: 2014 Jan 30, 15:29
by Peter Walker
Annoyingly, my electronic rain gauge's rocker had become jammed by a small piece of twig which has led to a loss of data. Some rain was being measured - I would have noticed earlier otherwise - but I suspect that a fair bit has been missed. Having said that, I don't think we in Southend have been subject to the deluges further west. On 12th Jan a friend and I had a lovely day's cycling in mid-Essex, the second mild, sunny day that weekend. We stopped at the tea room at Paper Mill Lock, Little Baddow, and although the Chelmer was high, I have seen it higher on several occasions. Indeed, there are some lanes in that area which spent almost all of last winter under water but which, on 12/1/2014 were easily passable.