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June wettest on record... July’s not much better
3:10pm Friday 13th July 2012 in Skipton & District
Last month has been confirmed as the wettest June on record, with some parts of Craven receiving more than 10 inches of rain.
Higher totals were recorded around East Lancashire with observation sites above Burnley recording upwards of 13 inches of rain Lee said: “Of note was the heavy rain which caused the flooding of the Aire Valley on June 21 and 22. In the period 9am on the 21st until 9am on the 22nd 42.75mm of rain fell in Carleton. Double this amount fell over Todmorden and Burnley causing severe flooding in these areas.”
He explained that the high levels of rain had been caused by an unusually southerly track of the jet stream.
“The jet stream carries rain bearing frontal systems towards the UK from the North Atlantic. Under normal conditions the jet stream would run to the north of Scotland keeping the UK on the warm side or southern side of the weather systems.
“This year, due to continual blocking high pressure systems over Greenland and Iceland the jet stream has been forced to run across England bringing all its rain bearing frontal systems with it, whilst northern Scotland has enjoyed an exceptionally dry spell of weather as a result.
“This kind of set-up in winter would see a repeat performance of December 2010 when the jet ran far to the south resulting in extreme cold.
“As we now enter into July the jet stream continues to favour a southerly track as high pressure seems reluctant to lose its grip to the north.”
With all the rain soaking Craven, sunshine levels for June were well below average UK-wide and temperatures overall 2C below average.
Lee added: “The mean maximum temperature in June for Skipton was 16C with the highest being 24.9C on June 28 as humid air spread from the south very temporarily.
“Early on the 5th the air temperature dipped to 0.9C just outside Carleton, and to 0C at grass level, not unheard of for June. The same location had two mornings below freezing in June 2011.”