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Prolonged Dry Spell

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Is there anyone else having a prolonged dry spell at the moment?

We've only had 109mm (56%) since 23rd December (nearly 4 months!) and have a rolling 12 month total of 453.6mm (68%). Anything below 450mm in a rolling 12 month period is very unusual in this area. It has only happened in ten 12 month rolling periods since 1980 in three distinct dry spells.

The first was August - November 1989, the second February - June 1992 (May was just above this) and most recently in February and March 2012.

Certainly in 2019 useful rainfall has been pretty rare (just 20 days with >1mm so far and only 9 of those were >3mm) and following on from 2018 it is certainly getting even those not usually interested in the weather talking.

How much rain have you seen in your area?

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Good topic. 

Here in SW London we have had 452mm in the last 12 months, that's about 77% of normal. Certainly another dry summer could cause a few problems. Soil very dry on the allotment. 

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Posted (edited)

The last above average Season for rainfall here was Summer 2017. There have been a few months with average rainfall since but most have been dry or very dry. My exposed front lawn has not recovered fully from the Spring to early Summer drought last year which is something that has not happened before, even in 1995, 2003 or 2006.

Just to add March this year did have just above average rainfall which all fell early in the month.

Edited by Norrance

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Strangely, a lot of the reservoirs and rivers are around or above average last time I checked.

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Not particularly dry here in the last 12 months with a running total of 960.7 mm to the end of March, 90% of average.

Last September and December and this March were all wet months. The first two months of 2019 were very dry with 102.6 mm recorded, the third driest first two months on record behind 1987 and 1992, but by the end of March the total was up to 257.8 mm and the first quarter was only the 21st driest on record ( out of 42 years )

Today is the 15th consecutive day with no measurable rainfall so qualifying as  a meteorological drought. The rainfall total in April so far is 13.3 mm and 11.1 mm of that fell on the 4th.

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Just as I have mentioned before very good/drought years tend to come in pairs.Here we had a very wet couple of days a few weeks ago but has been very dry since on the back of the very dry 2018 and winter as a whole.Hopefully another dry warm and sunny summer to come.

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Sat at 291mm for 2019 so far.

A few of my graphs..

rain.thumb.png.34597511183b4a57e1f2f112b19a24bb.png  rain1.thumb.png.0d39e777d3b0a56fafd666e0014a10f1.png  rain2.thumb.png.eb6ce6b3593dee6a630d58bb8c5c6089.png

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108mm since 23 December, 107mm this year. 3mm this month. Only the first half of March was wet.

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January, February, end of March and so far this month have all been much drier than usual. Only the first two weeks of March were incessantly wet which took the month as a whole to above average rainfall, in fact it was the wettest March for a well over a decade.

All this is setting up nicely for the ''1912'' wet summer to make up for the dry first half! 😄

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This year Jan, Feb have been very dry as has this month so far. March was very wet. The winter was below average due to Jan while the period last year between March and August was the 2nd driest on record here.

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We have been really dry since last winter. Now we are at the point of cracked earth and yellowed grasses where first silage has been taken.

Thing is I do not see it letting up any time soon. In the same time the washout summer highlighted we can now find ourselves forced into  patterns very different to those of the last century ( even though it is just 'weathers' we did see in the last century)

I do not think we can remove the measured changes we see across our world ( be it the background global temp rise  and the associated water vapour increases in what the air now holds or the odd circulation behaviours we see as the planet struggles to balance its 'new' extremes) from what we see happening in our weather day to day?

Is our current H.P. dominance ( everything resets to H.P. over UK be it azores extension or Scandiwegian extension?) which itself is driven by a very different polar jet positioning than that which gave us our run of 'washout summers'?

You find your own reason for these different patterns but don't ignore the existence of them!

For my part I was leaning toward a low ice forcing for both washout summers and now or entrance into our 'drought' forcing until I ran into the 2013 paper that was investigation the Holocene optimum weather across NW Europe?

