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2019: A Year Of Dramatic Weather Events

As 2020 unfolds, we’ve already seen dramatic images of bush fires in Australia and extensive flooding in Israel. Increasingly, climate change seems to be causing dramatic weather events that are triggering mass displacement.

It’s already proving to be a tumultuous year for extreme weather, but let’s take a moment to reflect on the extreme weather we experienced here in the UK last year.

The average UK temperature was around 0.5–0.7 degrees higher than average throughout the year. In fact, the top 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 2002.

On the 26th February 2019, UK temperatures exceeded 20 degrees for the first time on that date since records began. Many locations were a whole 12–14 degrees higher than the average maximum February temperature.

In April, warm and dry conditions were blamed for the wildfires that swept through Moray, Scotland. Whilst Moray wasn’t heavily inhabited and needing extensive fire restoration services, the damage to wildlife and the landscape was extensive. Further wildfires broke out in Moray’s Knockando, raging for more than 2 weeks and destroying over 50 square km. At its peak, these fires took 80 firefighters, 2 helicopters, 19 fire engines and other specialist resources to keep it in check.

The hottest day on record

Summer brought with it a load of hot air, travelling through Europe on a southerly wind from Africa. This saw temperatures shoot up to 40 degrees. At Cambridge Botanic Gardens, a new maximum temperature of 38.7 degrees was recorded.

The heatwave proved to be more extreme and far-reaching than that of 2003 which caused the deaths of more than 70,000 people across Europe.

With the heatwave came thunderstorms and torrential downpours, triggering demand for an attribution study which confirmed that human-caused global warming made the heat in Cambridge around 20 times more likely.

This unusually warm weather continued throughout the year, with even the 28th December setting a new record high with a temperature of 18.7 degrees in Achfary (Sutherland area of Scotland).

2019 didn’t just bring warm weather, but also wet weather. In parts of Lincolnshire, 250% of June’s average monthly rainfall fell in a three-day period. Whilst the amount of rain that fell at one time wasn’t particularly high, rain was persistent and fell over an extensive period of time.

In July, we saw flash flooding in Greater Manchester and families were evacuated from their homes over fears that the Whaley Dam would break.

The wettest day on record

The wettest November day on record was recorded at The Observing Station at Sheffield, which holds records dating back over 130 years. It was only the 7th wettest day ever at the site.

It wasn’t just Sheffield that was hit with excessive rainfall. 43 flood warnings and 103 further alerts were put in place across the UK with 5 severe warnings signalling a threat to life. Yorkshire and the Midlands faced disruption and 90% of homes in Fishlake, South Yorkshire flooded when excessive rainfall caused rivers to burst their banks. Residents were forced to seek flood restoration services to help them recover their homes, many of which were under 3ft of water.

It seems that as the weather becomes increasingly extreme, we’ll see the weather have a more dramatic impact on how we live. Areas that have never before been affected will find that they too are faced with rising water levels or other risk of water damage. To learn how you can stay on top of the latest news in your area, read our blog ‘How to check if your property is at risk of flooding’.

If you’d like to find out more about Rainbow’s fire restoration or flood damage restoration services, contact us on our 24/7 hotline by calling 01624 422 488. With over 60 branches of Rainbow around the UK, we’re bound to have a branch near you. We’ll be able to advise you on the best way to get your home or business back to being habitable again following a fire or flood as quickly as possible.

02/01/20