Weather or Not



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

June, July and August

I am back from my northern travels having had a very successful holiday. The last three months have gone by so quickly and the days are already shorter.

I will start by looking at the 1st of June. The morning was dry, warm, bright sun and 4/8ths cloud cover, the overnight temperature of 9.7 Deg C climbed to 26.8 Deg C by 1700hrs, making it the highest temperature of the year so far. The wind was very gentle from the west and reached a maximum of 9 mph. The barometer was falling during the day to 1010.3mbars at 1700hrs and climbed to 1011.2 by 2300hrs.before starting to fall again. The sun managed to shine for 8.37 hours.

Looking at the whole of June, top temperature was on the 1st at 26.8 Deg C [average 27.24 Deg C] with the lowest on the 4th at 5.1 Deg C [average 6.76 Deg C]. The highest wind speed on the 11th was

21.4 mph [average 30.20mph] from the SSW. The wind chill lowest temperature was 5.4 Deg C on the 4th [average 6.62 Deg C]. The wettest day was on the 28th with 8.0mm. Total for the month 25.2mm. [average 78.83mm] with a total for the year by the end of the month at 541.0mm. The barometer was highest on the 12th at 1027.6mbars. and lowest on the 20th at 1006.0mbars. The sunniest day was the 1st with 8.37 hours and total for the month 172.77 hours [average 171.19hours]. Humidity reached a high of 94% at 0700hrs. on the 30th and a low of 39% at 1700hrs.on the 1st.

The July information available is only that automatically recorded as I was away on holiday. I also had technical problems with the wind speeds recorded so those marked with * may be unreliable.

The summary for the month starting with the maximum temperature of 30.2 Deg C at 1300hrs. on the 22nd [average 27.74 Deg C] and a low of 9.3 Deg C at 0500hrs. on the 2nd [average 8.88 Deg C]. The maximum wind speed was 25.2mph* at 0100hrs on the 29th from the SSW [average 29.12mph]. The lowest wind chill was 9.5 Deg C at 0600hrs. on the 2nd [average 8.4 Deg C]. The wettest day was the 4th with 12.6mm and a total for the month of 79.2mm [average 91.03 mm]. Total rainfall for the year so far 620.2mm. The barometer ranged from a high on the 17th at 0900hrs of 1028.7mbars and a low on the 30th at 0530hrs. at 990.8mbars. The sunniest day was the 16th with 8.16 hours and a total for the month of 166.18 hours [average 174.29 hours]. On the 2nd, 16th and 18th, the humidity was 95% and a low on the 21st of 48%.

The 1st August started overcast and damp with full cloud cover and an overnight low temperature of 13.4 Deg C at 0230hrs. During the day we had a couple of light showers [total 0.4mm] and by 1700hrs the temperature was 18.2 Deg C. The wind was mainly light from the SSW before going into the NNE in the afternoon. The barometer reached 1014.9mbars by 1400hrs before starting to fall. The sun managed to shine for 5.1 hours.

Looking at the rest of August the highest temperature was 23.3 Deg C on the 14th [average 26.8 Deg C] and the lowest was 7.6 Deg C on the 27th [average 8.94 Deg C]. The maximum wind speed was on the 13th at 27mph from the south [average 29.86 mph]. The lowest wind chill factor was on the 27th at 7.9 Deg C [average 8.16 Deg C]. The wettest day was the 5th with 12.8mm of rain which was more than a third of the month's total of 34.8mm [average 101.8mm]. This made it the second lowest rainfall for August in my records; in 1995 we only had 11mm. From the 22nd to the end of August we had no measurable precipitation. Total rainfall for 2021 so far is 655.0mm.

In the early part of the month the barometer was mainly low; on the 7th it was 993.3mbars after which it was mainly on the high side with highest reading right at the end of the month at 2359hrs on the 31st at 1031.0mbars rising. The sun was in hiding, as we only had a total of 134.07 hours with the best day being the 10th with 7.71hours [average 165.50]. The humidity ranged between 61% and 95% on many occasions during the month.




Puffins on Berneray, Barra Head, Hebrides

As I complete this article we are enjoying a lovely sunny evenings, long may it continue.

I wish you all a safe and happy Autumn.

Simon

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Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

May

I am sure you have noticed this report is for May only. I shall be away before the end of June and not back in time to write up the June weather before the copy goes to the printer.

What a massive change from April's weather as we moved into May! The first day started off with 4/8ths cloud cover, dry, bright sun and a slight ground frost, the temperature climbed to 11.6˚C by 1700hrs. The wind was gentle from the NNE with a maximum gust of 10mph. The barometer was reading 1016.3mbars and rising, the sun managed to shine for 5.35hrs. and no rain in the gauge.

The weather continued cold until the 8th with over double the total rainfall for the whole of April and the temperatures were disappointing. On the 3rd we had a gale from the SSW [top gust 42mph] and the barometer fell to 998.1mbars. On the 8th we had a very wet day - the wettest day of the year - with 43.4mm in the gauge. This was over seven times the total for all of April! This pattern continued through to the 26th before more summer-like weather started, with little rain and the mercury higher in the thermometer. All this poor weather did not go down well with us gardeners, it was a struggle for our tender plants and the nesting birds trying to stay warm and find natural food.



Illustrated by: Peter Rothwell

Looking at the figures for the month. The total rainfall was 194.8mm [average 71.36mm] the highest May on my records, the next nearest was in 2002 at 156.0mm. Total for the year so far 515.8mm. I notice that for last year for the same period we had 515.6mm, so nature has compensated for the dry April. The temperatures were low most of the month, the 1st being the lowest at 0.8˚C [average 3.55˚C] and the 31st the warmest at 24.6˚C [average 25.25˚C]. The top wind speed was on the 3rd at 42mph (average 33.06mph) and wind chill on the 1st 1.1˚C [average 1.14˚C]. The barometer was predominantly low, deepest depression was 992.1mbars which arrived on the 10th and the highest was on the 29th at 1027.6mbars. Sunshine was in short supply with the best day on the 26th, shining for 8.81hrs. Total for the month was 136.40 hrs [average 165.77 hrs]. Humidity was high most of the month, on the 14th and 26th at 95% and lowest at 1700hrs on the 31st at 45%.

I hope things improve as we could all do with a nice summer to cheer us up.

I shall report the weather for June, July and August in the next Newsletter. I hope you all enjoy the rest of the summer. Take care.

Simon

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Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

March and April

How quickly two months go by, particularly with the lovely dry sunny weather we have enjoyed this April.

The first day of March started off with 4/8ths cloud cover, dry and a hint of ground frost on the lawns before reaching 10.6˚C by 1400hrs. The wind was gentle [max 11mph] from the North with no rain; the barometer was reading 1032.3mbars falling slowly and the sun managed to shine for 4.18 hours.

This pattern continued until the 10th when the temperature went up and the rain came down depositing 24.2mm which turned out to be the wettest day of the month. On the twelfth we had hail and thunder overnight. The weather continued to be very mixed until it improved for the last three days.

Looking at the figures, the maximum temperature was 22.8˚C on the 30th [average 16.92˚C] and a low on the 6th of -3.1˚C [average -1.01˚C]. The maximum wind speed was 45mph from the SSW on the 10th [average 37.21mph] and the wind chill factor was lowest on the 6th at -2.9˚C [average -5.2˚C]. Total rainfall for the month was 66.4mm [average 86.13mm]. The barometer reached a high of 1036.4mbars on the 17th and a low of 991.6mbars on the 11th. Total sunshine hours were 86.82 [average 89.77] and the sunniest day was the 24th with 5.83 hours. Humidity ranged between 95% on the 17th and 42% on the 30th. Looking at the month, we did see the temperatures went well outside the averages.

April started with 7/8ths thin cloud and dry. The temperature was only 7.5˚C at 0700hrs and rose to 15.7˚C by 1500hrs. Maximum wind speed 14mph from the NNW and no rain in the gauge. The barometer started off at 1018.7mbars and rose steadily to 1026.3mbars by the end of the day, the total sunshine for the day was 6.38 hours.

The rest of April continued to be quite cool with early morning light frost on eleven occasions. The minimum temperature was -0.80˚C on the 16th [average 0.68˚C] and the highest was on the 23rd at 20.00˚C [average 20.54˚C]. The wind was generally light with the highest speed on the 2nd at 21mph from the North [average 32.74mph] although the winds were light it felt nippy if you were outside early in the mornings; on the 16th the wind chill factor was -0.5˚C [average 0.68˚C]. The month was extremely dry with only 6 days of recorded precipitation, the wettest day was the 28th with 3.2mm Total rainfall for the month was 6.0mm [average 68.34mm].


Morning Sunshine on Lee Hills - Photo: Simon Kemp

Looking back through my records, this was the driest month since my records started in 1994; the nearest was April 2007 when we had 7.0mm. Total rain so far for the year 321.0 mm. The barometer was mainly high [this is above 1013.25mbars] reaching a high of 1033.7mbars on the 3rd and the 11th, lowest on the 28th at 1004.8mbars. The sun worked overtime through the month with the sunniest day on the 22nd 7.54 hours and a total for the month 165.45 hours (average 138.40) Humidity ranged from a high on the 13th & 14th of 93% and a low of 28% on the 23rd.

I hope we have a good summer where we can enjoy the easing of lock down, whether on holiday or at home. By the time you read this article, glow worms [Lampyris Noctiluca] should be active? I have not seen any in this area for several years, they were a regular sighting around the village 30 or 40 years ago, where have they all gone?

Simon

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Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

January and February

Welcome to the first weather report for 2021. January started off with quite a change to cooler brighter weather. On the first it was bright, dry and frosty with half cloud cover, at 0400hrs the temperature was -1.8˚C and only made 5.3˚C by 2100hrs. The wind was gentle from the North, and at lunch time we had a light shower which started the rain gauge off for the year with 1mm. The barometer was reading 1009.7mbars as the New Year arrived and was rising throughout the day. The sun did not manage to shine on the Sterridge all day. Please remember the hours recorded here in the Valley at this time of the year may be reduced due to the sunlight being screened by the surrounding hills and trees.

Looking over the month the warmest days were the 19th and 20th at 11.5˚C [average high 12.54˚C] which was when storm Christoph arrived; the coldest days were the7th and 25th at -1.9˚C [average low -2.27˚C]. The winds were generally light and only reached 33mph [average 41.62mph] from the South on the 29th. I recorded the lowest wind chill of -1.9˚C on the 7th and 25th [average -3.76˚C.] The rainfall total for the month was 163.4mm [average 143.55mm], the wettest day was the 19th with 19.4mm in the gauge. We also had three days when it snowed although it was only light, but on the 22nd I did manage to take this photo before it melted.


 

The barometric pressure varied with a high of 1030.7mbars on the 15th and a low on the 20th at 974.9mbars. Sunshine was in short supply with the best day on the 29th at1.53 hours and a total of 8.23 hours for the month [average14.12 hours] Humidity was generally high around the 96% but did fall to 73% on the 5th.

The first of February started off dull with 8/8 low cloud cover. The temperature ranged between 3.9˚C and 8.0˚C. The wind was light from the South with a top gust of 10 mph. Lowest wind chill was 3.9˚C. We had 6.0mm of rain and the barometer was rising from 990.0mbars. to 998.5mbars. by 1500hrs before starting to fall. The sun only shone for 0.99 hour.

Looking at the month, the warmest day was on the 24th with a top temperature of 14.1˚C [average 13.05˚C], the mercury fell to -3.1˚C on 11th [average -2.03˚C]. The maximum wind speed was 37mph [average 40.33mph] on the 23rd from the SSW. The lowest wind chill was on the 11th at -2.8˚C [average -4.3˚C]. The wettest day was on the 14th when 10.4mm fell, total for the month was 85.2mm [average 119.0mm] and for this year 248.6mm. The barometer ranged from a low on the 2nd of 989.7mbars. to a high on the 27th of 1042.3mbars. Sunshine hours were much better than January at 38.88 [average 43.23hours]. Humidity was generally high at 95% on many days but was only 56% at 1800hrs on the 12th. On the 7th we had storm Darcy [named by the UK Met Office] arrive but it did not produce anything out of the ordinary apart from a few snow flurries. Scotland and the North took the brunt with very low temperatures and plenty of snow.

It is nice to see the first signs of Spring showing and the sunshine makes the daffodils look outstanding. I hope the spring weather stays good so we can get out into our gardens and take our minds off the lockdown as it continues.

Take care and stay safe. Simon

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Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

November and December

I am not sorry to say goodbye to 2020, it will certainly go down as a very different year for all of us, perhaps we will start to see an improvement in 2021 as the vaccination programme rolls out. Despite the restrictions I do hope you all managed to enjoy Christmas and New Year.

Beginning with the 1st of November, we were saying goodbye to storm Aiden, the first named storm of the season and waiting for the remnants of ex-hurricane Zeta to arrive. The day started with total cloud cover and drizzle, sunshine was in short supply with zero hours, the lowest temperature during the day was 10.4˚C and went up to 17.2˚C, which turned out to be the highest of the month [lowest temperature was on the 27th -0.6˚C], 4.6mm of rain and a maximum wind speed of 35mph from the SSW. On the 2nd and 3rd we felt most of Zeta with the highest wind speed of the month on the 2nd at 39mph [average 37.24mph] from the SSW and the second wettest day of the month on the 3rd with 16.8mm of rain, [the wettest day was on the 9th with 17.4mm]. Total rain for the month was 124.9mm [average 156.93mm], the sunniest day was on the 4th with 3.13 hours and a total for November of 22.40 hours [average 21.97 hours]. The barometer ranged between 1040.1mbars exactly on midnight the 4th and 990.1mbars at 0500hrs. on the 15th. Humidity varied from the lowest at 1900hrs on the 2nd at 71% and 97% at 1000hrs on the 30th. The lowest wind chill was on the 27th at -0.3˚C [average -2.43˚C].

December started off with a brighter but cooler and dry day, a light breeze from the NNE. The temperature ranged between 4.8˚C and 9.2˚C. The barometer was 1029.1mbars, falling slowly and the sun managed to shine for 14 minutes. During the rest of a very dull month the top temperature was 13.3˚C on the 18th [average 13.26˚C] and lowest on the last day at -1.7˚C [average -2.08˚C]. The strongest wind on the 26th was 48mph [average 38.94mph] from the SSW. The wettest day was on 18th with 22.6mm and the total for the month was 173.00mm [average 165.31mm]. The barometer remained low apart from two days when it reached 1029.1mbars on the 1st and 1034.8mbars on the 25th, the lowest was on the 28th at 0659hrs 968.6mbars and the second lowest recorded was on the 21st December 2019 at 967.7mbars. This record only goes back to 2016 when a quicker way of reference became available in my system. Humidity ranged from 95% on many days but was lowest briefly on the 24th at 71%.

Looking back over 2020, here are the highs and lows.

Rainfall

Day: Surprisingly, 10th June 37.8mm

Month: February 210.4mm

Year Total: 1377.4mm, close to the average of 1379.65mm.

Temperature

Highest: 25th June 29.9˚C.

Lowest: 24th March -1.9˚C

Lowest Wind Chill: 26th March -3.6˚C

Wind Speed

Highest Gust 16th February 57.08mph. Direction: SSW. [Yearly average 35.64mph]

Sunshine

Sunniest Month: May 185.58 hours

Least Sunny: December 4.09 hours.

Pressure

High: 20th January 1049.7mbars.

Low: 28th December 968.6mbars.

Humidity

High: 1000hrs 29th September 98%.

Low:1800hrs 29th May 30%.

 

Seals enjoying the July midday sun, Seal Rock, Lundy North End


Take care and all the best for 2021.

Simon

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Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

September and October

Here we go again as the days shorten and we have the dark nights to contend with and probably some not so good weather.

September was a much better month than August. On the 1st it was a bright, sunny day with only partial cloud cover and a light wind from the SSW [maximum gust 12mph]. The temperature early in the morning was only 7.7˚C but with the sun it soon warmed up reaching 19.9˚C by 1400 hrs. The day was dry and the sun shone for 5.76 hours, the barometer was tending to fall slowly and this continued until 0500 hrs. on the 3rd when it was reading 1013.4mbars.

I went out to the Isles of Scilly on the 9th enjoying my first break of the year and the weather was lovely. Looking at my records, North Devon was having similar weather with very little rain and a maximum temperature on the 14th of 28.4˚C [average 23.87˚C]. This was the highest September temperature I have recorded with the next nearest in 2000 at 26.3˚C, the lowest temperature was on the 28th at 6.2˚C [average 6.70˚C]. The highest gust of wind was on the 18th at 31mph. from the North [average 29.79mph], lowest wind chill was 6.3˚C on the 28th [average 6.53˚C]. The wettest day was the 24th when 22.4mm fell; total rain for the month was 76.4mm [average 99.37mm]. The highest barometer reading was exactly midnight 9th/10th at 1026.5mbars. and lowest on the 24th at 989.5mbars. The total sunshine hours were 108.34 [average 123.10 hrs]. Outside humidity ranged between 48% on the 14th and 94% on the 22nd.

October lived up to its reputation of being a miserable month. The first day was mainly dull, with 5mm of rain, a minimum temperature of 5.7˚C and a top of 13.7˚C. The wind was in the WSW with a maximum speed of 16mph. The barometer started the month at 1001.3mbars falling and by 0100hrs on the 2nd had fallen to 983.7mbars. This was part of the storm named Alex and was the lowest pressure for the month, the highest was on the 11th at 1028.2mbars. Total sunshine on the 1st was only 2.73 hours. During the rest of the month the top temperature was on the 20th at 16.1˚C [average 19.87˚C] and the lowest on 16th 4.2˚C [average 3.09˚C]. The maximum wind was on the 31st at 33mph [average 37.09mph]. The lowest wind chill factor on the 16th was 4.5˚C [average 0.55˚C]. The rain was never far away with the wettest day on the 2nd with 26.6mm. Total rain for the month was 182.1mm [average 158.85mm] and the total so far this year 1079.4mm. Outside humidity ranged between 70% on the 14th and 96% on the 5th. The sunniest day was on the 11th with 4.16 hours, total for the month was 42.42 hours [average 64.77].

November has started off very lively and now we have a new Covid -19 lock down ahead of us. I think dodging the rain and Covid may well keep us on our toes?

The next time I write it will be in the New Year so I should like to take the opportunity of wishing you all a Very Happy and Safe Christmas and hopefully we will have some better news on Covid for 2021.

Simon


Illustrated by: Peter Rothwell

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Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

July and August

July carried on this summer's changeable weather pattern. On the 1st at 0700 hrs we had total cloud cover, drizzle, dull with a fresh breeze, maximum wind speed of 22mph from the SSW. The temperature ranged between 13.5°C and 16.9°C. A total of 1.6mm of rain and the barometer was reading a low of 1003.4 mbars. at 0500hrs. The highest humidity of the day was 93% at 0700hrs and lowest 76% at 1700hrs.

Looking at the rest of July, the highest wind speed was 38mph [average 28mph] from the SSW on the 3rd which is the highest I have in my records for July. The maximum temperature was on the 30th at 26.6°C [average 26.76°C] and a minimum on the 20th at 6.9°C, the same as last year and low for July [average 8.62°C]. The wettest day was the 3rd with 20mm and the total for the month was 74.6mm [average 88.27mm]. Total for the year up to the end of the month was 720.4mm. The barometric pressure ranged from a high on the 11th at 1028.7mbars to a low on the 27th of 1001.2 mbars. Humidity reached 95% on several days and the lowest 54% at 1900hrs.on the 30th. The lowest wind chill factor was 7.2°C [average 6.92°C] at 0530hrs. on the 20th. Judie kindly continues to provide me with the approximate sunshine hours which totalled 149.30 [average166.00] the sunniest day was the 22nd with 8.25hours.

August 1st started with light showers overnight and at 0700hrs we had 6/8ths cloud cover. Maximum wind speed of 18mph from the SSW. The temperature ranged between 13.0°C and 19.4°C. A total of 3.6mm of rain and the barometer was reading a high of 1018.3mbars at 2300hrs. Humidity ranged between 94% at 0700hrs and 69% at 1500hrs.

Looking at the rest of August starting with the maximum wind speed on the 25th by courtesy of storm Francis 52mph [average 27.93mph] from the SSW. This is the highest August wind speed in my records with the next nearest in 2008 at 33.4mph. It also stripped the leaves and remaining flowers off my runner and French beans! The highest temperature was on the 12th at 27.9°C [average 25.77°C] and lowest on the 31st at 7.6°C [average 8.66°C]. The wettest day was on the 27th with 20.8mm, the total for the month was 100.5mm [average 98.07mm]. Total for the year up to the end of August was 820.8mm*. The barometer ranged between 1021.3mbars on the 8th and a low of 991.5mbars on the 21st courtesy of storm Ellen. Humidity reached a high of 96% on the 16th and a low of 59% on the 30th. The total sunshine was 134.95 hours [average 158.00] and the sunniest day was on the 15th with 8.45 hours.

