Oh well, that didn’t take long – as predicted earlier today, this is now the wettest May we have recorded here since the weather station was set up in 2007. The previous wettest May was in 2008 when we recorded 66.4mm.
Together with the high rainfall totals in January and February, this brings our year-to-date rainfall total to 442.8mm – a much higher total than we have seen at this point in any year since the station was set up, and about twice what we would expect to see at the end of May.
The current spell of wet and unsettled weather is in stark contrast to the sunshine and blue skies were were enjoying only a week ago. It wasn’t quite “three fine days and a thunderstorm”, but there have been plenty of lively convective clouds producing heavy rain, hail, thunder and lightning.
With little wind to move the clouds along, rainfall totals have varied substantially over short distances. We have seen torrential rain and hail at one end of the village while the other end was dry: and, on a night when we saw about 7mm of rain, weather stations a few miles away in Weston-super-Mare recorded over 20mm.
As I type this the rainfall total for the current month is 56.6mm making this the wettest May since 2008, with another week still to go. A further 10mm of rain would break the 2008 record, and the forecast for the next few days makes that total look quite possible – this would then be the wettest May here since the station was set up.
The sunny spell in the middle of the month warmed the soil and the grass is growing well, so let’s hope we get some fine summer weather for a good haymaking.
April this year brought plenty of showers, some of them heavy, amounting to a total of 60.4mm of rain – on the high side for April, but not exceptional. The month began and ended with Atlantic lows dominating, but the middle 10 days saw a spell of high pressure and some settled, dry weather.
The wind was south to south-west for the early part of the month, incidentally bringing some Saharan dust to the UK and concerns about pollution further east. As a consequence it was mild, but low pressure systems brought cloud and rain.
High pressure began to build from the south-west around the 9th, and over the following week or so moved in to cover the whole of the UK. This meant dry weather and some clear skies, before the high moved off to Scandinavia.
By the 20th April the high was well to our east, but was still disrupting the flow of Atlantic lows and we were treated to the unusual situation of a low pressure system moving west down the English Channel. A cold front associated with this low produced some heavy rain and made the 20th the wettest day of the month with 13.2mm.
The high over Scandinavia slowed down the Atlantic lows for the last part of April, giving them plenty of time to deposit rain on us. The last 10 days of the month brought 43mm of rain, over two thirds of the month’s total.
Although there were some chilly spells in the middle of the month it was generally mild, and April’s average temperature was a little above normal at 10.5C. There were no air frosts, though the thermometer dropped to 0.1C early on the 19th. There were no exceptional winds.