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Summer Rainfall Stats

September 10, 2018

By Paul Homewood


We’ve looked at the temperature rankings for this summer. but what about rainfall?



Whilst it has been exceptionally dry in England, it has by no means been of record proportions:


England Rainfall - Summer

In fact it only ranks 5th driest, behind 1913, 1976, 1983 and 1995.

Note, by the way, that 1912 was by far and away the wettest summer, so the idea that big year to year changes are something new is patently absurd.


Spring was also wetter than average this year, while winter was close to normal, so YTD precipitation will only be marginally lower than average.


England Rainfall - Spring

 England Rainfall - Winter

There will inevitable be regional variations:

Summer 2018 Rainfall 1981 - 2010 anomaly 

But just looking at England South, rainfall this summer followed a similar pattern to the national one, with this summer ranking 6th driest, behind 1913, 1921, 1976, 1983 and 1995.



It seems that, as far as British weather is concerned, the old saying is still true – there’s nothing new under the sun!

  1. Kelvin Vaughan permalink
    September 10, 2018 2:26 pm

    I just compared England’s Annual Sunshine with Englands Max Temperature. Having trouble spotting the difference.

  2. Reynolds CHRISTOPHER permalink
    September 10, 2018 2:36 pm

    Hi Paul,

    Have you ever had any correspondence/debate with Ellie Mae O’Hagan? She appears quite content to make and/or repeat nonsensical claims about man-made global warming and presenters appear incapable of challenging her…


    Chris Reynolds


  3. September 10, 2018 5:23 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  4. Phoenix44 permalink
    September 10, 2018 5:24 pm

    What is interesting about the rainfall figures is (i) the huge difference between maximum and minimum – around 380mm versus around 70mm, a more than fivefold difference, and (ii) how common “uncommon” rain fall is – there are few years that are near average.

    • Ian Magness permalink
      September 10, 2018 6:39 pm

      Yes Phoenix, this backs up the statistical analysis that I did on my local monthly rainfall statistics in Surrey a few years back. In summary, there were far more instances of rainfall being, say, 50% over or under long term averages, than there were of outcomes being close to the average. The averages themselves seem to be pretty consistent because the highs didn’t out-gun the lows. If you had to predict an outcome for a particular upcoming month, however, well, good luck!

  5. Stonyground permalink
    September 10, 2018 5:49 pm

    Just for interest. The saying there is nothing new under the sun comes from the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible. This book also contributed lyrics to the 1960s song Turn Turn Turn by the Byrds and also states that there isn’t an afterlife.

  6. September 10, 2018 6:23 pm

    The rainfall story may be about to shift to US hurricanes:

    “Florence could very well be the “worst natural disaster in recorded history for Carolinas and Virginia,” as many Trump supporters hope the storm shifts a tad north into Washington, D.C. and if not drains the swamp, then at least floods it.”

    from zerohedge (now apparently without its somewhat disturbing commentariat)

  7. Philip permalink
    September 10, 2018 6:48 pm

    Any chance you can provide the regional annual rainfall graphs, particularly the North-West?

  8. MrGrimNasty permalink
    September 10, 2018 8:21 pm

    The GrimNasty tree stress observation index says there wasn’t even a proper drought!

    The grass has died the worst since ’76, but the deeper ground must have had adequate reserves of water.

  9. Kevin Cidle permalink
    September 12, 2018 1:36 pm

    I live in South Shropshire. We had a warm dry spell up to the beginning of August, since then, with the odd exception, every day has been cold, blustery and rainy. Even in July we only had one day of 29/30 degrees. Many days were around the 25/26 mark, others lower. The last two weeks in August were the coldest I can ever remember, with my car themometer recording 5 or 6 degrees C on a number of occasions in late afternoon, and for the first time in memory I had to put the central heating on in August. Yet this is supposed to be the warmest summer evah in England and the Midlands! I’m afraid it doesn’t make sense. In 1976 the whole county was burnt to a crisp well into October. My suspicion is there are no temperature or rainfall gauges in this area so they are not fed into the regional and national figures. If they were, I would suspect a much lower average and higher rainfall for the summer. By the way, when are the English people going to realise that 20 C does not constitute a heatwave!

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