Now I do not know which to weight more as we sit around the global temps ( and so forcing) of the Holocene optimum yet the low Arctic sea ice ( and the shedding of copious amounts of energy into the arctic atmosphere each autumn/early winter now) is also obviously impacting the polar jet behaviour ( frequency/amplitude).

It does appear that all roads point to drought until the next major change in forcing? ( if the record lows of 2012 installed this current pattern and the Changes in Pacific Naturals in 2014 augmented it once the super Nino was spent)

As such we should sit back and enjoy the dry weather and any sun it might bring with it!

But do not think we will not see potential record breaking precipitation events thrown in for good measure!

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Here the general trend is towards wetter months but not by much. However increased water demand, poor infrastructure and poor land and river maintenance probably haven't helped much. 

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On 19/04/2019 at 13:53, Nick L said:

Strangely, a lot of the reservoirs and rivers are around or above average last time I checked.

Generally speaking last year was only really abnormal from April through July so i can understand that since the Autumn and winter while a bit dry were not excessively so overall.

 

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Not doing too badly down here - 709mm since this day last year so only a tad below average. That does mask some very dry and very wet periods though. For example June and July last year. July's rain almost all came in the closing days. October was also a dry month. Conversely, November and December were wet. December 01st-23rd brought 127.9mm, but then there was no rain until the 15th of January. January was again very dry, as was February but less so. March's first half was wet, and had the same amount of rain fallen in the second half would've possibly brought the wettest March on record here. April has been slightly below average so far but with a week to go and plenty of showers on the way, we're far from short of rain at this stage here.

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We've had some notably lengthy dry periods since this time last year, but cancelled out by some wetter than normal spells. May, June and much of July was significantly below average rainfall wise, however, August was a wet month. September was about average. October I think was drier than normal. November and December near average, however, there was a very dry 3 week period from about 23 Dec into early January.

January was drier than normal and also February with another lengthy dry spell mid-late month.

However, March was very wet, even though most of the rain fell in the first 2 weeks.

April which is typically our driest month, has so far been devoid of rainfall preety much since the opening days, just a smattering. We could though be looking at a wet end, which will probably mean overall it ends up close to average.

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The 7th was the last day when we had any measurable rain 0.1mm. We've had one trace since then. Whether we get any today is another matter. At the moment we are on the 2nd driest on record.

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Yesterday was the 19th consecutive day without measurable rainfall ( less than 0.2 mm ) here. Looking at the rainfall radar this morning it seems doubtful it will make 20 days but I've seen large areas of heavy showers break up as they move north many times before so by no means a certainty.

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It is the 4th since I had any, just 0.4 that day, a total so far this month of 4.2 mm. This follows on from no rainfall in March from the 18th. Mind you the first 18 days gave over 55 mm.

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We seem to have missed most of the rain going over winter, we've had more moisture from fog and mist in recent weeks locally, ground is now parched and cracking up, seems rivers and reservoirs are only a little below normal but if we don't get any significant rain soon trees shrubs etc will be under serious stress with the hottest part of the year to come

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Rain is arriving as we speak and will move north through the day some of it is likely to be thundery

FireShot Capture 054 - Weather Radar - Live UK Rainfall Radar - 5 Minute Updates - Netweathe_ - www.netweather.tv.png

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Have been watching for rain supposed to be coming today for about four days and just like on numerous occasions in the last year as we get nearer to seeing it fall it loses intensity or fails to materialise.  Was hoping the wildfire to our SE would get significant rain today to help put it out and help reduce the fire risk elsewhere but it seems we"ll be lucky to catch a shower and the wind has got up again fanning the flames and drying everthing out even more.One of the drivers of all this dried out countryside here is the very low humidity air usually under 25%RH this spring so any rain that falls is quickly dried up again when the wind returns.

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And the rain returns - after an entire week!

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My garden is concrete-hard. Looks like we might get a little rain later today, but not enough to make much of a difference. Saturday looks more promising.

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Doesn't look like much in the way of rain for here with most of it being to the west of us more likely. Looks like I'll have to the top ponds up tomorrow or Friday.

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