Friday, 28 February 2020

More Wet Weather - Four Times Average February Rainfall!

Just for a change this month Friday turned out to be another wet day. During the course of today's rain, this year's February total surpassed four times our 10 year average for the month of February.  
February 2020 Rainfall Record
I'd have to say that over recent years February has been one of our drier months but that's definitely not the case this year.
Wettest Months 2010-2020
It's not a case of this month just making it into number one spot, it is the best part of an extra month's worth of rain ahead, and of course as it's a Leap Year there's an extra day to go. Storm Jorge is due to arrive tomorrow bringing more rain and gale force winds over the weekend. 
Some of the rain this week fell as wet, sleety snow, but never in any great amounts and not enough to settle. Our squirrel has been putting in some regular appearances this week. It's normally around in the morning and it was looking particularly bedraggled in the pouring rain one morning.
Hopefully, March will bring some better weather.

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Wind & Rain Goes On And On

The wind and rain goes on and on and on. There seems to be no let up at all. Just for a change, we didn’t have a named storm for this weekend but that didn’t mean it wasn’t wet and windy, far from it. In fact the readings from my weather station suggest we had higher wind speeds on Saturday than we did for either storm Ciara or Dennis. 
Rainfall, High Wind Speeds & Temperature Records for February 2020
Individual gust speeds reached 34mph on Saturday moving them into my list of highest gust speeds. Indicating that it was windy all day, the average wind speed for Saturday was 8.8mph getting into sixth place in my top twenty list.
Wind Speed Records 2010-Date
This means that with the strongest wind gust speeds of the year, we had no type of Met Office weather warning and no named storm. This February is rewriting my windiest day tables. 

Of course it's not been only the wind but the associated rainfall this month that's breaking records. It’s been wet enough over the last week to move this February’s rainfall total up from third place into top spot in my table of wettest months since I began keeping records ten years ago.
Wettest Months 2010 - Date
Based on the last 10 years the average rainfall for February is 40mm (1.6in) so this year we are three times above what we might expect. There's no wonder that there is lots of flooding around.

There is still more rain forecast before the month is out and the output from the weather models suggest it will be little different as we move into March and the beginning of meteorological spring.
This squirrel knew where to come to find some dry peanuts and sunflower hearts. He was probably checking out that supplies were adequate in case we get any of the snow which is forecast for parts of Yorkshire on Monday morning.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

It's Getting Repetitive!

I realise that my blog posts, like the weather, are getting repetitive. Storm Dennis has followed almost exactly one week on from storm Ciara. 
Storm Dennis - Temperature, Rainfall and High Wind Gusts 15-17 February 2020
For us Dennis hasn’t been any worse than an average winter storm, in other words wet and windy. I'm not sure whether Dennis occurred at some time between Saturday and Monday or if it lasted from Saturday evening all the way through to Monday night. It certainly has been windy all weekend. Enough rain fell on Saturday to make this February the wettest I’ve recorded. The previous wettest February was in 2011 with 84.0mm. It also makes this February the third wettest month since January 2010.
Winter Rainfall & Wettest Months 2010 - 2020
It’s rather worrying that thanks to last week’s storm Ciara we’re already past that amount and we are only half way through the month. I thought that this winter would be easily the wettest I've recorded but it isn't the case just yet. It's currently in third place but with a couple of weeks to go to the start of meteorological spring it might yet manage to move into number one position. 
However, the wet and windy weather has meant that temperatures have remained on the mild side. There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight to this weather.

Checking back through my records, March 2011 was a cold sunny month following on from that very wet February and we managed to catch up on our jobs at the allotment. We haven’t visited the allotment much at all this month and, should the weather continue into March, we will have an extremely late start to the gardening season. The greenhouse at home has survived Ciara and Dennis intact and I was pleasantly surprised when I popped in to check for any damage to find our apricot was in full flower.
Apricot - Flavourcot
It's normally the first of our fruit trees to come into flower. It's hard to imagine there are any pollinating insects around in these wet and windy conditions so Sue headed up to the greenhouse around lunchtime with her pollinating brush.
All outdoor gardening activities continue to be on hold until we get some improvement in the weather and both the garden and allotments can start to dry up before any sowing or planting is due to take place.