Global warming does seem to be producing more extreme weather conditions?

I hope we all have a more settled autumn and stay safe during this pandemic.

Simon

*Rainfall: for those readers with a keen eye there is a 0.1mm discrepancy between the totals for July and August due to my system working more decimal points.


 

This giant cobweb appeared on the 8th August due to a very light drizzle collecting on it and making it visible. It measured approximately 100 x 60 cms.

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Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

May and June

How the weather can change so quickly in the U. K. with May and June no exception.

Mayday started with light showers totalling 3.0mm and cool with a minimum 7.8˚C. and maximum of 12.0˚C. The wind was light with a maximum of 4mph from the SSW. The barometer, which had been falling during the end of April, started to rise from 996.3mbars [lowest in May] and continued with one or two minor wobbles till the end of the 6th when it reached 1023.7mbars. The rest of the month was variable but managed to reach a high of 1037.3mbars on the 26th. Temperatures ranged from a low on 12th of 0.4˚C [average 3.55˚C] to a high on the 29th 26.4˚C [average 25.25˚C] making it the warmest day so far this year. We had more days when the wind was coming from the north than the SW which is unusual; the highest gusts were on the 23rd and 24th at 39mph [average 31.62mph] from the SSW. The lowest wind chill factor was -0.3˚C [average1.14˚C] from the north on the 14th. The total rainfall for the month was 17.0mm [average 71.36mm] which fell on ten separate days, the wettest day was the 22nd with 6.2mm. This May is the driest since my records started in 1994. Total sunshine hours were 185.58 [average for May 155.46 since 2003] making it the second highest, in 2015 we had 201.79 hours.

The first day of June started with a clear blue sky and a low temperature at 0600hrs. of 7.4˚C and by 1500hrs. had reached 24.2˚C with a gentle breeze from the north and the 2nd was very similar. The weather then changed to mainly unsettled until 22nd when we had four lovely days before it all went downhill again. Picking the bones out for June, the barometer stayed low [readings below 1013.25mbars] for a good part of the month; the lowest on the 5th at 1000.0mbars, and highest on the 22nd at 1023.4mbars. The lowest temperature was 6.5˚C [average 6.52˚C] on the 9th and highest 29.9˚C [average 26.13˚C] on the 25th making it the top temperature so far this year. We had a fresh wind throughout the month with a maximum gust of 35mph [average 28.91mph] from the SSW on the 27th. The lowest wind chill factor was on the 6th at 7.1˚C [average 5.18˚C].The total rainfall for the month was 130.2mm [average 74.0mm], well up on the average and contrasting with May being well down.The wettest day was on the 10th with a massive 37.8mm. Total rain so far for 2020 is 645.8mm. Total sunshine hours were extremely low at 128.58 [average164.05]. This is now the lowest in my records, the nearest was June 2012 with 142.48.

All for now and I hope an early solution can be found to end the Covid-19 problem.

Take care and enjoy the rest of the summer.

Observation

I was very sorry to see the lovely old blue iron railings outside the school building have been covered over with treated timber, a retrograde change to the character of our village?

Simon

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Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT


I think this photo sums up the April weather nicely.

All things bright and beautiful.

In my last article I wrote 'On this note I wish you all a good spring, if we can find a few more hours of sunshine I am sure it would be appreciated!' I think you will agree with me that we have done much better!

March started off with a continuation of the cold, wet and windy weather we had suffered going back well into 2019. On the 19th some kind soul found the tap and turned it off, they also switched the sun on and fortunately this coincided with the covid 19 lockdown which gave us the opportunity to get out into our gardens.

The total rainfall from the 1st to the 19th inclusive was 107.4mm. The wettest day was the 15th with 17mm. The rest of the month was dry. The average rainfall for March is 86.13mm but despite the dry second half the total was well up on the average. The maximum temperature was 18.2˚C on the 24th [average 16.92˚C] and the lowest was 1.9˚C on the 26th [average 1.01˚C]. The maximum wind speed was 42mph from the SSW on the 10th [average 37.21mph]. The wind chill factor lowest temperature was 3.6˚C on the 26th [average 5.42˚C]. On the 1st the barometric pressure was 989.3mbars and not surprisingly was mainly low for the first half of the month and then remained higher for the end with the highest reading on the 29th at 1041.3mbars. Total sunshine hours amounted to 106.23, two thirds of this was after 19th March and the highest since 2012 when we enjoyed 110.88 hours [average 89.77].

The good weather continued into April with the first rain arriving on the 5th, 6th and 7th, total 2.4mm. The next rain arrived on the17th and 18th [total 5.0mm], then it was dry until 28th when a large amount, 22.4mm, fell and during the last two days there was a further 18.4mm. This was a good thing as my water butts were empty. The total for the month was 48.2mm. The average is 68.34mm. The driest April I have recorded was 2011 when we had a mere 7mm. The total for the year so far is 498.6mm. The maximum temperature was well up at 25.6˚C on the10th [average 20.54˚C] and the lowest was 0.5˚C on the 1st [average +0.68˚C]. The maximum wind speed was 32.00mph from the North on the 13th [average 33.00 mph]. The wind chill factor lowest temperature was 1.7˚C on the 1st [average 2.8˚C]. The barometer reached a high of 1029.4mbars on the 14th and fell to a low of 990.7mbars on the 30th. Total sunshine hours amounted to 158.42, the highest since 2017 when we had 164.67 [average 138.40].

I hope this nice pattern of weather continues as it certainly helps us with being isolated at home. Please take care and stay safe.

Simon

 

Please Note: I made an operator error when writing the last report. The average figures quoted were incorrect, here are the correct figures:

January: Rainfall 143.55mm. Highest temperature 12.54˚C. Lowest 2.27˚C. Highest wind gust 41.6mph. Wind chill 3.76˚C. Sunshine 14.12 hours.

February: Rainfall 119.0mm. Highest temperature 13.05˚C. Lowest 2.03˚C. Highest wind gust 40.33mph. Wind chill 4.30˚C. Sunshine 43.23 hours.

Please accept my apologies for these errors.

3



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

January and February


East Lyn river just below Hillsford Bridge 16/02/20

I cannot believe it is time for me to draft the weather report for January, the month has slipped by so quickly. It may be a new year but sorry to say no new weather pattern. The last four days of December managed to stay dry but the first dry day in January was on the10th and only a total of 7 days without some precipitation. The 9th was the wettest day with 25.8mm and the total rain for the whole month amounted to 132.6mm, below the average of 149mm.

The highest temperature was 13è°C on the 14th [average 13.02°C] and the lowest - 1.4°C on 20th [average -2.35°C]. The highest wind speed was 47mph on the 14th from the SSW [average 43.20 mph] and on the 20th the wind chill factor was -2.8°C. [average -4.7°C. This is a record I only started in 2016]. The total hours of sunshine amounted to 16.31 which was up on the average of 13.99. One outstanding figure for January was the barometric pressure, I recorded a high 1049.7mbars at 0100 hrs. on 20th, the highest I have recorded and near the U.K. highest of 1053.6mbars recorded in Aberdeen on the 31/01/1902. The lowest pressure arrived on the 14th at 986.4mbars courtesy of Storm Brendan.

February has been horrible to say the very least. With three named storms, Ciara, Dennis and Jorge, of which Dennis had the most effect here in the Valley. The Met. Office say it is the wettest February on record, here 210.4mm fell, wettest day 28th at 28.4mm, but according to my records 2000 was much worse with 307mm. My average for the month is 115.49mm, so this year is well above that figure. The highest temperature was 13.3°C [average 13.04°C] on two days the 9th and 16th, and the lowest 0.4°C on 6th, which is warmer than the average for February at 2.09°C. The highest wind speed was during storm Dennis with 57.08mph from the SSW on the 16th [average is 39.60 mph] and the second highest I have recorded since 1994. The Highest was 57è5mph in 2014. The lowest wind chill factor was on the 6th at -0.3°C, positively warm as the average since 2016 was -5.3°C. Sunshine was in short supply with a total of 16.31hrs, well below the February average of 43è7hrs. The barometer was up and down like a yo-yo with the highest on the 5th at 1038.4mbars and a low of 987.9mbars on the 16th during storm Dennis.

One new record I am now being supplied with by a friend is Annual Rainfall Far & Wide, this gives the total rainfall for the following U. K. places for 2019, Bothwell near Glasgow 1032mm., Cretingham, Suffolk 69mm, Carrigart, Donegal, R.o.I. 821mm and Berrynarbor 1259mm - we hold the record, I should say a dubious privilege!

On this note I wish you all a good spring, if we can find a few more hours of sunshine I am sure it would be appreciated!

Simon

2



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

November and December

The very wet weather which started in August continued until the 27th of December then someone turned the tap off for the last four days of the decade!

November saw no change in the wet spell with a total 169.1mm falling over 27 days with the wettest day on the 7th at 22.4mm. [The wettest November since my records started in 1992 was in 2000 showing 311mm, this is the second wettest month I have ever recorded, the year 2000 was an exceptional year with a total rainfall of 2005mm.] Temperatures were about average with the highest on the 1st at 15.2°C and the lowest on the 9th at 0.2°C. The maximum wind speed was 37mph on the 2nd from the S.S.W., which is about normal, the lowest wind chill factor was -0.7°C on the 18th. The barometer was low for most of the month, the deepest depression on the 2nd at 971.0mbars and a high of 1019.6mbars on the 30th. Sunshine hours totalled a measly 16.92, although I see in 2008, we only had 6.51hrs.

Nothing changed for most of December with a total rain fall of 174.6mm, the 26tth being the wettest day with 22.6mm in the gauge. We had a total of 7 days with no rainfall. Over the years, December seems to vary on rainfall with my highest in 1999 at 378mm and driest 2010 at 32mm. The total rainfall for 2019 was 1259mm. the wettest since 2015 when we had 1412mm. Temperatures ranged from a high of 12.9°C on the 10th to -1.2°C on the 2nd. The top wind speed on the

8th was 47mph from the S.S.W. which is quite high for us in the valley. This arrived with the first named storm of the winter called Atiyah. The lowest wind chill factor was on the1st at -1.3°C. The barometer ranged

from a high on the 2nd at 1033.6mbars. to a low of 975.7mbars. on the 12th. This is one of the lowest readings I have seen for us. Sunshine was in short supply at 15.99hrs. surprisingly not the worst as we only had 2.94hrs. in 2018 which was the lowest of any month since the records started.


Illustrated by: Peter Rothwell

I have been asked how much rain has fallen since the wet spell started. I would say it started on August the 6th and continued to the 27th December. Over this period, we had a total of 818.2mm.

I have looked back into my records for the last decade to find some of the top figures.

Wettest Year: 2012 1587mm.
Highest Temperature 2017 31.6°C.
Lowest Temperature 2012 -5.8°C
Maximum Wind Gust 2014 56mph.
Max Month's Sunshine 2014 210.93 hrs July

I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas and New Year despite the dull, damp weather. At least Christmas Day was good and it was dry for the carols in the square on Christmas Eve, which helped to draw a very good crowd. Many thanks to all the organisers for the evening.

Simon

7



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

September and October

The word wet, or possibly very wet, spring into mind as I look back at the last two months.

The 1st of September started off with a nice dry, sunny day, 2/8th cloud cover and a top temperature of 17.2° C during the afternoon. The temperatures held up well throughout the month with the highest on the 21st at 24.0° C and the lowest on the 18th at 6.8° C. These were about the average. Looking at the rainfall, we only managed eight completely dry days in the whole of the month with several really wet ones: 9th 24.4mm - 24th 27.8mm - 25th 11.6mm - 27th 14.0mm - 28th 23.8mm. The total for the month was 159.4mm. Looking back into my records, this was the wettest September since 2000 when we had 198.00mm. There was a steady breeze most of the time with a top gust on the 27th of 35mph from the SSW, the average is 29mph. The barometer stayed high until the 19th with one exception on the 9th at 1008mbars. The rest of the month it stayed low. The highest recording on the 13th was 1035.9mbars and the lowest on 25th 996.4mbars. Total sunshine hours amounted to 121.40. The average since 2002 is 123 hours.

The 1st of October started off with 8/8ths cloud cover, light showers moving through on a steady northerly wind and a top temperature of 17.1° C which was the highest for the month. The lowest temperature was on the 28th at 3.4° C. Overall the temperatures were average.

I thought September was wet enough but in October we only had four days without some rainfall, the wettest was on the 26th when we had 38.8mm. The grand total for the month was 189.2mm. 2012 was higher at 207mm, from September the 20th to October the 22nd we had some rainfall on every day. Wind speeds were low for October, with the highest gust on 11th at 37mph from the SSW. The highest I have recorded for October is 66mph in 2002. Please remember my location as the wind speeds are considerably higher out of the Valley. The barometer was predominantly low throughout the month, on the 13th at 998.6mbars and a high of 1026.2 on the 27th. Total sunshine recorded was 61.98, this was below the average of 66.8 hours for October.November started on a wet and windy note but more on this in the next edition which reminds me it will be after Christmas, so I should like to take this opportunity to wish everyone:

A Very Happy Christmas and Healthy New Year.

Simon

6



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

The weather continues to be in a very changeable pattern again for July and August.

July started off very dry with only four wet days amounting to 7.8mm by the 18th. The 19th produced 23.4mm, but then only 6.2mm up to the 29th.We then had another soaking wet day on the 30th with 23.6mm and the 31st was dry. The total for the month was 61.0mm, which is well below the average.

The top temperature was 31.2°C on the 23rd which is about average; the lowest was on 3rd at 6.9°C, the coldest since my records started in 1994 with a wind chill of 6.1°C on the same day at 0600hrs which is again average.

Wind speeds were about normal with a top speed of 28mph from the SSW on the 19th. In the early part of the month the barometer stayed reasonably high with a top pressure of 1027.6mbars and tended to fall as the month progressed with a low of 998.8mbars on the 30th.Sunshine hours totalled 200.78 which was above average and higher than last year's 191.77.

August began with 2.8mm of rain up to 5th and then we entered a very wet spell which continued until the 21st, by this time it had produced 112.2mm!The 6th was the wettest day at 21.6mm. The total for the month was 128.4mm. and so far for the year 566.6mm.

The top temperature was on the 24th at 28.7°C, a little above average and the highest since 2003 when I recorded 34.5°C. The lowest temperature was 10.8°C on the 1st which is the highest on my records. [This may look like Double Dutch?]

The wind speeds have been quite high during most of the month with a top speed of 40mph on the10th from SSW, which managed to destroy most of my runner beans!This was the highest on my records with the next nearest at 39mph in 2016.All other years were considerably lower. The lowest wind chill was 9.6°C. The arometric pressure was low on many days through the month and on the 9th was only 991.5mbars and a high on the 21st of 1026.6mbars. Sunshine hours totalled 165.26 which was average and higher than last year's 150.82.

I am now praying for a good start in September as I shall be away on holiday visiting the Isles of Scilly.

Simon


Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

2



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

Welcome to the weather report for May and June with a continuing mix of good and bad weather but no named storms for the period.

May was an exceptionally dry and cold month with only 19.2mm of rain of which 12mm fell on the 8th and on 17 days there was no precipitation. This is the driest May I have on my records with the nearest in 2004 at 31mm. The barometer fell to 989mbars on the 8th and a high of 1038.5mbars on the13th. Top wind speed was 32mph from the SSW on the 8th. Top temperature was on the 14th at 21.5°C, which is below average, and the lowest temperature was 0.7°C on the 5th, which is the lowest since 1996 at 0°C. Total sunshine hours were 183.97, the second highest [2015 at 201.79] since recording began in 2003.

June started off very wet until the 19th, with 81.2mm which reminded me of the song by Flanders and Swann, 'June just rains and never stops, thirty days and spoils the crops.' The wettest days were the 7th which produced 18.4mm and the 11th at 20.2mm. The strongest wind reached 31mph - not a beautiful start to the month!


However, we only had 2.5mm during the rest of the month which made it turn out as an average rainfall for June.

The barometer remained low [lowest 998.1 on the7th] early in the month but recovered later with a high on the 26th of 1026.5mbars. The highest temperature on the 28th was 30.3°C which is up near the highest, the lowest on 6th at 5.9°C is well below average which makes a sizable variation. The lowest wind chill factor was 5.7°C on the 22nd. Sunshine hours totalled 155.09, which is poor for June. The lowest I have on record is 2012 at 142.48 hours. Total rainfall for 2019 so far is 377.2mm which is low. Is this part of Global Warming?

Enjoy the rest of the summer.

Simon

2



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

Time marches on and one third of the year has already gone by with a real mixed bag of weather.

When I was writing the last article, Storm Freya was out in the Atlantic and due to arrive in early March. Here in the valley it was not that bad, I recorded a wind speed of 47 mph from the SSW on the 3rd [down at Chivenor 68 mph and over at Swansea 76mph] 6.6mm of rain and sleet fell, the barometer dropped to 988.2 mbars along with a temperature of 5.5°C. The main belt of snow went well to the north of England. The next storm winding itself up in the Atlantic was Gareth, the main part of this arrived on the 12th with a maximum wind speed of 32mph from the south, 22.2mm of rain, barometric pressure 1003.8mbars and a wind chill of 2.9°C. No more storms arrived but towards the end of the month the overnight temperatures were much lower, the 29th produced the lowest temperature of the month at 0.2°C.

The main figures for the month were: Rainfall at 104.8mm, Temperatures Max. 14.3°C on the 27th [this is below average for March], the highest barometer reading was 1037.7mbars on the 28th and lowest 981.9mbars on the 6th. The total sunshine hours came in at 95.21 which was on the higher side of average. I don't think this March managed to break any records.

The first few days in April started off cool with some rain, we then went through a period of drier weather with reasonable daytime temperatures but overnight the mercury fell leaving us with light ground frosts on five consecutive mornings. By the time we reached Easter weekend, the weather was very good and on the 22nd we had our warmest day of 2019 at 23.9°C, our lowest temperature was on the 12th at -0.8°C. On the 25th storm Hannah arrived leaving us with the wettest day of April at 11.2mm and a top wind speed on the 27th of 38mph from the south. Sunshine hours totaled 126.70 which is about average. Barometer readings for the month were a high of 1031.2mbars on the 20th and a low of 985.8mbars on the 4th. The total rainfall for April was 60.4mm which gives us a total of 274.2mm so far for 2019. This makes it a very dry start for the year.

The trees and plants are all growing well along with the grass and unfortunately the weeds, and as I write this report there is a threat of overnight temperatures around freezing, so I will have to be careful with my tender plants!

I live in hopes of a summer like last year but only time will tell.

Simon

2



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

What an amazing start to 2019. I think everyone has been surprised by the weather during February - the plants and wildlife must be very confused by the sunshine and high temperatures. For January and February, I am going to give you direct comparisons with 2018, together with another figure from my records.

JANUARY

 

2019

2018

 

Rainfall [mm]

52.6

125.6

Driest 1997 - 14

Wettest 1995 - 318 mm

Max. Temperature [°C]

10.8

13.1

1998 & 2016 - 14.2

Min. Temperature [°C]

-2.1

-1.4

2009 - 5.6

Max. Wind Speed [mph]

37

48

1998 - 62

Wind Chill [°C]

-3

-1.9

2016 -7

Barometric High [mbars]

1044.3

1033.5

2017 - 1038.5

Barometric Low [mbars]

982.3

991.2

2016 - 982.0

Sunshine Hours

17.33

15.59

Highest 2017 - 23.87

Lowest 2008 - 7.2

 

FEBRUARY

 

2019

2018

 

Rainfall [mm]

56.5

45.8

Driest 1998 - 32

Wettest 2000 - 307

Max. Temperature [°C]

17.9

11.2

1998 - 17.8

Min. Temperature [°C]

-2.3

-4.8

2003 - 5.9

Max. Wind Speed [mph]

51

38

2014 - 58

Wind Chill [°C]

- 3

-9.3

2016 - 9.0

Barometric High [mbars]

1035.3

1030.9

2016 - 1034.0

Barometric Low [mbars]

991.6

992.0

2017 - 983.6

Sunshine Hours

64.57

56.48

2015 - 57.7 highest

2007 - 224.05 lowest


January was a fairly stable month with nothing much happening apart from some sharp frosts on the 9th and 10th at -3°C, -2.4°C on the 30th and -2.7°C on the 31st.

