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?

Monthly report November 2018 – Typical November Weather

As is usual at this time of year, there is much speculation about the winter to come. After the brief episode of snow at the end of October 2018, the usual suspects were predicting a snowy November. As is nearly always the case, the snowy November didn’t happen.

Temperatures were mild in the first half of the month, and stayed that way until the 18th, when an Easterly component was pulled in and colder, wetter weather ensued. Rainfall came in hefty showers blown in from the North Sea, peaking on 20th-22nd when over an inch fell. The thermometer stayed around the 5-6 degree mark during the day, but with the wind felt much colder. There was an air frost around midnight on 21st/22nd after skies cleared following the rain.

Milder temperatures returned at the end of the month, but it became very windy as the Atlantic low pressure rolled in from the West, with more rain to finish. November is normally the wettest month of the year in Durham and November 2018 wasn’t far from the average overall.

First really cold day of the season

Today was the first really seasonal day of the autumn. The wind was a cold north easter, with frequent blustery showers blowing in from the North Sea. Temperatures struggled to get to 7 degrees C on Tuesday 20th, then on Wed 21st we also had frequent hail showers. Precipitation totals were expected to reach nearly 25mm (1”) over the two days. Winds then fell light to allow the first Air Frost of the season as temperatures fell below zero around midnight.

No widespread snow though, even though Madden and Co. had been predicting Snowmageddon in the popular press and will no doubt claim success. There has been some snow reported over the high ground of the Pennines, Scotland and Wales, with a few reports of snow (hail?) around the Brighton area. The average temperature for November is still well above the long term mean, and wind is likely to come from a more South Easterly point in the coming days.

22nd November 2017 – Cloudburst and deluge

This was a very wet day, but most of the rainfall fell after 8pm on 22nd. We were travelling back home and had to pull the car over in Tudhoe as we couldn’t make out where the road was!

Rainfall became absolutely torrential and 49.3mm was recorded in about 3 hours by the rain guage in Gilesgate. The Durham University met station recorded 39.2mm, which they say is the 50th wettest day ever recorded in Durham since 1850.

From Tim Burt:

November was warmer than average, but not exceptionally so. All three ‘mean’ measures were above average. Even so, the number of ground frosts (17) was also above average. It would have been a dry month too, except for the exceptional downpour on 22nd when a total of 38.2mm was recorded, the equal 58th wettest day on record at Durham since 1850. If we use the ‘meteorological day’ (starting 09:00), then the total was 39.2mm, equal to the total on 28th July 2013, the 50th equal wettest day on record and thereby the equal wettest day since 16th April 2005. There were some exceptional hourly intensities: 9.4mm in the hour ending 20:00 GMT; 9.2mm in the hour ending 22:00 GMT and 7.2mm in the hour ending 23:00 GMT. The number of rain days (12) was well below average (18). It was a sunny month, the sunniest November since 2013 and the 7th sunniest November at Durham since 1882.

http://community.dur.ac.uk/durham.weather/weather-data-2016-2020/the-weather-at-durham-in-2017/november-2017/

Emeritus Professor Tim Burt
Department of Geography
Durham University

A Storm Surge – November 9th 2007

HD Video of giant waves on the seafront at Seaham, Co. Durham. A strong tidal surge in the North Sea resulted in higher than normal tides. A combination of strong winds, extremely low pressure and a storm surge can raise the sea level around Eastern England by up to 2 metres. This footage was filmed on 9th November 2007 by Brittonian.