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UK_Palms

Spring/Summer drought in southern England and northwestern Europe.

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UK_Palms

In recent years southern England, Western France, Belgium and the Netherlands have experienced pretty bad droughts from April - August, and this year is on course for the same again. That will be the 3rd consecutive year that this has happened. 

It's extremely dry here already. The ground is totally parched and it is dust down to about an inch. My last measurable rainfall was over 3 weeks ago now and that was only 0.04 inches. In total I have only received 0.31 inches of rainfall over the past 10 weeks. There certainly doesn't appear to be any rainfall on the horizon either, which begs the question of how long will this current drought last? Until July? August? September? Met Office forecasts suggest no rain for the southeast for at least the next 3-4 weeks. 

I am already having to water a lot of my stuff on an almost daily basis here, palms and veg plants, but with temperatures forecast to reach 80F in the coming days, it looks like I will have my work cut out. Specifically due to the lack of rainfall. On Saturday I spent around 3 hours in total watering everything in my garden and at my allotment. I will probably have to do the same again on Monday or Tuesday. The ground is just so dry. I hate to think what it will be like come June, when the first 90F days start rolling in. 

I know other people on here in the Netherlands can relate to this. It looks like we will be watering our crops and palms extensively this growing season. 

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Tyrone

It's very hard to imagine England without rain. Normally England has high relative humidity with low evaporation rate. Sounds like things have really been tipped on their ear over there. I hope you get some decent rain soon then.

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cbmnz

UK correspondent on the weather forum also been talking about the dryness over there. Seems to be the theme in many places, over here in the middle of what will be 20 days straight without rain, in now our rainy season when expect some rain on 20 days per month. Largest city Auckland is under water restrictions, dams are way down.

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Tyrone
3 hours ago, cbmnz said:

UK correspondent on the weather forum also been talking about the dryness over there. Seems to be the theme in many places, over here in the middle of what will be 20 days straight without rain, in now our rainy season when expect some rain on 20 days per month. Largest city Auckland is under water restrictions, dams are way down.

Wow. Where is all the water going on earth? The equatorial regions?

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UK_Palms
14 hours ago, Tyrone said:

It's very hard to imagine England without rain. Normally England has high relative humidity with low evaporation rate. Sounds like things have really been tipped on their ear over there. I hope you get some decent rain soon then.

It's becoming the norm now though for these spring/summer droughts. They aren't necessarily consistent, in that they can last from say April - June, or March - July, or May - August. But either way, there have been lengthy periods of drought in recent years, usually starting in spring and ending mid-late summer.

I think the worst was in 2018 when I went 10 weeks without a drop of rain between mid May and early August. That year I only recorded 16.4 inches of rain.  The drought last spring from March - July was pretty severe as well with less than an inch of rainfall across 3-4 months and only 19.1 inches of rain for 2019.

On the flip side, the autumn/fall and the winters especially have been extremely wet in recent years, with weeks of rainfall at times. Around 80% of our rainfall in recent years has been falling between October - February. December and January have been especially wet in recent years with widespread flooding. But come March/April, the rain practically vanishes these days. 

The forecast has also been upscaled since my last post and they are now calling for 26C on Tuesday and 28-29C on Wednesday and Thursday. Not ideal when the gardens are as dry as they are. Chance of a few thunderstorms on Thursday evening, possibly. I doubt I will get them here though. We're cooling down to 20C towards the end of the week, but back into the mid-high 20's by early next week. London doesn't have any highs below 21C in the 14 day forecast. That could prove problematic given the lack of rainfall and we're not even in summer yet. 

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UK_Palms

Well I think my front and back lawn is going to die in this drought. All the sprinklers were sold out at the garden stores and DIY places so I haven't been able to set one up. I have resorted to hand watering, but there's only so much I can do with a watering can, when I work 45 hours a week and have to tend to the rest of the garden as well. I just hope the lawn comes back between now and August, although I doubt it will. The past three years I have had no rain in June (0.0 inches) and I have only averaged 0.1 inches in July. So the outlook isn't good.

I dug some more holes again today to plant peppers and other veg, but there's just no moisture in the ground, even a foot or so down. It's just dust. It's almost like the surface of the moon here. When I water the surface with the watering can, it actually causes a dust cloud to kick up and go in my eyes. I can't imagine what things will be like come summer. 

My tomatoes look terrible. I only watered them yesterday as well, although the past 2 days have reached 79F. I'm expecting 85F tomorrow. Looks like daily irrigation from here onwards. Even the pepper plants have wilted badly in the ground due to the lack of moisture, and I have been watering them as well. I think it's because the water table is so low. Hard to believe this is England during the spring time! :bemused:

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cbmnz
2 hours ago, UK_Palms said:

Well I think my front and back lawn is going to die in this drought. All the sprinklers were sold out at the garden stores and DIY places so I haven't been able to set one up. I have resorted to hand watering, but there's only so much I can do with a watering can, when I work 45 hours a week and have to tend to the rest of the garden as well. I just hope the lawn comes back between now and August, although I doubt it will. The past three years I have had no rain in June (0.0 inches) and I have only averaged 0.1 inches in July. So the outlook isn't good.

