January rainfall 250% above Warwick average

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Retired naval meteorological observer Peter Jackson says rainfall in Warwick was an astonishing 250 per cent above average for the area last month.

He is still waiting to hear whether this will be an all-time record.

Mr Jackson spent 46 years as part of the British Meteorological Office Voluntary Observers during his time with the Merchant Navy.

During those years he received a number of awards from the Met Office for the excellence of the data he produced during the early days of satellite transmission.

So perhaps it wasn’t surprising that when he retired, seven years ago, he set up his own private weather station in the back garden of his home in Warwick from where he also monitors the levels of the River Avon.

Mr Jackson said: “I have recorded Warwick weather since 2008 after I established accuracy across my equipment.

“I also cross-check events with a number of other local weather stations on a daily basis, including the one at Wellesbourne airfield, the Coventry Weather Station at Bablake School, Coleshill, Solihull and Pershore.

“My findings are that in January this year, the rainfall in Warwick totalled 134.6 millimetres - that’s 250 per cent of the long term average for this area.

“I’m still awaiting verification of whether this is an all-time record.

“The last Local Long Term record for January rain in Warwick was 53.8 millilitres.”

In addition to this, on February 1, the River Avon reached a depth of 2.31 metres when its normal range is between 0.40 and 1.46 metres. But this is not the highest on record, which is 3.95 metres.

Mr Jackson added: “The most recent high reading was 3.47 metres which was recorded on 21 July, 2007.”

Temperatures in Warwick during January were also 1.4 Celsius above the average which all adds to Mr Jackson’s belief that we are experiencing some form of global warming.

But while his statistics are agreed by Steve Jackson (no relation), who runs Coventry’s Bablake Weather Station, Peter’s views on the earth heating up are not shared by Steve.

Steve said: “Our weather at the moment has been caused by the intense, record-breaking cold in the USA where they have reached temperatures of minus 20, meeting the 30 Celsius heat of the Caribbean which has made the jet stream much more active than normal.

“It just so happens all that rain is blowing across the UK.

“I do accept Peter’s rainfall data which sounds perfectly correct.

“For what it’s worth, Coventry has been experiencing the wettest January since 1870.

“There’s even a lot of talk about the south of England - which includes Warwick - experiencing the wettest January for 250 years.

“But that still doesn’t provide evidence of global warming in my book.”

To log on to the Coventry Weather Station visit bws.users.netlink.co.uk or follow the station on Twitter.