Meteorological Section 2001 - 2002


Philip Eden

The automatic weather-recording station continues to function satisfactorily, and no calibration drift has been identified during the last 12 months. We did, however, experience a serious interruption in data acquisition between early-October and late-November after the power supply was inadvertently switched off one Sunday morning. As the power was subsequently switched on without me being made aware of the interruption, and because other installations were being made on our site at approximately the same time, it took several weeks before the problem was correctly identified and the system rebooted. During the lacuna, manual observations were taken on most days.

Those "other installations" comprised two rain gauges established by the Environment Agency. In recognition of our co-operation they provided a one-off payment of 500, and installed a telephone line to enable our weather station to be interrogated from a remote location. The cost of installation was borne by the Environment Agency but subsquent rental charges will be our responsibility. A suitable modem has since been acquired, and we are now waiting for Campbell's customer service department to send someone to make the connections (simple) and to make changes to the software (not simple). Those software changes will allow us to archive more detailed observations every five minutes rather than hourly.

Now a quick look at the weather of the last twelve months:

SUMMER 2001 was, overall, fairly average. The mean maximum temperature of 21.8C was 0.9 degC above the mean for the standard reference period 1971-2000. Rainfall during June, July and August totalled 167mm, just 5 per cent above normal, while sunshine totalled 556 hours, a mere 2 per cent above.

AUTUMN 2001 brought us our warmest October in 92 years of records, but both September and November were rather cold. Taking the three months together, the mean maximum temperature of 14.8C was 0.8 degC above the long-term average, the aggregate rainfall of 264mm was 26 per cent above, and the total sunshine of 280 hours was 5 per cent below.

WINTER 2001-2002 began with a dry, cool and very sunny December, but both January and February were mild and wet. The mean maximum temperature for the season of 8.2C was 2.0 degC above normal, the total rainfall of 198 mm was 11 per cent above, and the sunshine total of 222 hours was 42 per cent above.

SPRING 2002 was often mild and sunny, but the second half of May was unsettled and wet. Taking the quarter as a whole (if you see what I mean) the mean maximum temperature of 14.3C was 1.6 degC above normal, the rainfall of 178mm was 16 per cent above, and the sunshine total of 459 hours was 4 per cent above.

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Last updated by Julie Atkinson   18-Aug-2002