I dug some more holes again today to plant peppers and other veg, but there's just no moisture in the ground, even a foot or so down. It's just dust. It's almost like the surface of the moon here. When I water the surface with the watering can, it actually causes a dust cloud to kick up and go in my eyes. I can't imagine what things will be like come summer. 

My tomatoes look terrible. I only watered them yesterday as well, although the past 2 days have reached 79F. I'm expecting 85F tomorrow. Looks like daily irrigation from here onwards. Even the pepper plants have wilted badly in the ground due to the lack of moisture, and I have been watering them as well. I think it's because the water table is so low. Hard to believe this is England during the spring time! :bemused:

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Grass is pretty tough, I had large areas of lawn that looked like this by Feb, just dry straw that disintegrated when walked on, are  full and lush green lawn again now. No resowing, just the rains came.

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GottmitAlex
7 hours ago, UK_Palms said:

Well I think my front and back lawn is going to die in this drought. All the sprinklers were sold out at the garden stores and DIY places so I haven't been able to set one up. I have resorted to hand watering, but there's only so much I can do with a watering can, when I work 45 hours a week and have to tend to the rest of the garden as well. I just hope the lawn comes back between now and August, although I doubt it will. The past three years I have had no rain in June (0.0 inches) and I have only averaged 0.1 inches in July. So the outlook isn't good.

I dug some more holes again today to plant peppers and other veg, but there's just no moisture in the ground, even a foot or so down. It's just dust. It's almost like the surface of the moon here. When I water the surface with the watering can, it actually causes a dust cloud to kick up and go in my eyes. I can't imagine what things will be like come summer. 

My tomatoes look terrible. I only watered them yesterday as well, although the past 2 days have reached 79F. I'm expecting 85F tomorrow. Looks like daily irrigation from here onwards. Even the pepper plants have wilted badly in the ground due to the lack of moisture, and I have been watering them as well. I think it's because the water table is so low. Hard to believe this is England during the spring time! :bemused:

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Looks like California 

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sipalms

@UK_PalmsIt is interesting indeed. The unsual thing is that temperatures have been quite low still haven't they? It's not at all uncommon for ground/grass to look like that here in November (our version of your May), but temps would by then have been in the 20s, even up to 30 by then.

My friends in Guildford were telling me about how cold it has been over the last month, with some kind of polar event coming through in the last couple of weeks, and lows for May consistently in the low single digits. They also said that nighttime lows have yet to hit the teens even now in late May which is hard to take in although I guess not impossible at 51N.

Crazy to be that dry and yet not exactly warm. Would be interesting to know what has caused the lack of rain, is there a high pattern blocking rain events? Where does your rain traditionally come from?

Also how windy is it there? In our springtime here, we get consistent onshore winds which while don't bring high temps, they dry everything out quickly, sometimes making it less green than mid summer!

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Tyrone
10 hours ago, UK_Palms said:

Well I think my front and back lawn is going to die in this drought. All the sprinklers were sold out at the garden stores and DIY places so I haven't been able to set one up. I have resorted to hand watering, but there's only so much I can do with a watering can, when I work 45 hours a week and have to tend to the rest of the garden as well. I just hope the lawn comes back between now and August, although I doubt it will. The past three years I have had no rain in June (0.0 inches) and I have only averaged 0.1 inches in July. So the outlook isn't good.

I dug some more holes again today to plant peppers and other veg, but there's just no moisture in the ground, even a foot or so down. It's just dust. It's almost like the surface of the moon here. When I water the surface with the watering can, it actually causes a dust cloud to kick up and go in my eyes. I can't imagine what things will be like come summer. 

My tomatoes look terrible. I only watered them yesterday as well, although the past 2 days have reached 79F. I'm expecting 85F tomorrow. Looks like daily irrigation from here onwards. Even the pepper plants have wilted badly in the ground due to the lack of moisture, and I have been watering them as well. I think it's because the water table is so low. Hard to believe this is England during the spring time! :bemused:

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That looks like inland Australia.

As for your lawn, most of the UK would use a tufted ryegrass as lawn. Is that correct? They require cool temperatures and lots of moisture. Maybe the UK will need to switch to rhizome style grasses like Kikuyu. They take frost and drought and although they may die off a bit in drought, a sniff of rain and they're green. They're actually a horrible weed too. I hate the stuff.

Was looking at windy.com today and there appears to be very little frontal activity in the mid latitudes in the northern hemisphere. It is approaching summer where these would contract poleward but there isn't much happening. You'd think at 52N you'd still be getting them. Maybe with the Arctic ice disappearing they aren't being generated as much. You also are way too north to get tropical convective stuff. Not good.

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sipalms
44 minutes ago, Tyrone said:

Maybe the UK will need to switch to rhizome style grasses like Kikuyu

Kikuyu is an interesting one. I definitely do not think it would grow in the UK even in the southernmost areas. Not just because England is the land of fine beautiful turf! But mainly because it is a subtropical species that demands relatively consistent warmth and little frost. According to the NZ grasses information, Kikuyu is only suitable in the northern parts of NZ as it requires 'consistently higher temperatures for photosynthesis".

