Tewkesbury Weather - Statistically Speaking
It is our great talking point but do our impressions agree with statistics?
As you see, my friend Peter has a lovely garden in the Oldbury – and he also regularly collects, and presents to me, weather statistics.
Each month I will update the Rainfall and Temperature Statistics and offer my Monthly Reflection on how the statistics underline or undermine our impressions.
John's August 2023 Reflections
John's July 2023 Reflections
John's June 2023 Reflections
John's May 2023 Reflections
The lockdown started 3 years ago but concern over Covid seems to have dissipated at last?
May 2023 has seemed a strange and frustrating month, as we have had sunshine but too much of cold wind and cloud from the North-East.
Rainfall: May 2022 seemed to have been dubbed the new April, but this year showers ended on 10 May with no rain since then [except strange drizzle first thing on some mornings which only once registered]. We only had half the average May rainfall – in fact only two months have been dry in 2020 and 2016. If it is any consolation 2007 was the wettest May since this millennium.
Temperature: It looked like a summery month, but it certainly did not feel it. Statistically it was an average month. It only exceeded 60oF on five days in the last week - but it ended very cool. The maximum was 64oF [18oC] as opposed to 62oF in April.
Conclusion: We have learned a meteorological lesson in May 2023. Usually, we look forward to High Pressure which usually brings warm weather. However, that is only when the Azores High to the south sends over warm weather – and this month we had an Artic High, sending wind from the northeast. My spring-time youth in Grimsby was blighted by this same blanket of cloud – while 30 miles to the west it was warm. I always though Tewkesbury was in the West – but not last month!
My other worry is that it is the start of a summer drought, although so far, the lawns have been content.
Peter’s photos are, however, very cheering!
John's April 2023 Reflections
The lock-down started 3 years ago! And we still hear of others who are suffering from Covid and really bad colds!
It has been a strange season’s weather. We recorded last month as “the worst year - and over twice the monthly average! It certainly seemed that way on the evening of Friday 31st and as I wrote on 10 May at 16.00 it is dark and still raining! The Daily Mail of today is also puzzled [see Read More below]:
Rainfall: Sadly [perhaps?] I still cannot be pessimistic of another month of drought. As with March, it was a strange month with it seeming to rain a little at daybreak - with stronger rain later.
We did not have quite March’s record rainfall, but we still had half as much rain as average. Yes, the soil is very damp, and the lawns are well recovering after last summer’s drought. The previous three months of April were still below average. Once again, a statistical check reminds us that April has often been a dry month, the most parched April came in the infamous 2007!
Temperature: It will be no surprise that the afternoons were cool, as with 2021. We reached 50oF [10oC] occasionally and it was only 30 April that we reached a mercurial 62oF! [17oC] Much better than the warmest March day of 12oC! The mornings seemed average but there were 7 mornings of below freezing point – with the coldest being 26 [-3oC ].
Many of we gardeners have remarked on loosing shrubs this winter to frost – from 25 February until 10 March we had a run of cold mornings with the worst being 24oF [-4.5oC] on 11 March after which it relented.
Conclusion: So, when will a properly Spring arrive? – but the lawns and weeds are at least thriving.
John's March 2023 Reflections
The lock-down started on 23 March 2020 – now 3 years ago! And we still hear of others who have Covid!
It has been a strange month’s weather. We know it has been wet and the BBC still emphasizes that it is to a record amount. In the 20 years of Peter recording rainfall, it is the worst year - and over twice the monthly average! It certainly seemed that way on the evening of Friday 31st with the level of the Swilgate today confirming that.
Rainfall: At long last I cannot be pessimistic of another month of drought, although the Daily Mail says we have not succeeded in replenishing reservoirs. It was a strange month with it seeming to rain a little at daybreak - with stronger rain later. We only had two peaks around Thursday 9th and then on Sunday 26th, which wasted a day’s gardening. But at least, for the time being, the soil is very damp. Will the lawns now recover after last summer’s drought? The previous three months of March were below average. Once again, a statistical check reminded me that the wettest March before 2023 came in 2007!
Temperature: The mornings seemed and were milder although the first 10 days hovered just around freezing point with a colder day on Saturday 11th. The afternoons seemed to agree with the miserable sentiment by being below average. The warmest reached was a mere 53oF [11.7oC] on 22nd.
Conclusion: Although March felt very depressing, dare we be more optimistic about the lawn in summer? [They still have not really recovered because of moss.]
John's February 2023 Reflections
The lock-down started on 23 March 2020 – almost three years ago! But we cannot forget that ‘flu is now striking people and just bad colds are sapping friends’ energy - and we hear others have Covid!
Temperature: February was statistically average but there were ten days of frost in early morning. It was cheering that so often Peter’s description was often “cloudless” and “sunny”. The coldest morning was milder than in January. Five afternoons were quite warm for the time of year.
Rainfall: We, like the BBC, feel that it was a worryingly dry month - and statistically it way below average. Rain only fell - a very little - on three days of the month. The winter months of Dec-Feb was way below average. Very worrying for the 2023 summer and inevitably the lawns have not recovered since last summer’s drought.
Conclusion: I am now pretty sure that the rain is not compensating for the summer drought which is very worrying. The Arctic High is now back with us for March.
John's January 2023 Reflections
John's December 2022 Reflections
John's November 2022 Reflections
John's October 2022 Reflections
John's September 2022 Reflections
The lock-down started on 23 March 2020 – 2 years ago! - and, life is almost back to normal, and Covid seems to be fading here – at the moment! I had simultaneous Covid4 & Flu jabs yesterday!
Temperature: September seems to have been a typical monthbut there was nowhere near enough rain to end the drought. Yet, it was 10 degrees cooler.
