Belstone Weather Statistics – Courtesy of Simon Herbert
Simon began keeping weather records for Belstone in July 2011 and we first posted his results on the website at the end of January 2012. We hope they will make interesting reading, over time! If you have anything to add to these records, please contact the editors.
Simon’s comments on this year 2017:
January:For what it is worth it was the coldest January that I have recorded and by miles the driest. Interestingly the rainfall since March of last year has been considerably lower than in previous years which may mean that we either get a very wet spring to compensate or climate change is having an unexpected impact. I shall be watching with interest !
February:This was the warmest February that I have recorded with average amount of rainfall. However the recent trend of lower rainfall since April of last year continues which I think is interesting. Are we to get a very wet spring/summer to redress the balance ?
March: It turned out to be wettest March since I started. Last March was 146.5 mm, March 2014, 108mm, March 2013 126 mm.What is perhaps even more striking is the temperature which is the highest by a long way. 2016 was 4.95, 2015 was 5.76, 2014 was 6.76 and 2013 only 2.47.
April:We had 30 mm of rain on the 30th April otherwise it would have been exceptionally dry. Looking back over the past years April has tended to be a dry month- 2013, 50mm, 2014, 113.5 mm, 2015, 24.5mm, 2016, 53mm. So what has happened to the old April showers ?
I was interested to hear a recent report that suggested that climate change would produce a north south divide as far as rainfall. The north would get wetter and the south drier, which is what maybe seems to be happening looking at my figures. Perhaps the wet March was an aberration ? Anyway we will see.
As far as the temperatures go it was slightly warmer than the average.
May:The warmest May since my records began with average rainfall but with 19mm of the 102.5 falling on May 1st.
June: It hasn’t come as a surprise that this was the hottest June since I started with the 21st June recording the highest temperature, I think, of 28.3.
But against that we have had the wettest June since I started, helped by the 5th June recording 32.5 mm. So an interesting month !
July:The temperatures are basically average but the rainfall is the largest by miles in my 5 years recording helped by the Sunday 30th when we had 63 mm. It was reported on the news that Okehampton had 80 something so we got off lightly !!
August: Nothing much to say except that we had all felt that it was a particularly miserable and coolish month, but in fact it was only average. It was colder in 2012,2014, and 2015 and we had more rain in 2014 and 2016.
September: I don’t think that it comes as a surprise that this was the coldest and wettest Sept since I started. Having had the nine months of little rainfall, the balance is being redressed with persistent rain. I think that in the last 67 days we have had only 9 with no rain.
October: The only surprise to me is that it is not the warmest Oct in recent years. 2014 was warmer. And the rainfall is average. So nothing unusual this month.
November: Nothing much to say except that it has been very much in the middle of previous November readings.
December: Perhaps rather surprisingly it was the coldest December since I started in 2012 and the rainfall is no worse than average having had 2 years with more.
2017 as a whole however was the 2nd warmest after 2014 which had an average of 10.34, so only just. But the rainfall was a new record following 2016 which was the lowest when we had long periods of little or no rain which ran into the early part of 2017. We probably need a lot more statistics for any confirmation but you could argue that over the last 5 years there is a slight warming of temperatures going on which will probably mean that 2018 destroys that supposition with a record cold year. We will see !
Simon’s comments on this year 2016:
January: Very similar to 2014 just warmer and perhaps surprisingly not as wet. The warmest since I started.
March: Wettest March since I started but colder than 2014 and 2015.
April: Not surprisingly colder than last year but warmer than the year before which I think is a surprise.
June: Highest June temperature since I started, also the wettest June.
September: I believe that was the warmest September since I started.
October: The surprise is that it was the coldest October by quite a long way since I started and the obvious fact is that it was the driest since I started.
November: Half of the rainfall came in three consecutive days .
December: The significant figure is the low rainfall which is by far the lowest rainfall since I started.
2016: Average high 11.89 Average low 7.73 Overall 9.81. The average high is exactly the same as 2015 and the average low slightly higher, giving a 0.02 rise from 2015. 2014 at 10.34 is the highest. Total rainfall of 1206mm (48.24 ins) is by far the lowest since I started.
Simon’s comments on 2015:
February: 113.5mm snow (near enough 4in)
April: Interestingly last April was warmer at 9.52 overall average and this was the second driest month since I started recording. What happened to April showers ?
May: Despite thinking that this was the coldest May for ages, I was surprised to see that May 2013 was quite a bit cooler.
June: Nothng too remarkable, except that it was cooler than last June – perhaps surprisingly.
July: It has been the coldest July by a long way since I started and also the wettest too!
August: We thought August was very cool, surprisingly it was only just cooler than last year. However the rainfall is an August record since I started. Every month so far this year has been cooler than last year, which was the warmest since I started.
September: Again cooler than last year with rainfall on the heavy side of average.
October: Another colder month than last year with rainfall the lowest October figure since I started.
November: The warmest November since I started and the first month warmer than last year’s equivalent.
December: Easily the highest December temperatures since I started, but not the highest rainfall which was December 2013.
Simon’s comments on 2014:
Continuing our much talked about rain, in this very wet winter, January had almost as much rain as December 2013.
February: this is the 2nd wettest month since my recordings started in July of 2011, only just behind December 2012 which had 344 mm and, of course, 31 days as opposed to 28. So pro rata on a daily basis this was the wettest month on my records. Must expect a summer drought !
April warmer & wetter, June warmer than last year.
September: lowest rainfall by a mile since I started and warmest Sept since I started also. Despite the warmth we didn’t have one day that got to 20 C.
October: warmest since I started, for what it is worth, and strangely the second driest in the last 4 years.
Total Rainfall 1,659.5 mm or 66.38 ins
This is certainly the warmest year overall since I have been recording, but 2012 was quite a bit wetter.
Simon’s comments on 2013:
Of February, 2013, Simon says: Interestingly this is the coldest month since I started recording in July 2011 and both January and February have the smallest spreads between hottest and coldest since then.
March 2013: We had 2 days when we had 95 mm of rain which meant that the rest of the month was pretty dry. And this March was 10 degrees colder than last year which certainly is dramatic.
December 2013: The second wettest month since I started these records. December 2012 being the wettest.
Totals for 2013:
Overall Av 9.17
Av High 11.10
Av Low 7.24
1388.5 mm or approx. 55.54 inches.
That is quite a bit down on 2012 which was 1850.7 mm
Coincidentally the average highs for 2012 and 2013 are exactly the same at 11.10 and the average low for 2013 is a little higher than 2012 which means that the overall average is a bit higher. 9.17 verses 8.77
Belstone Rainfall 2012 – a Record?
In 2012 Simon recorded 74in/1850.7mm of rain. Was this Belstone’s wettest year? No. Averaged over the years between 1967 and 2000, the annual rainfall recorded at the Water Treatment Works by Watchet gate was 61.1in/1552mm. Three very wet years stand out in this time span; 1974 (83.9in/2130mm), 1994 (82.6in/2097mm) and 2000 (79.3in/2015mm). Rain fell on 90 consecutive days from 19 September 2000 – the wettest being 29 October, when 4in/100mm fell in 24 hours. Information from The Book of Belstone
Fifty years ago Belstone was in the grip of severe snow and ice which arrived on Boxing Day 1962 and remained until March 1963. Michael Ash remembers there being snow on Dartmoor until June.