In New Zealand it is an invasive weed and eventually the dominant grass in most people's lawns particularly in a drought... but only down to the lower part of the North Island at about 40 degrees south. I don't recall ever seeing it in the South Island even in sunny warm places like Nelson/Marlborough, and from driving around the North Island you first start to notice Kikuyu north of Levin.

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greysrigging
3 hours ago, sipalms said:

Kikuyu is an interesting one. I definitely do not think it would grow in the UK even in the southernmost areas. Not just because England is the land of fine beautiful turf! But mainly because it is a subtropical species that demands relatively consistent warmth and little frost. According to the NZ grasses information, Kikuyu is only suitable in the northern parts of NZ as it requires 'consistently higher temperatures for photosynthesis".

In New Zealand it is an invasive weed and eventually the dominant grass in most people's lawns particularly in a drought... but only down to the lower part of the North Island at about 40 degrees south. I don't recall ever seeing it in the South Island even in sunny warm places like Nelson/Marlborough, and from driving around the North Island you first start to notice Kikuyu north of Levin.

Dreadful garden weed in Northern Victoria when I was a kid.... was the bane of my father's life trying to control it...
But when he took over the management of a huge commercial Piggery south west of Sydney, he sowed the property ( several hundred acres ) with Kikuyu, contoured the land, and was able to irrigate/spray all of the Piggery effluent onto the paddocks without running foul of the Sydney Water Board or EPA or Nepean River Catchment Authority. The Kikuyu was an extremely efficient soaker of water without letting runoff occur. Then as a bonus income stream, managed to harvest the cursed stuff as turf and sell it to various Showgrounds ( including Sydney ). A nted drought resistant species... although a garden pest. We had plenty of frosts at both locations.... it just soldiered on.... lol.

 

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cbmnz
40 minutes ago, greysrigging said:

Dreadful garden weed in Northern Victoria when I was a kid.... was the bane of my father's life trying to control it...
But when he took over the management of a huge commercial Piggery south west of Sydney, he sowed the property ( several hundred acres ) with Kikuyu, contoured the land, and was able to irrigate/spray all of the Piggery effluent onto the paddocks without running foul of the Sydney Water Board or EPA or Nepean River Catchment Authority. The Kikuyu was an extremely efficient soaker of water without letting runoff occur. Then as a bonus income stream, managed to harvest the cursed stuff as turf and sell it to various Showgrounds ( including Sydney ). A nted drought resistant species... although a garden pest. We had plenty of frosts at both locations.... it just soldiered on.... lol.

 

It's a summer weed here, takes over when it gets warmer and drier than the ryegrass likes, then ryegrass takes over again until at least November. Paspalum is the same.

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greysrigging
4 minutes ago, cbmnz said:

It's a summer weed here, takes over when it gets warmer and drier than the ryegrass likes, then ryegrass takes over again until at least November. Paspalum is the same.

Broadleaf Paspalum is the best lawn in Darwin... I mix it with Buffalo Grass....  looked after it comes up OK in our climate.

 

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oasis371

There's been a lot written in recent years about jet streams becoming more "stuck" in highly anomalous patterns, bringing verb stagnant weather conditions (drought, heavy rain, heat, cold, etc.). You'd be surprised how most people are don't actually notice it but gardeners tend to be more attuned to the their environment and changes in it. Bizzare weather though seems more the norm now, and it's hard on plants and gardeners.  (Drought though tends to self-perpetuate itself, and it can be hard to break a multiple year pattern.  My annual average precipitation is over 50 inches, but "flash droughts" can and have popped up in recent years.)

Currently, most of the eastern USA has been dealing with above normal soil moistures. Recently, heavy rains in the Midwest and Southeast. In fact, it has gone from bad, to worse, to record 500 year flooding events.  Jet stream is stuck and there is training of storms.  Much of April and May has been unusually chilly in the eastern half of the country (outside of Florida, with record heat), with late frost after incursions of arctic air masses (after a very mild, snowless Winter), and as the interior of Alaska has experienced record heat.  Expect news of more bizarre weather.

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UK_Palms
15 hours ago, sipalms said:

@UK_PalmsIt is interesting indeed. The unsual thing is that temperatures have been quite low still haven't they? It's not at all uncommon for ground/grass to look like that here in November (our version of your May), but temps would by then have been in the 20s, even up to 30 by then.

My friends in Guildford were telling me about how cold it has been over the last month, with some kind of polar event coming through in the last couple of weeks, and lows for May consistently in the low single digits. They also said that nighttime lows have yet to hit the teens even now in late May which is hard to take in although I guess not impossible at 51N.

Crazy to be that dry and yet not exactly warm. Would be interesting to know what has caused the lack of rain, is there a high pattern blocking rain events? Where does your rain traditionally come from?

Also how windy is it there? In our springtime here, we get consistent onshore winds which while don't bring high temps, they dry everything out quickly, sometimes making it less green than mid summer!