February started off with frosts on 5 days and then along came storm Eric producing 15.3 mm rain and a top wind speed of 51mpt. By the 11th the weather improved with only 49.5 mm of rain up to the 18th. We then had no rainfall until the 28th when 7mm fell, making the total 56.5mm.

I feel sure that we'll suffer from having had this good spell and I hear on the forecast that we have storm Freya on the way. I have no doubt there will be more about that in the next edition!

Simon

9



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas and New Year, as usual we did not see a white Christmas, in fact the day time temperature on the 25th reached 11.6°C.

Looking first at November, we had a total rain fall of 107.8mm which was below average and the driest since 2011 with 64mm. Maximum wind speed was 44 mph from the SSW on the 29th courtesy of storm Diana. I should also like to mention on that day we had a very short cloud burst which produced a rain rate of 84.8 mm an hour. I have never seen such rain before and it was just as well it only lasted a few minutes! The barometer only recorded seven days when high pressure was in charge of our weather, highest was 1026.7mbars on the 2nd and the lowest on the 7th at 984.7mbars. Temperatures ranged from 0.1°C on the 21st and a maximum of 15.2°C on the 4th. The coolest wind chill was -1.0° on the 26th. The sun managed to shine for 24.83 hours, the lowest since 2015.

December continued with a low rain fall of 121.6mm. The wettest day was on the 7th with 16.4mm. The highest wind speed was 40 mph on the 15th from the SSW. The barometric pressure was up and down throughout the month with a high of 1036.9mbars on the31st and a low of 995.2mbars on the 15th, this time by courtesy of storm Deidre. Temperatures were above average with a maximum of 13.2°C on the 1st and a low of -0.4°C on the 14th. The lowest wind chill was 0°C on the 14th. The sun was in very short supply with only 2.94 hours, the lowest since figures started in 2002.

Continuing my article about the weather records, I have copied and attach the 2018 annual summary for outside temperature, precipitation and wind speed.

All my information is collected every hour on the hour for the whole year. I also have records for the following: inside temperature, humidity inside and out, Dew point, wind chill, barometric pressure, rain rate and in air density. There is also the heat and cool comparison based on my datum temperature of 18.3°C. I can print out full text sheets as well as graph charts for most of the above information. My sunshine hours come courtesy of Chicane although these are not that accurate at this time of the year due to the sun being below the surrounding hills during part of the day.

2018 was the driest year on my records beating 2017 by 22.4 mm. January had the highest wind speed at 48mph the highest gust which I have recorded was in 2002 reaching 66 mph.

I hope the previous and this article have answered some of your questions about my weather interests. I wish you all a good year and enjoy yourselves whatever the weather manages to send along.

Simon


3



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

Two months soon go by and I am again reporting on ex-hurricane Helene, which was on the way when I wrote my last report. This was not a great event which started to have an effect on our weather on the 18th September with winds gusting at 40 mph, only a small amount of rain and temperatures not altering much. This was followed on the 19th by storm Ali, which tracked over Scotland producing winds up to 42mph here in the Valley, but only 2.6mm of rain. Then we had Bronagh on the 20th which tracked over central England. This produced winds up to 36mph and a massive 40.8mm of rain, the pressure fell to 996.7mbars. at 2200hrs. By the 24th, it was reading 1040.4mbrs. which was high for the time of year. Overall the rain fall was 84.6mm for September with a maximum high of 24.2℃ on the 2nd and the lowest on 25th at 3.3℃. Sunshine hours for the month were low at 102.54, the highest on my record for September is 170.29 in 2014.

October has seen a mixed bag of weather but overall, I should say, a reasonable month. The highest temperature of 23℃ on the 10th was above the normal and -1.3℃ was only surpassed by 1997 at -2.0℃. Rainfall for the month was 58.8mm [last year 58.4] which is low for October. The wettest day was the 12th at 13.6mm with a total for the year standing at 707.6mm. Highest wind speed was on the 13th from the SSW at 47mph. Sunshine hours were 83.45 which is towards the highest for October.


 

Part of the garden in 1963

I have been asked how I collate my weather records and how I became involved in the first place. I started taking an interest when I lived in Leamington Spa during the hard winter of 1962/63. In late December '62, we had a large snow fall during the Christmas holiday and by the time we went into '63, the weather showed no sign of improvement. I was in my mid-teens and started making notes of the weather on a 1963 calendar - maximum and minimum temperatures, a brief summary of each day's weather and wind direction from the weather vane on our house. This carried on for many years with more information being added.


 

I recall one birthday being given an aneroid barometer. I also had a wet and dry bulb thermometer which I found in the garden shed. [If you would like to know about this, I suggest you look on the internet.] I also noted cloud cover each morning.

This continued until I moved into Berrynarbor, when for a time I did not keep records as I had no equipment down here. In September 1980, my parents moved into the village and I moved back from the caravan park to live with them. So, the barometer and thermometer were brought back into use.

In 1988 I married Sue and we moved to the Sterridge Valley where the records continued. During the following years I purchased a barograph and later a thermograph. These improved my records and in 1994 I purchased an American Davis weather station, which gave me rainfall, wind speed, direction and chill factor, maximum and minimum temperatures, greatly enhancing my records for many years. In 2002, I began to be given the sunshine hours.

In mid-2016, the station started to give problems and I invested in a new Davis weather station which is linked to my computer. This saves a lot of writing up daily records.

I'll continue this story, giving you details of what information is held in the next Newsletter.

As the next issue will not be out until 2019, I should like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous and Healthy New Year.

Simon

5



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

Looking at my last words in the August Newsletter, I should have had more faith in S.W.W. as they did not impose a hose pipe ban!

The weather changed on the 1st of July with 7.4mm of rain after the last ten days of June having no rainfall. This was a one-day event as the next eighteen days only produced a total of 1.4mm, fifteen of which had no rainfall and the wettest day was the 28th with 16.8mm. I remember on this day that at one point the rain was torrential and falling at a rate of 79mm an hour - it was a good job it only lasted a short period! The total for July amounted to 43.4mm which is below average. The wettest July on my records was in 2009 at 303mm, which was exceptional.

Temperatures continued to be high, the highest day temperature was 29.4 on the 2nd which was 0.1℃ above the day of June 26th. Night temperatures were also high and did not fall into single figures during the month, the coolest night was the 20th at 10.1℃.

The wind speeds were about normal, the highest gust speed of 35mph from the SSW on the 28th. This was the day the barometer fell to the lowest for the month at 996.6 mbars. which was not surprising!

The total sunshine hours for July was 191.77, higher than the average of 177.38 hours for July based on the figures given to me since 2003.

August started off with a continuation of the hot summer weather, the highest temperature of the month was on 5th at 28.3℃ which is just above normal. The hottest August day I have recorded was 34.5℃ in 2003. On the 6th the temperature dropped to 21.5℃ and only managed to make 20℃ or over on four other days during the month. On the 11th, the night temperature was only 7.3℃ the lowest since 0500hrs. on the 22nd of June at 6.3℃.

Rain became more frequent in August although very light early in the month, over the 10th, 11th and 12th combined, we had 33.4mm which replenished my water butts; the wettest day was on the 26th with 21.6mm. The total for August amounted to 101.8 mm and the sunshine hours for the month totaled 150.82. This was fairly low although I see in 2008 we had 127.64 hours. The wind was fairly strong on a good number of days with the highest gust on 26th at 33mph. from the South.

I am late writing this report as I have been away. The weather forecast is not good with ex-hurricane Helene on the way across the Atlantic - probably more on this in the next newsletter.

Simon

2



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

My parting words in the last issue, "Keep your umbrella handy", was good advice for May as we had 51.0mm of rain, a little down on the average. In June I was completely wrong as parasols would have been more appropriate! The total rain fall was 7.2mm. This may be the driest month since I started my records in 1994? I put a question mark as I recorded 7mm in April 2011 but in those days my rain gauge only recorded whole millimetres so I cannot be certain, it was definitely a very dry month.

May temperatures were generally about average starting off on the 1st with a daytime temperature of 12.9℃ and low of 3.7℃. The temperatures tended to climb as the month went by reaching 23.8℃ on the 27th, the lowest night temperature was on the 14th at 3.1℃. Wind speeds were down a little with the highest gust on the 1st at 27mph from the SSW. My highest May wind speed was in 2015 at 45mph.

The sunshine hours started in 2003 and for May they were 177.78 hours, the only year higher than this was 2015 at 201.79 hours. June was a bit of a one off, a lovely month when the sun shone for a total of 199.67 hours. This was not a record as it was surpassed only by a small amount in 2016 at 201.78 hours.

The average daytime temperature was 21.4℃ with the 26th being the hottest day of the year so far at 29.3℃. The lowest night temperature was 6.3℃ at 0600 hours on the 22nd. Wind speeds were a little higher than the average with the highest on the 18th at 28mph from the SSW. Please bear in mind that these speeds are here in the Valley and could be much higher in exposed positions elsewhere. The barometer was up and down during the month reaching 1032.9mbars at 0800hrs on the 22nd and a low of 1008.0mbars at 0600hrs on the 14th.

The total rainfall for the first six months of 2018 is 419mm. This is below average.

As I write this the heat wave continues and the garden is very dry - how long before we have a hose pipe ban?

Happy watering.

Simon

2



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

I'll start off by saying what a horrible March, not so good April but a lovely May bank holiday weekend.

Looking back to my last report I see in my final paragraph I was hoping the cold spell would move on quickly but this did not happen.

The temperatures in March did climb a little bit but only reached double figures on eleven days, the highest on the 15th at 14.2 DegC. In March 2012 the temperature reached 20.6 DegC! There were eight days when the temperature was below freezing, the lowest was on the 1st when I recorded -4.4 DegC. This was the lowest since March 2001 when it fell to -4.7 DegC. I don't normally mention much about the barometric pressure. This March the pressure remained low most of the month - lowest 983.5mbars on 3rd, product of storm Emma - with only two highs moving through on the 21st at1035.2 mbars and 26th at 1019.1mbars.

The BEAST FROM THE EAST produced snow which fell early in the month. On the 1st about 50mm and the 2nd about 2mm. On the 17th THE MINI BEAST hit us, this was, I think, worse than the first beast. I had great difficulty measuring the snow fall as the gale force winds moved it into drifts, my best guesstimate was 118mm which was the heaviest fall I have recorded since my records started in 1994.

Rain and precipitation total fall for the month was 110.6mm. The highest I have on record was 200mm in 1994. Maximum wind speed on the 2nd here in the Valley was 34mph from the N.N.E. This is a very sheltered position from the east and I am sure it was blowing much harder in the exposed areas. Wind chill on the 1st was -10.4 DegC at 10.00hrs, the lowest for the month. March only managed 69.09 hours. of sunshine and according to my records since 2003, there have only been three below this for March.

April showed a little improvement with temperatures managing to reach double figures on most of the days with the exception of the 1st at 9.3 DegC and 27th at 9.5 DegC. The lowest temperature was 1.5 DegC on the 5th. Total rainfall for the month was 78.8mm [my average 61.4mm] and the wettest day was 27th with 13mm. So far this year the total rainfall for the first 4 months amounts to 360.8mm.

The wind remained quite strong throughout April with a maximum of 35mph on the 17th from the S. W. The lowest wind chill was on the 5th at 0800hrs 1.3 DegC. Barometer readings were on most days a little higher with a maximum 1026.2mbars on the 20th and lowest on 3rd at 988.5mbars.

Sunshine for April was 119.61 hours which I think is just a bit below average.

I wish you all a good summer whatever you are doing. Keep your umbrella handy?

Simon

6



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

Where did January and February go? I am writing this on the first day of March which is the beginning of spring for the Met. Office. There is a blizzard blowing and a temperature of -2.7 deg C, a good start to spring!

I mentioned in my last report about the snowdrops and primroses being out, in this article I was going to mention having daffodils and tulips in flower but now they look very sad, what I can see of them under the snow.

Looking back to January, which is a month of considerable variation on rainfall, I recorded 125.6mm. My average is 152 mm. The wettest January I have recorded was 1995 at 318 mm and the driest was in 1997 at only 14 mm. The temperatures were nothing unusual, with a high of 13.1 deg C on the 24th and a low of -1.4 deg C on the 12th. The wind speeds were consistently higher throughout the month, my maximum in the Valley was 48mph from the south, this was during storm Georgina. The lowest wind chill was -1.9 deg C on the 11th. I see the sunshine hours were 15.59 the average since 2003 is 10.93.

Rolling on into February, the total rainfall of 45.8 mm was the driest I have on record apart from 1998 at 32 mm. The wettest day was the 13th with 7.8 mm of rain. My recorded average highest temperature for February is 12.42 deg C. This year the average was 7.3 deg C. for the month. The minimum average of 1.15 deg C is higher than over the past years' at -1.5 deg C. Wind speeds were generally much lower than January with a maximum gust of 38mph on the 10th. I have not said a lot about snow fall over the last few years apart from mentioning I had seen snow falling, but not a recordable amount. I can now say that I observed snow falling on 4 days during February, not sufficient to record the amounts earlier in the month but on the 27th I measured 18mm and on the 28th, 37mm. Looking at the February sunshine hours total of 56.48, this is the second highest recorded, only surpassed by 2015 at 57.70 hours.

I hope this cold snap soon moves on and we can enjoy the longer days of March.

Simon

Snow drifts above Smythen



Smythen Hill


 

5



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

Happy New Year.I hope you all have enjoyed a good Christmas and New Year.

I have been surprised by the number of requests for me to start the weather reports which Sue and I produced for a good number of years. I am going to try and write an article for each edition, but it may depend on what happens as I try to recover from the events of last year. This first article will start having a general look at the records for 2017. I hope I don't bore you with all the figures.

The total rain for the year was 959.4mm.This was the driest year since I started records in 1994, my average annual rainfall shows 1455mm.The next closest was 1019mm during 2010, the highest was in 1994 at 2033mm.I am surprised as I felt it was a wet year.The wettest day was June 25th at 24.2mm which is low as I can remember some 24-hour periods up 50/60mm in previous years.I think perhaps, we have had a lot of wet days but the total rainfall was not that great.The wettest month was December at 120.2mm, the driest April at 29.4mm.


 

The Met office named 6 storms in 2017.Those which affected us most here was Doris on the 23rd February when we had strong winds in the Valley, the highest gust was 52 mph from the SSe, the barometer fell to 996.4mbars which was not particularly low.Then on the 26th we had storm ewan which dumped 17.2mm of rain and on the 7th December, Caroline produced our lowest barometer reading for the year at 975.8mbars.

The temperatures were about average for us - January 21st was the lowest temperature at -3.6 DegC, the lowest I have recorded was -6 DegC in December 2010.June 21st - longest day - the temperature topped out at 31.6 DegC, my highest was 34.5 DegC in August 2003.

I think this leaves me with looking back at the sunshine hours kindly provided by Chicane.The total hours for 2017 was 1248.75 which was very close to 2016 at 1249.25 - it's a pity we don't get a bit more!The sunniest month in 2017 was July at 181.50 and in 2016 was June at 201.78. The month with the least sunshine in 2017 was December at 11.51, and in 2016, January at 12.93.

I have some snowdrops and primroses in bloom so I hope we are now on our way to a good spring.


 

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

Simon

5



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

It was with shock and disbelief we learnt that Sue had sadly died suddenly and unexpectedly, on the 8th May. Our thoughts are with Simon, Joan, Ian and Kate and her family at this time of sorrow and in the difficult time ahead.


  Regrettably, there is no report in this issue. A big thank you to Sue and Simon who have been keeping us up to date on our weather since 1998, 110 reports in all!

3



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

On the whole the start of 2017 was fairly quiet and there is not much to report. January was one of the driest that we have recorded with only 88mm of rain in total (212mm in 2016) and seventeen days when there was no recordable rain. There were some cold snaps when the temperature fell below freezing with a minimum temperature in the month of -3.6DegCC on the 21st [-2.8DegCC in 2016]. The maximum temperature in the month was 12.2DegCC which was average. The wind speed topped 23mph on several days peaking at 34mph on the 9th. Looking back to 1998, the wind managed to gust at 62mph. Sunshine hours of 23.87 were recorded which was the highest for January since keeping the figures started in 2003.

Although February has been another dry month with only 71.4mm of rain, (98mm 2016) with the high humidity and frequent showers the ground has not had much opportunity to dry up. Our garden at least is pretty sodden. The temperatures stayed in double figures for most of the month rising to a maximum of12.6DegCC on the 18th which was a beautiful spring-like day. The thermometer never fell below freezing in the whole of the month which is unusual, the lowest temperature being 0.1DegCC. Two named storms hit the country in February, Doris - a "weather bomb" - and Ewen, both of which caused problems in the north but we escaped the worst fortunately. The strongest wind gust here was 52mph on the 23rd which was courtesy of Doris. The 43.01 hours of sunshine were quite high for the month but not a record.

The only snow we have seen this year [so far!] was a light flurry on the 11th of February.

Although February has been another dry month with only 71.4mm of rain, (98mm 2016) with the high humidity and frequent showers the ground has not had much opportunity to dry up. Our garden at least is pretty sodden. The temperatures stayed in double figures for most of the month rising to a maximum of12.6DegCC on the 18th which was a beautiful spring-like day. The thermometer never fell below freezing in the whole of the month which is unusual, the lowest temperature being 0.1DegCC. Two named storms hit the country in February, Doris - a "weather bomb" - and Ewen, both of which caused problems in the north but we escaped the worst fortunately. The strongest wind gust here was 52mph on the 23rd which was courtesy of Doris. The 43.01 hours of sunshine were quite high for the month but not a record.

The only snow we have seen this year [so far!] was a light flurry on the 11th of February.

We could do with a dry spell now with a bit of easterly wind to dry the ground up, but there is not much sign of that in the forecast so far.

Simon and Sue


 
  Illustrated by: Peter Rothwell

2



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

The first of November was the warmest day of the month at 15.8 Deg C and the last day of the month was the coldest at -3.4 Deg C which was the coldest November day since 2010 when we recorded -4.4 DegC. It was also the coldest day that we recorded in 2016. The first couple of weeks of the month were fairly mild and dry then the rain arrived on the 15th followed by winter on the 18th when there was sleet, hail and snow on high ground at Tavistock. On the 19th we had a very close thunderstorm which knocked out our internet, then on the 19th/20th the first named storm of the season, Angus, brought torrential rain and strong winds and the barometer fell to 978mb. Between Tuesday the 15th and Tuesday the 22nd, we recorded 109.2mm which was over two thirds of the total month's rainfall of 147.2mm. The winds calmed after a couple of days but it remained cold until the end of the month. 33.08 hours of sunshine were recorded which was more than in previous Novembers.


The first five days of December were cold with frosts, the coldest day was the 4th with -1.6 Deg C which was not out of the ordinary for December. Temperatures started to pick up and the 7th was like a spring day with the thermometer rising to our highest temperature for the month at 15.1 Deg C. This was also our warmest December day since we started keeping records. The weather remained fairly benign until the 23rd when storm Barbara arrived which mainly affected the north of the country; here it passed through fairly quickly. Storm Connor on Christmas Day brought strong winds with a maximum gust of 36mph. Overall December was a dry month with a total of 57.6mm of rain of which 21.4mm fell on the 10th. This was the second lowest on our records, only beaten by 2010 when we had 32mm. The sunshine hours for the month were 13.41 which was fairly high for a December. It was a dry year with a total rainfall of only 1070mm which was exactly the same as 2013 and only slightly more than our driest year which was 2006 when we recorded 1054mm. Apart from a few flakes in February, March and November we had no snow in 2016.


As we write this the snowdrops are starting to bud and the daffodils are coming up. Spring is around the corner although there is still time for some bad weather.

Simon and Sue

25



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

After the somewhat mediocre summer we felt that September and October were an improvement.

We were away for a fortnight in September so cannot break down the figures into daily ones but overall September was a warm month peaking at 25.9 DegC on the 7th. In some parts of the country September broke records for the highest temperature but we recorded 27.6 DegC in 2003. The rainfall total at 113mm was a bit above average, it was the highest monthly total since 2008 and considerably more than the 11mm in 2014. Wind speeds were about average with a top speed of 32mph on the 3rd. and 19.66 hours of sunshine were recorded which was also fairly average.

October has been quite a first-class month, notably it was the driest October that we have recorded since 1994 with a total of only 41.6mm of rain which fell over six days. For the rest of the month there was no recordable rainfall - the highest October rainfall we have recorded was 352mm in 2000. This brought the total rainfall for the year to date to 865.2mm. At the moment we are on course for a fairly dry year but this could all change! It was a very settled month with no extremes and although we recorded no particularly high temperatures during the month, due to the predominately light winds and dry conditions the days were very pleasant. The 82.59 hours of sunshine recorded was up on most previous years. Early morning temperatures were quite cool with a low of 3 DegC on the 22nd. The maximum temperature for the month was 18.4 Deg on the 24th. As you might have guessed, the barometer has been constantly high with one exception, on the 15th it dropped to 1002mbs.

