The much-forecast low pressure system passed by us at around 6am today, and the barometer is now rising again. We have recorded 40mm of rain in the past 24 hours, more than half of that falling during the early hours of today. Some weather stations on the Blackdown and Mendip hills have seen quite a bit more.
The depression is slow-moving and shows every sign of hanging around for a few days. That will give time for the fronts that brought last night’s rain to wrap themselves around the centre of the low, and pay us a return visit. After a dry start, this September now looks likely to follow the pattern of the last few months with an above-average rainfall total – though we have some way to go to break the September 2008 record of 113mm.
After some welcome fine weather, anyone who has been listening to the forecasts will know that heavy rain and winds have been predicted for the coming few days. At the moment it is very calm after a sunny day, but this afternoon the barometer has started falling as a potentially lively low pressure system forms to the west of France. Time to dig out the raincoats and Wellingtons.
The first week of autumn finally brought us some summer weather, with blue skies, sunshine and clear nights. Sadly the blocking anticyclone (a weather pattern that was conspicuous by its absence for most of the summer) that brought us this glorious weather has broken down, and the Atlantic lows are back in charge. Still, it was nice while it lasted!
Once again the dominant feature in August was the rain, some of it torrential, with 104mm recorded for the month and 332.8mm for the summer period (June / July / August). There has been much talk about the this being the wettest summer for 100 years, and although our records only go back five years the “wettest summer” label fits here – the next wettest was in 2008, with 280mm.
It may hard to imagine now but the first three months of 2012 were exceptionally dry and, despite the wet spring and summer, we still haven’t recorded quite as much rain this year as we did in a very soggy 2008: we have had 572.8mm so far in 2012, compared with 588.4mm at this point in 2008.
August finished with a clear, cold night, and the thermometer dropped to 5.2C at around 7am on 31 August – some parts of the country had a frost. That might seem unusually cold for August but actually we can go back exactly two years to find a lower temperature here, with 4.5C recorded early on 31 August 2010. Overall, August temperatures this year were close to average.
So ends another month, and with it a rather dismal summer.