So the winter just gone was one of the mildest we have ever experienced, while also being one of the wettest. The Atlantic low pressure fronts provided lots of mild, overcast, wet weather which kept temperatures above freezing pretty much all winter. However the rains disappeared come late March / early April, with high pressure systems taking over and dominating, bringing clear skies. The same thing has happened for the past 3 consecutive years now, come spring.

Following a week in the low 20's C, we happened to then have an arctic air mass move in during the second week of May. Nothing too severe for the time of year at 51N, with day time highs still reaching around 11-12C. But it meant that the nighttime temperatures plummeted away under the clear skies from the high pressure system. I actually experienced two 'late' frosts out in the countryside during this event, despite not experiencing any frost throughout the whole of April. I got down to -0.4C here. Quite typical that a late cold snap such as that would occur after one of the mildest winters on record. But on the whole, I would not call this spring 'cold'. We just had a few frosty nights under the clear skies during a cold snap. Nights are always going to be cooler under the clear skies though, especially at 51N.

Once you factor in the weather over the past week and what's in the forecast for the next 10 days, spring 2020 will probably go down as above average in terms of temperature, despite the late cold snap. The nights however have been cooler than average which is almost certainly down to the clear skies. April for instance saw 280 hours of sunshine and May has already racked up 200+ hours of sunshine. So nights are consequently going to be cooler without the cloud cover. And of course there will be no rain either.  The high pressure systems are blocking any rain events. Even when places like Manchester or Birmingham get a soaking, we aren't getting anything down here. I'm also situated in a rain shadow, which doesn't help. I only average 18 inches of rain as well annually. It seems about 80% of that falls between October - February. Almost all my rainfall comes from Atlantic weather systems, which are currently being blocked. 

Regarding the wind, 2020 has been pretty windy in general. There has been a few storms and gales. However the past few days have had next to no wind whatsoever. Today the highest windspeed was literally 1-2mph. But the wind in previous weeks certainly may have worsened the dryness here. 

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UK_Palms
15 hours ago, Tyrone said:

That looks like inland Australia.

As for your lawn, most of the UK would use a tufted ryegrass as lawn. Is that correct? They require cool temperatures and lots of moisture. Maybe the UK will need to switch to rhizome style grasses like Kikuyu. They take frost and drought and although they may die off a bit in drought, a sniff of rain and they're green. They're actually a horrible weed too. I hate the stuff.

Was looking at windy.com today and there appears to be very little frontal activity in the mid latitudes in the northern hemisphere. It is approaching summer where these would contract poleward but there isn't much happening. You'd think at 52N you'd still be getting them. Maybe with the Arctic ice disappearing they aren't being generated as much. You also are way too north to get tropical convective stuff. Not good.

Not sure what type of grass it is, but it always looks like crap in my climate these days, at least from May - September. I think the water tables are just too low, given that I only receive 18 inches of rain annually here. Combined with the unreliable rainfall in spring/summer and climate change, it doesn't bode well for the natural grasses.

Believe it or not, this used to be a patch of dark green grass across the street from me. It browns off and dies back every summer these days. Only a few weeds survive the spring/summer droughts of recent years. Perhaps we do need to switch to different grasses like Kikuyu.  

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Silas_Sancona
11 hours ago, greysrigging said:

Dreadful garden weed in Northern Victoria when I was a kid.... was the bane of my father's life trying to control it...
But when he took over the management of a huge commercial Piggery south west of Sydney, he sowed the property ( several hundred acres ) with Kikuyu, contoured the land, and was able to irrigate/spray all of the Piggery effluent onto the paddocks without running foul of the Sydney Water Board or EPA or Nepean River Catchment Authority. The Kikuyu was an extremely efficient soaker of water without letting runoff occur. Then as a bonus income stream, managed to harvest the cursed stuff as turf and sell it to various Showgrounds ( including Sydney ). A nted drought resistant species... although a garden pest. We had plenty of frosts at both locations.... it just soldiered on.... lol.

 

Had it in California also and yes, lol.. As much as i hate the " wild " Bermuda i'm at war with out front here, nothing, ( except maybe Torpedo, or Natal Grass ) is worse than the K- monster..  But, like you said, it is extremely tough, handling pretty much everything you can throw at it and yes, it tolerates cold, at least in CA. just fine. 

Buffalo grass is a great warm season grass but most strains don't do well closer to the coast in California.  University of CA developed a variety ( U.C. Verde ) that is supposed to tolerate " California " conditions better than other types originally from the Plains states.. It and some of the low growing Gramma Grasses are pretty much the only "lawn" grass i'd plant if i have one.

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Tyrone
17 hours ago, sipalms said:

Kikuyu is an interesting one. I definitely do not think it would grow in the UK even in the southernmost areas. Not just because England is the land of fine beautiful turf! But mainly because it is a subtropical species that demands relatively consistent warmth and little frost. According to the NZ grasses information, Kikuyu is only suitable in the northern parts of NZ as it requires 'consistently higher temperatures for photosynthesis".

In New Zealand it is an invasive weed and eventually the dominant grass in most people's lawns particularly in a drought... but only down to the lower part of the North Island at about 40 degrees south. I don't recall ever seeing it in the South Island even in sunny warm places like Nelson/Marlborough, and from driving around the North Island you first start to notice Kikuyu north of Levin.