Simon and Sue

2



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

Well, the hoped for settled spell of summer weather didn't materialise, July and August were both fairly mediocre until near the end of August. Unfortunately, our weather station, which has been providing all our information since 1994, had a malfunction of the rain gauge at the beginning of July so we had to resort to more basic methods of measuring the rain. After much research we decided on a new weather centre which we are now trying to find our way around. It will provide a lot more information than the old one once we get the hang of it, although we haven't got a sunshine hour recorder [an expensive extra] so will continue to rely on Chicane for the sunshine.

Back to the weather. In July the jet stream was stuck too far south which produced the unsettled conditions. Rainfall amounts were fairly low at 34mm for the month, but were spread throughout the month with most days having showers or drizzle. Apart from a mini heat wave on Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th when temperatures reached 27 DegC and 30.7 DegC respectively, temperatures were pretty average. The lowest temperature recorded was 9.9 DegC on the 6th. Winds in the month were fairly light with a maximum gust of 29 miles an hour which was also about average. Despite the unsettled conditions, 185.98 hours of sunshine were recorded, which was 17 hours more than last year.

The first day of August was very wet and our new rain gauge recorded 44.8 mm of rain, this was followed by strong winds and we recorded a maximum gust of 36 miles an hour on the 4th. The weather then settled down with reasonable temperatures and low rainfall until the weekend of the 20th when the Met. Office warned of a storm approaching. This unfortunately put paid to the Round Lundy Yacht Race which Simon was hoping to take part in on a friend's yacht. The Saturday ended up with 16mm of rain and wind speeds up to 40 miles an hour in the valley. According to information we received it was gusting up to 50 miles an hour towards Lundy. That depression passed through and the weather settled back down leading to a glorious bank holiday weekend for a change and a very pleasant end to the month. The total rain for the month was 88.8mm with a maximum temperature of 28.3 DegC on the 23rd. Last August we had 169.30 hours of sunshine and this year we had 179.24, which was a bit above the average for the month.

The 1st of September is the Meteorological start of autumn - where did that summer go?

Simon and Sue

2



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

We were away for the last week of May and the first week of June so we have combined the rainfall for the two months together because we have no way of separating some of the figures.

May started off cool and quite dry but the temperature steadily rose and by the 6th we recorded a high of 25.1 DegC. By the 15th temperatures started to slip away and did not get back into the twenties for the rest of the month. The lowest temperature recorded for the month was 2 DegC on the 4th when we also had a slight ground frost. The 3rd produced a wind chill factor of 1 DegC and the strongest gust of wind was 29mph on the 2nd.171.34 hours of sunshine were recorded which was a bit down on last year's total of 201.79.

We arrived back home on the 7th June to quite a heat wave and by the 9th the thermometer had reached 25.4 DegC which was the peak for the month as after that temperatures dropped back in the main below 20 DegC. Sunday the 19th was a damp and dismal day and by 7.00 a.m. on Monday we had recorded 30mm of rain for the 24-hour period. Monday the 20th was the longest day and was very wet and miserable. The combined rainfall for May and June was 150mm [we estimate that 54mm fell in May and 96mm in June]. We had a wind chill of 7 DegC on the 19th and a maximum wind gust of 32mph on the 28th.

Overall June was pretty disappointing although surprisingly the hours of sunshine recorded was 201.78 which was the second highest recorded since 2003.

We could all do with a spell of settled summer weather apart from the slugs and snails who seem to be enjoying most of our plants, along with the rabbits most of which come chive flavoured!

Simon and Sue

2



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

 

The 1st of March is the first meteorological day of Spring but up until the 10th of the month the weather was anything but spring like. Storm Jake arrived on the 2nd bringing strong winds, snow showers, hail and very rough seas. This was followed by another, this time unnamed storm, which hit on the 9th with winds forecast up to storm 10.


 

After that things settled down and we had a welcome spell of calm with a mix of sunny and overcast days and a drying though often chilly easterly breeze.

Unfortunately, the weather broke on Maundy Thursday and although Good Friday was glorious the rest of the Easter weekend was showery, windy and cold.To cap it all on Easter Sunday /Monday, Storm Katie brought strong winds and heavy rain.Despite the storms the total rainfall was 84mm which was fairly average for March. The maximum temperature was 14.7 Deg C which was a bit below average while the minimum of -0.3 Deg C was a bit above average and 99.94 hours of sunshine were recorded. We were sheltered from the worst of the strong wind and recorded a maximum gust of 36knots [41mph].

The most notable feature of April was the below average temperatures throughout the month culminating in snow [fortunately not here in Berrynarbor] during the last week.The winds were mainly from a northerly or easterly direction and although on the 10th strong winds combined with high tides caused damage in South Devon and Cornwall, generally there was just a constant cold breeze.

April is often a fairly dry month and this was no exception with 44mm which fell on only ten days, the rest of the month there was no recordable rain, combined with the wind this did allow the ground to dry up. The maximum temperature was 16.4 Deg C which is a bit deceptive as there were only five days when the thermometer exceeded 14 Deg C, we have recorded over 20 Deg C in many previous Aprils.The minimum temperature of 1.2 Deg was not out of the ordinary neither was the total sunshine recorded of 140.28 hours.The maximum gust of wind was 25 knots [29mph].

The 1st of May was a bit miserable but there is a rumour that the weather might be warming up!

Simon and Sue

2



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

2016 started much as 2015 ended, still wet, warm and windy. There was an improvement towards the middle of the month when it became dryer and brighter for a couple of days with cooler temperatures. On the 20th the thermometer fell to -2.8 Deg C at 0333, this was the lowest temperature of the month and was also the lowest January temperature since 2011. The better weather didn't last long though, on the 26th Storm Jonas which had deposited such heavy snow to the east of America arrived here bringing gales and heavy rain mainly to the north of the country. This was swiftly followed on the 28th by Storm Gertrude which brought winds over 100 mph to Shetland and 37 mph here in the valley.

The total rain for January was 212mm which was above average but not a record though there were only six days without precipitation in the whole month. The highest temperature we recorded was 14.2 Deg C and 12.93 hours of sunshine were recorded. The maximum wind gust was 42 mph but there were five days at the end of the month with gusts between 34 mph and 41 mph.

The next storm to hit was Henry on the 1st of February but again it was mainly the north that was affected. Saturday the 6th was very windy and wet then on the 8th Imogen arrived. This time it was the South West which bore the brunt. We were sheltered from the worst but recorded gusts of 42 mph on the 8th and 43 mph on the 9th. After that the weather calmed down again and at the end of the month we actually had five completely dry days in a row and a taste of spring, prior to that there had been only two dry days in the month. The total rain was 98mm and the maximum gust of wind was 43 mph. The maximum temperature was 12.9 Deg C with a minimum of -1.8 Deg C, a wind chill of -9 Deg C. The sunshine hours weighed in at 34.28, the highest since October.

The days are drawing out and by the time you read this we shall be into British Summertime and hopefully some nice spring sunshine.

Simon and Sue


 

Storm Jonas


 

Storm Gertrude

2



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

After the calm of October, three words sum up November and December - wet, windy and warm. The first storm was Abigail which arrived on the 12th and 13th of November; this was followed by ex-hurricane Kate on the 14th and Storm Barney on the 17th. Storm Clodagh brought very strong winds on the 29th and then on the 4th December it was the turn of Desmond which affected the north of the country worst. After a brief respite, Eva arrived on the 23rd/24th and finally "weather bomb" Frank ended the year on 29th/30th.

Not surprisingly, with all the storms the winds were often very strong and we recorded six days in November and seven days in December when the wind speeds reached 35mph or more. The maximum in November was 42mph and 39mph in December.

Only the first three days in November were completely dry and the total rain for the month was 200mm. December also had only three totally dry days but more rain overall with a total of 234mm of which 46mm fell on the 30th. Nationally December was the wettest on record but despite what seemed like continual rain, neither month broke any of our records and even combining the two months together there were four previous years including 2012 when we recorded more rain. We really got off quite lightly compared to the north of the country.

Both months were unusually mild. In November, apart from a couple of days when the winds went round to the north and the temperature dropped, the daytime temperatures were in double figures throughout the month with a maximum of 18.6 deg C on the 1st. In December there was only one day when the thermometer dropped below 10 deg and even the night time temperatures were often in double figures. The maximum temperature was 15 deg C with the highest overnight temperature being a very warm 12.8 deg .

With all the rain and gloom the hours of sunshine were down, in November 18.05 hours were recorded which was below average although not the lowest recorded for the month. December's meagre 3.18 hours were a record but only just. he total rainfall for the year was 1412mm which was fairly average for here. A friend of ours keeps

weather records in Suffolk and he had only 601. 5mm for the whole of 2015 and mowed his lawn on the 23rd December!

We wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year and hope the weather improves soon.

Simon and Sue

2



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

After such a mediocre summer September and October were generally very pleasant and according to sunshine hours sunnier than average. 151.26 hours were recorded in September which was down on last year but up on all previous years, and October had 95.50 hours which was the highest ever recorded for the month.

The jet stream moved north at the beginning of September and the weather was settled, warm and dry until the 12th when it shifted south again. Monday the 14th was very wet and windy - between 0715 on Monday morning and 0700 on Tuesday we recorded 48mm which was over half of the total 94mm rainfall for the month. It remained unsettled until Friday 25th when an area of high pressure established itself over the country and we enjoyed some lovely warm, summery days although the nights were chilly. Those of us mad enough to get up to see the lunar eclipse were treated to beautiful clear skies with plenty of stars as well as the orange moon. The maximum temperature for the month was 22.5 deg C with a minimum of 5.4 deg C on two nights. The maximum wind gust was 31 mph just after midnight on the 15th.

The settled weather continued until Monday 5th October when there was a breakdown for a few days before it settled down into a spell of Indian summer. October was fairly mild with a maximum of 19.2 deg C and a minimum of


 

5.4 deg C. Winds were generally calm with a maximum gust of 23 mph. It is normally a wet month, in the twenty two years that we have kept records we have had totals of up to 340mm, but this year was the second driest with only 68mm which was well under half of what we usually get.

There is a lot of speculation that the coming winter will be a hard one but so far November has started very mild which will at least help to shorten the winter.

Simon and Sue

2



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

We were hoping for a decent summer like the last one but unfortunately the weather seems to have reverted to its pattern of the previous few years and July and August were both unsettled.

The 1st of July was the hottest July day in some parts of the country though not here. We recorded only 18.6 Deg C, whereas at Heathrow the temperature reached 36.7 Deg C. The 30th of July was the coldest July night on record in the south east and at Exeter airport the temperature dropped to 2 Deg C. Here it fell to 6.7 Deg C. We recorded a maximum temperature of 25.5 Deg C and a minimum of 6.7 Deg C with a maximum wind gust of 24 knots. The total rainfall was 101mm much of which was spread fairly evenly throughout the month.

There is not a lot to say about August. There were some fine days but only nine were totally dry and these were scattered through the month. It was not the wettest August we have recorded but with 167mm it was above average and two days were very wet with 22mm. It was another cool month with a maximum temperature of 24.4 Deg C and a minimum of 8.8 Deg C. The strongest wind gust was 24 knots.

Very similar sunshine hours were recorded for the two months with 168.93 hours for July and 169.30 hours for August.

The summer wasn't a complete washout but it wasn't much to write home about either, although the slugs are thriving!

The 1st September is the meteorological end of summer, perhaps we can hope for an Indian Summer instead.

Simon and Sue

2



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

May was a fairly cool and often windy month. The highest temperature we recorded was only 19 Deg C which made it the first May when we haven't seen temperatures of at least 21 Deg C. The minimum temperature of 4.1 Deg C was average as was the wind chill of -2 Deg C. The recorded hours of sunshine at 201.79, however, was well above previous years and the wind was another May record for us with a maximum gust of 39 knots (45mph) on the 5th. The total rainfall was 83mm which made it a dry month but nothing exceptional.

The first of June is the first meteorological day of summer. It was chilly and showery with gales forecast and then wet. By 7.00 a.m. the next morning 35 mm of rain had fallen making it the wettest twenty four hour period of the year so far. The rest of the month stayed fairly dry with a total of 63mm. The windiest day was the 2nd with gusts up to 33 knots [38mph] but then the winds eased again. It was another cool month with the thermometer struggling to get into the twenties until the last day when we enjoyed a mini -one day! - heat wave and the temperature soared to 28.6 Deg C, the hottest day of the year so far. The sunshine hours at 171.34 were fairly average.

The first six months of the year have been fairly uneventful. We have had 548mm of rain in the gauge compared to 679mm last year and 422mm in 2013. Hopefully this July will follow the pattern of the last two and continue dry - time will tell.

Simon and Sue

3



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

March came in like a lion and went out like - a lion! The first day of the month was squally with wintry showers and winds gusting up to 31 knots [36 mph]. The month was changeable with spring-like weather followed by cold raw days. Friday 20th was the spring equinox and day of the partial eclipse and was fortunately clear, sunny and warm. British Summertime on the 22nd on the other hand was heralded by strong gales. It continued windy and the month ended with gales gusting up to 34 knots [39 mph] on the 31st, the strongest wind of the month. March is often a dry month and this was no exception with a total 73mm of rain. The maximum temperature was 15.5 Deg C, a bit below average, with a minimum of -0.1 Deg C which was a bit above average.

April started windy and Good Friday was very disappointing, but then a high pressure established itself across the country and stayed for three weeks until Friday 24th when it became a bit more unsettled with some drizzly rain. It continued unsettled until the end of the month but although it was often overcast and rain was forecast, it remained very dry with a cold wind. The total rain for the month was only 22mm of which 10mm fell on the 2nd. The maximum temperature we recorded was 18.8 Deg C, quite warm but in previous years April has often seen temperatures in the low twenties and in 2003 we recorded 27.9 Deg C. The lowest temperature was 2 Deg C with a wind chill on the 1st of -5 Deg . The maximum wind gust was 27 knots [31 mph]. 97.13 hours of sunshine were recorded in March, which was less than last year but not out of the ordinary. The 167.57 hours recorded in April was nearly the highest number for an April, beaten only by 169.76 in 2011.

The warm settled spell in April was very welcome, we hope that it was not the summer but the herald of a good summer.


 

  Simon and Sue

4



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

January was wet and windy for most of the month although we did escape the worst of the 'weather bomb' [cyclogenesis] which hit Scotland bringing winds of up to 113 mph in Stornaway on the 8th/9th.

Fortunately here we experienced only 35 knots [40 mph] which was the strongest wind in the month. The wind did calm down in the second half of the month before picking up again at the end.

There were only three days without any rain falling at all, making a total for the month of 184 mm. Some of the showers were wintry with hail, sleet and snow though the snow didn't settle or last for long. The maximum temperature was 13.4 Deg C with a minimum of 0.9 Deg C and a wind chill of -12 Deg C on the 31st. There was only one day when we recorded a ground frost and the sunshine hours were higher than average at 16.67. Overall, though, it was a fairly average January

By contrast February had a lot of dry days interspersed with some very wet days, two giving 23 mm and the wettest day giving 29 mm. The total rain for the month was 123 mm.

The first weekend of the month was glorious though with a cold wind, Then on the 23rd there was a sudden thunderstorm which caused the electricity to flick on and off several times in the night. Like January it was a fairly average month with a maximum temperature of 2.9 Deg C, a minimum of -1.7 Deg C and a wind chill of -10 Deg C. The brighter days were reflected in the sunshine hours of 57.70, a record for February since 2003. The wind gusted up to 32 knots 37 mph] on the 1st. Generally January and February were a lot calmer and kinder than in 2014 and now it is beginning to feel as though spring is on its way with the snowdrops starting to go over and the daffodils coming on.

Simon and Sue


 

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

5



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

Although last year started very windy and wet, the spring and summer were much dryer so the year ended with a total rainfall of 1230mm which was slightly below the average.

November was almost a month of two halves. The first half was reminiscent of last winter with low after low bringing stormy and wet conditions resulting in flooding in South Devon. The second half was calmer and dryer with some sunnier days. Overall apart from a couple of frosty mornings it was a mild month with a maximum temperature of 15 Deg C and a minimum of 0.1 Deg C. 29.83 hours of sunshine were recorded which was the most in November since records began in 2002. The total rainfall was 154mm and because we were sheltered from the worst of the wind, we recorded a maximum of 30 knots.

December started benignly. Then on the 10th there were warnings of a 'weather bomb'. Fortunately for us the worst of that hit Scotland and the north of the country and here it was only blustery. On the 11th winds did reach 31 knots and we had 27mm of rain making it the wettest day of the month. It was a changeable month but generally mild apart from a cold snap with sharp frosts on 29th and 30th. The year ended mild, overcast and slightly damp. The maximum temperature was 12.9 Deg C falling to a minimum of -2.1 Deg C and we also recorded a wind chill -7 Deg C. Again the sunshine hours of 18.21 were high, only beaten by 26.02 hours in 2008. The maximum gust of wind was 33 knots and the total rainfall was 121mm.

At the time of writing it is still mild and we already have primroses and daffodils in flower, let's hope we don't pay for this later in the year.

Simon and Sue


Illustrated by: Peter Rothwell

4



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

After such a chilly August, September was a complete contrast. The jet stream moved north and high pressure dominated. Temperatures were in the high teens or low twenties for most of the month with a maximum of 24.3 Deg C. Overnight temperatures also held up well until the 22nd [the first day of autumn] when for three nights the thermometer dropped to a low of 7.9 Deg C but after that the temperature picked up again until the end of the month.

The winds were mainly light with a maximum gust of 19 knots and this helped to keep the temperatures up. The total rain for the month was only 11mm which made it the driest September that we have recorded and nationally the driest since 1910.

A record 170.29 hours of sunshine was recorded, 31 hours more than any September since 2002.

October was a bit of a mixture. After the first couple of days it appeared that autumn had arrived properly, the jet stream migrated back south and started pulling the lows and temperatures dropped back a bit. On the 3rd we recorded 11mm of rain - as much as for the whole of September. The weather stayed very unsettled with rain, thunderstorms, strong to gale force winds and occasional hail. Then on Tuesday the 21st ex-hurricane Gonzalo swept across the country bringing high winds and gusty showers. We recorded 36 knots of wind, the highest in the month. Most of the month was very mild and it ended with a high of 20.5 Deg C on the 31st. The total rain for the month was only 114mm which was less than the average.

It was not only a mild month, it was also sunnier than previous Octobers with 73.82 sunshine hours in total.

At least this year we have had some decent weather to set us up for whatever the winter months bring.

Simon and Sue

3



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

Although July didn't break any of our records, it was warm (often hot), dry and still for most of the month and it felt like proper summer weather. The maximum temperature was 27.8 Deg C with a minimum of 10.6 Deg C and winds were light for most of the month reaching 22 knots on two days.

The total rainfall was only 31mm, 18mm fell on the 4th and 6mm on the 7th so the rest of the month was very dry, in fact it was the second driest July we have recorded only being surpassed by July 2013 when we had 21mm. Likewise, the hours of sunshine recorded at 210.93 was the second highest after last July.


 

August was disappointing. The first proper rain for a while fell on the 1st (21mm) and it continued showery. Hurricane Bertha made her presence felt on Sunday 10th with heavy rain followed by blustery showers, although it was not as bad here as forecast. Although the low tracked rapidly to the North of Scotland, it upset the weather here for most of the month with cooler temperatures and quite strong winds at times. Nationally it was the coldest August for several years. We recorded a maximum of 24.1 Deg C on the 5th and a minimum of 8.1 Deg C on the 20th with a wind chill of 6 Deg C. In some parts of the county there were reports of frost with temperatures dropping to 3.7 Deg C and 3.6 Deg C on the 19th and 20th. The temperature started to recover on the 25th, Bank Holiday Monday, but with 17mm of rain it was a washout! The total rain for the month was 120mm,

August is very variable so that was nothing out of the ordinary. Despite the cool conditions there were 181.97 hours of sunshine which was the highest since 2003.


 

Simon and Sue

2



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

We were away from the 24th May to 10th June which means that some of the statistics for the two months have had to be amalgamated.

May was fairly unsettled and often windy. Over the weekend of the 10th and 11th [the Ten Torrs weekend] there were strong to gale force winds and blustery showers to hamper the youngsters and also strong enough to bring down a couple of trees in our garden. The strongest gust of the month was 31 knots on the 10th.

Up to the 24th we recorded 58mm of rain and a minimum temperature of 5.9 Deg C on the 21st. 164.71 hours of sunshine were recorded which was fairly average for May.

