Rain, Rain, Go Away

  • Rain, Rain, Go Away
    18.08.2011 15:49


    A waving warm front associated with a surface low pressure system centred across northern parts of France pushed rain into parts of Dorset, Cornwall, Devon and southern Hampshire at around 5am BST today.

    The rain advanced north and eastwards across southern parts of England throughout the day, becoming more widespread and torrential in parts.

    The official observations reported 1.8mm of rain from 3am to 4am at the Isle of Portland in Weymouth. From 5am to 7am 0.8mm fell and between 7am and 1pm a staggering 55.2mm of rain was recorded. This is approximately 80% of the average rainfall for the whole month.

    An impressive 19.4mm was recorded in one hour at Swanage in East Dorset between 11am and 12pm. Other notable observations were 11.6mm at Odiham in Hampshire between 11am and 12pm. In total, between 7am and 3pm 30.4mm fell at Odiham. Middle Wallop saw 32.8mm fall between 6am and 3pm. Kew Gardens in London recorded 12.4mm between 3pm and 4pm.

    Spectators at The Bournemouth Air Festival, which features planes from the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy, had to scramble as run off rain water across the streets of Bournemouth began to flow down the streets. Flooding was reported across much of Bournemouth which led to the evacuation of homes and businesses. Rising water also affected shops and hotels, and patients were evacuated from hospitals.

    The heavy rainfall across southern England was accompanied by unseasonably low daytime temperatures. The minimum temperature this morning was 12.9C in Weymouth. However, by 4pm BST it had only reached 13.8C at 4pm BST. This is about 6 degrees below the average for August.

    Eastern parts of Yorkshire and south-eastern areas from Lincolnshire to Dorset were well below the average today. At 1pm it was only 10.8C in Lyneham in Wiltshire while Little Rissington in Gloucestershire recorded 10.2C.

    The rain is due to clear away eastwards overnight leaving quite a lot of moisture and light winds will allow misty conditions to develop.

    Meanwhile, while we are trying to enjoy the last month of summer, New Zealand is currently in the throes of winter and mother nature seems determined to keep the North and the South Islands in the headlines.

    Last Monday a high pressure system stretching from the Antarctic to southern parts of Australia combined with a large low pressure system to the east of New Zealand. This brought unprecedented snow to the both the North and the South Islands as bitter southerly winds created the perfect path for a once in a lifetime polar blast.

    Snow made it to sea level in Wellington, the country’s capital. Snow has not fallen here since the 1970s. New Zealand’s largest city Auckland has not seen snow accumulate on the ground since 1939. The city of Auckland recorded its lowest daily high temperature since official records began in 1961 when temperatures only rose to 8.2 C (47F).

    Meanwhile, on the South Island 15-20cm of snow accumulated in Christchurch on Monday and eastern parts of the city had snow drifts of up to half a metre. The Wakatipu Basin in the west saw 40cm of snow fall at the same time, with depths of 60cm locally.

    Snow rarely falls along the coastal areas of the North Island and west of the South Island. New Zealand’s location provides a subtropical climate in the far north and a cool temperate climate in the far south. 

    By: Aisling Creevey