Christopher C. Burt is the author of 'Extreme Weather; A Guide and Record Book'. He studied meteorology at the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison.
By: Christopher C. Burt , 8:09 PM GMT on February 03, 2014
January Record Wet Month for South-central England, Record Dry for California
January was the wettest winter month on record for south-central England and the driest January on record for California. A persistent powerful jet stream across the North Atlantic was responsible for the former and a persistent powerful ridge of high pressure over the Eastern Pacific responsible for the latter. Here are some of the details.
The Radcliffe Meteorological Station at Oxford University in the U.K. measured 146.9 mm (5.78”) of precipitation this past January, the wettest winter month ever observed here since records began in 1767, one of the longest POR’s for precipitation in the world. The previous January record was 138.7 mm (5.46”) in January 1852 and the wettest winter month was 143.3 mm (5.64”) in December 1914. Other sites in southern England that have also endured their wettest January on record include:
Reading with 137 mm (5.39”), former record 129 mm (5.08”) in 1995
Dorcester with 254 mm (10.00”), former record 213 mm (8.39”) in 1906
Bournemouth with 248 mm (9.76”), former record I’m not sure of.
Precipitation departures from normal for the U.K. as of January 28th. A final monthly report will be issued by the U.K. Met Office on February 6th. Map courtesy of the U.K. Met Office and copyright of the Crown.
A graph of January rainfall for southeast and central England from 1910-2014. Graphic courtesy of the U.K. Met office.
Incessant rainfall and a series of storms have been lashing the British Isles since early December resulting in some of the worst flooding seen for decades in portions of southern England. The region around Somerset resembles a vast lake. At least 150 homes have been flooded. More stormy weather is forecast for this week.
British military units have been active in flood rescue efforts in the worst affected regions such as Somerset. Photo credited to SWNS.
Warmest and Driest January on record for California
Jan Null of Golden Gate Weather Services has compiled a preliminary short list (below) outlining some of the weather statistics for some major cities in California this past January. Although the average maximum temperatures have smashed the previous records for such, it is not yet clear if the overall average temperatures have been record-breakers, since the dry air resulted in some very cool nights mitigating the overall temperature averages. (NOTE: the temperature figures for Los Angles appear to be incorrect—see chart following list below).
Jan Null’s preliminary list of some California January temperature and precipitation data. Jan Null, Golden Gate Weather Services.
Some of the January climate statistics for southwestern California complied by the NWS office at Oxnard.
I’ll have a more comprehensive overview of the drought and January warmth in California once the information becomes available.
KUDOS: Stephen Burt for the U.K. precipitation data and Jan Null for the California information.
Christopher C. Burt
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