When we returned home on the 10th June we had 68mm in the rain gauge and then the weather settled right down and for the rest of the month we recorded only 9mm of rain of which 6mm fell on the 27th [the start of Glastonbury!] In total for May and June we recorded 135mm and for the first six months of the year 679mm.

The last three weeks of June were for the most part bright, sunny warm and dry. The temperature reached over 20 Deg C every day but one and peaked at 24.2 Deg C on the 23rd. Not surprisingly the 193.14 hours of sunshine were the second highest since 2003, beaten only by June 2010. Winds were light, mainly around 0 - 12 knots with the strongest gust only 18 knots.

We have had a taste of summer - dare we hope for more?

Simon and Sue

5



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

The first week of March was unsettled with the barometer falling to 980mb on the 3rd which brought in a lot of heavy rain. On the 7th high pressure moved in, the sun came out and the weather turned quite spring like, warm, dry and sunny for a few days. Apart from a couple of very foggy days it remained dry and settled until the spring equinox on the 20th when the weather broke and it became wet and windy. The temperature dropped with snow in some areas. The month ended on a warmer, dry note and 108.21 hours of sunshine were recorded which was a bit up on the average. After such a wet winter it was a relief to have a dry month and with only 64mm it was dryer than average. The maximum temperature was 19 Deg C on the 30th with the minimum of 0.8 Deg C on the 14th and a wind chill of -8 Deg C on the 22nd. The greatest gust of wind was 28 knots on the 21st.

April was a fairly average month with sunshine and showers. The total rain for the month was 73mm, most of which fell towards the beginning and end of the month with twelve days dry in the middle. The highest temperature was 18.1 Deg C on the 21st with a minimum of 2.2 Deg C. Winds were light for most of the month with a maximum gust of 21 knots on the 26th. As a result, the coldest wind chill was -1 Deg C whereas in 2012 and 2013 we recorded wind chills of -11 Deg C. Sunshine hours of 137.79 were also about average.

Simon and Sue

5



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

2014 began with a continuation of the bad weather that ended 2013. The only good thing that can be said about January was that it was mild, the maximum temperature 12.0 Deg C with an average maximum of 9.64 Deg C. The thermometer never fell below freezing with the lowest temperature being 0.8 Deg C although there was often a cold wind giving a wind chill of -9 Deg C. 9.47 hours of sunshine were recorded which was slightly up on last year. The barometer dropped to 983mb on two occasions and reached a high of 1016mb on the 12th. The storms continued to come one after another with strong winds and plenty of rain. The wettest day of the month was the 1st with 18mm and the total rain for the month was 227mm, this was spread throughout the month with only three totally dry days. In some parts of the country it was the wettest January for one hundred years and in the south west it was the 5th wettest. We have recorded only three wetter Januarys since 1994. Here in the valley we have been sheltered from the worst of the wind so the strongest gust we recorded was 40 knots which was not unusual.

For the first couple of weeks of February the pattern of low after low continued with storms or severe storms forecast for the 1st, 4th, 8th, 12th and 14th. On the 12th hurricane winds hit Cornwall and we recorded a gust of 50 knots which was the strongest gust of the month and also the strongest gust since October 2002 when we recorded 57 knots. On the 14th the barometer fell to 970mb and hurricane force winds were recorded in the Solent. We were in Cornwall so don't know how strong the wind was here but it didn't exceed 50 knots. After that the wind did settle down a bit though there were further gales on the 23rd and on the 28th violent storm force winds were again forecast off Land's End. The total rain for the month was 180mm which was not exceptional. It was another mild month with a high of 12.2 Deg C and a low of 1.1 Deg C though the strong winds on the 12th produced a wind chill of -10 Deg C. Sunshine hours at 36.72 were again slightly up on last year. To cap it all we had the earthquake on the 20th which measured 4.1 on the Richter Scale and was the strongest felt in North Devon. We both certainly felt and heard it!

We have heard a lot about this being the wettest winter on record so we decided to look back. December, January and February are counted as the winter and we recorded 645mm in those months but in the winter of 1999/2000 we recorded 762mm in the same period and in 1994/1995 we had 840mm. Fortunately, and unusually for North Devon, we missed the worst of both the wind and the rain this winter.

Simon and Sue

5



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

The beginning of November was very wet and windy with a maximum gust of wind of 40 knots on the 2nd and a wind chill of -3 Deg C on the 4th.

By the 9th we had recorded 80mm of rain, then we flew off to sunnier climes returning on the 6th December. Most of the records, therefore, are for the two months combined. The total rain was 318mm, the maximum temperature was 15 Deg C with a minimum of -0.1 Deg C and there was a wind chill of -8 Deg C on the 24th December. Between our return from holiday and the end of the year we recorded nine gales or storms, it felt as though we had come back in the middle of the hurricane season! The barometric pressure was below 1014mb most of the time and on the 23rd December it dropped to 976mb. We did, however, fare better here than in South Devon and other parts of the country.

The recorded 19.06 hours of sunshine in November was actually more than in the previous three years and in December there were 6.42 hours which was also up on 2012 and 2013.

Despite the terrible weather in December 2013 it was a dry year with a total of only 1070mm which made it the third driest year we have recorded after 2006 and 2010. The maximum temperature was 28.9 Deg C, the minimum was -2.7 Deg C and there was a wind chill of -20 Deg C on the 12th March. The barometric pressure peaked at 1037mb in November and troughed at 976mb in December.

As we write this the weather is still mild and very unsettled with yet more stormy weather forecast, at least we are past the shortest day and heading in the right direction.

We wish everyone a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year (and some decent weather).

Simon and Sue

4



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

September was a fairly quiet, warm month. Temperatures were mainly in the high teens and low twenties with a daytime high of 24.1 Deg C and a night low of 7.2 Deg C, although most nights the temperature remained in double figures. It was often overcast but we missed a lot of the rain up here compared with South Devon and with only 43mm it was the second driest September we have recorded. 120.57 hours of sunshine were recorded which was almost identical to last year. Winds were mainly light with a maximum gust of 24 knots.

October was generally very mild even at night with a maximum temperature of 20.8 Deg C and a minimum of 5.6 Deg C, The sunshine hours recorded of 71.09 hours was the highest for October since a note has been kept. Many days were damp or had rain but the total rainfall was only 162mm which was lower than average. The first part of the month was often breezy but then it became more and more stormy. On the 16th we recorded 31 knots, then on Sunday 27th we had a gust of 35 knots which was the strongest gust in the month. It was also the wettest day of the month with 27mm. The severe storm that was forecast for Sunday into Monday fortunately didn't hit this part of the county too badly, in fact we couldn't hear any wind at all but the barometer dropped from 998mb at 2000 on the Sunday to 982 by 0400 Monday.

Unfortunately the unsettled weather has continued into November though at the moment it is still reasonably mild for the time of year. We have heard scare stories that it is going to be a very bad winter so the longer it remains mild the better.

A Happy Christmas to you all. Which will it be - wet or white?

Simon and Sue

10



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

On the 5th July the jet stream finally moved north, the Azores high arrived and the long awaited summer weather settled in.

For two and a half weeks the temperatures rose into the mid to high twenties peaking at 28.9 Deg C on the 19th. Past July's have seen the temperatures in the mid-thirties but this was an improvement on the last few years. The first rain fell on Wednesday, the 24th, followed by a drop in temperature and a slow breakdown to more unsettled conditions. It was the driest July we have ever recorded with a total of only 21mm, the nearest to that was 2006 with 42mm. The winds were light for most of the month with a maximum gust of 22 knots. Chicane recorded 218.75 hours of sunshine, the highest recorded for July since 2002.

The first few days of August were mixed but then on the 5th we had 35mm - more than the whole of July - and this was followed by the onset of the monsoon season on the next day with 39mm falling by 1230 and a total of 44mm by the end of the day. This led to flooding in Ilfracombe and reports that the beach at Combe Martin had been washed away. The rest of the month apart from a few showers and some drizzle was pretty dry again with a total of only 104mm which was fairly average for a month in which the rainfall can vary widely.

It was a very pleasant month with the temperature peaking at 26.2 Deg C' up on the last few Augusts. The minimum of 10.5 Deg C was about average and winds were again fairly calm with a maximum gust of 21 knots. The 178.5 hours of sunshine, although not a record, were up on the last few years.

Autumn seems to be on its way now but at least we have had a reasonable spell of summer weather this year.

Simon and Sue

3



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

The rumours that this would be the driest May on record turned out to be false. Although we recorded only 71 mm there have been many previous years with less rain. It was a cold month with persistent cold winds for much of it. There was only one day when the thermometer topped 20 Deg C reaching a respectable 22.5 Deg C and the wind chill went down on one day to -9 Deg C.

Only 138.03 hours of sunshine were recorded which was the least amount since 2006. The strongest wind we recorded was 32 knots. Right at the end of the month the weather became more summery with sunny days but still there was a cool breeze.

The summery weather continued until about the 11th of June when it started to break down and on the 13th and 14th there were unseasonably strong to gale force winds. It remained unsettled with the longest day, and traditional start of summer, being misty, mizzly and gloomy. This was followed by a further spell of gale force winds to play havoc with the beans.

Wimbledon fortnight started promisingly but the rain soon arrived though here it was light drizzle. Glastonbury also failed to bring the usual torrential rain and the month ended with a total of only 39mm making it one of the driest Junes that we have recorded - last year we had 179mm! Temperatures were fairly disappointing with a maximum temperature of only 22.4 Deg C but there were 151.54 hours of sunshine which was about normal for the month. We were sheltered from the strongest wind so recorded a maximum gust of only 28 knots.

We have now heard that July is going to be hot and dry - we shall see.

Simon and Sue

2



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

It has been a bit of a slow start to spring but at least it has been drier over the last three months.

March, with 73mm was the driest month since March 2012. But we were lucky here. On the 21st/22nd there was severe flooding in Cornwall and South Devon whereas we recorded only 14mm. Our wettest day was the 15th with 34mm. Unlike last March it was very cold with only six days when the temperature reached double figures and nine nights were below freezing. The maximum temperature was 14.5 Deg C with an average of 8.74 Deg C and a minimum of -2.7 Deg C. The easterly winds were bitter and at 0303 on the 12th we recorded a wind chill of -20 Deg C which was a new record for us. There was also some snow on seven days and although the amounts were very small, that was more than normal for March.

April was even drier than March with only 34mm and the strong cold wind continued for much of the month holding down the temperature. The maximum was 15.9 Deg C which although a bit higher than last year was well down on previous Aprils. The minimum of -1.1 Deg C and wind chill of -11 Deg C were not out of the ordinary.

70.28 hours of sunshine were recorded in March and 119.94 in April, both of which were fairly average amounts and probably reflected the drier conditions.

May so far has started dry and we have heard a rumour that it will be the driest May on record. If so we may hear the drought word used again!

Simon and Sue

 

6



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

 

2013 started fairly benignly - reasonably mild and with many days damp and drizzly. Then came the first snow of the winter which combined with a strong wind brought quite deep drifts. It was strange to see some fields covered in a white blanket and others still green according to the wind direction. On the 23rd the snow fell in huge flakes and covered the road in the Valley. After a week the temperature rose rapidly and the snow vanished.

The total rain for the month was 123mm - 1mm less than last year. The average maximum temperature was 8 Deg C with a peak of 13.1 Deg C on the 29th. The lowest temperature was -0.5 Deg C on the 24th, which was the only night when the temperature dropped below freezing although there was a ground frost on several nights. The strongest gust of wind was 37 knots and only 8.56 hours of sunshine were recorded, well down on the previous four Januaries.

In February a high pressure system set in and the weather finally became drier although it was often overcast. The total rain for the month was only 82mm making it the driest month since May 2012 and from the 13th we recorded no rain at all. With a predominately strong easterly it was often bitterly cold with a wind chill down to -11 Deg C. The maximum day temperature was 11.1 Deg C but for most of the month the temperature stayed in single figures with a minimum temperature of -1.7 Deg C. We are sheltered from the easterly wind so the maximum gust was 29 knots.

The combination of lack of rain and drying wind has dried the ground up quite a bit; it is lovely to see the fields looking less like quagmires. The sunshine hours of 28.11 were down on last year but otherwise fairly average for the month.

Simon and Sue

7



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

Unfortunately there was no let-up in the dreadful weather in the last couple of months of the year.

November started with hail on the 1st and on the 15th we recorded the first frost. The maximum temperature was 14.2 Deg C which was below average for the month with a minimum of 0.3 Deg C. Several days were quite windy with a maximum gust of 31 knots on the 22nd. The 22.22 hours of sunshine was one of the higher amounts for November.

The temperatures in December were about average with a maximum of 12.9 Deg C and a minimum of -2.2 Deg C when we had a cold snap in the middle of the month. Again it was frequently windy with the greatest wind speed of 33 knots on the 31st. Not surprisingly, the hours of sunshine were down on many previous Decembers with a total of only 4.76 hours.

The main item of interest of course is the rain. November brought flooding in various parts of Devon but we recorded 172mm which, for an often wet month, was not exceptional. December brought a total of 274mm and flooding to Braunton and also the Sterridge, again this was not a record but after so many wet months the ground was saturated. According to the Met. Office, 2012 was the wettest year in the South West since records began in 1910, but as you can see from the table below, we have recorded four years with higher rainfall.


Was 2012 the Wettest Year in Berrynarbor?

Not according to our records since 1994.

Below we have compared the previous four wetter years with 2012.

 

Years in millimetres

 

1994

2000

1999

1998

2012

January

301

77

240

160

124

February

188

230

106

32

53

March

200

69

75

185

8

April

166

171

118

137

115

May

80

129

44

57

77

June

68

58

88

162

179

July

69

111

27

116

120

August

96

80

143

59

148

September

186

198

205

95

110

October

180

352

142

340

207

November

185

311

109

140

172

December

316

219

378

174

274

Total

2035

2005

1675

1657

1587

 

Of the 315 days we have made note on the weather during 2012 we only had 78 days with no precipitation. The wettest day was the 23rd September with 44mm and the driest month was March with only 8mm.

Simon and Sue

3



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

We expressed a hope in the last Newsletter that we should be writing about lovely weather in this one but it wasn't to be.

There was a brief respite from the weather in September with only 18mm (3/4") of rain up to the 23rd and warm sunnier days but this soon changed and on Sunday the 24th the country was hit by very stormy weather - according to the Met. Office it was the most intense September storm for over 30 years and it brought widespread flooding. We recorded 44mm (1 3/4") in the 24 hours and by the end of the month the total rainfall was 110mm (4 3/8" ) which was slightly less than last year. The maximum temperature was 22.7 Deg C with a low of 7.8 Deg C and a maximum gust of wind here of 24 knots.

October is often a wet month and this year was no exception with a total of 207mm (8 1/8") - probably about average but seeming much worse after such a wet summer. The wettest day was the 12th with 28mm (1 1/8") but there were several days which topped 20mm (11/16"). On the 11th when Clovelly flooded we recorded 23mm (15/16") and also recorded 16.8 Deg C which was the maximum temperature for the month. The minimum was 3.5 Deg C on the 14th and the maximum gust of wind was 25 knots. On the 31st we had quite a deep low move through with the barometer falling to 981mb.

The sunshine hours for September were, in spite of the inclement weather up 11% at 120.61, whereas October at 59.35 were down, but last year's figure was one of the highest recorded for that month.

On Sunday 27th October there was snow in the north of the country and on Monday 29th Hurricane Sandy hit America. According to some papers Britain is in for a freezing winter again!

We wish you all a Happy (white?) Christmas.

Sue and Simon

Peter Rothwell

3



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

June's miserable weather continued well into July with rain or damp on 19 of the first 20 days. On Friday 6th into Saturday 7th, South Devon experienced torrential rain with a month's worth falling in 24 hours; here we were lucky and had only 16mm (5/8"). The wettest day was Thursday 12th when it rained steadily from about 10.00 a.m. then in the evening the heavens opened and 6mm (1/4") fell in 15 minutes giving a total of 24mm (15/16") by the next morning. The total rainfall for the month was 120mm (4 3/4") which was fairly high for the month although in recent years July has been wetter - 303 mm (11 15/16") in 2009! Temperatures struggled to get into the twenties for most of the month although after the 20th the jet stream shifted north and for a week it was quite warm with a maximum of 25.4 Deg C on the 27th. After that the temperature dropped away again and showery conditions returned. The maximum gust of wind was 25 knots on the 16th..

There was no improvement in the weather in August, temperatures stayed mainly in the teens or low twenties with a maximum of 25.8 Deg C on the 11th. It was yet another wet month with only five completely dry days and a total rainfall for the month of 148mm (5 7/8"), not a record for August but still fairly high.

It is not surprising that the records of the hours of sunshine were down on the average for both months with 166.47 hours in July and only 146.29 hours in August.

In case there was doubt in anyone's mind that it was a wet summer we recorded 447mm (17 5/8") of rain in this June, July and August which was more than in any previous year, although 2007 came a very close second with 444mm (17 1/2").

It would be nice in the next Newsletter to be writing about the beautiful weather we have been having but we shall have to wait and see.

Simon and Sue

3



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

Before we say anything about the weather we should like to thank the people who worked so hard to make the Jubilee Weekend such a success - well done to you all.

A wet, cold start to May gave way to drier conditions and a mini heat wave towards the end of the month when the temperature reached 28 Deg C on the 27th, one of the hottest May days that we have recorded. The minimum of 3.5 Deg C was about average. The total rainfall for the month was 77mm (3") which was fairly average as May's rainfall has varied between 156mm (6 1/8" ) and 31mm (1 1/4"). The sunshine record of 165.28 hours was above average for the month.

After raising hopes of a good summer the weather went downhill over the first weekend in June which unfortunately coincided with all the Jubilee events. Temperatures were down for most of the month with a maximum of 22.5 Deg C on the 2nd. Every weekend seemed to bring strong to gale force winds with a maximum gust of 30 knots on the 22nd. The biggest feature, of course, was the rain, the total for the month was 179mm (7 1/16") with 41mm (1 9/16") falling in twenty four hours. Our previous wettest June was in 1998 when we recorded 162mm (6 3/8"). The miserable weather is reflected in the 142.48 hours of sunshine which were well down on previous years but at least we did escape the really severe conditions experienced elsewhere in the country.

In the first six months of this year we have recorded 556mm (21 7/8") of rain, the second highest total since 2003. However, between 1994 and 2002 every year exceeded this amount in the same period. It may not seem like it at the moment but it would appear that we are getting less rain than we used to.

As we write this it is raining and the weather forecast for the next few weeks is more of the same, let's hope the Met Office has made a mistake.

Simon and Sue

5



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

The first three months of this year were the driest we have ever recorded with a total of only 185mm (7 5/16"), As we said in our previous report, we were away until the 7th of March but between the 8th and the end of the month we recorded only 8mm (5/16"). The middle of March was fairly quiet with a lot of fog - chilly in the fog but warm when the sun broke through - then the last week was more like summer with a maximum temperature on the 24th of 20.6 Deg C, the highest temperature that we have ever recorded in March. The lowest temperature was 1.9 Deg C on the 19th. Winds were light with a maximum gust of 20 knots on the 9th. 98.71 hours of sunshine were recorded, up on most previous months although last year we had 109.00 hours.

According to the Met. Office it was the wettest April for over 100 years, but we got off lightly here with only 115mm (4 9/16" ), less than we recorded in the April of 1994,1998,1999, 2000 and 2001. On the 18th the barometric dropped to 979mb, the last time it was lower was in November 2010 when it fell to 969mb. It was a cold month with a maximum temperature of only 14.9 Deg C on the 30th, well down on average though the minimum was about average at 1.6 Deg C. There was a cold wind for a lot of the month which meant that the wind chill was often in minus figures. On the 29th stormy weather was forecast, but because of the wind direction from the north east we were sheltered and only recorded 29 knots although the wind was up to storm force 10 in parts of the county and gusting force 11 off the south coast. It wasn't just the wind strength that was a problem, it was also very cold with a wind chill of -11 Deg C and we heard that there was snow at the top of Porlock Hill. The 110.88 sunshine hours were the lowest recorded in April apart from 2004 when it was only 109.38.

We hope to be able to report some excellent summer weather in the next report.

Simon and Sue


 

5



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

After a very windy start to the year with winds forecast up to storm force on the 2nd/3rd January and again on the 4th/5th [here it gusted up to 41 knots which was the strongest wind we have recorded in any month since January 2007], the weather settled down to being mild and damp.It wasnt until the 13th that we had any frost and for the first time this winter the temperature dropped below freezing with a minimum for the month of -1.6 Deg C on the 16th before recovering and becoming mild again.The temperatures were fairly consistent through the month reaching double figures on 23 days with a maximum of 11.9 Deg C on the 12th.The last few days turned more seasonal with the first snow on high ground on the 29th/30th.Here we had 19mm [3/4 "] of rain.The total for the month was 124mm [5"] which was a bit below average.The sunshine record of 13.56 hours was probably about average, the figures having ranged from 7.2 hours 20.51 hours for the month.

