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ZONE 51

Is Severe Weather Becoming More Frequent, More Strange Weather Patterns?

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Has severe weather become more frequent across the British Isles?

It seems from reading reports over the last few years that tornadoes have increased in frequency, more funnels developing, this could be because more people are reporting them since the internet, and more photos due to more mobile cameras, i don't know but i'm interested in your thoughts on this.

Also droughts could be lasting longer, flood events becoming more common, we hear about floods more often these days than we used to.

Significant change?

Many strange things are going on with our weather patterns, i'm sure you have noticed some changes to your local climate, i have, and it's noticable for me to now study it more closely to find out what is causing it, it's interesting, more snow in winter, less summer thunderstorms, unusual sudden warm spells in February, colder summer months, we have had some severe winter weather over the last few years, something since 2007/08 has changed, maybe it's going to change again, back to the mild winters? lack of snow, increase in thunderstorms in the summer, who knows, but it's interesting!

I would like to ask what others feel about all this, i feel something big has changed, this is significant.

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Modern technology has definitely influenced the records, yes.

But that stated, global warming will bring with it more unusual and severe weather because the atmosphere and oceans are warmer and thus have more energy. Recent winters are a good example with blizzards causing chaos which seems paradoxical if the earth is warming but warming is indeed the cause because there is more energy available to evaporate and carry the moisture to where the blizzards form as a result of it, which makes them worse.

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They did say more extreme more frequent weather events, and it's seems it is happening, this includes drought, and with two dry years that to me is an event, and although the drought has now mostly ended it has come with floods, there has been an increase in floods in the 2000s as far as i has read with a little research.

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I posted on this site and on another of a list of extreme weather months and seasons in the last 6 years and it does give the impression that extreme have increased.

Off the top of my head..........

Two warmest Aprils on record: 2007, 2011

Warmest July on record: 2006

Warmest September on record: 2006

Two warmest autumns on record: 2006, 2011

Two warmest years on record: 2006, 2011

2nd coldest December on record: 2010

4th warmest march on record: 2012

England and Wales

Sunniest February on record: 2008

2nd Sunniest April on record: 2007

Sunniest July on record: 2006

Dullest August since 1912: 2008

England and Wales rainfall

4th driest April on record: 2007

9th driest April on record: 2011

Wettest April on record: 2012

2nd wettest June on record: 2007

Wettest May-July period on record: 2007

4th wettest November on record and the 5th wettest month ever recorded: 2009

Looks like the wettest April to June period on record

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I am not bothereed what the stats say

From a local point of view it feels more benign here,milder in winter and cooler in summers.There has been less snow over the last decade, also as we get our most intense weather during the relativly short time in thunderstorm there are fewer now and less severe, Seems we just get more wet and breezy weather on the whole.

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It would really need some rigorous statistical analysis of extreme events to determine whether or not they have become more frequent in recent years.

Memory is a very poor indicator and it needs to be remembered that we are now inundated ( no pun intended ) with information on every extreme event whereas decades ago information was much more limited.

Reading through back copies of meteorological journals and British Rainfall there seem to have been just as many extreme events in the past as there are now but accurately quantifying them is another matter.

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It would really need some rigorous statistical analysis of extreme events to determine whether or not they have become more frequent in recent years.

Memory is a very poor indicator and it needs to be remembered that we are now inundated ( no pun intended ) with information on every extreme event whereas decades ago information was much more limited.

Reading through back copies of meteorological journals and British Rainfall there seem to have been just as many extreme events in the past as there are now but accurately quantifying them is another matter.

If you look at the list I produced in the post above, they are based on data going back a couple of hundred years at least. By logic, the more data you have, the harder are the extremes to be achieved but if you are regularly breaking records then something appears to be afoot.

For instance, 3 of the last 6 Aprils have been extreme based on data going back at least two hundred years. We had the two warmest and the wettest Aprils on record. What are the odds of that happening?

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I'm living in Mytholmroyd atm and watched it flood last night. i have lived in the Valley 20 or so years and the number of "1 in a hundred year floods" over that period is at least 7 (inc last nights). Over that period we have had massive investment in flood alleviation scheems yet last night took flood waters a full 50cm above the previous record 'high water' mark (in todmorden/Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd) and that is after the all the works to stop flooding happening!!.

I have a deep concern for the state of the Arctic. I have seen a number of papers outlining the mechanism (which we are seeing) by which reduced temp gradient (pole to mid latitudes)/Pressure gradient (pole to mid latitudes) leads to a much slacker, more sinuous polar jet. In turn this leads to more frequent 'Stuck Weather Patterns' (drought/Flood/Heatwave/Snowstorms etc). With the atmosphere carrying up to 4% more moisture (as temps rise the air's ability to hold water increases) and very slow moving weather patterns it is very easy to see how events like ours last night turn up.

