LATEST NEWS: May 2013
Spring 2013 has been in complete contrast to spring 2012: March 2012 was the third warmest on record, whilst March 2013 was the joint second coldest on record (tied with 1947 and only marginally warmer than 1962); April 2012 was the wettest on record in England with 243% average rainfall, whereas in April 2013 England received just 52% average rainfall. The first half of spring has been particularly dry thanks to high pressure to the north bringing persistent dry easterly winds across the UK. This northern blocking as it is known follows the Sudden Stratospheric Warming event in early 2013. The cold weather has resulted in spring foliage and flowers blooming much later and remaining in full bloom for much longer than usual – it is quite rare for daffodils to be in full bloom in early May, as they are this year. However, after a fairly settled start to the month, and a glorious Bank Holiday weekend, May is looking increasingly unsettled with average temperatures at best.
Comet C/2011 L4 (Pan-STARRS): As our attention turns to Comet ISON which could be visible even by day later this year, the first bright comet of 2013 is now dimming as it heads away from the sun back into deep space where it originated. It is now visible all night as it climbs higher into the sky but only with a good telescope or binoculars. See our special Pan-STARRS Comet page for more information. I took this photograph on the evening of 17th March around 7.45pm when it was very low in the west.
Rainfall Data: The Rainfall Radar page has been updated to include a variety of radar sources, as well as live information on flood warnings from the Environment Agency.
After a dry start, the big news of 2012 was the extreme rainfall caused by the unusual southerly position of the Jet Stream. The graph below shows just how wet last year was, the wettest on record in the UK, and exceptional rainfall in November and December falling on already saturated ground led to extreme flooding across the UK including Southwest England.
March-April Review: Continued ‘northern blocking’ resulted in a very cold start to spring and the coldest Easter on record. All the facts and figures can be found in our March-April SpireWeather Review whilst our previous January-February Review is published on page 24 of the latest Laverstock & Ford Parish Newsletter. All of our SpireWeather Reviews are available here.
SpireWeather LIVE! Gauges: Live SpireWeather data can be viewed in realtime here. These gauges display in most modern browsers including IE10, Firefox and Safari on the iPhone and iPad.
YouTube: Have you discovered our daily cloud videos yet? April showers and thunderstorms can produce some incredible cloudscapes – the best ones can now be viewed on YouTube. Let us know what you think!
Charts: For anyone interested in forecasting and wanting to learn more about the professional weather charts we use, we have included several advanced weather charts with explanations and how to interpret them. Click the “Charts” link above for more information.
Finally, if you have any weather-related items of interest such as photos, news or poetry, please email them to us and they will be published in the Your Stuff section of the site.
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