At the beginning of February the weather turned colder with overnight temperatures dropping to -5.8 Deg C and -5.1 Deg C between the 2nd and 4th, these were the lowest temperatures we recorded for the month.On the 4th, heavy snow was forecast for much of the country but here the temperature rose all day and by 10.00 p.m. it was up to 7.7 Deg C so we had rain which amounted to 9mm [3/8"].We were away from the middle of February until the 7th March so our figures include up to this date.We understand that while we were away, you had some lovely spring weather, borne out by the 40.82 hours of sunshine, the second highest recorded in a February. The total rainfall up to the 7th was only 53mm [2 1/16"] which was fairly low for February although we have noticed that the rainfall in February has generally been a lot less in the last few years.The maximum gust of wind was 29 knots on the 18th and there was a wind chill of 12 Deg C on the 1st.

We've come home to the daffodils and primroses out and some spring-like weather hopefully winter is on its way out.

Simon and Sue

6



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

November was a complete contrast to last year. It was the second driest November that we have recorded with a total of only 64mm [2 9/16"] of rain. Winds were fairly light for much of the month and on the 4th we recorded only 4 knots - the calmest since the middle of January. The wind did pick up a bit more towards the end of the month with a maximum wind gust of 32 knots on the 27th. Temperatures ranged between 3.7 Deg C and 17 Deg C with a wind chill below freezing on only two days. By comparison, last year after the 20th temperatures dropped into single figures with overnight temperatures staying below freezing. The wind chill was below freezing on 13 days and -10 Deg C on two days. The sunshine hours of 28.53 were the highest since keeping records in 2002.

December made up for the dry November with a total of 187mm [7 5/16"] making it the wettest month of the year. The rain was spread throughout the month with only five days without any recordable rain. It was much milder than last December with a maximum of 12.4 Deg C, which in itself was not exceptional - we have recorded up to 14.3 Deg C in December 1997. But temperatures were in double figures for much of the month and the minimum was only 3.2 Deg C, the first December that we have not recorded a minus figure. The wind chill was down to -10 Deg C on a couple of days and there were very few days with a wind chill above freezing. This was as a result of the strong winds that we had throughout the month with frequent gale or strong wind warnings, the strongest gust recorded was 32 knots but readings were distorted by the valley. Far from being a white Christmas, the month ended on a damp mild note. December's sunshine hours of only 3.2 reflect the gloomy, overcast month and were the second lowest recorded.

Despite the rain in December, 2011 was one of the driest years we have recorded. With a total rainfall of 1089 [42 7/8"] it was not far behind 2010 with 1019 [40 1/8"] and 2006 with 1054 [411/2"].

As we write this there are still no signs of any very cold weather, but there is plenty of wind about. We wish everyone a Happy New Year.

Simon and Sue

3



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

The long awaited heat wave arrived at the end of September when the temperature soared to 25 Deg C on the 29th, which made it one of the warmest days of the year although it was not unusual for the month. The lowest temperature was 7.8 Deg C. It was a windy month with strong winds or gale warnings on many days and we recorded a maximum wind gust of 32 knots on the 12th. The total rain for the month was 112 mm [41/2"] which made it one of our wettest Septembers; correspondingly, the sunshine hours of 108.19 were down on the average.

We enjoyed a mixed bag of weather in October starting with the continuation of the heat wave with a maximum temperature for the month of 25.5 Deg C on the 1st, which was the second highest temperature for the year behind 26.9 Deg C in June. On the 3rd the weather broke in the middle of the day and a period of damp, drizzly weather set in until the middle of the month when the temperature dropped away with overnight lows in single figures. The minimum temperature was 4.1 Deg C at 0330 on the 29th. The total rain for the month was 119mm [4 3/4"], on the low side for the month. We were fortunate on the 29th when there was flooding in Cornwall that we only had 8mm [5/16"] but on the 31st it started to rain about 7.00 p.m. and in two hours we recorded 18mm [3/4"]. The strongest gust of wind was 28 knots here in the Valley on the 17th. The sunshine hours of 66.94 were among the highest that had been recorded for an October. So far we haven't heard of any warnings of imminent severe weather - we'll just keep our fingers crossed!

Happy Christmas to you all. Will it be a white one?

Simon and Sue

11



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

We ended the last report on a comment about awaiting the heat-wave that was forecast - we are still waiting!

July was another disappointing month, the middle week-end brought gale warnings and heavy showers and preceded a week with an unsettled forecast due to an unseasonal low over the North Sea. Temperatures struggled to reach 21 Deg C for most of the month and only topped 23 Deg C on three days. The maximum temperature for the month was 24.7 Deg C with a low of 9 Deg C. In the previous l7 years we have only recorded three other years when the maximum temperature was lower, but despite this the 185.23 hours of sunshine recorded was above average. July has produced rainfall totals between42mm [1 5/8"] and a massive 303mm [12"], so this year's total of 99mm [31/2"] was nothing unusual and very similar to last year. The 6th was a very wet day with 23mm [15/16"].

It was a breezy month but because of our position we only recorded a maximum gust of 24 knots.

August was decidedly autumnal with only 12 days when the temperature reached 20 Deg C or over and the two warmest days, being the 1st and 3rd, when the thermometer hit 21.8 Deg C on both days. It was the coolest August that we have ever recorded although 2009 and 2010 were also cool. The Bank Holiday week-end was particularly disappointing and chilly; on the Friday we recorded only 14.9 Deg C. The total rainfall for the month was l83mm [3 1/4"] which was about average, much of that rain falling in torrential showers. The wind was also average with a maximum gust of 24 knots. The 150.88 hours of sunshine were nearly identical to last year and were well below average.

According to the Met Office it has been the coldest summer for many years and already there are signs of the trees starting to turn - does this mean we are in for another hard winter?

Simon and Sue

4



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

The weather in April was too good to last and May was much cooler with strong winds for much of the month, helping to hold the temperature down. There were only six days which topped 20 Deg C and the maximum was 21.2 Deg C - according to our records this was only the fourth May not to reach at least 23 Deg C. The minimum temperature at 5.7 Deg C was up on average and the wind chill of -1 Deg C was not unusual. The wind speed reached 28 knots on two consecutive days. There was some welcome rain for the farmers and gardeners but with a total for the month of only 64mm [21/2"] it was one of the dryer Mays we've known.

June was a disappointing month altogether, cool and showery. The Open Gardens day on the 12th unfortunately was the wettest day of the month with 20mm [13/16"] by 10.30 p.m. and a total of 22mm [7/8"] by the next morning. In total there was 104mm [41/16"] of rain in the month which was higher than usual and made it the wettest month since January. Although the thermometer did hit 26.9 Deg C on the 26th, for much of the month the temperature stayed below 20 Deg C with a minimum of 5.6 Deg C which was below average. Wind speeds reached 24 knots and there was a wind chill of 2 Deg C.

The recorded sunshine hours for the two months were both down - in May the average since recording the figures is 151.86 hours but this year it was a bit below that at 147.67. In June, however, only 164.72 hours was recorded against an average of 178.55. Last year in June 207.77 hours were recorded.

The heatwave that we were threatened with doesn't seem to have materialised yet . . . time will tell!

Simon and Sue

2



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT


Unfortunately we were away right at the end of March and beginning of April so we cannot give the accurate rainfall totals but they were both very dry months with a total of only 31mm [11 1/4"] of rain between them. March came in like a lamb and there was a bit of a roar at the end but it was short lived. Up to the 25th there were only 5 days when we recorded any rain at all. The temperatures were fairly average with a maximum of 17.9 Deg C, a minimum of -1.5 Deg C and a wind chill of -7 Deg C. Winds were mainly light to moderate with stronger winds on the 31st getting up to 31 knots.


The first few days of April were windier and there was some rain but then the wind dropped and after the 5th there was only one day on which there was any recordable rain and that was only 1mm on the 13th.


Temperatures rose to a maximum of 25.3 Deg C, one of the highest temperatures that we have recorded in April, with a minimum of 3.5 Deg C - well up on previous Aprils. It was also the first year that the wind chill has not dropped below freezing during the month. The maximum wind gust was 28 knots on the 4th after which the winds were much lighter.


It is not surprising, with so little rain, that the recorded 109.00 hours of sun in March was up by 14 hours on the previous high for the month, and 169.76 hours in April up by at least 15 hours.


The first four months of this year have produced 266mm [101/2"] nearly the driest we have recorded, only beaten by 217mm [8 9/16] in 2006. Looking back through the records, the earlier part of the year does appear to be getting drier - in 1994 we had 855mm [33 3/4"] in the same period, over three times more than this year.


Simon and Sue


2



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

The first week of January was wetter than the whole of December, although the total of 156mm [6 1/8"] was fairly average for a month where rainfall varies considerably. With strong, blustery south to south westerly winds, it was reasonably mild until the 17th, then overnight the temperature dropped away as pressure rose. The next few days were calm, still, cold and frosty, then on the 24th the temperature recovered before falling again to -4.2 Deg C at the end of the month, one of the lowest temperatures this winter. The maximum temperature for the month was 12.5 Deg C, about average, as was the wind chill of -11 Deg C. 15.38 hours of sunshine were recorded, exceeding all previous years apart from last year when nearly five hours more were recorded.

February was milder; according to 'Spotlight' the mildest since 2002, and the 9th mildest for 100 years. With a maximum temperature of 13 Deg C and a minimum of 0.1 Deg C, it was the first month since October not to drop below freezing. The wind picked up on the 2nd and blew continually at strong to gale force for nearly a week, with a maximum gust of 34 knots on the 6th. It was a damp month, only the last day not having some precipitation, although the total for the month was only 79mm [3 1/8"]. Sunshine hours of 34.89 were above the norm, but did not reflect the dull month.

March has come in 'like a lamb' - let's hope that the worst of the winter weather is behind us and that there isn't a sting in the tail!

Simon and Sue

6



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

November was an interesting month which started with rain and strong winds. On the 11th there were gale warnings for every sea area bar two: for Lundy the forecast was up storm 10 and for the Irish Sea violent storm 11. Here we were sheltered but still recorded 34 knots, which was the strongest gust of the month. The next problem was rain! On the 17th we had a torrential downpour which produced 16mm [5/8"] in an hour, causing some flooding in Ilfracombe, but this was nothing compared to what Cornwall experienced. The total rain for the month was 150mm [6"] which was not particularly high but it was spread throughout the month with only eight days not producing at least 1mm. The final feature of the month was the bitter wintry conditions of the last week. Compared to Cornwall and other parts of the country we again got off pretty lightly, with a mainly strong, drying wind, so ice wasn't so much of a problem, but the wind chill ranged from -6 Deg C to -10 Deg C. The maximum temperature for the month was 15 Deg C, fairly average, but the minimum of -5 Deg C was the lowest November temperature we have recorded since we began keeping records in 1994. There was also snowfall on three days. Surprisingly the sunshine hours of 24.19 for the month were one of the highest for a November.

December broke a few records, it was a very cold month, the coldest in the south west since records began. It did warm up in the last few days but up to the 28th, the temperature never reached double figures. The average maximum for the month was 5.1 Deg C, with an average minimum of 0.59 Deg C. We recorded our lowest ever temperature on the 7th when it fell to -6 Deg C at 0737. We also recorded a wind chill of -14 Deg C, which was not a record but still pretty cold! The coldest day was Christmas Day when the thermometer only reached a high of 0.2 Deg C and then fell away to -5.6 Deg C overnight. Several inches of snow fell but with a total of only 32mm [1 1/4"] of precipitation, it was the driest December that we have ever recorded by a long way, the nearest was 88mm [31/2"] in 1996 and again in 2008. The 10.89 hours of sunshine were slightly up on average.

2010 also broke records for being the driest we have recorded and nationally the driest since 1953. We had only 1019mm [40 1/8"], slightly over half of our wettest year which was 1994 with 3032mm [80"].

Simon and Sue

7



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

There is nothing particularly outstanding to report about September's weather, it was a fairly average month. The total rainfall was 106mm [4 3/4'], which was more than we have had over the last few years apart from 2008 when we had 152mm [6"]. The maximum temperature of 22.7 Deg C was again about average though the minimum of 4.9 Deg C was slightly on the cool side. The strongest gust of wind that we recorded was 25 knots, again about normal although the sunshine hours were a bit down on the average at 113.27 hours. We were in the Scillies for the last two weeks of the month and enjoyed lovely warm but pretty windy weather.

October, however, was a different story, with about three season rolled into the one month! It started with the monsoon on the 1st when torrential downpours produced 33mm [1 5/16"] in twenty four hours, followed by another 18mm [11/16"] in the next twenty four hours. After that the weather improved, the temperature rose and we had a return to summer for a few days - it was breezy but warm and any rain fell mainly overnight. Then the temperatures returned to normal or below, and on the 17th we recorded the first frost of the autumn. The total rainfall for the month was 151mm [6"], much of which was concentrated on a relatively few days. The maximum temperature was 22.7 Deg C on the 8th, one of the warmest October days we have recorded, and the minimum of 0.1 Deg C one of the lowest. The wind gusts up to 30 knots were fairlyaverage but the sunshine hours were a bit above at 58.97.

The trees have been looking magnificent in their autumn livery, now we'll have to wait and see if this coming winter is another cold one!

Simon and Sue

3



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

We needn't have worried about a hosepipe ban, the first 24 hours of July produced 25mm [1"] of rain, which ended up as the wettest day of the month. After the long, settled period we had in June, July was more unsettled with a lot more cloud and it was quite breezy. It rained onSt. Swithin's Day. which was worrying, but since we have had several days without any rain. The total rainfall for the month was 92mm [3 11/16"] which was fairly average, as was the maximum temperature of 25.6 Deg C, though the minimum of 10.7 Deg C was above normal. Surprisingly, Chicane recorded 181.39 hours of sunshine, the second highest since 2003, beaten only by 195.95 hours in July 2006. The maximum wind gust was 29 knots.

August was disappointing again this year, cool with some very wet days. On Thursday the 20th, the rain started after lunch and by 11.00 p.m. we had recorded 3l7mm [11/2"] with another 6mm [1/4'] falling overnight and then a week later we had 46mm [1 11/16"] in a 24 hour period. The total for the month was 167mm [63/4']. the third highest total that we have recorded in August. Temperatures were below average with a maximum of only 22.4 Deg C, which was lower than April, May or June. For most of August the thermometer hovered around 20 Deg C at best. The minimum of 7.4 Deg C, the lowest for the month since 1994. The hours of sunshine for the month were well below average with only 2008 being lower. Winds were frequently from a northerly direction which helped to keep the temperatures down and there were some quite breezy days, although as we are sheltered from that direction, we recorded a maximum gust of only 23 knots.

Simon and Sue


 

St. Swithun or Swithin was born c800 and became Anglo-Saxon Bishop of Winchester from 30th October 852 until his death on the 2nd July 862.

Subsequently he became patron saint of Winchester Cathedral. His historical importance as Bishop is overshadowed by his reputation for posthumous miracle-working. According to tradition, the weather on his feast day, 15th July, will continue for forty days.

6



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

According to the Met Office, 2010 has been the driest first six months of the year since 1929. Our records don't go back quite that far, but it has certainly been our driest start to the year with only 321mm [12 5/8"] up to the end of June. The next nearest was in 2006 when we had 389mm

[15 5/16"]. At the other end of the scale, the most rain that we have recorded in the same period is 1003mm [39 5/16"] in 1994 - that did go on to be a very wet year.

The first three weeks of May were cool and we had to wait until the 21st/22nd before we had the first 24 hour period this year when the temperature did not fall back into single figures. The warmest day of the month was the 23rd when the temperature reached 27 Deg C, then after the 26th the temperature fell back again and the wind became cooler as it went back to the North East. The minimum temperature was 1.9 Deg C and there was a wind chill of -2 Deg C. It was one of the driest Mays that we have ever recorded with only 27mm [1 1/16"] of rain and the above average 173.72 hours of sunshine reflected this. The strongest gust of wind was 20 knots from the South West on the 29th.

In June we recorded 24mm [15/16"], our second driest June and that rain fell on only seven days through the month. It was generally warm and across the county temperatures were above average. We recorded a maximum of 24.6 Deg C which was actually below average for us although the hours of sunshine were well up on previous years at 207.77 hours. The minimum of 7.1 Deg C was about normal and winds were fairly light, reaching a maximum of 18 knots on the 10th from the North West. the barometer reached a high 1028 mbars. on the 16th.

If at the end of our last report we were worrying that summer might be like the previous three years - wet, now we are wondering when the hosepipe ban will be brought in!

Simon and Sue

8



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

March was true to the old saying 'in like a lamb, out like a lion'. It started off cold but calm and dry. By the middle of the month it became more like spring but then on the night of the 16th, the temperature rose, the high pressure moved away and the winds went round to the south and south west. Low after low arrived, bringing more unsettled weather and the first rain of the month. The total was 94mm [3 3/4'], all of which fell after the 16th, the wettest day being the 30th when 17mm [11/16"] fell. The maximum temperature was 15 Deg C, with a minimum of -2.3 Deg C, both of which were on the low side of average.

Overnight on the 30th and on the 31st there was a return to winter with sleet and hail showers, gales, snow on high ground and a wind chill of -12 Deg C on the 31st.

In the first three months of the year we recorded a total of 245mm [9 3/4'] which made this only the second driest first quarter of the year we have ever recorded, in 2006 during the same period, we had only 195mm [7 3/4'].

The recorded hours of sunshine at 88.78 were a bit up on the average.

April was another dry month with 16mm [5/8"] falling in the first week followed by sixteen days without rain at all. We were away during the last week, to the 2nd May, so the total is not accurate but we had approximately 25mm [1"] in the month. Although this was well below average in April 2007, we recorded only 9mm [7/16"]. It was generally a bright sunny month but with a frequent northerly or easterly direction to the wind, it was quite chilly and there were many overnight frosts. The temperature was generally a bit below average although it did rise to a maximum of 23 Deg C at the end of the month. The minimum was 1.5 Deg C and we had a wind chill of -5 Deg C.

Again the hours of sunshine were above average at 147.42 for the month.

I don't think that we are alone in worrying that all this calm, dry, sunny weather may come to an abrupt end as the summer arrives!

Simon and Sue

6



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

We don't need to remind anyone that January and February were cold months!

In January the temperature dropped to below or near freezing on twenty-two nights; daytime temperatures were well below double figures for most of the month. The highest temperature was 11.8 Deg C on the 16th and the lowest was -4.6 Deg C on the 7th. This was not actually as low as last January when we recorded -5.6 Deg C, but then the cold spell was not so prolonged. We got off lightly here in Berrynarbor, temperatures in other parts of the county dropped to -14 Deg C and -15 Deg C. We did record wind chills of -14 Deg C on two days and -11 Deg C, 012 Deg C and -13 Deg C on three other days. There were falls of snow on seven days with a maximum fall of 10mm [3/8"] - a light dusting in comparison to the massive 480mm [19"] Aviemore had in one night! The cold frosty weather meant that there was little rain in the month, the total being 65mm [2 9/16"], this was not exceptional but January can be a very wet month. With a lack of rain, this meant more sunshine and the hours recorded were 20.51, capping last year by 71/2 hours.

February had a few spring-like days but again the temperatures stayed mainly in single figures with a maximum of 11.4 Deg C on the 24th. The overnight minimums although dropping below freezing on several nights were higher generally than in January and the lowest recorded was -2.5 Deg C on the 12th. There was also a wind chill of -11 Deg C on two consecutive days. It was another dry month with a total of 86mm [3 3/8"] of rain, the wettest day being the 2nd with 12mm [1/2"] and there were also four days with some snow. One thing we haven't seen a lot of this winter is south-westerly gales. In January the strongest wind guest was 28knots from the north and in February, it was 24 knots from south-south east.

There was very little sunshine in the early part of February, with the total of 23.06 hours being only .22 hours higher than in 2009.

March has started dry and sunny with high pressure still in control, but it is still pretty cold and the ground is still frozen where the sun hasn't reached it. The daffodils are being held back but the snowdrops and crocuses are putting on a good show.

