Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Weather possibilities...

If you are in a dry part of the country/world today, lucky you. As I write the rain is continuing to fall and the wind is blowing. It's been a few very wet weeks where I am, with only the occasional day without the wet stuff dropping from the sky.

Seems if you mention the words 'drought' the dark clouds will arrive just to disagree.

So I thought I'd have a look and see what the weather was like in 1912, 1812 and 1712. Now as I don't have a time machine, I'm consulting the very interesting Agricultural Records A.D. 220-1977, by J.M Stratton (this is the 1978 second edition).

Obviously the cost of  wheat, barley and other commodities played a big part in the economy of the time, so records of prices were useful. In fact look at any microfilm of very old news-sheets and you'll see the price table for those goods that week.

If you lived in the country the weather often dictated plowing, sowing, and harvesting times.

Even nowdays I can look out the kitchen window at incoming clouds and know roughly when it's time to bring the drying washing in from the clothes line...

So 1712- a dry spring, especially during February-to Mid May (so that's different to now). Then hot weather until late June (that sounds normal for the UK summer) and then a wet autumn and winter...
But looking at the couple of years prior to 1712, there are some similarities to UK weather over this past couple of years.

Now 1812 was during the Napoleonic Wars- a wet year, which would obviously effect the eventual harvest badly- so prices would rise.
Apart from the fog in January in London, March had frosts and Scotland had mid-month blizzards (I think that may have happened this year in some areas). Rainy and cool during our two main summer holiday months-July and August. And included with the early winter, London had some October floods.

1912- the year of the Titanic disaster. Gales in January and March with a dry spell in between. April, unlike 2012, was dry. But the overcast and wet summer struck then too. A hot spell was followed by "excessive rain" over the counties in the east. 4 inches in 24 hours. After flooding in a few regions the rest of the year seems to have been standard, apart from a gale in Scotland on Christmas Eve that resulted in injuries.

When I think about it, there could be a number of stories just in some of the weather occurrences mentioned- pursuit through the London fog, someone suddenly homeless on that Scottish Christmas Eve.

So many possibilities just because of how the weather was...

6 comments:

  1. Interesting post Carol. Thanks. We have had heaps of rain here too.. but, on the bright side, blue sky and sunshine today. :-)

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  2. Interesting! We had severe gales also in Scotland in December 2011 and January 2012. Does all this rain you're having help the drought situation? Wish we could send some of our down at times.

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  3. The weather has been on my mind a lot this last few weeks. I left for my holiday worrying about how the drought would effect my garden when I wasn't there to look after it, I experienced a wide variety of weather conditions during my trip and then came back to flood warnings.

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  4. Interesting post, Carol. Just goes to show that 'weird' weather isn't anything new!

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  5. When the weather is as grotty as it as at the moment, any sunshine would be good. Enjoy the sunshine, Diane.

    Sadly, Rosemary, all the rain is not helping the drought situation much. I think we'd need months of persistent rain to fill up the reservoirs and raise the water table.

    Patsy, at least you had some lovely weather while you were away.:-)
    Hopefully the flood warnings will soon be stood down.

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  6. You're right, Maxi. The book certainly shows that weather issues were around hundreds of years ago, and not just a modern day occurence.

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