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.