Simon and Sue

6



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

November was a miserable month, wet and windy without much respite from the beginning. The daily rainfall amounts were not exceptionally high, with 20mm [13/16"] on the 19th being the highest total for 24 hours, but there were only three days in the month without a measurable amount of rain. The total for the month 254mm [10"] which made it the third wettest November we have ever recorded. The wettest was in 2000 when we had 311mm [12 5/16"], which was slightly less than Cumbria had in 24 hours! It was a fairly mild month with daytime temperatures into double figures for most of the month and a maximum of 14.5 Deg C on the 19th. Overnight minimums were so mild until the 30th when the temperature dropped to 0.3 Deg C and we had a frost. Chicane reported that there were 16.27 hours of sunshine.

Winds were a feature of the month with gale after gale. Bearing in mind that we are fairly sheltered here we recorded gusts of 30 knots or more on 9 days with a maximum gust of 35 knots. In fact there were only 8 days with less than 20 knots.

After such a wet November we had one of the driest Decembers on our record with only 112mm [41/2"], and also lighter winds than normal.

Nationally it was the coldest December for 15 years but despite the freezing conditions in the second half of the month, we did not record any exceptional temperatures. The maximum temperature was 12.3 Deg C which was slightly down on normal and the minimum overnight was -1.4 Deg C, last year we had a -3.9 Deg C and in December 1995 -5.9 Deg C. We did measure a wind chill factor on the 18th of -14 Deg C which equals December 1997. We noticed the temperatures fluctuated very rapidly, for example on Christmas morning at 12.30 a.m. it was 2 Deg C, by 5.30 a.m. it ha risen to 5.5 Deg C and then at 9.30 a.m. it was back down to 1.5 Deg C. There were four days when snow fell, albeit in very small amounts. According to our records, snow fall in December is rare, the nearest was three days in 2000. Sunshine hours were down to 9.2 but this is influenced at this time of year by the sun being behind the hill for most of the daylight hours.

In spite of the disappointing summer and some very wet months, the total rainfall for 2009 was 1409mm [55 5/8"] which is about average for the last 16 years, but it was a cooler year than normal with a top temperature of only 27.3 Deg C.

As we write this the country is in the middle of 'the big freeze' - more about that in the next Newsletter.

Simon and Sue

9



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

After a disappointing July and August, September was a much improved month. The first few days were wet and windy but then a high pressure became established over us and the weather settled to warm, dry and calm, just in time for our annual fortnight to the Scillies! The total rainfall for the month was 78mm [3 1/8"], most of which fell in the first four days, which was also when we recorded the strongest gust of wind of 28 knots. The maximum temperature of 21.4 Deg C was actually down on all the previous Septembers we have recorded, but the minimum of 6.4 Deg C was about average. We had 121.04 hours of sunshine which was slightly more than the last couple of years, but was not a record.

The dry weather continued into October giving us a chance to get the garden back under control, but on Tuesday 20th, the heavens opened! The rain started to fall about 0945 hrs and within 21/2 hours we had had 30mm [1 3/16"] and by 1400 hrs the rain gauge had collected 41mm [1 9/16"]. The final total for the day was 42mm. Despite this it was the fourth driest October that we have ever recorded with 117mm [4 5/8"] in the whole month. The temperatures, particularly towards the end of the month, were above average although the highest daytime temperature of 18.3 Deg C was, if anything, slightly below the norm. 66.37 hours of sunshine were recorded which was also higher than average. Winds were light for the majority of the time with a maximum gust of 28 knots on the 24th.

The first of November heralded a complete change in the weather, with gales and heavy showers - autumn seems to have arrived with a vengeance.

We should like to wish everyone a very happy Christmas and a healthy New Year.

Simon and Sue

8



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

July was a record-breaking month - unfortunately the record broken was not for temperature and sunshine! After the last two years, we have decided that July is now our 'monsoon' month. The heavy rain started on the 5th when the Sterridge Open Gardens day suffered torrential rain, which produced 20mm [13/16"] during the day. Then, between 11.00 a.m. on the 16th and 11.00 a.m. on the 17th, we had 81mm [3 1/8"], which was the most we have ever recorded for a single day. The total rainfall for the month was 303mm [11 15/16"], which made it not only the wettest July that we've ever recorded, but also the wettest month of any since October 2000. Spare a thought for Princetown, which had 368mm [141/2"]. The maximum temperature was 27.3 Deg C, which was a little cool but not exceptional with a minimum of 11.8 Deg C, which was above normal. The wind was fairly strong for most of the month, with a north westerly gale on the 17th, but we are sheltered from that direction so our strongest gust was 30 knots on the 22nd. The miserable weather meant that Chicane recorded only 135.59 hours of sunshine, which was the lowest for a July since we started keeping records in 2003 - the nearest to this was 2007 when we had 150.97 hours.

August was a little improved. It is often a wet month so this year with only 69mm [2 3/4"] it was one of the drier Augusts, but the rain was spread fairly evenly throughout the month, with only six days without some precipitation and only three of those were consecutive. The wettest was the 4th, with 9mm [11/32"]. It was a fairly cool month with a maximum temperature of only 23.1 Deg C, which was down on previous years; the minimum of 10 Deg C was slightly above the normal. August was slightly sunnier than July with 152.7 hours, but again, apart from last year when we had only 127.64 hours, it was a duller month than usual. Another breezy month, there was a maximum gust of 28 knots on the 20th.

We all need an Indian Summer now to set us up for the winter.

Simon and Sue

Indian Summer: an unseasonably warm, dry and calm period of weather, usually following a period of colder weather or frost in late autumn.

The term 'Indian Summer' reached England in the 19th Century, during the heyday of the British Raj in India. This led to the mistaken belief that the term referred to the Indian sub-continent. In fact the Indians in question were the Native Americans, the term being used there in the late 18th Century. 'Indian Summer' is first recorded in Letters from an American Farmer, a 1778 work by the French-American soldier turned farmer, J.H. St. John de Crevecoeur.

9



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

The first few weeks of May didn't show much promise of being the beginning of a scorching summer. Strong and cold easterly winds predominated to start and eventually gave way to south-westerly gales which brought heavy showers and continued cold , despite the change of direction. It remained cool with maximum temperatures ranging between 13.7 Deg C and 19.5 Deg C until the 29th, when the temperature shot up to 25.5 Deg C. The total rain for the month was 86mm [3 3/8"] with 21mm [7/8"] falling on the 14th. This was fairly average and 5mm [5/16"] more than last year. Much of the month was breezy with a maximum gust of 31 knots on the 8th. Chicane recorded 142.66 hours of sunshine, which was more than 2006 and 2007, but down on last year.

The first few days of June were glorious with temperatures up to 24.8 Deg C, but this ended abruptly on the night of the 5th when the rain started. By the end of 24 hours, we had measured 36mm [1 7/16"] though compared to other parts of the country we got off lightly. After that it picked up again and the rest of the month was pretty dry with a total rainfall of 58mm [2 5/16"], which was nothing out of the ordinary. Temperatures stayed below 21 Deg C until the last week when they started to climb, peaking at 26 Deg C on the 30th and only dropping back to 16.5 Deg C overnight. Although there was a lot of talk about heat waves and scorching temperatures, most Junes since 1994 have had maximum temperatures which have exceeded 26 Deg C. The minimum temperature of 6.4 Deg C on the 8th was about average. Winds were light for most of the month with a maximum gust of 20 knots on the 17th. Again the sunshine hours at 173.9 were down on last year although they exceeded 2007.

In the first six months of this year we have recorded only 419mm [161/2"], making it the second driest first half of a year since our records began in 1994. For the same period in 2006, we recorded only 389mm [15 5/16"] and that went on to be our driest year.

Simon and Sue

8



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

We arrived back from holiday on 4th March to be greeted by fairly heavy snow showers over high ground but fortunately that was the end of the snow, although the month remained chilly with a cold wind on many days. The strongest wind gust was 33 knots on the 8th. The maximum temperature was 16.5 Deg C with a minimum of -1.4 Deg C and a wind chill of -9 Deg C, none of these temperatures were exceptional for the month. We don't have accurate figures for the month's rainfall, it rained heavily on the 3rd but from then until the end of the month, we recorded only 32mm [1 1/4"] of which 13mm [1/2"] fell in one day and there were 17 days without any rain at all. 91.45 hours of sunshine were recorded at Chicane, the highest recorded in March since 2003 when we had 94.96 hours. The first three months of the year were dryer than normal and also colder, which following on from the cold weather we had in December, made for a more traditional winter.

The dry weather continued into April which also started off chilly, but unfortunately it became more unsettled in the week leading up to Easter, though the Easter week-end itself was lovely and heralded a dry, bright spell. The maximum temperature was 19.3 Deg C, which was below normal for the month, though the lowest temperature of 1.8 Deg C was slightly up on most previous years as was the wind chill of -2 Deg C. April is often a fairly dry month and this year was no exception with only 67mm [2 5/8"] of which 23mm [15/16"] fell in one night. In spite of this, we still recorded more rain this April than in the previous three years, in fact the total for the last three Aprils comes to only 73mm [2 15/16"]. Winds were generally light with a maximum gust of 22 knots on the 25th. The hours of sunshine recorded for the month were average at 127.00 hours.

We have heard rumours that the Met. Office are forecasting a hot, dry summer, an improvement on the last two would be something.

Simon and Sue

2



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

The cold snap continued into 2009 and it was the coldest start to the year for 20 years. On the night of the 6th January, temperatures as low as -12 Deg C were recorded in parts of Devon, here we went down to -5.6 Deg C. On Saturday, 10th, the temperature started to rise and it was the first night of the year to stay above freezing. Overnight on the Sunday the rain arrived and we recorded 27mm [1 1/16"]. The maximum temperature that we recorded was 11.1 Deg C on the 12th, with the coldest being -5.6 Deg C. Both of these were the lowest we have recorded in January. We also recorded a wind chill of -9 Deg C, which compared to the -18 Deg C in January 1997, was almost warm! The total rainfall for the month was 158mm [6 1/4"] which was fairly average, as was the maximum wind gust of 30 knots. The sunshine hours were 12.96, slightly up on the average and the barometer recorded a high of 1022mb on the 11th and a low of 978mb on the 23rd.

Bill Tanton, the late amateur weather forecaster, forecast the worst February weather for many years and on the 1st the temperature started to fall and at 22.38 hours we had a wind chill of -15 Deg C. The next day we had a light dusting of snow, although other parts of Devon had more and the east of the country had ground to a halt. It started to snow properly here on the 3rd and by about 9.30 a.m. we had a depth of 110mm

[4 5/16"] in our garden. This was the deepest snow we can remember in Berrynarbor since the early 1980's. There were some more snow showers over the next few days but nothing really settled here.

 


 

 

We were away from the middle of February to the 4th March, but Bill, Jill and Judie kept some details for us and the last fortnight of February was milder and reasonably dry. The total rainfall for the period up to the 4th March was 75mm [3"], but some of this fell in March, which made February a fairly dry month. It was also a dull month with 23.28 hours of sunshine, down on the average and nearly half the amount we had last year.

Simon and Sue

11



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

There was nothing really outstanding about November, the total rainfall for the month was 122mm [4 7/8"] which was slightly down on the average, and the maximum temperature of 13.8 Deg C was fairly normal. It was fairly breezy for most of the month with a maximum gust of 28 knots on the 9th. Chicane's record of the hours of sunshine show that it was a much duller month than normal, in the past we have had between 15 and nearly 25 hours, but this year we enjoyed only 6.51.

In December the temperatures dropped and it was the coldest start to the winter for over 30 years. The barometer started to rise steeply from 984mb at 0500 hours on the 5th to 1030mb by 0900 hours on the 7th and pressure remained fairly high throughout most of the month. The+ maximum temperature was 11.9 Deg C which was slightly lower than usual though the minimum of -3.9 Deg C was not the lowest that we have recorded in a December, this was -5.9 Deg C in 1995. What was unusual this year was the sustained cold. As a result of the combination of stiff breezes and low temperatures, we recorded wind chill factors of 0 Deg C or less on twenty-seven out of the thirty-one days, with the lowest being -11 Deg C. From Boxing Day night to the end of the month the temperature didn't rise above 5 Deg C, day or night. It was one of the driest Decembers that we have ever recorded, with a total of only 88mm [31/2"] it equalled 1996. It was a bright month though, with 26.02 hours of sunshine, the nearest that we have got to that in the past was just under 9 hours.

Looking back over 2008, it is surprising that despite the dismal wet summer and all the floods, it was not a particularly wet year. The two wettest months were July and August with 197mm [7 7/8"] and 192mm [7 5/8"], but these were offset by February, April, June and December being dryer than usual. The total rainfall for the year was 1423mm [56"], well down on 1994 which had 2032mm [80"] and 2000 with a total of 2005mm [78 15/16"].

The average over the last fifteen years works out at 1454mm [57 1.4"].

It has been a chilly start to 2009 and it will be interesting to see whether this is just a blip or whether it will be a harder winter than we have been used to recently.

Simon and Sue

7



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

September carried on from where July and August left off and by the 11th we had recorded 143mm [5 5/8"] of rain. The morning of the 11th was the first completely cloudless sky since 27th July, and it heralded the start of a predominantly dry, settled period. Fortunately for us, it was also the day that we started our holiday in the Scillies, after which we only recorded a further 9mm [7/16"] bringing the total rainfall for the month to 152mm [6"], which made it the wettest September since 2000, when we had 198mm [7 13/16"]. It was also cooler than usual with a maximum 22.4 Deg C and a minimum of 5.9 Deg C. Wind speeds reached 30 knots, also a record for the month. At 98.08 hours, the sunshine hours were the lowest since we began recording, the second lowest was in 2004 when they were 105.94.

October is often the wettest month of the year but with 163mm [6 3/8"] it was easily beaten this year by both July and August. The total was, however, greater than other parts of Devon, including East Devon which had 132.5mm [5 1/4"] despite the floods in Ottery St. Mary. The end of the month gave a foretaste of winter, with the temperature dropping and a biting Easterly wind which gave a wind child of -8 Deg C at 1913 hours on the 29th. The temperature ranged from a warm maximum of 20.3 Deg C to a chilly 1.9 Deg C in the early hours of the 29th. We also had two gales in the month, one of them gusting up to 37 knots.

The sunshine hours at 51.37 were again down, only lower in 2005 when they were 49.77.

There have been rumours of a hard winter, but we shall have to wait and see whether they are correct or not.

We wish everyone a happy and peaceful Christmas whatever the weather!

Simon and Sue

5



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

You won't need us to tell you what a wet, miserable couple of months July and August have been! All we can do is provide a few figures to confirm it.

Over the first week-end in July, 76mm [3"] of rain fell in the 48 hour period, this was followed by 61mm [2 7/16"] in the 24 hours between 11.00 p.m. on the 8th and 11.00 p.m. on the 9th. As a result we recorded more rain in the first nine days of the month than in the whole of any previous July, apart from last year. The wettest day was the 5th with 57mm [2 1/4"] and the total for the month was 197mm [7 7/8"], which was 2mm [1/13"] less than last year. The weather did pick up a bit towards the end of the month before going downhill again. It was a cool month with only three days when the temperature rose above 25 Deg C and the maximum temperature we recorded was 28.5 Deg C on the 28th, the minimum temperature was 9.7 Deg C. It was also a fairly breezy month with consistently moderate winds and a maximum gust of 24 knots.

In August the total rainfall was 192mm [7 5/8"] which made it the wettest August that we have recorded since we started keeping records in 1994, although 1997 was not much dryer with 187mm [71/2"]. The rainfall was spread evenly through the month and there were only two days without some precipitation. Like July, the temperatures were nothing special for the time of year, with an average maximum to 19.54 Deg C, although on Saturday 30th, the temperature rose of 24.6 Deg C, making it the warmest day of the month. This was only 0.2 Deg C lower than the maximum reached last August, but generally last year temperatures were higher throughout the month. The maximum wind gust was 29 knots, which was the strongest wind that we have recorded in August.

July and August combined produced 389mm [151/2"] of rain, more than we have ever recorded before for these two months, but if we add June, which was a dry month, we had 427mm [16 15/16"] for the three months, as opposed to 444m [17 5/8"] for the same period last year. On the Shipping Forecast for sea area Lundy during July and August, there were so many gale warnings that we lost count! These are not reflected by our wind figures because we are fairly sheltered here in the Sterridge.

The sunshine figures for July at 166.22 hours were up on last year when we had only 150.97, but were a bit down on previous years. Not surprisingly, August was a very dull month with only 127.64 hours, which was over 30 hours less than last August.

We haven't enjoyed the wet weather very much but the slugs have had a field day! September hasn't started very well, more about that in the next Newsletter.

Simon and Sue

13



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

The last day of April was cold, wet and miserable - the temperature only reached 9.6 Deg C. - exactly one week later we were basking in 25.2 Deg C! The fine weather broke on the 15th, the first day of the Devon County Show. On the Bank Holiday Monday, 26th, we recorded wind speeds up to 32 knots, these were higher in more exposed positions and there were quite a few trees and branches down.

The total rainfall for the month was 81mm [3 3/4"] of which 14mm [9/16"] fell in about one hour on the 22nd. If anything, this total is slightly below average for us, but April is another very variable month - other parts of Devon reported rainfall well above average. The maximum temperature of 26 Deg C on the 12th was warmer than the last few Mays, but was not record breaking, neither was the minimum temperature of 3.7 Deg C on the 19th.

June was a dry month with a total rainfall of only 38mm [11/2"] and it was also quite cool with a maximum temperature of only 23 Deg C on the 9th. This was the lowest June maximum that we have ever recorded by over 2 Deg C. The minimum temperature of 6.4 Deg C was nearer to the average. The most notable feature of June was the wind, which was up to near gale or gale force on at least three days, and for the second half of the month was quite strong on most days. The maximum gust was 30 knots on the 29th, which was not unusual but we were sheltered here from the worst of the wind.

In May 156.27 hours of sunshine were recorded and in June the total was 180.08 hours. Looking back these figures are fairly average for these two months.

The total rainfall that we have for the first six months of the year is 509mm [20 3/16"] and if July carries on the way it has started, that figure is going to increase considerably - more about that in the next newsletter.

Simon and Sue

3



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

The first week of March was fairly dry and breezy but then things went downhill, with the forecast of the severe storm for the 10th. Here in the Sterridge we got off fairly lightly with the worst of the winds going over the top of us; hence, we only recorded a maximum gust of 30 knots but our barograph dipped to the lowest point we have ever recorded at 965mb. By 8.00 a.m. on the 10th, 15mm [9/16"] of rain had fallen and in the next 24 hours we recorded a further 15mm [9/16"]. The rest of the month was fairly damp and there were only five days when we didn't record some rain. The total for the month was 108mm [4 1/4"] which was above the average for March. The maximum temperature was 13.8 Deg C, the lowest that we have recorded for a March, although the minimum of 0.1 Deg C was above average and the wind chill of -11 Deg C was normal. The maximum gust of wind was 37 knots - not out of the ordinary. Chicane recorded 67.70 hours of sunshine which was down on last year's 73.44, but fairly average for previous years.

April was a complete contrast to last year and was notable mainly for the cold wind that kept the temperatures down although the maximum gust recorded was only 26 knots. Last year there were only four days when the temperature did not reach 15 Deg C and the maximum of 21.8 Deg C. This year only eight days topped 15 Deg C and the maximum was only 19.9 Deg C. The minimum was 0.3 Deg C and on the 6th we had a wind chill of -11 Deg C. It was a slightly damper month than the last two years but with a total of only 42mm [1 5/8"], it was still pretty dry, although looking back through the records, April's rainfall has varied between 9mm [3/8"] last year and 171mm [6 3/4"] in 2000. So this is not unusual. The sunshine hours for April were 117.76, down again on last year when we had 154.62.

Let's hope that we get a better summer this year than last.

Simon and Sue

5



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

January was a pretty miserable month, with low after low arriving from the west bringing wind and rain. There were only 10 days when we did not record rain and on the 21st we had a 'shower' in which 16mm [5/8"] fell in under half an hour! The total rainfall for the month was 185mm[7 1/4"] which was the highest total for January since 1999, which had 240mm [9 7/16"]. The maximum temperature was 12.5 Deg C which was about average but the minimum of 0.7 Deg C was warmer than the average. The wind was fairly strong for most of the month, gusting to 25 knots or over on 11 days, with a maximum gust for the month of 39 knots.

By contrast, February has been a much quieter and drier moth, with some sharp overnight frosts followed by glorious sunny days. The month started unsettled with some rain and fairly windy, but after the 8th a high pressure moved in, the rain died away and the winds became gentle breezes. This dry period continued until the 22nd, after which it became more unsettled. After January's soaking, it was a dry month with a total of only 55 mm [2 3/16"] of which 20mm [3/4"] fell in a single 24 hour period. Apart from 1998, which had only 32 mm [15/16"], this was the driest February we have ever recorded. The average maximum temperature was 10.3 Deg C with a high of 13.8 Deg C on the 9th. The lowest temperature we recorded was -3.5 Deg C on the 17th and the average low was 2.7 Deg C. We also recorded a wind chill of -7 Deg C. Wind speeds varied throughout the month with a maximum gust of 29 knots on both the 5th and 22nd.