Kikuyu and couch grass (Cynodon dactylon) is mostly all we get down here in southern wa with the odd bit of buffalo grass. I hate kikuyu, but I really loathe couch grass. It doesn’t react fast to roundup can bury itself 1.5m down to travel under garden edging. Once you’ve got it you can’t get rid of it. The best grass is soft leaf buffalo but it’s expensive and a bit more delicate. But if a runner gets into your garden, you just pull it up easily and it’s gone. We don’t grow tufted ryegrass here in WA as it’s too warm. 

So looking at the grass situation between southern WA and NZ it’s clear that I have a northern north island climate going on down here. Which makes sense.

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UK_Palms

Today's temperatures certainly wouldn't have helped with the drought issue. I recorded a high of 29C/85F in my garden, but the northeast of my county, going towards London, looks like they got up to about 31C/88F. 

It should be marginally cooler tomorrow, but I am still expecting 27C/80F at least for most inland places in the southeast. Slight chance of us catching a thunderstorm in the morning as well, hopefully. Everything desperately needs it in the garden. I'm not getting my hopes up though, if the past 2-3 years are anything to go by. 

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GottmitAlex
1 hour ago, UK_Palms said:

Today's temperatures certainly wouldn't have helped with the drought issue. I recorded a high of 29C/85F in my garden, but the northeast of my county, going towards London, looks like they got up to about 31C/88F. 

It should be marginally cooler tomorrow, but I am still expecting 27C/80F at least for most inland places in the southeast. Slight chance of us catching a thunderstorm in the morning as well, hopefully. Everything desperately needs it in the garden. I'm not getting my hopes up though, if the past 2-3 years are anything to go by. 

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Wow! I wish you had rain accompanying those temps!

 

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Tyrone

31C and thunderstorms. That's awesome summer weather even for my place as well. What night temps are you getting?

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UK_Palms
1 hour ago, Tyrone said:

31C and thunderstorms. That's awesome summer weather even for my place as well. What night temps are you getting?

I got down to 11C here under the clear skies last night. I’m already back up to 23C now at 9am though.

Not convinced we’ll get any thunderstorms here. They’re supposed to arrive by 10am but it’s still clear skies. 

The low tonight should be much warmer, about 16-17C. 

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UK_Palms

Today has been even hotter than it was yesterday. The Met Office said it would be cooler today and they gave a 60% chance of thunderstorms, which we desperately needed, but I haven't seen a single cloud in the sky all day. Let alone any rainfall. So they were wrong about the temperature and rain forecast. 

I recorded a high of 31.8C/89F in my garden today, but other places look to have exceeded the 32C/90F barrier. Southwest London in particular, around Richmond and Walton, where I saw a few stations reach the low 90's F. Of course these are unverified stations though. It seems it was a degree or two cooler along the Thames river.

My car was saying it was 34C outside, but I know that wasn't correct. More like 31-32C. It's definitely going to be cooler tomorrow though, down to about 23C / 75F. There's no rain whatsoever in the forecast for the next 14 days though. So this drought will be lasting well into the summer...

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sipalms

Far out. 32 degrees is hot. Would that not be a record for may in the UK?

Where is the nearest official station to you and what did it record?

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LivistonaFan
11 hours ago, sipalms said:

Far out. 32 degrees is hot. Would that not be a record for may in the UK?

Where is the nearest official station to you and what did it record?

Record of highest temperature in May is only slightly higher: 32.8 °C.

Nearest official station should be Farnborough (Hampshire)

But it recorded only something like 25°C and London Heathrow 27°C:huh:.

Of course, Farnborough certainly had a lower max. temperature being farther northwest (~7 km) and slightly more elevated (~+30 m alt.) than Guildford. But such a difference of more than 1 Kelvin/5 metres altitude (20 K/100 m instead of the usual 0,5-1 K/100 m) is indeed very remarkable.

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sipalms

@LivistonaFan that's interesting. You would think, that if certain locales seem to be consistently getting temps around 4 degrees C higher than actually recorded maximums, as. @UK_Palms seems to be, the Met Office would have recording stations right there. After all every meteorologist wants to know the hottest place/s.

I know for certain that around here, if some places were getting temps 4 degrees higher than nearby recording stations then that would quite dramatically change our climate classification. It would make the temperate oceanic climate here into a subtropical/Mediterranean climate pretty quick.

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UK_Palms
23 hours ago, sipalms said:

Far out. 32 degrees is hot. Would that not be a record for may in the UK?

Where is the nearest official station to you and what did it record?

As LivistonaFan points out, the record for May is 32.8C so even if the Met Office recognised Thursday's 32C recordings around the southeast, it still wouldn't break the record for May. I certainly stand by my own 31.8C (89F) reading on Thursday, with my other sensor at the bottom of my garden recording 31.6C (88F). A difference of 0.2C. That's still 1C off the monthly record though as well, so it's certainly not an unrealistic recording.

