Evidence that weather is becoming more extreme in the UK.
The UK’s weather appears to be becoming more extreme. Temperatures seem to be following the global pattern and continually and slowly rising. The ten hottest years on record have all come within the last 20 years. In addition, 6 of 10 wettest years on record have come in the last 20 years.
There have been a number of major weather events over the past 2 decades including;
• 2000 – Atlantic depressions brought lots of rain and gale force winds that hit large parts of the south of the UK, disrupting people’s lives
• 2003 – The UK was affected by a summer anticyclone which brought a period of settled weather. This allowed a heat wave to develop that gave the highest ever recorded temperatures of 38.5°C at Faversham in Kent. The heatwave was responsible for 2,000 deaths in the UK alone, with more across Europe.
• 2007 – Flooding affected huge parts of the country and caused widespread damage to people’s homes. Flood events affected Hull and Sheffield in the North, and Toll Bar near Doncaster. The south of the UK also suffered, Tewkesbury on the River Severn made the headlines as flooding totally isolated the town and other parts of Gloucester were affected. Large areas of farmland were destroyed, the A38 was impassable and crops and livestock were affected.
• 2008 – A wet summer resulted in many more flooding events as water could not soak into saturated ground. Parts of Somerset were affected as well as Morpeth in Northumberland.
• 2009-10 – The winter big freeze, mean temperatures were only 1.2°C, the lowest since 1978-79. Huge amounts of snowfall paralysed the country and brought roads to a standstill, closed schools and put enormous strain on the NHS
• 2010 – March 2012 – large parts of England suffer a major drought with reservoir levels falling to very low levels. This was caused by very low rainfall levels.
• 2012 – April- July – record flooding events – caused by record rainfall events – includes Thunder Thursday which brought Tyne and Wear to a standstill
• 2013-14 – A winter of incredibly powerful storms that caused coastal flooding in large parts of the UK and damaged a railway line along the coast in Dawlish, Devon
• 2014 – The hottest year ever on record - the UK's mean temperature for the year 2014 was 9.9 °C, which is 1.1 °C above the long-term (1981-2010) average and beats the previous record of 9.7 °C set in 2006.
• 2015 – 2016 – flooding across the North of the UK after a sequence of depressions hit the country, including storm Desmond