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Are Heavy Rainfalls On The Increase In The UK?–Part II

March 4, 2012

By Paul Homewood




In Part I, we looked at daily rainfall data for Heathrow and Bradford to see if there have been any trends in the number and/or intensity of heavy rain events since 1951. In Heathrow there actually seemed to be a decline, while in Bradford the opposite was the case.

In Part II, we will look at Shawbury, which is in the West Midlands, and Aberporth in Wales.



As before, I have analysed the top 50 rain days by decade and also show the distribution.






As with Heathrow there has been a decline in the number of days in the last decade, and certainly no evidence of heavier intensity.








Although there has been an increase in heavy rainfall days in Aberporth in the last couple of decades, there is no sign that the rain on those days is becoming greater.



We seem to have a bit of a mixed bag. Heathrow and Shawbury show that heavy rain events are on the decline, whilst in Aberporth, although they are becoming more common, they are not more intense. Only in Bradford can it be said that heavy rainfall is on the increase.

There is certainly no evidence that a warming climate is having any influence as surely it would have affected all sites. Could there be a regional influence in play? Maybe, but the strongest evidence that we are simply seeing natural decadal variability is clearly visible when we combine all four sites below.




The numbers go up and down for each station without any apparent pattern, although the 1980’s seemed to have stayed fairly dry!

The one thing that is predictable about our English weather is its unpredictability!

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