10 fascinating facts about the recent record breaking weather
The beginning of January has picked up where December left off, with heavy rain and flooding affecting the UK – North East Scotland being the latest hit.
There’s no doubt we’ve all noticed just how unusual the weather has been during the past month or so, but it’s not until you look at the facts that you see just how extreme it has been.
I thought I’d gather and put into perspective some of the impressive weather statistics and records that have come to light.
1 – Wettest calendar month on record
December 2015 was the wettest calendar month on record for the UK, with rainfall almost double the average for the whole country, at 91 per cent above normal. Records date back to 1910.
2 – Wettest December on record
As would be expected given the above statistic, it was also the wettest December on record for the UK as a whole. The nations of Wales and Scotland had their wettest December on record, with 217 per cent and 215 per cent of their average monthly rainfall respectively.
3 – More than 1 metre of rain in a month
Between the 1-28 December, Capel Curig in Conwy had more than a metre of rain (1012mm), smashing the previous record of 613mm. This is before even adding on the last three days of rainfall for the month – the details of which have yet to be finalised.
4 – Warmest December on record
December 2015 was the warmest December on record for the UK, with mean temperatures (a combination of day and night temperatures) 4.1C above the average. The previous record was 6.9C, set back in 1934.
5 – Most anomalously warmth month on record
December 2015 was also the most anomalously warm month on record for the UK. The mean temperatures were so much warmer than normal that they were what would normally be expected during April.
6 – Three named storms hit the UK and Ireland
Three named storms hit the UK and Ireland in December – Desmond, Eva and Frank. Desmond and Frank were the most severe of the storms, bringing significant flooding across northern England, north Wales, Scotland and Ireland.
7 – Sixth wettest year on record
The copious amounts of rain in December sent 2015 into the top ten wettest years on record for the UK, meaning that almost all of the wettest years on record have occurred since 1998.
8 – Significant lack of frost
The well above average temperatures have resulted in a lack of frost away from upland areas in the north. On average, the UK as a whole would normally experience 11 days of frost in December, but last month there were just three.
9 – Significant lack of sunshine
Following the dullest November on record, December continued with a significant lack of sunshine, with just 73 per cent of what would normally be expected.
10 – Wettest January on record for Aboyne
Aboyne, Aberdeenshire has already had its wettest January on record only eight days into the month. 215mm of rain has fallen, smashing the previous January record of 186mm.
There has been much talk about the causes of such extreme weather, with climate change and El Nino as notable contenders – as discussed in my recent blog.
Thankfully, next week is looking drier and colder for much of the UK, with the possibility of some snow.
You can get the latest forecast on the Channel 4 Weather website. I’ll also be posting regular updates on Twitter – @liamdutton
Satellite image: Eumetsat