Friday, 3 January 2014

December's Weather

There seems general agreement in the community that last month saw the worst spell of prolonged bad weather that anyone can remember.  It started with the gales of the 13th/14th, and continued to the end of the month. In that time we recorded eight days on which there were gales.  On two occasions, the 23rd/24th and the 26th/27th, the barometric pressure fell off the bottom of our barometer - on the latter occasion Dominic Cooper recorded a reading of 945mbar.

The highest wind speeds were recorded on the 19th, with Dominic reporting a gust of 95mph that day and 91mph the previous day - hence, probably, the combed-out effect of this bracken near Kilmory.  The highest rainfall was 27mm on the 26th, and the month's total was 316mm - compare this with 208mm in December 2012.

We maintain a fairly crude graphical record of the type of cloud cover each day, from heavy overcast to clear with bright sunshine.  On only two occasions, the 26th and the 29th, did we see enough sun to put a mark in the 'watery sunshine' column.  Earlier in the month, before the storms started, we had some heavy hail showers, along with thunder and lightning.  As a result of the month's weather, we lost our power supply on four occasions, the longest breaks being on the 5th when it was off for 8.5 hours and the 19th when it was off for 7 hours.

January started quietly, but this morning we had a near-gale after some 20mm of rain overnight.  The winds might not have had serious effects had they not coincided with a 'supermoon', a new or full moon which happens to be at the moon's perigee, the point on its orbit when it's closest to the Earth.  This results in unusually high tides, 5.1m at 7.00am at Tobermory this morning before they were pushed even higher by the winds.

With the sky now clearing we have some chance of seeing the annual Quadrantid meteor shower, and AuroraWatch is reporting geomagnetic activity which might, just might give us an aurora.

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