Highest rainfall for 12 years?

MADAM - The flash flooding overnight on January 29 and 30, at Bulverton Road, reported on page six of your February 6 edition of the Sidmouth Herald, was a more significant weather event than the quote from the Met Office would suggest

MADAM - The flash flooding overnight on January 29 and 30, at Bulverton Road, reported on page six of your February 6 edition of the Sidmouth Herald, was a more significant weather event than the quote from the Met Office would suggest. Their figure of 16 mm (half an inch) of rain in 12 hours probably came from their nearest observation site which was likely to have been Dunkeswell.

I live only a few hundred yards away from the homes which were flooded at Bulverton Park and measured 1.68 inches (43mm) of rain in the 24 hours ending at 9am. The bulk of that fell overnight. It's one of the very highest daily totals I've recorded in 12 years of observations. My garden is relatively sheltered so even more rain than that may actually have fallen.

Between 1960 and 1990 the average annual rainfall in Sidmouth was quoted as 30 inches (773 mm). In the last 12 years I've recorded an annual average of 37 inches (940 mm), an increase of 23%. Of course, the first figure was not measured in my garden, but the increase is unlikely to be explained by the difference in sites alone. Is our increase in rain due to global warming? No-one can say, but the change fits in with the predictions which include greater frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.

John Jones


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