Rainfall at Old Storridge 2012

Garth Lowe

It is called the (naughty) Jet Stream! Between March and April 2012 it finally shifted after being in the same place over us for around 18 months, giving us a very much drier period, shown by the rainfall in 2011. It then stayed in its new position for nine months and has given us quite the opposite effect: the disastrous summer of 2012. The shift is obvious from the monthly figures below! (Table 1.)

In my report for last year I said how ironic it was to get a record dry year after 50 years of recording rainfall, now it is just the opposite. To my utter astonishment on totaling up for the year, and for the first time ever in over 50 years recording rainfall, the figure went over the magical figure of 1000mm or 40 inches, and ended up at 1091.5 mm or 43 inches. Another way to look at it is: well over 3 feet of rain! That must be hopefully the last bad record I have to submit in an annual report.

The wettest day of the year was September23rd, when 73.5mm fell, just under 3 ins. There were also two other wet spells in the middle of June and July, when 45.5 and 42.5mm fell over two three day periods. Once it started raining in April there were only two reasonable spells with no rain, nine days from 20th July and eight days from 1st September! One small fact to be thankful for is that the Leigh Brook only broke its banks on one occasion, on the morning of November 24th, when after an overnight fall of 38.8mm, the cars of Old Storridge cul-de-sac, were isolated for a few hours!

Looking back at the records it is obvious these wetter years didn't kick in till 2000, when over 900mm was logged and since then there have now been two more, whereas from 1962 to 1999 there were none! Another fact about 2012 is that there were six months when over a 100mm, or more than 4ins, fell. The last new record to mention is the average monthly rainfall for 2012 which finished up at 91mm, an all time record for this long rainfall record. In 2000, another wet year, the average was 81.5mm.

40 year. monthly average 1962-200767.950.555.355.559.656.149.663.563.670.565.874.4732.3
1916-1950 average. From Malvern Free Library74.951.648.554.964.546.566.367.661.271.973.268.3749.3

Table 1. Rainfall (in mms.) during 2011 and 2012 recorded at Old Storridge compared with historic records. Note that 25.4mm = 1 inch.