January to October 2003 dry spell

Rainfall totals January to October

The information below has been taken from the Met Office Hadley Centre precipitation series.

It is interesting to note that the 24 month period starting May 1995 and ending April 1997 for England & Wales had only 1399.4 mm of rainfall (this was the third driest 24 month consecutive total in the series, only just short of 24-monthly spells around 1783 and 1853). In comparison the current 24 consecutive month total starting November 2001 and ending October 2003 is 1771.0 mm. Average 61-90 rainfall for 24 months would give 1830.2 mm.

January to October 2003 Rainfall
Area Rainfall (mm) 1961-90 average (mm) Rainfall as % of average Compared to previous Jan-Oct totals
SE England 390.1 574.7 68% 3rd driest in series, driest 1921 with 301.5 mm, series back to 1873. Driest since 1929 when 365.0 mm was recorded.
Eastern Scotland 444.4 611.8 73% Driest in series, previous driest 1959 with 446.9 mm, series back to 1931.
Northern Ireland 606.8 824.7 74% Driest in series, previous driest 2001 with 655.6 mm, series back to 1931.
SW England &
S Wales
590.9 797.1 74% 6th driest in series, driest 1921 with 494.9 mm, series back to 1873. Driest since 1964, when 572.3 mm was recorded.
England and Wales 544.6 727.2 75% 8th driest in series, driest 1921 with 481.9 mm, series back to 1766. Driest since 1959, when 543.1 mm was recorded.
Southern Scotland 814.6 1087.3 75% 5th driest in series, driest 1969 with 776.5 mm, series back to 1931. Driest since 1969.
NW England &
N Wales
603.9 804.9 75% 5th driest in series, driest 1955 with 566.1 mm, series back to 1873.
NE England 476.0 625.4 76% 9th driest in series, driest 1959 with 373.1 mm, series back to 1873.
Scotland 830.4 1076.1 77% 3rd driest in series, driest 1955 with 803.9 mm, series back to 1931. Driest since 1959, when 814.6 mm was recorded.
Central England 432.4 524.0 82% 18th driest in series, driest 1921 with 313.4 mm, series back to 1873.
Northern Scotland 1061.3 1260.5 84% 11th driest in series, driest 1941 with 849.8 mm, series back to 1931.

Station data January to October 2003

Based on data available on 4 November 2003 (top five driest).

January to October 2003 rainfall
Station name Rainfall (mm) 1961-90
average (mm)
Rainfall as
% of average
Herne Bay (Kent) 278.8 470.3 59%
Shoeburyness (Essex) 280.0 410 .0 68%
London Weather Centre 282.9 481.1 59%
Heathrow (London) 310.1 485.1 64%
Northolt (London) 315.4 500.1 63%

Averages have been estimated where a 30 year record is not available.

January to October 2003 rainfall maps

Actual rainfall map

RainfallJanOct03_Actual

Anomaly (percent of average) map

RainfallJanOct03_Anomaly

Last updated: 30 October 2012