I have just been looking at the rain fall stats for Darlington from last year and compared them to this year
January 2011 - 32mm
January 2012 - 27mm
So that's only a difference of 5mm
February 2011 - 65mm
February 2012 - 5mm*
Now that is a huge difference of 60mm which tells its own story and why drought warnings are now been issued
We are on a run of 8 successive day's now without rain fall, and 16 day's in total this month so far.
The only other February which saw very low rain fall recently was way back in 2008 when just 12mm fell, but January had brought 106mm so there was no water issues.
*As of 20/2/2012
Edited by user 20 February 2012 16:48:59(UTC)
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That BBC report says we could expect a hosepipe ban! That's fine by me, my lawn can dry out but what concerns me most about this region, is the vegetable farmers! Linking up the resources between water companies will go a long way to solving household shortages but there's nothing anyone can do about filling the boreholes and wells that are used for agriculture. The only way aquifers will replenish is with a rise in ground water levels from rain!
I'm surrounded by fields that grow potatoes, carrots, onions and sugar beet, all crops that need a lot of water and we just haven't got it. We do need rain, not that I really want it!
I'm pretty sure most of Europe will remember this winter as being very cold (even if it was mild at the beginning!)
As for the drought, it usually seems to be the case that as soon as it hits the front page of the papers it rains immediately. I remember the last occasion, sitting on the train hearing people laughing about the drought stories as the rain lashed at the windows. Not that a morning's rain does much to alleviate it, but it does a good job of making the stories look silly!
I have just been looking at the rain fall stats from last year and compared them to this year
No they are what we have received in Darlington, my post has been edited to reflect that now.
Edited by user 20 February 2012 16:49:28(UTC)
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If I consider the past six years, to restore the cumulative rainfall to zero requires more in the way of dry weather
Really, though, nature doesn't remember the past, so any 'balancing out' could be years away for all we know, as much as I for one would be surprised if that turned out to be the case.
I think that the AMO going negative and hence reducing the input from evaporation of the Atlantic Ocean is producing drier conditions from given setups than we'd expect, with less precipable moisture in the atmosphere which means frontal systems tend to fizzle out more easily for example. Getting a decent thunderstorm is also a considerably rarer occurance I think.
...by the way, if my thinking is wrong, don't hesitate to point it out and, if possible, correct any mistakes!
...or Nature could do a 1976 and wait until late in the summer.
If that happens, I'll make the most of it, regardless of the consequences regarding water levels.
In these parts, I think we're going to lose either way. I'm obviously simplifying a lot here, but:
Our farmers are unhappy because last summer was so dry, and desperately want a lot more rain.
Our countryside tourism people are unhappy because last summer was so dull, and desperately want a lot more sun.
We really need a summer full of night-time rain followed by blazing daytime sunshine -- but that could be too much to ask for!
Well I'm kinda hoping that if we have to have a dry hot summer, we will at least get some decent thunderstorms.
Haven't seen one of those in a while.
The problem with summer rain is it tends to come too much at once onto dry ground so it just runs off and into the sea via rivers. What we need is a long period of sustained steady rain to top up the aquifers and raise the water table. Not the kind of weather I relish the thought of really!
This afternoon has been really dark and dull but not a drop of rain has fallen!
Edited by user 20 February 2012 17:45:35(UTC)
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The problem is Caz that the sort of steady rainfall that we need has to fall between October and March, during the period when vegetation is at its minimum and evaporation rates lowest, allowing the rain to percolate down. Steady rain in summer helps to reduce irrigation and helps river levels but does nothing much for the water table.
Of course the real problem is that there are too many demands on the water in the south-east quarter, too many people and too much development as well as agriculture.
I reckon the prolonged period of low solar activity was at least partly responsible for the more amplified patterns that existed from late 2007 through to mid 2011. This brought about more in the way of extreme weather than usual in many parts of the world (including the exceptional April and September/October warm spells in the UK), with the warm records perhaps enhanced by a bit of climate change (last summer, America was breaking seemingly thousands of high temp records but far fewer low temp records).
The more amplified pattern has reduced the Atlantic influence on the UK overall each year from 2009, but this winter it's been more notable again away from the far south. Why we keep seeing high pressure building close to or across the south this winter is something I don't understand much, but I think the distribution of SST anomalies might have had something to do with it.
They've talked about building canals and aquaducts to move water around from one district to another.
Unlikely to happen unless we get serious issues and even then the projects would take years to get underway.
Someone would have to pay for it(guess who)
Apparently they were given money to do that in the 70's but used it for other things. Or so the parents tell me!
They should just store the tears shed from the twists and turns in the model output thread over the past few months.
If needs must they will do anything if they have to, perhaps they will reconquer scotland and pipe it from there