I watched the band of storms (Thurs pm) tramp through France and the Benelux countries before hanging a left and wrapping around the low to end up here. The whole depth of the atmosphere saturated by the storms picking up moisture and then a sluggish low tracking a 40mile wide band of torrential rain over a couple of river basin catchment areas for over 12 hrs spells trouble.

Eventually we will all get to see a number of '1 in a hundred year' events over a small period of time. eventually we will all have to accept that something has now altered in the n. Hemisphere circulation and it's associated weather.

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I think that could have something to do with recent changes to our weather patterns but also people and the media are often too quick to call events such as floods '1 in 100 year events' when in reality they occur more often on average, or there had been an unusually long gap between a past such event (i.e winter of 2008/9 was '1 in 18 year event' because there had been an unusually long gap without a winter cold spell/snowfall like that).

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There's no doubt in my mind since 2007 our weather has become rather strange, with some very wet cool summers and some very cold snowy winters. There have also been exceptional periods of warmth and dry weather in the Spings and Autumns. The one consistent factor in it all seems to be a lot more northern blocking. Why is of course the big question - is it a permanent shift in our climate or is just normal variability and things will eventually reset themselves back into a more normal regime. I nor anyone else has the answers to that is the truth so we'll just have to wait and see what the next few years bring. If this goes on for a few more years then I may start to think it's something more permanent.

As for now I'm on the fence as to why it's happening but as Mr Data points out it's hard to deny that is indeeed happening.

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Some rain stats ..

Rain recording daily here for Met Office since Sept 1968.

10 of the calendar months have their maximum totals in the years since 2000.

The two still to succumb are March (max in 1981) and April (max in 1970)

Some grumbles but no real stats --

Deteriorating summers since 2007, either too wet or too chilly. Cloudy weather the norm. We have been short of sunshine these last 12 months. Farming in the NW hills becoming very difficult. Soils cold and wet. Field drainage requiring constant attention.

Whenever the sky is clear of cloud we seem to be under a regular stream of contrails. So often these expand into great veils. Our precious sunshine lost.

Is anyone researching? Does anyone care?

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Thanks the info/posts, interesting views.

Severe weather events/unusual weather, they seem to be happening every year these days, after one event it's not long before the next, as far as i am aware we have experienced many records being broken in a space of 3 years, we need a long period of years to see a pattern, to see that something big has changed, and since early 2007 it has changed, there where unusual things going on before then, but they have become more unusual, more extreme, decades ago of course there was big events and strange weather, i'm told stories of when summer was hot and with it thunderstorms and also lots of cold and snow in the winters, seasons where what they should be, i have looked back in some photographic weather books from my areas and there was plenty of severe weather, but the difference today is that the whole pattern has changed, the Jet stream acting un-seasonal, in the late 90s there was a few years i remember when we had mild winters and lack of snow, but we had storms from the Continent.

I see that a big shift in something has taken place that has moved a whole scale pattern, some say it's the solar low that has caused more blocking patterns and has changed our Jetstream pattern.

I don't no but it would be interesting to get an answer to what has caused the change.

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i'm told stories of when summer was hot and with it thunderstorms and also lots of cold and snow in the winters, seasons where what they should be

People have always said this.

I think almost all the claimed increase in extremes is due to better recording and and almost instantaneous media coverage.

Actually isn't the above quote suggesting a decrease in extremes?! blum.gif

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My grandmother always used to tell me that winters were properly cold and summers hot - but I know now this is not true. All these silly stories that I have been told by my elders throughout my childhood gave me the impression the UK used to have winters like Moscow or Helsinki back in the 40's

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Well, all I can really remember from the 1960s was hot days playing in the old allotments and wintertime blizzards. But, the statistics clearly show that my memory is not exactly 100% accurate!laugh.png

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Posted Yesterday, 09:01

Quote

i'm told stories of when summer was hot and with it thunderstorms and also lots of cold and snow in the winters, seasons where what they should be

----------------

People have always said this.

I think almost all the claimed increase in extremes is due to better recording and and almost instantaneous media coverage.

Actually isn't the above quote suggesting a decrease in extremes?! blum.gif

(part of my post in bold above dotted line quoted by 4WD)

4WD, i understand what you mean, but a decrease in some types of weather maybe, but an increase in others, this is what i'm on about, a big change, for example if there is a connection with lack of imported thunderstorms/plumes and an increase in snowfall across the Southeast, then if this summer has lack of imports then i could maybe expect snow events this coming winter?

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