November 2019 – Wet, Dull and Pretty Dreadful

Cold, Wet and Cheerless

Once again I have poor weather to report for this month. Particularly, high rainfall totals again and an incredible dullness that depressed. I know that November is sometimes a cheerless month, but this one has been really rubbish. The weather has also been cold, with depressed maxima by day, although not too cold at night until the last few days.

I have had a bad cold for most of November and I blame it almost completely on the rank weather November has served up for us all.

No sun – no moon!
No morn – no noon –
No dawn – no dusk – no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member –
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! –
November!

by Thomas Hood

Rainfall

The month was very wet. The total of 129.1mm was just behind the June total for wettest month of 2019. There were 26 days with rain and 6 days had more than 10mm.

The rain put a big damper on the Durham Lumiére Festival with 5.6, 9.5, 13.7 and 2.2mm falling on the four days from 14th-17th.

The total rainfall represents about 200% of what an average November would bring.

Temperature

Because of all the rain and dullness, November maxima were depressed (like me). The average maximum was 7.5 degC, which is around 2 degC below average. Average minima were around normal at 3.7 degC.

The warmest day of the month was right at the start of the month when a modest 11.3 degC was recorded on the 2nd. The temperature remained below 10 degC from the 4th, and November’s minimum temperature was recorded on the last day, which was very frosty early on. The air temperature was -2.4 degC at 8am.



Some pics from Seaham 27th Nov 2019 (photos courtesy of Paul Levitt)

 

A Met Office Rainfall Graphic – Does it Help?

Here’s a graphic released by the Met Office, attempting to illustrate the wet weather we’ve had in the first half of November 2019.

Now, the first half of November has been pretty wet. In fact 85mm of rain has fallen on Gilesgate since the start of November, continuing the soggy 6 months we’ve had.

I looked at the map and was surprised to see that the Durham was in the white area. Usually this means ‘around average’ on Met Office maps. I checked the key and it says that white represents between 75 and 125% of average.

Now this surprised me. The mean for November in Durham is 72mm. So, I would expect the average for the first 17 days to be calculated as

(72 x 17)/30 = 41mm

So, by my calculations we’ve had 85/41 times the expected rainfall for the first 17 days. That feels about right. More than 200% of normal. Yes, it’s been wet.

Why is the graphic not showing the Durham area as Dark Blue on the map then?

Well, i’ve been having the conversation with Liam Dutton, Jen Bartram and a few others on Twitter. The graphic is showing the first 17 days of November 2019 against a whole 30 days of an average November.

What is the point? Well apparently the point is to prove that some areas have had double the rainfall in the first 17 days that November would expect in a whole month.

Does it come over that way?

My point to Liam and Jen is that I don’t think it does. It makes a great swathe of the country look average, or even below average (coloured brown) when we all know it’s been very wet. Liam points me to the small print and says this explains it all.

Isn’t the whole point of a graphic to simplify the message? To make it easy to digest the information they are attempting to put over?

We are living in an age where sadly people misinterpret things if they’re not presented properly. In my opinion, this graphic is confusing and doesn’t convey the message, which should be:

“All areas have been wet, but Nottinghamshire has been excessively wet.”

I don’t think this graphic makes that clear at all. What do you think?

Durham Weather October 2019 – Wet and Cold

October 2019 was more akin to the typical model of what October should be in the UK. Autumn storms propelled by the Atlantic, rain and plenty of it and none of the unseasonably warm rubbish, quite the opposite in fact. If you like warm Octobers, tough luck, this wasn’t one of ‘em.

October was actually a colder than average month. It was wet again, following the trend of soggy months since June. Nearly 480mm has fallen in the June-October period. Rainfall was spread over the whole month, with the first week being the wettest. Only 8 dry days in the month, the total came to 108.1mm, which is nearly double normal (60.9mm). We didn’t seem to have any of the flooding they had in the rest of the country though, which was good.

Met Office: Persistent Wet Weather Late October

The absolute max temperature for the month was only 14.2 degC, on the 8th, and the minima were frequently low, particularly in the last week, with a couple of mornings with ground frost and the need to scrape car windscreens. The mean for the month was 8.4 degC (max+min/2) and that was 1.4 degC below the long term average, but a calibration must be applied and that is +1.0 degC, so still slightly below average.

Overall, a poor month.

 

September 2019 was mostly dry, but still wet!

The headline says it all. September 2019 was really dry and quite pleasant for the first three weeks before the rains came back.  Only 8.1mm fell in the first three weeks, as pressure remained high. Remarkable that the total for the month ended up at 81.0mm, making it a ‘wet’ month overall. That just shows how monthly statistics can completely mask what lies within.

Temperature was very equable, with no really warm days, but no really cold ones either. The warmest temperature came in a short 3 day spell grouped around 20th, when 21.9 degC was reached. The coldest was the morning of the 8th when temps dropped to 3.5 degC.

September’s overall mean temp (mean max+mean min/2) was 12.8 degC, which is slightly below the 1981-2010 mean. This has been rare in recent times.

 

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