The dry spell of early April 2017

The above plotted chart (fig 1) is of rainfall totals for stations since the 28th of March 2017. They show how dry it’s been recently in all areas, but particularly in eastern counties. The figures are as close as I can estimate them from the SYNOP data I download from OGIMET so don’t get upset if I get one or two of them wrong. I would prefer to use the 06-06 UTC totals because then you don’t have to do any maths or guess-work, but since the good old Met Office refuses to make NCM climate data available for the UK, this will just have to suffice. I estimate an 00-00 UTC total from the 6 and 12 hourly totals in the observations. I do this because not all countries, in particular the Irish publish their 06-06 totals. This is further complicated by missing rainfall reports from observations, or just plain missing observations. Why do government agencies such as the Met Office deliberately hide daily climate data that they collect on our behalf?

I was going to mention the word drought in the title, or rather meteorological drought, which as far as I know is still a period of 15 consecutive days with less than 0.2 mm of precipitation, but that can get rather complicated so I just called it a dry spell! Nevertheless, we are very close to meteorological drought conditions, in whats proved to be an exceptional start to April, and the latest NWP does seem to suggest that pressure will remain fairly high across the south, and especially the southwest, with anticyclones never that far away. Who knows, it may rival the April of 1938 but it will have to go some to beat that month, perhaps this article has already jinxed that possibility.

If anyone reading this in Scotland feels left out I can tag on a chart for the northern half of the UK without too much problem, just let me know.

About xmetman

An ex-metman passionate about all things to do with weather, climate and clouds

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