The English love to talk about the weather


Are we experiencing Climate Change? My amateur English readings and observation over 30 years might suggest not. The year's high and low average temperature remains consistent: 13 degrees Centigrade to 6 degrees Centigrade. July is the warmest month of the year averaging 20 degrees C and February is the coldest, averaging 5 degrees C. There have been variations in the 30 years but the average has not significantly altered. We do have spells of extreme or unseasonal weather but year- on-year it is stable. Well, that is as far as the UK or my southern corner of it is concerned. Do you have similar records?

What oddities do we remember each year? On the intended hottest day of the year we have instead witnessed a thunder storm and heavy rain. Frequently, in the autumn, wind speeds exceed 50 - 60 miles per hour and, when reaching 70mph, can cause structural damage. Storm Angus, 2016's first autumn storm, has been a good example.

Local flooding from rivers after heavy rain in the spring affects fields which have not had ditches or drainage channels maintained. This is possibly exacerbated by modern farming techniques or budget cuts on maintenance contracts. Even house developments and new roads are now at risk of flooding as planners have not reckoned on these natural events.

UK rainfall (at least in the south of England) does not seem to have varied greatly over the last 30 years although there may be a tendency towards heavier rainstorms and longer-lasting periods of precipitation. The records also show we are experiencing more sunshine, so does higher rainfall simply come from these heavier rainstorms? In my area the last 15 years has averaged 35 inches of rain. (Interestingly, over the previous 15 years it was 32 inches!)

So what do we make of it all? Too soon to tell? Will it take another 50 or 100 years to see a pattern? And then other events might be considered an influence too. It gives us plenty to keep talking about, so even if the weather changes, English characteristics may not! 

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