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Green earthquake alert (Magnitude 5M, Depth:54.72km) in Papua New Guinea 18/02/2014 14:16 UTC, About 76096 people within 100km.

On 2/18/2014 2:16:18 PM, an earthquake occurred in Papua New Guinea potentially affecting About 76096 people within 100km. The earthquake had Magnitude 5M, Depth:54.72km.
Categories: Earthquakes

Winter so far – 18th February rainfall update

UK Met Office Dates: ddmmyyyy - Tue, 18/02/2014 - 12:27

As the UK heads into a period of more normal unsettled winter weather weather, the Met Office’s National Climate Information Centre has looked at statistics for this winter so far (from 1 December 2013 to 13 February 2014).

These add to previous facts and figures we put out earlier this month, and show a picture of continuing exceptional rainfall across many areas.

Looking at regions around the UK, these provisional figures show the region of central southern and southeast England has already exceeded its record winter rainfall in the series back to 1910. Rainfall here currently at 459.3mm*, 22mm above the previous record of 437.1mm set in 1915 with two weeks still to go to the end of the season. This winter also currently ranks as the 4th wettest winter (if there is no further rain) for southwest England and south Wales combined and the 3rd wettest for England South.

Both the UK as a whole and Wales are fairly close to exceeding their respective record wettest winter levels in the national series dating back to 1910 (see table below). Average rainfall for the rest of the month could see those records broken.

All countries across the UK have already exceeded their typical average rainfall for the whole winter (according to the 1981-2010 long-term averages). Normally at this stage of the season, you’d expect to have seen only around 80% of that whole season average.

All areas are also on target for a significantly wetter than average winter, with typically around 130-160% of normal rainfall if we get average rainfall for the rest of February.

All countries and areas are also on target for a warmer than average winter.

Current record wettest winters:

Country Year Rainfall Winter 2014 to date* UK 1995 485.1mm 452.6mm ENGLAND 1915 392.7mm 345.6mm WALES 1995 684.1mm 645.1mm SCOTLAND 1995 649.5mm 590.4mm NORTHERN IRELAND 1994 489.7mm 386.2mm

*These are provisional figures from 1 December 2013 to 13 February 2014 and could change after final quality control checks on data.

Categories: Weather

Green earthquake alert (Magnitude 6.7M, Depth:33km) in Barbados 18/02/2014 09:27 UTC, No people within 100km.

On 2/18/2014 9:27:13 AM, an earthquake occurred in Barbados potentially affecting No people within 100km. The earthquake had Magnitude 6.7M, Depth:33km.
Categories: Earthquakes

M 6.7, east of Martinique, Windward Islands

Earthquakes : US Gov Dates: mmddyyyy - Tue, 18/02/2014 - 09:27

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 09:27:13 UTC
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 05:27:13 AM at epicenter

Depth: 33.00 km (20.51 mi)

14.7480 -58.8170-33000
Categories: Earthquakes

Met Office in the Media: 16 February 2014, response by Professor Mat Collins and the Met Office

UK Met Office Dates: ddmmyyyy - Mon, 17/02/2014 - 16:46

An article by David Rose appeared yesterday in the Mail on Sunday entitled: ‘No, global warming did NOT cause the storms, says one of the Met Office’s most senior experts’

In it he says that Mat Collins, Professor in Climate Systems at Exeter University, ‘appears to contradict’ the report released by the Met Office last weekend and that he ‘declined to comment on his difference in opinion’ with one of the report’s authors, Dame Julia Slingo.

This is not the case and there is no disagreement.

The report by the Met Office states that “As yet, there is no definitive answer on the possible contribution of climate change to the recent storminess, rainfall amounts and the consequent flooding. This is in part due to the highly variable nature of UK weather and climate.”   This agrees with the latest IPCC Report that states: “Substantial uncertainty and thus low confidence remains in projecting changes in Northern Hemisphere storm tracks, especially for the North Atlantic basin.”

This is the basis for Prof Collins’ comment and means that we are not sure, yet, how the features that bring storms across the Atlantic to the UK – the jet-stream and storm track – might be impacted by climate change. As the Met Office report highlights for this year’s extreme conditions, there are many competing factors – from changes in the winds of the upper atmosphere to disturbed weather over Indonesia.

What the Met Office report – and indeed the IPCC – does say is that there is increasing evidence that extreme daily rainfall rates are becoming more intense. It is clear that global warming has led to an increase in moisture in the atmosphere – with about four per cent more moisture over the oceans than in the 1970s – which means that when conditions are favourable to the formation of storms there is a greater risk of intense rainfall. This is where climate change has a role to play in this year’s flooding.

With respect to changes in storminess, the good news is that recent advances in climate science are starting to pay dividends. Improved spatial resolution in models – that means that they can model weather and climate in more spatial detail – is allowing the models to represent some of the key factors that drive regional weather patterns. As the Met Office report states ‘With a credible modelling system in place it should now be possible to perform scientifically robust assessments of changes in storminess, the degree to which they are related to natural variability and the degree to which there is a contribution from human-induced climate change.’

