The Weather in Barton During 2003 - Back to Normal?


Some 539.25 mm (c 21 1/4 ins) of rain fell in Barton during the year 2003, this was 305.5 mm (c 12 ins) less than the total rainfall in 2002. This quite dramatic decline followed some seven years of steadily rising rainfall (see table). It should be noted that the average annual rainfall in Barton since 1995 has been 628 mm, so, the 2003 decline in rainfall was not just a dramatic fall from the 2002 total, it was also a significant fall from the average. In 2002 over 100 mm of rain fell in each of four months (July, October, November and December) - the highest monthly total in 2003 was the 91 mm in June. The driest monthly total in 2002 was April's 25.75mm - in 2003's blazing August only 6.75 mm of rain fell. The driest spell during the year was in the 43 day period between March 12 and April 24 when rainfall totalled a miserly 4.5 mm. The most rain recorded in one day was the 38 mm which fell on 30 June and this did in fact beat the 2002 highest total of 32 mm on 29 December.

The effects of this 2003 water shortage have been clearly seen at Barton Beck. For months in 2002 and just into 2003 the artesian springs were pouring out enormous quantities of water and the Beck overflowed. During most of 2003 the Beck has been bone dry and the springs non-existent.

The highest recorded temperature in 2003 was 28C on 10 August and the lowest minus 2C on 30 December.

Recent annual rainfalls (in mm)

1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
491 532 542 588 648 788 681 844 539

Monthly rainfall totals (in mm)

  Jan Feb March April May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2003 78.75 23.75 18.75 39.75 48 91.25 48.75 6.75 36.5 40.25 55.25 51.5
2002 38.5 48.25 26 25.75 61.75 82.75 101.75 54.75 31.25 132.75 111.5 129.75

Geoff Bryant and Maureen Welch

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