Sunday, July 22, 2007

UK Floods and Weird Weather

Looking for some logic to the strange weather we have had in the UK (warmest May and wettest June on record) I found this from the MetOffice.

Record-breaking June rainfall figures

Provisional statistics from the Met Office have today shown that June has been the wettest since records began in 1914.

The UK-wide average figure of 134.5 mm has beaten the previous highest June total of 121.2 mm in 1980. Records for England and Northern Ireland have also been broken.

The month saw some extremely high daily rainfall totals, with 103.1 mm falling in the 24-hour period ending at 10 p.m. on 25 June in Fylingdales, North Yorkshire. At this stage, it is not possible to say whether intense rainfall events are caused by climate change.

However, there is an expectation of heavier extreme rainfall events in most places as climate warms and the atmosphere becomes moister.

Chief Scientist at the Met Office, John Mitchell said: "In the UK, extreme rainfall is likely to increase in winter, but in summer the predictions are unclear. Improved modelling and understanding in the future will help us to reduce this uncertainty for the UK."

Despite the large amounts of rain across many parts of the country, the average UK temperature has been above the long-term average. June 2007 had a mean temperature of 13.7 °C, while the long-term average is 12.6 °C.

The higher-than-normal mean UK temperature for June follows a trend that has become a regular feature over recent months. The last time mean UK temperatures were below average was in March 2006.

The Met Office works with government, the public and the private sector to forecast and advice on the possible consequences and risks of climate change. With the 'normal' baselines changing, we all need to seek advice to make informed planning decisions and begin to put in place adaptation measures to meet the challenges posed by climate change.


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