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Sunday, 9th February 2014
The Recent Storms and Floods in the UK
Source: Met Office (UK)
This winter the UK has been affected very severely by an exceptional run of winter storms, culminating in serious coastal damage and widespread, persistent flooding.
This period of weather has been part of major perturbations to the Pacific and North Atlantic jet streams driven, in part, by persistent rainfall over Indonesia and the tropical West Pacific.
The North Atlantic jet stream has also been unusually strong; this can be linked to exceptional wind patterns in the stratosphere with a very intense polar vortex.
This paper documents the record-breaking weather and flooding, considers the potential drivers and discusses whether climate change contributed to the severity of the weather and its impacts.
Although no individual storm can be regarded as exceptional, the clustering and persistence of the storms is highly unusual. December and January were exceptionally wet. For England and Wales this was one of, if not the most, exceptional periods of winter rainfall in at least 248 years. The two-month total (December + January) of 372.2mm for the southeast and central southern England region is the wettest any 2-month period in the series from 1910.
+ Direct link to document (PDF; 3.7 MB)
Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.
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