The sunshine figures confirm the differences between the two months: in January 7.20 hours was recorded, the lowest for a January, and in February the total of 43.01 hours was the highest for a February since records were taken.

The snowdrops are starting to go over now but the daffodils are coming out well, the birds sound very happy and there is a definite feeling of spring in the air.

Simon and Sue

13



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

Before we look back at last year, let's just have a look at the last two months in more detail.

November was only slightly wetter than October and with a total of only 76mm [3"] it was the second driest November we have recorded, in 2004 we had only 59mm [2 5/16"]. It was a fairly mild month generally with the maximum temperature of 16.2 Deg C, which was about average for the last few years. We did have one sharp frost on the night of the 23rd/24th, when the thermometer dropped down to -1.3 Deg C. Winds were generally fairly light but picked up on the 30th with a maximum gust of 29 knots as the pressure started to drop.

December started off very unsettled. On Saturday the 8th, we had 18mm [3/4"] of rain in about three hours, added to the previous night's rain this deluge caused quite a bit of localised flooding on the roads. On Sunday the 9th, the forecast was for winds up to violent storm 11 but we were sheltered here and recorded a maximum gust of only 32 knots but in areas exposed to the wind, it was very severe. By Monday the 10th we had recorded 112mm [4 1/2"] which was more than any whole month since August. After that the pressure rose and the weather settled right down and the week was a complete contrast to the previous one. There were some sharp frosts overnight with temperatures dropping to -3 Deg C on the 20th. The last few days of the month the temperature rose again and we had some stronger winds and more rain with the 24th/25th being the wettest 24 hours with 28mm [1 1/8"]. The total rain for the month was 167mm [6 5/8"] which was probably about mid range for the Decembers that we have recorded previously. The maximum temperature of 13.9 Deg C was slightly higher than average, while the minimum of -3 Deg C was a bit below average. We also recorded a wind chill of -9 Deg C which was not unusual.

18.72 hours of sunshine were recorded in November which was less than the last two years, Decembers 7.60 hours was about normal. These figures are very local to the Sterridge Valley due to the low angle of the sun which means that it hardly rises above the hills at this time of year.

2007 was a year of extremes as far as rainfall went: January and February were about average, March was dry and April was the driest month we have ever recorded. This was followed by May and June which were up with the wettest and July which broke our July rainfall record of 59mm [2 5/16"]. August was average but September, October and November were again very dry, finishing with average rain in December. As a result of all this, 2007 was still overall a comparatively dry year with a total rainfall of 1308mm [51 1/2"]. It was also a disappointing year as far as temperature went; the maximum recorded throughout the year was 26.7 Deg C in June, which was the only month to climb above 25 Deg C. The minimum temperatures were not out of the ordinary. There were only two days in the year when there was some snowfall and they were in February. Looking at the barograph readings, we recorded a high of 1037mbs in February and November and a low of 982kbs also in February.

We should like to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Simon and Sue

22



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

After a rather dismal summer, September and October were quite an improvement with some nice, dry, warm days.

We recorded no rain at all in September up to the 13th, after which we were away for a fortnight. We therefore only have a total for the month, which was only 48mm [1 7/8"], making it a fairly dry September although last year only 37mm [11/2"] of rain fell in the month. The maximum temperature of 22.3 Deg C was slightly below the average but the minimum of 7.7 Deg C was over 1 Deg C up. The sunshine hours of 111.67 were down on previous years, last year we had 139.29 hours. The strongest gust of wind was 24 knots on the 16th, which is about normal.

With a total of only 53mm [2 1/8"] - of which 32mm [1 1/4"] fell in one 24 hour period - it was the driest October that we have ever recorded. To illustrate how unusual it was, since 1994 we have recorded under 180 mm [7 1/4"] in only four years, including this one, and in fact for five years October was the wettest month of the year. The nearest comparable year was 2003 with 95mm [3 13/16"]. It was a fairly mild month although the maximum and minimum temperatures were both slightly below the average. 68.06 hours of sunshine were recorded, the highest recorded for October so far. The winds were light for all but two days of the month at 17 knots or below, and the maximum recorded was 25 knots on the 28th.

We have already recorded more rain in the first ten months of this year than the whole of 2006, but unless November and December are very wet, it will still be a dry year overall.

Simon and Sue

7



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

July continued much as June left off - the rain wasn't quite as torrential but it was still pretty wet and the temperatures were well down for the time of year. In fact the thermometer didn't rise above 20 Deg C until the 15th, St. Swithin's Day, when we also had 11mm [7/16"] of rain which didn't bode well for a dryer spell! We didn't quite get forty days and nights of rain, but it sometimes seemed like it and there were twenty days in the month when there was rain in the gauge.

We were lucky here on the 20th when the Midlands and Gloucestershire suffered so badly - we had only a couple of light drizzly showers which produced no recordable rain. The total rainfall for the month was 199mm [7 7/8"] which made it the wettest July that we have recorded by a long way, the nearest was in 2003 when we recorded 140mm [51/2"]. The wettest day was the 26th with 35mm [1 5/8"]. The Met. Office average for the period from the beginning of May to the 23rd July was 387mm [15 1/4"] which made it the wettest early summer since records began - here for the same period we recorded 424mm [163/4"].

It was a cool month with a maximum temperature of only 21.8 Deg C and in the whole month there were only seven days which topped 21 Deg C. July 1998 with a maximum of 22.5 Deg C was the only other year that we have not recorded at least 24 Deg C in the month and most years the temperature has reached the high 20's or even up into the 30's. The minimum temperature of 9 Deg C was, however, if anything slightly up on the average. The month was fairly windy with a maximum gust of 32 knots, the strongest we have had in July. August was an improvement on July, but the first three weeks were still fairly unsettled with some days pretty wet. On the 20th we recorded 15mm [9/16"] in about an hour! From the 22nd, high pressure became established and we had no further rain giving a total for the month of 94mm [33/4"] which is not particularly wet for August. We have recorded several years which have topped 100mm [4"].

It was a cool month with a maximum temperature of 24.8 Deg C, the lowest we have recorded for an August. The minimum of 8.7 Deg C was about average. Finally, the highest wind gust of 27 knots was also the strongest we have recorded in an August.

It is official that it has been the wettest summer since records of 1914 and looking back at our records this year, in June, July and August we recorded a total of 444mm [17 5/8"], which is the highest we have recorded for these three months. In 1997 we had 403mm [16"] and the following year 337mm [13 15/16"], but all other years the total has been well under 300mm [12"].

Chicane's sunshine hours confirm the miserable summer. July in particular, with 150.97 hours, was well down on previous years. August with 160.81 was well down on last year but very similar to 2004 and 2005.

September has started much better and the watering can has come into use again, but we are not complaining!

Simon and Sue

9



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

After the glorious weather we had in April, May was a disappointment, fairly cool and wet. The maximum temperature was 21.5 Deg C, which was the lowest maximum for May since 1994, when we recorded 21 Deg C. The minimum temperature of 3.1 Deg C was fairly average and on the 28th we recorded a wind chill of -4 Deg C, which also was not unusual. The rainfall was spread through most of the month with two days having 27mm [1 1/6"] each. The total rain for the month was 133mm [5 5/16"] which although not a record [we have recorded three wetter Mays] was higher than normal. Wind speeds were about average with a maximum gust of 28 knots.

June was a month of two halves, the first thirteen days were warm with light winds, daytime temperatures averaged 21.6 Deg C and there were only two days on which any rain fell, and that was only light. The rest of the month was a washout with lows queuing up across the Atlantic. Temperatures were a bit lower with the average daytime at 19.4 Deg C and also stronger winds, but the main feature was the rain with only one dry day up to the end of the month although we obviously got off very lightly compared to many parts of the country.

The total rainfall for the month was 151mm [6"]. Nationally, it was the wettest June since records began and in South Devon the wettest since 1915, but here were did record slightly more rain - 162mm [6 3/8"] - in 1998. The strongest gust of wind was 30 knots which was the highest in June since 1994.

Chicane recorded 141.65 hours of sunshine in May which surprisingly was up on last May and only slightly down on 2005, but June's 155.85 hours was well down on the previous four years, the closest being 162.52 hours in 2005. Last June the recorded hours were 191.89!

The total rainfall for the first six months of the year was 671mm [26 3/8"]. Out of the last fourteen years we have only had five years with more rain in the same period.

July has not started much better, the poor gardens are suffering and a bit of dry weather would be very welcome now.

Simon and Sue

6



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

The beginning of March saw some rain fall but this died away and after the 8th we recorded only 13mm [1/2]. We cannot give an accurate total for the month as we were away until the 7th, so rain that fell at the beginning of the month was included in February's figure but it was a very dry month.

The maximum temperature was 15.1 Deg C on the 31st, which was the lowest maximum since 1994, apart from March 2001 which was also 15.1 Deg C. The minimum temperature of 0.9 Deg C was a bit up on previous years but we also recorded a wind chill of -11 Deg C, which was colder than normal. In spite of these temperatures we had 73.44 hours of sunshine which was more than the previous three years. The strongest gust of wind was 35 knots - fairly average.

You do not need us to tell you that April was a very dry month. In fact we had a recordable amount of rain on only two days and with a total of 9mm [3/8"] for the month, it was the driest month that we have ever recorded, the next being August 1995 with 11mm [7/16"]. It was also a consistently warm month with a maximum temperature of 21.8 Deg C on the 14th, and an average maximum over the month of 17.19 Deg C. The daily minimum temperature ranged between 1.7 Deg C and 12.7 Deg C, giving an average for the month of 6.73 Deg C. Winds were generally very light with only six days with gusts over 15 knots and a maximum gust of 22 knots on the 24th. The 154.62 hours of sunshine reflected the dry warm weather - April 2006 was the next sunniest with 136.96 hours.

The total rainfall for the first quarter of this year was 389mm [15 1/4"] which although more than we recorded for the same period in 2003, 2005 and 2006, is quite low compared to many years. As we write this, however, it is pouring down with rain, cold and miserable but at least we don't have to water the garden.

Simon and Sue

10



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

It seems no time at all since we prepared the report for the end of 2006 and the report for the first two months of 2007 is already overdue - it is unbelievable how quickly the time has gone by.

The first three weeks of January were quite wet, windy and mild. There was only one day without recordable rain and by the 22nd we had recorded 144mm [5 3/4"], with the wettest day being the 6th with 26mm [1"] in the gauge. This was, in fact, the total rainfall for the month as after this the rain stopped. The daytime temperature was into double figures throughout most of this time but when the rain stopped, the temperature dropped a bit.

The maximum temperature during January was 13.2 Deg C on the 9th, and the minimum -0.4 Deg C on the 25th, with a wind chill factor on the 25th of -10 Deg C. The top wind speed was 43 knots on the 22nd.

We were away for part of February and March, so the period we are covering overall is from the 1st February to the 6th March inclusive, much of the information was gathered for us by Bill Jones, for which we thank him.

Winter arrived briefly on the 7th February with snow on three days although in the village we managed to miss a lot of it. Daytime temperatures climbed steadily through February and March with a high of 14.3 Deg C on the 24th; the average night-time temperature was 5.7 Deg C. The rainfall for this period totalled 221mm [8 3/4"] and although we have no record of the wettest day, we think it was the 2nd March. The coldest night-time temperature was -0.7 Deg C on the 5th February with a wind chill on the 9th of -10 Deg C.

The wet weather in these first two months was reflected in the sunshine records. Both January, with 7.24 hours, and February, with 24.05 hours, were down on previous years for the same period.

Looking at the records that Bill kept for us, we think that we did the right thing by going to New Zealand when we did! Apart from one drizzly day, we enjoyed beautiful, very warm, sunny weather the whole time we were away. It was nice to see all the signs of spring when we got home.

Sue and Simon

6



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

The first week of November was a bit of a shock with temperatures dropping away to a low of -0.4 Deg C on the 2nd. There were sharp frosts every night with bright, crisp and warm sunny days. After that the temperatures rose but unsettled weather set in with rain on most days and almost continual strong winds. The total rain for the month was 206mm [8 1/4"] of which 45mm [1 13/16"] fell on one day. This made it the wettest month of the year.

Our records show the rainfall for November ranges from 59mm [2 3/8"] to 311mm [121/2"].

The maximum temperature of 14.9 Deg C was [apart from 2000 which only achieved 14.5 Deg C] the lowest November maximum since before 1994, generally the maximum has been at least 15 Deg C and last year reached 17.4 Deg C. The minimum temperature of -0.4 Deg C was also down on the average.

The maximum gust of wind was 38 knots which again was the strongest gust recorded in November since before 1994, apart from 200 when wind speeds reached 40 knots.

December started as November left off - very windy and wet but then a high pressure system arrived and dominated the weather from the 18th, the winds dropped right away to nothing and it was dry until the 27th when the wind started to pick up again and the month ended as it began. December was the second wettest month of the year, with a total rainfall of 155mm [6 1/4"]. Both the maximum temperature of 13.7 Deg C and the minimum of -1.1 Deg C were slightly up on the average.

The maximum wind speed of 36 knots was not the strongest wind we have recorded in December, but was above the average.

In spite of the wet gloomy weather, Chicane recorded more sunshine hours [24.78] in November than any of the previous years, the closest being last year with 20.67 hours. In December, there were only ten days of recordable sun, giving a total of only 6.34 hours, down on the previous two years] [7.77 and 8.54 respectively] but double what we had in 2003, which was also a wet month. Please remember we are in a deep valley!

Looking back over the years, the wettest year was the first that we recorded in 1994 with 2032mm [80"], the next five years each averaged over 1500mm [59 1/16"], then 2000 was another very wet year with 2005mm [78 15/16"]. Since then, however, apart from 2002 which was average, the rainfall has been diminishing and this year was the driest yet with a total of only 1054mm [411/2"].

The barometric pressures were about average for the year with a high of 1042mbs on 22nd December and a low of 985mbs on 19th October.

We take this opportunity to wish everybody a Happy New Year.

Simon and Sue

10



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

September was on course to be one of the driest months that we have ever recorded with only 11mm [7/15"] of rain by the 27th. The unsettled end of the month with very heavy showers, however, brought the total to 37mm [11/2"] still making it the driest September since we started keeping records in 1994.

The remnants of Hurricane Gordon passed on Thursday 21st but we hardly felt it here, the maximum gust being 27 knots which was the strongest of the month and about average.

Nationally this September was the hottest on record by an average of 3.1 Deg C. Here, however, the maximum of 26.1 Deg C was slightly down on 2003 when we recorded 27.6 Deg C. The minimum of 8.6 Deg C was at least 1 Deg C up on the previous five years.

The unsettled weather continued into October with very heavy, squally, almost violent showers on the 1st and a violent storm [fortunately not too close] overnight on the 10th which produced 42mm [1 5/8"] in just under ten hours. The total rainfall for the month was 187mm [7 3/8"] which made it the wettest month of the year so far, the next wettest being May with 136mm [5 3/8"]. It was still drier than the two previous when we recorded over 200mm [4"].

The maximum temperature 19.2 Deg C was down on the previous five years bar 2004 when the temperature was only 15.6 Deg C. The minimum of 5.8 Deg C was exactly the same as last year and up on previous years. Wind speeds were slightly higher with a maximum gust of 28 knots.

In the South West, this summer was the hottest on record and Chicane's recorded hours of sunshine for both September [139.29 hours] and October [60.15 hours] were up on the previous four years which is as far back as we can go.

The start of November has brought another complete change with high pressure in charge and sharp frosts.

Simon and Sue

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Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

After a slightly cooler start to the month the temperatures built up again in July. Nationally, with an average day and night temperature of 17 .8 Deg C, it was the hottest July since1983. Here the maximum temperature of 32.7 Deg C was slightly below July 2003 when we recorded a high of 34.1 Deg C, but if we take an average of the maximum daily temperatures, this year with 23.67 Deg C is nearly a degree up on 2003. The minimum of 9.3 Deg C was down on last year's low of 10.9 Deg C but generally up on previous year's.

We recorded slightly more rain in July than in June but with a total of 42mm (1 5/8") it was still the driest July since 1999, when we recorded only 27mm ( 11/16").

The barometric pressure was fairly steady with a high of 1031mb and a low of 1010mb and winds were about average for the month with a maximum gust of 23 knots.

The figures for August only go up to the 30th due to our holidays. It was a disappointing month, cooler, breezy with a bit more drizzle which was probably welcomed by gardeners but not by holidaymakers. Having said that, it was still a very dry month with only 37mm (11/2") of rain in total, which was drier than the previous seven years apart from 2003 when we had only 23mm (7/8"). The maximum temperature was 25.0 Deg C which was down on previous years and the average maximum temperature was 20.3 Deg C compared to 2003 when the average maximum was 25.2 Deg C with a high of 34.5 Deg C. The minimum temperature was 10.5 Deg C which was up on previous years. The winds were predominately from the north-west with a maximum gust of 22 knots which was about average.

The sunshine hours for July at 195.95 were the highest since recording began in 2003 which was the second highest year with a total of 177.71. However, the August figure of 166.58 was less than both 2003 and 2005 [each clocking up more than 182 hours], but more than in 2004 when the total was 160.88.

The trees are already beginning to show signs of their leaves turning and as we write this the weather has an autumnal feel to it and the nights are drawing in rapidly.

Simon and Sue

27



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

May seemed such a wet and windy month that we decided to get all the figures going back to 1994 and were surprised by what we found. According to the Met. Office, nationally it had been the wettest May since 1979. Here, however, we recorded a total rainfall of 136mm [5 3/8"] which was less that the 156mm [6 5/16"] recorded in 2002, and the 147mm

[5 7/8"] recorded in 1996. Wind speeds were slightly above average and there were more days with wind speeds over 20 knots than the last three years. The maximum temperature of 23.1 Deg C was down on the previous five years although the minimum of 4.2 Deg C was up. The sunshine hours reflected the dull month, at only 130.89 hours they were 25 hours down on last year and 40 down on May 2004.

By contrast, June was flaming from the 1st and was a very dry month with only 36mm [1 7/16"] of rain, of which 27mm [1 1/16"] fell between Sunday night on the 25th June and 8.00 a.m. on the 27th. In the previous five years, the driest June was in 2004 when we had 48mm [1 15/16"]. The maximum temperature of 27.4 Deg C was exactly the same as last year though the minimum of 7.5 Deg C was slightly up. Generally the winds were lighter through the month than previous Junes, with a maximum gust of 22 knots. At 191.89 hours, the sunshine record beat all the previous three years, the closest being 2004 with 184.30 hours.

The first six months of this year with only 390mm [15 3/8"] of rain has been drier than the previous five years although we had only 428mm [16 7/8"] for the same period last year. In 2002 we had nearly double the rain with 749mm [291/2"].

The heatwave continued into the first few days of July but it is now a bit cooler and fresher. The rain has been fairly welcome for the garden but not the wind which is currently trying to blow the beans off their sticks.

Simon and Sue

13



Artwork: Paul Swailes

WEATHER OR NOT

March and April

The dry, cold start that we have had to this year continued in March and April. For the first four months of the year we have had a total of only 218mm (8 5/8") of rain compared with 533mm (21") in 2001, 525mm

(20 5/8") in 2002, 310mm (12 1/4") in 2003, 465mm (18 5/16") in 2004 and 288mm (11 5/16") last year.

March produced 85mm (3 5/16") of rain of which 58mm (2 1/4") fell in the last eight days. The wind speeds were about average but as in January and February they were often from the North or North East and, as a result, the maximum temperature of 15.3 Deg C was at least 3 Deg C down on the previous four years for the same period and the wind chill of -12 Deg C was greater than any March in the previous five years.

April, with only 22mm (7/8") of rain was the driest month we have recorded since January 1997. The maximum temperature of 17.3 Deg C was at least 3.5 Deg C lower than the last four Aprils. The wind speeds were again about average with a maximum wind chill of -4 Deg C which was not as low as we have recorded in previous years.

March's sunshine hours were incomplete but 139.96 hours were recorded for April which is the highest since keeping records in 2003, the next highest being April 2003 when 121.38 was recorded.

Looking at the barograph papers for March and April there were no outstanding changes in the barometer pressures with a maximum of 1036mb on the 12th March and a minimum of 988mb on the 24th March with a fairly steady line in April.

While writing this the weather has changed from early morning sunshine to being quite foggy. Is this a sign of warm weather on the way? More about that in the August issue of the newsletter.

Simon and Sue

6