I also recognise that there are discrepancies between these recordings and the 'official' Met Office stations. As I have previously stated though, it doesn't help that 'official' stations are few and far between, especially in Surrey. My closest 'official' Met station isn't even in my county for instance. It's in Hampshire. The fact that multiple unverified stations in certain vicinities between London and Guildford show temperatures well above the 'official' Met stations clearly provide credence to higher temperatures being recorded than those recorded at Met Stations. I refer you to the pictures I included above. Obviously all those stations, in close proximity, can't all be wrong, all at the same time. But at the same time, they're obviously not 'official' recordings.

32C was definitely recorded in the southeast of England on Thursday. Just not at Farnborough, or the Wisely stations. But around Walton on Thames, Wimbledon, Richmond and Guildford to name a few places. All around the southeast London area. It was bloody hot and not 27C 'hot'. Definitely 31-32C 'hot'.  I was sweating buckets in the shade even. 

10 hours ago, LivistonaFan said:

Record of highest temperature in May is only slightly higher: 32.8 °C.

Nearest official station should be Farnborough (Hampshire)

But it recorded only something like 25°C and London Heathrow 27°C:huh:.

Of course, Farnborough certainly had a lower max. temperature being farther northwest (~7 km) and slightly more elevated (~+30 m alt.) than Guildford. But such a difference of more than 1 Kelvin/5 metres altitude (20 K/100 m instead of the usual 0,5-1 K/100 m) is indeed very remarkable.

The Met Office station at Farnborough is located 8 miles northwest of me and they recorded 26C on Thursday. They are always a few degrees cooler than me though due to elevation and the fact they are in a cooler area in general. They also record about 10 inches more rainfall than me on average each year, so our climate's are fairly different due to geographical differences. 

The station at Wisley, which is 13 miles northeast of me, is more akin to my climate. They recorded 29C on Thursday. The station however is not in a residential area and located out in an open field, which could be the reason for the lower temperature recording. As opposed to the 31-32C recordings in built up areas around the southeast.

Again all those stations in close proximity cannot all be wrong at the same time. The 3 stations around Richmond Botanic gardens were showing highs of 86F, 89F and 92F. All of which were higher recordings than those at Farnborough or Wisley. So are we saying that all 3 of those stations were incorrect? Not that any of them are official recordings either. But it's pretty obvious that the temperature was around 31-32C in parts of the southeast of Wednesday and Thursday. 

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UK_Palms

On another note, the social distances measures have been completely ignored as millions have flocked to the beaches on Wednesday and Thursday. They reckon 1 million English tourists alone have visited Cornwall during the heatwave. You'd think with 37,000 dead and 250,000 virus cases that people would stick to social distancing, but apparently they can't be bothered anymore. The beaches have been packed like sardines in a can. Quite unbelievable given the current pandemic. These are all pictures from the south coast of England on Wednesday and Thursday. 

Thankfully Friday was a lot cooler than Wednesday and Thursday. I recorded a high of 24.1C on Friday here and the high on Saturday here is only forecast to be 19C due to a low pressure Atlantic front that has moved in. The WHOLE of next week is forecast to be mid 20's C though (25-26C) which is well above average for May. Still no rain in the forecast either unfortunately. 

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RJ
32 minutes ago, UK_Palms said:

On another note, the social distances measures have been completely ignored as millions have flocked to the beaches on Wednesday and Thursday. They reckon 1 million English tourists alone have visited Cornwall during the heatwave. You'd think with 37,000 dead and 250,000 virus cases that people would stick to social distancing, but apparently they can't be bothered anymore. The beaches have been packed like sardines in a can. Quite unbelievable given the current pandemic. These are all pictures from the south coast of England on Wednesday and Thursday. 

Thankfully Friday was a lot cooler than Wednesday and Thursday. I recorded a high of 24.1C on Friday here and the high on Saturday here is only forecast to be 19C due to a low pressure Atlantic front that has moved in. The WHOLE of next week is forecast to be mid 20's C though (25-26C) which is well above average for May. Still no rain in the forecast either unfortunately. 

 

 

Whoa, even in the water! That's gotta be cold I don't care how warm it's been. I've swam in the Gulf of Maine in the beginning of September which is the warmest time for it and it was still cold. 

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UK_Palms
10 minutes ago, RJ said:

Whoa, even in the water! That's gotta be cold I don't care how warm it's been. I've swam in the Gulf of Maine in the beginning of September which is the warmest time for it and it was still cold. 

Right now the water temperature on the south coast of England is only around 13-14C. So yes, pretty cold. Even by late summer, the water temperature is usually only about 18-19C at most, since it is fed by the North Atlantic and North Sea (Scandinavian), which are both cool - cold oceanic area/currents. Plus the British Isles is quite far north at 50-55N.

But the sea temperature has been as high as 22C before in southern England and it has even been warmer than Malibu, CA come mid-summer. It's certainly nice and refreshing on a hot 90F day in July/August. But generally speaking, the water is cool all year-round. Especially in the spring!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-44923091

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sipalms
4 hours ago, UK_Palms said:

32C was definitely recorded in the southeast of England on Thursday. Just not at Farnborough, or the Wisely stations. But around Walton on Thames, Wimbledon, Richmond and Guildford to name a few places. All around the southeast London area. It was bloody hot and not 27C 'hot'. Definitely 31-32C 'hot'.  I was sweating buckets in the shade even. 