Rainfall: I have been on the Danube for the past two weeks and the shock was that the grass was so green – yet we return to the scorched lawns of the UK.
Conclusion: Last month: “We shall have to wait whether autumn rain compensates.” Still not yet.
John's August 2022 Reflections
The lock-down started on 23 March 2020 – 2 years ago! - and, life is almost back to normal, and Covid seems to be fading – at the moment!
Temperature: We are told that July had demonstrated record temperatures and we knew that from our own experience. August was almost as hot on average as July - 69.8 oF v 70.3 oF. The hottest afternoon temperature was “only” 84 oF as opposed to 94oF – 34.4oC. The average temperature of 69.8 oF was the hottest since Peter started his records for us in 2011. The BBC highlights 2018 as being excessive but 2022 was 4 oF warmer. There was a spell of 80 oF + from 11-14 August.
Rainfall: That can be a problem as such heat can generate heavy rain and the 16th brought an excessive shower which caused damage to our vulnerable Town Museum nearby in Barton Street:
“Excessive moisture continues to be an issue in the Museum. Following the heavy rain on the 18th August, I mopped up three litres of water from inside the tarpaulin on the top floor. Our dehumidifiers have been working hard too. Following a meeting of the Collections Committee this week, we decided to move the dehumidifiers to different locations, to see if that helps.
The mopping up fell to Chairman, Joanne Raywood and volunteers. Thanks to you all.
Conclusion: [last month: “We shall have to await whether autumn rain compensates.” Not yet: the rest of us should be concerned as the rainfall was only 34% of normal. Peter’s Hydrangea hints of Autumn but we need a wet one as in 1976.
John's July 2022 Reflections
John's June 2022 Reflections
John's May 2022 Reflections
John's April 2022 Reflections
John's March 2022 Reflections
John's February 2022 Reflections
John's January 2022 Reflections
John's December 2021 Reflections
John's November 2021 Reflections
John's October 2021 Reflections
John's September 2021 Reflections
John's August 2021 Reflections
John's July 2021 Reflections
John's June 2021 Reflections
John's May 2021 Reflections
John's April 2021 Reflections
John's March 2021 Reflections
John's February 2021 Reflections
John's January 2021 Reflections
The lock-down started on 24 March 2021 and, as I reflect on 1 February, we are in Day 343 of an almost total lockdown in Tier 4!]. On Boxing Day, we entered Lock-down III in Tier 3 closely followed by Tier 4 on 31 January because of negative statistics even in this area. We realise that we shall not now meet in public until Easter 2021 at the earliest but, this Autumn, our meetings have been held “virtual by Zoom” – both well attended attracting an average of 33 pcs, and we shall continue to meet virtually in the Spring from 25 February 2021.
Temperature January has proved a very cold month – matching the mood. Cold enough for 25mm snow of Sunday 24th. It has sunk to freezing point or below on 18 mornings - and stayed there on 7 afternoons and the maximum was only 47oF [8.5oC]. January was definitely a below average sort of month! The Daily Mail reported this week that it was nationally the coldest January weather for some time. I can agree that, in the Oldbury, the afternoons on average were coldest, at 35oF, since Peter started his records in 2012.
Rainfall January has not been as wet as December, but it has still been very wet. This makes river flooding inevitable and it has been worrying since at least 22nd January [Storm Christophe] with no respite in prospect. The town is almost cut off by floods again – and the lawns are exceedingly soggy!
Conclusion A Miserable January in so many ways – although some would welcome the rare and real snow. The floods are worrying into February and the only optimism is the increasing pace of vaccinations for those over 70. We shall have to wait and see if sunlight - and some freedom - follows.
John's December 2020 Reflections
Peter's Photos from 2020
The lock-down started on 24 March and, as I reflect on 1 January, we are in Day 312 of an almost total lockdown in Tier 4!. On Boxing Day, we entered Lock-down III in Tier 3 closely followed by Tier 4 on 31 December because of negative statistics even in this area. We realise that we shall not now meet in public until Easter 2021 at the earliest but, this Autumn, our meetings have been held “virtual by Zoom” – both well attended, attracting an average of 33 pcs, and we shall continue to meet virtually in the Spring from 28 January 2021.
Temperature December has proved a very cool month – matching the mood with pubs restricted. It has sunk to freezing point or below on 10 mornings. These levels were also reached on 6 afternoons and the maximum was only 46oF [8oC]. December was a below average sort of month, while the year was slightly above average in the morning and below in the afternoons.
Rainfall December has been a very wet month [with 2 exceptions] since 2012 and following relatively dry Novembers. It was the wettest December since Peter started collecting data in 2003. Not surprisingly, as in February, the town was briefly cut off by floods. The lawns are exceedingly soggy! The year like 2019 saw above average rainfall - with a wet February [floods which caused the loss of a meeting], August and October.
Conclusion Still Gloomy in so many ways – but at the end of the month there were two glimmers of hope with a vaccine. We shall have to wait and see if sunlight follows.
John's November 2020 Reflections
John's October 2020 Reflections
John's September 2020 Reflections
John's August 2020 Refelections
The lock-down started on 24 March and, as I reflect on 2 September, we are in Day 194. THS has lost all meetings this half season and we shall not now meet in public until January 2021 at the earliest. In the Autumn, our meetings start on 17 September and will be “virtual by Zoom”. I managed to escape to France on the 2nd and, as Autumn begins, still feel very safe on our woodland campsite SW of Bordeaux, but we accept that we shall be quarantined on return once again in the garden! It has been extremely hot here – over 40oC - but highest temperatures are now down to early 30s. Living close to nature one is aware of the sun’s habits and it is clearly rising later and setting earlier. In the Oldbury, August seems to have been a little disappointing, with a lot of rain and wind. We anticipate having to tame a wild garden during our second lock down.