Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The worst summer since 1993....really?

The media have, on recent days, quoted Met Office statistics that suggest this summer has been the poorest since 1993. Undoubtedly, this is true for some parts of the country but for south London it has been the worst summer since 1988 with the summer of 1993 nowhere near as bad. Comparing the two summers we find that in June 1993 the mean temperature was 16.9 C with only 9 days when maxima failed to reach 20 C. There were 5 days with highs above 25 C. Rain fell on 11 days and totalled 42.6 mm. In June 2011 the mean temperature was 15.4 C with 16 days below 20 C and only 3 days above 25 C. Rain fell on 17 days and totalled over 81mm. The July figures are 17.0 and 16.4 C; 10 versus 12 days below 20 C, but 3 against 2 days over 25 C. Rain fell on 16 days in 1993 but only 12 days in 2011. However, the total rainfall was 46 mm in 1993 and 52mm in 2011. With one day to go, August 2011 looks like being a warmer month than August 1993. 16.4 against 17.2. However, the mean maximum temperatures were similar on 21.4 C. In 1993 there were 8 days with maxima below 20 C but there have been 10 this year. There were 3 days with highs above 25 C in 1993 and also in 2011. Rain only fell on 5 days in August 1993 and totalled 30 mm, but August 2011 had 18 rain days totalling 67 mm. It's no contest. In this area the summer of 2011 has been infinitely poorer than that of 1993!

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