Interesting. I just noticed you were referring to wunderground for those earlier screenshots. It's just that being a network of cheap home recording stations, it can't necessarily be taken as fact. It's not unheard of to have wunderground stations around here show 40 degrees on hot summer days, yet the last time we officially recorded over 40 degrees in this province was in 2010.

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greysrigging
2 hours ago, sipalms said:

Interesting. I just noticed you were referring to wunderground for those earlier screenshots. It's just that being a network of cheap home recording stations, it can't necessarily be taken as fact. It's not unheard of to have wunderground stations around here show 40 degrees on hot summer days, yet the last time we officially recorded over 40 degrees in this province was in 2010.

Yes, I agree .... most 'home' stations are good enough as a guide, but are generally not accurate compared to official instrumentation.  Can read quite a few degrees too high on extreme days. I equate most home set ups ( the cheap ones that is ) about the same as the car thermometer.  I'm a bit of a stats nerd, and have had countless discussions on local weather forums and FB weather pages re extreme heat temps in Australia. The general populace is convinced that it exceeds 50c every summer out west of Wagga Wagga....when in reality, under WMO and Aussie BOM standard instrumentation ( ie correct siting of the Stevenson Screen and proper callibration ), there have only been four occaisions when 50c has been reached, and one of those ( Wilcannia in 1939 ) has not gone through the strict verification process to be accepted as 'official'.
If they're not recorded in a Screen,  well I'm a bit dubious of the accuracy.
On extreme heat days in Australia, temps are relatively 'spatially coherent', notwithstanding local differences in topography, locations near the ocean, elevation, Urban Heat Islands in cities etc.
 

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sipalms

@greysrigging very true. I guess it's important that it stays that way too.

As much as the rise of home weather stations is interesting, like anything it's important that accurate recordings and representations are upheld and respected.

Lose the integrity of actual temperature data, and anyone can claim anything about the/their climate, and that's not a good thing.

Im fully aware that differences in temps can be amazing in small areas of topography/geography, I live in a part of the world that has an extremely diverse range of climate zones in a very small geographical area. Here's a pic I took just yesterday, of some archontophoenix, washingtonians, Phoenix, rhopalostylis together, and yet less than 45 miles away there are permanent year round snowfields...!

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But 4-5 degrees C variance from official recordings is a huge difference in 8 miles of the English countryside, away from the coastal influence, without the effects of mountain/canyon winds.

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greysrigging
14 minutes ago, sipalms said:

@greysrigging very true. I guess it's important that it stays that way too.

As much as the rise of home weather stations is interesting, like anything it's important that accurate recordings and representations are upheld and respected.

Lose the integrity of actual temperature data, and anyone can claim anything about the/their climate, and that's not a good thing.

Im fully aware that differences in temps can be amazing in small areas of topography/geography, I live in a part of the world that has an extremely diverse range of climate zones in a very small geographical area. Here's a pic I took just yesterday, of some archontophoenix, washingtonians, Phoenix, rhopalostylis together, and yet less than 45 miles away there are permanent year round snowfields...!

20200523_214228.thumb.jpg.b15355b1a901f565d3f4e4685b4843ad.jpg

But 4-5 degrees C variance from official recordings is a huge difference in 8 miles of the English countryside, away from the coastal influence, without the effects of mountain/canyon winds.

Certainly is....and that is why home weather stations are not considered 'accurate' by the weather enthusiast fraternity..... they are a guide at best and can be misleading at worst......

 

 

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UK_Palms
8 hours ago, sipalms said:

Interesting. I just noticed you were referring to wunderground for those earlier screenshots. It's just that being a network of cheap home recording stations, it can't necessarily be taken as fact. It's not unheard of to have wunderground stations around here show 40 degrees on hot summer days, yet the last time we officially recorded over 40 degrees in this province was in 2010.

I hear what you are saying. I did stress in my earlier posts that they were unofficial stations recording the 30-32C temps. Going by the official Met Office stations, 28-29C is the highest they recorded across the southeast. I know for a fact that it was hotter than 28C here though. When humidity is only at 20% you can clearly tell the difference between 28C temperatures and 32C temperatures.

I recorded 29C/85F on Wednesday and it definitely felt a lot hotter on Thursday when I recorded 31.8C/89F. I accept that they are unofficial recordings and cannot be taken for real, but at the same time it is unfortunate that the Met Office do not have enough stations in my vicinity. Surrey in general only has two stations which cover the northeast of the county. An enormous proportion of the county has no official Met stations anywhere near.

I'm only showing a high of 17.4C at 3pm here today. I'm just curious, but would that temperature recording be disputed as well for being unofficial? Or would people accept the 17.6C recording as probably accurate since it is pretty low? The Met Office station over at Wisley, Surrey is almost 2C warmer showing a high of 19.1C, so should I go by that station instead of my own lower recording? Since the Wisley one is official and my lower recording is not? Just curious where we draw the line with this? Are those Met Stations, which are few and far between, really a true reflection of my own temperature/climatic recordings? Genuine question. 