Monday, 10 February 2020

Storm Ciara Gone and Good Riddance

Storm Ciara was at its worst here through the morning with gale force winds and heavy rain. The rain was worse than the winds and by the end of the day Sunday had become our second wettest day of the last 10 years with 40.4mm or 1.6in of rainfall.
Rainfall, High Wind Speeds and Temperature Records 09 February 2020
The worst of the storm was at 11:00am as the 'Squall Line' passed through. The temperature plummeted by 5°C, the highest wind speed of 31mph was recorded and the rainfall intensity for a few minutes was 77.8mm/hr or 3.1in/hr. Luckily for us it didn't remain at that intensity for more than a few minutes but certainly it did in other parts of Yorkshire resulting in some serious flooding.
By the end of the day the day's rain came to 40.4mm (1.6in) making it our second wettest day of the last 10 years.
Top 20 Wettest Days 2010-2020
Luckily we've avoided any damage from the wind and rain although we haven't checked for any damage at the allotment. A month's worth of rain in one day will not have done much to help the allotment dry out.

Rather worrying though this is the forecast for Thursday.
Forecast from
The wind doesn't look to be an issue but it looks like more heavy rain or possibly even snow!

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Storm Ciara Arriving

It's been windy and wet up to 10:00am on Sunday morning even before the arrival of storm Ciara. The worst of the storm is expected over the next 12 hours with the strong winds continuing on into Monday.
Rainfall, High Wind Speeds and Temperature Records 09 February 2020
The rainfall so far is 19.6mm (0.77in) the highest daily rainfall this year and it's forecast to continue raining for most of the day. There already reports of flooding in North Yorkshire. Whilst it's been very blustery we've had stronger gusts this month although the worst of the storm force winds are yet to arrive.  
Needless to say we have no intentions of visiting the allotment today. After a few days of reasonable weather the plot was probably beginning to dry out a little bit but after all today's rain it will be back to square one.

Friday, 7 February 2020

Frosty with Gales to Come!

We had just one day when the temperature fell below 0°C (32.0°F) in January. February has started off fairly mild too but we’ve already had a couple of below 0°C mornings this week. Not anything serious but cold enough to remind us that it is still winter.
Temperature Records 05-07 February 2020
It looks as though next week is going to provide us with the worst weather of winter so far. Beginning on Sunday we are set for a week of stormy weather with gale to storm force winds accompanied with heavy rain and the possibility of snow showers. 
Forecast from
The weather model forecast above is from the ECMWF weather model for Sunday at mid day and, yes we are somewhere under that purple colouring indicating very heavy rain accompanied by gale force to storm force winds.

On a brighter note our main seed order from Kings seeds arrived a few weeks ago but we still had to sort out our potato varieties for this year. Our local garden centre always holds a potato day around this time of year. It’s possible to buy individual potato tubers and so we take the opportunity to buy 4 tubers of six varieties we either haven’t grown before or haven’t grown for a good number of years.

This year we’re trying Gemson, Maris Piper, Mayan Rose, Pentland Javelin, Sarpo Una, and Ulster Prince.
Trial Potato Varieties Chitting In Egg Boxes 
For our main crop this year we are growing Apache, Casablanca, Elfe, International Kidney, Nadine, Osprey and Rudolph.
Main Potato varieties Casablanca, Elfe, International Kidney and Osprey
These have all been set out to chit in the summerhouse covered with fleece as some protection against night time frosts. We’ll be planting some early roots up in bags and boxes towards the end of February but our main potatoes won’t be going into the ground until the beginning of April. Well that's the plan!

Saturday, 1 February 2020

Mildest January In Last 10 Years

It's been the mildest January since I started my record keeping a little over 10 years ago. Rather amazingly we had only one night where the temperature fell below 0°C (32°F) all month and almost every day was above the average temperature for January. However, although it was a mild month it was also a windy month as one low pressure system after another tracked in off the Atlantic Ocean. One good thing was that rainfall was below average which must help in drying out the allotment after the wet months that brought 2019 to a close. 
As it was the mildest January I've recorded I have had a look through the Central England Temperature (CET) Records held by the UK Met Office to see where this January was placed in records going back to 1772. The current CET temperature for January 2020 is 6.5°C (43.7°F), a little bit lower than my value, so it's probably high enough to scrape into the bottom top ten of the CET January records.
Mildest Januarys from Met Office Central England Temperature Records

I was aware that this year was about the same as 2007, based on my figures, but I was rather surprised to see how far back in the records it was necessary to go to find some milder January temperatures.

Currently, there seems to be no break in the weather pattern with a windy and mild start to February forecast.