Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

ABC of Weather: Years


This year is already proving to be an exceptional one in terms of our weather. We've already had the coldest winter for 30 years and now we're experiencing the driest period since 1929 with a hosepipe ban due to start in the north west of England this Friday. Of course the weather statisticians can usually find something record breaking for most of our years, such as the wet summers we had in both 2008 and 2009 and all that rain in the Lake District last November.

Whether or not all those exceptional weather events add up to climate change or just the traditional 'noise' of variation remains to be seen: how things average out over many years (a minimum of 30) is what makes up our climate rather than our day to day weather. My local weather station statistics has two of these averages available online: 1961-1990 and 1971-2000, which presumably will soon be joined by 1981-2010. By comparing the two sets of data, I can see on average our years have become slightly wetter with a few extra days of rainfall. They've also become warmer, sunnier with slightly fewer frost days and a weaker wind. However, what I can't tell is whether these changes are significant or long term enough to say our climate is truly changing. I'll leave that one to the experts...

How's the weather with you today? I've had a damp day down in Devon exploring the delights of The Garden House and Wildside, though here there's not been one drop of rain.

As usual there's lots more to be found over at the ABC Wednesday blog.

6 comments:

  1. It's overcast and unusully cool in San Diego so far this July. Odd, when it's so blistering hot on the USA East Coast. Hope the "years" have been kind to you.

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  2. VP, The weather keeps us guessing, doesn't it? We've had two mornings of gentle rain and quite nice afternoon weather. (A blessed relief!) Years... where do they go??

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  3. We've broken record after record here. Tuesday was cold, wet, windy and today is clear and 90. Even the weather forecasters are downcast. :)

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  4. VP I think we need to be careful about reading too much into our changeable weather, I can't imagine living in a predictable climate. One of the interesting things about reading blogs from around the world is hearing about the weather, most people write about their weather being different from what they expect!

    Looking forward to reading about your Devon trip. I have been to Garden House which I loved, unfortunately my husband didn't so I daren't suggest a visit to wildside!

    Best wishes Sylvia

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  5. heat wave in ALB w temps in 90s again today! yes, i' a believer in global warming!

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

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  6. Gayle - welcome! They have indeed been kind to me thank you :)

    Shady - not only guessing, but fascinated. Could you send some rain over here please...?

    Tumblewords - yes the records are tumbling over here too

    Sylvia - that's what I always say to people who go 'huh Global Warming' whenever we have an extreme weather event. That's what I meant by 'noise' - the natural variation we get from day to day. But Climate Change? I'd like to say it isn't happening, but I think I'd just be burying my head in the sand.

    Roger - not quite that hot here, but certainly hot for us!

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