Category Archives: Weather

Observation uncertainty in data assimilation

By Sarah Dance Approximately 4 million properties in the UK are at risk from surface-water flooding which occurs when heavy rainfall overwhelms the drainage capacity of the local area. Several national weather centres have been developing new numerical forecasting systems … Continue reading

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UK drought monitoring and forecasting

By Laura Baker After what feels like a pretty wet start to the year, it may seem strange to be talking about drought (although admittedly the warm weather over the last couple of weeks should help!). But in spring 2012, … Continue reading

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A month’s worth of rain …

By Ben Harvey Phrases like a month’s worth of rain fell in just one day are often seen in media reports of extreme precipitation. But what does this statistic actually mean? How rare is it to see a month’s worth … Continue reading

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Why does it always rain on me?

By Helen Dacre Last Monday morning I got so wet on my cycle to work that I had to spend 10 minutes under the hand dryer in the toilets to stop myself looking like a drowned rat. Being the keen … Continue reading

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Understanding Summer Flash Flooding

By Adrian Champion ‘Flash flooding’ is flooding that only lasts between a few hours and a day and typically has very little warning. There are many causes of flash flooding, from the meteorological conditions that lead to the rainfall that … Continue reading

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Ah, the sweet smell of rain …

By Ellie Highwood Despite all the rain of the past winter, there is something about rain that I have missed – its perfume. As we head towards spring, with daffodils all around us already, I am looking forward to the … Continue reading

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First snow of winter … brr!

By Tom Frame Following on from Chris Westbrook’s excellent exposition on the beauty of snow flakes, nature has been kind enough to provide many of us with our first snowfall of the winter this weekend – Reading included (if only … Continue reading

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Snowflakes – not just a pretty picture!

By Chris Westbrook The slow, inexorable approach of Christmas means that Christmas adverts are now increasing in frequency at an incredible rate. Nauseating John Lewis offerings aside, we are going to be seeing a lot of snowflake-based imagery over the … Continue reading

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Can we improve the way we forecast the weather in three weeks time?

By Andrew Charlton-Perez This week at the University of Reading is enhancement week and I’ve also been spending some time learning about an area of science which I don’t know so well and which is developing fast at the ECMWF … Continue reading

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Volcanoes as rain magnets

By Geoff Wadge When we have a very large volcanic eruption (as for example Mt Pinatubo in 1991) it gets global news coverage, not least because of its potential to perturb the climate. Whether smaller eruptions get widely noticed usually … Continue reading

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