So with 2014 coming to a close, what have been the year’s highlights from a weather perspective?
Well, the year started on a very stormy note; indeed it was the wettest winter on record with total rainfall nearly 250% of the 30 year average across our area. Widespread flooding resulted, including the swollen Thames inundating much of Marlow during mid-February. Villages across the Somerset Levels were cut off for weeks as the area turned into a huge inland lake.
Whilst the next few months dried out somewhat, the year as a whole has been a wet one with the only months much drier than normal being March, June and most notably September, when just 20% of average rain fell.During the summer months, there were several noteworthy thunderstorms, not least the nasty squall line that struck early afternoon on Sunday August 10 across Aylesbury Vale. Following media hype over the previous days about ex-Hurricane Bertha crossing our shores that weekend, the storm certainly had a sting in its tail.
Aylesbury felt the full force of the squall line with heavy rain and wind gusts estimated to have reached 50-60mph. This was enough to tear down numerous trees across the town, this process made easier by the fact they were in full leaf at the time. Power was also lost, particularly in the Tring area, with downed power lines closing several roads.The other main feature of the year’s weather has been its warmth. A remarkable 11 of the last 12 months have been warmer than average, with only August bucking the trend. 2014 is going to be the warmest on record in the Central England Temperature series dating back to 1659, beating the previous high set in 2006. Snow has also been conspicuous by its near absence in southern Britain. Indeed across much of Bucks, the only snow this year came in a few brief flurries last Saturday evening.
And so what are the prospects going into 2015? After another chilly day today, becoming milder and windy tomorrow with outbreaks of rain overnight. Cold, bright and blustery on Friday, then unsettled with possibly more rain over the weekend with January starting on a mostly mild note.