To change the subject, we have actually received some rain here this morning. Nothing measurable, only about 0.01 inches in total. But at least we got something. I don't think it was enough to benefit the palms, plants, veg etc. I will still be having to hand water everything later today. It's very windy here today as well with 40mph gusts which have dried everything out again pretty quickly.

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sipalms
2 hours ago, UK_Palms said:

Just curious where we draw the line with this?

Where we draw the line with this is that there is a huge difference between poorly placed, low quality home weather stations and properly placed high quality accurate and regularly calibrated official stations.

A difference of 1.5 degrees on a cool cloudy day is far more understandable than a difference of 4 degrees on a hot sunny day because the hot sunny day will be that much more affected by the sun and radiation.

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UK_Palms
7 minutes ago, sipalms said:

Where we draw the line with this is that there is a huge difference between poorly placed, low quality home weather stations and properly placed high quality accurate and regularly calibrated official stations.

A difference of 1.5 degrees on a cool cloudy day is far more understandable than a difference of 4 degrees on a hot sunny day because the hot sunny day will be that much more affected by the sun and radiation.

Yeah I get what you are saying. But that means that both of my two stations are almost certainly wrong then, as are about two thirds of the other independent stations in the southeast. The vast majority of which were reading in the 29-32C range. Seems too coincidental given the number of stations reporting those temperatures, but we'll agree to keep it civil that these independent stations cannot be correct and that we must then stick to the 'official' Met stations in Farnborough and Wisley for instance, even if these 'official' stations are few and far between. I do get where you are coming from though and that is a valid point that you are making, so fair enough. 

On that basis, I assume the same applies for yourself and the rest of NZ when recording temperature data. Or for any other independent weather station in the world, in general. Only the recordings that come from government run, regularly calibrated facilities are 'official' and can be considered legitimate. Even if your closest 'official' verified station is 10+ miles away. All other independent weather station recordings, including from members on Palmtalk, are then open to debate and scrutiny, unless of course it has been recorded from a calibrated, government run facility and verified, as is the case with the Met stations in the UK. So if you record 90F on your own station in Christchurch, but MetService NZ only records 85F on their 'official' verified station, that means your recording is wrong by default and that you must go by what the MetService recording was, irrespective of your own recordings/data. You agree with that, right? 

The same would apply for people recording weather data in California. If someone records a high of 100F on their station in the Hollywood Hills, but the nearest 'official' National Weather Service station in Franklin Canyon only records 92F, that means that person's own independent recording is incorrect and they must go by the nearest 'official' recording instead? Even if that station is almost 10 miles away? Obviously it can't be one rule for one country, or location, and a different rule for others. So is this the process we have to go by when establishing what temperatures were actually recorded in any designated area??

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sandgroper
47 minutes ago, UK_Palms said:

Yeah I get what you are saying. But that means that both of my two stations are almost certainly wrong then, as are about two thirds of the other independent stations in the southeast. The vast majority of which were reading in the 29-32C range. Seems too coincidental given the number of stations reporting those temperatures, but we'll agree to keep it civil that these independent stations cannot be correct and that we must then stick to the 'official' Met stations in Farnborough and Wisley for instance, even if these 'official' stations are few and far between. I do get where you are coming from though and that is a valid point that you are making, so fair enough. 

On that basis, I assume the same applies for yourself and the rest of NZ when recording temperature data. Or for any other independent weather station in the world, in general. Only the recordings that come from government run, regularly calibrated facilities are 'official' and can be considered legitimate. Even if your closest 'official' verified station is 10+ miles away. All other independent weather station recordings, including from members on Palmtalk, are then open to debate and scrutiny, unless of course it has been recorded from a calibrated, government run facility and verified, as is the case with the Met stations in the UK. So if you record 90F on your own station in Christchurch, but MetService NZ only records 85F on their 'official' verified station, that means your recording is wrong by default and that you must go by what the MetService recording was, irrespective of your own recordings/data. You agree with that, right? 

The same would apply for people recording weather data in California. If someone records a high of 100F on their station in the Hollywood Hills, but the nearest 'official' National Weather Service station in Franklin Canyon only records 92F, that means that person's own independent recording is incorrect and they must go by the nearest 'official' recording instead? Even if that station is almost 10 miles away? Obviously it can't be one rule for one country, or location, and a different rule for others. So is this the process we have to go by when establishing what temperatures were actually recorded in any designated area??

That's the rule I go by, if BOM tells me Jandakot is 45c then if it's 45c, if they tell me it's 18c then it's 18c regardless of the fact that their official recording device is several kilometres away. I have a garden thermometer at the base of my coconut palm to give me an idea what the temperature is at that particular point in the garden but it's uncalibrated and is there as a guide only for my own interest but I would not base anything on its accuracy, it is simply a guide.

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GottmitAlex

I won't get into an argument.

Personally I do believe in microclimates.

And yes, even up to 5C+ than what the official stations read out.

But hey! That's just me.

 

 

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