Categories: Weather

Green earthquake alert (Magnitude 5.7M, Depth:27.66km) in Northern Colombia 17/02/2014 09:41 UTC, 266504 people within 100km.

On 2/17/2014 9:41:34 AM, an earthquake occurred in Northern Colombia potentially affecting 266504 people within 100km. The earthquake had Magnitude 5.7M, Depth:27.66km.
Categories: Earthquakes

Orange earthquake alert (Magnitude 5.8M, Depth:10.41km) in Philippines 17/02/2014 05:55 UTC, 892114 people within 100km.

On 2/17/2014 5:55:58 AM, an earthquake occurred in Philippines potentially affecting 892114 people within 100km. The earthquake had Magnitude 5.8M, Depth:10.41km.
Categories: Earthquakes

Green earthquake alert (Magnitude 5.1M, Depth:90.35km) in Papua New Guinea 16/02/2014 14:22 UTC, 456294 people within 100km.

On 2/16/2014 2:22:06 PM, an earthquake occurred in Papua New Guinea potentially affecting 456294 people within 100km. The earthquake had Magnitude 5.1M, Depth:90.35km.
Categories: Earthquakes

Green earthquake alert (Magnitude 4.6M, Depth:25.3km) in Greece 15/02/2014 07:31 UTC, 290148 people within 100km.

On 2/15/2014 7:31:15 AM, an earthquake occurred in Greece potentially affecting 290148 people within 100km. The earthquake had Magnitude 4.6M, Depth:25.3km.
Categories: Earthquakes

Green earthquake alert (Magnitude 4.6M, Depth:32.62km) in Near Coast Of Oaxaca, Mexico 14/02/2014 21:53 UTC, 529053 people within 100km.

On 2/14/2014 9:53:51 PM, an earthquake occurred in Near Coast Of Oaxaca, Mexico potentially affecting 529053 people within 100km. The earthquake had Magnitude 4.6M, Depth:32.62km.
Categories: Earthquakes

Met Office rainfall records – how far do they go back and what can they tell us?

UK Met Office Dates: ddmmyyyy - Fri, 14/02/2014 - 14:11

As we have seen over recent weeks and months, observations for the UK are essential to put recent weather into context and to detect variations and possible long-term trends in UK climate. So, when the Met Office quotes “the wettest on record” what does that mean?

Station records
All our time-series of rainfall come from observations made by rain gauges and their length is determined by how long the recording stations have been open.

Stations with long records are a very important part of the UK’s weather station network. These time series provide an accurate picture of rainfall for that particular location, provided there are no significant changes in instrument type or station exposure. One of the longest in the UK is the weather station at Oxford Radcliffe Observatory, which holds nearly 250 years of rainfall observations from 1767 to the present day and is maintained by Oxford University School of Geography and the Environment.

This will give an accurate picture of rainfall for the city and will be broadly representative of the year-to-year variations of rainfall across Oxfordshire or even central England, but it won’t be useful when looking more widely across England and Wales or the UK.

Regional records
So, to accurately make comparisons across regions and countries we need to create a different time-series.

One way of doing this is to calculate the average of different weather stations across an area – for example England and Wales. The England and Wales Precipitation series (EWP) is such a series of monthly rainfall totals from 1766 to the present day. For the most recent decades, the EWP series is based on over 100 stations, although this number decreases as you go back through the 20th, 19th and 18th Centuries.

The EWP series is much more reliable than a single station at representing rainfall for England and Wales overall and, because it extends back to 1766, it is very important climate series.

However, it does not cover the whole of the UK or take full advantage of the complete network of several thousand stations currently recording rainfall across the country.

National records
Met Office national records are created using gridded datasets which interpolate observations from the full network of stations onto a 5km by 5km grid covering the UK. The gridding method is a more sophisticated approach for analysing rainfall than simply taking an average of station data. However, because it is a digital series it is shorter than the EWP – the number of rain gauges with data in our electronic archive decreases rapidly by the early 20th Century.

So, the UK’s national climate series – the records you will see quoted when the Met Office releases statistics – is a comprehensive gridded rainfall analyses back to 1910. This series provides the best estimate of overall rainfall and its distribution across the UK.

The gridded rainfall analysis also enables us to produce maps showing UK rainfall patterns, for example January 2014:

Rainfall anomaly January 2014

How do the series compare?
Here are the headlines for January 2014:

  • For the England & Wales areal series, January 2014 (173.5mm) was the wettest January since 1948 (176.8mm) and the second wettest January in the series from 1910
  • For the EWP series, January 2014 (185.0mm) was the wettest January in the series from 1766, marginally wetter than 1948 (176.8mm)
  • For Oxford, January 2014 (146.9mm) was the wettest January in the series from 1767, wetter than 1852 (138.7mm)

You can see from the graph below that the EWP and the national England & Wales series both represent the same area and are very similar. Rainfall totals for the Oxford Radcliffe Observatory series are generally lower.

For any individual year there can be significant differences between series. For example we would probably conclude that January 1988 was climatologically more extreme for England and Wales than for Oxford, similarly 1997 is the driest January for England and Wales by a reasonable margin, but there are a number of similarly dry or drier Januarys than 1997 for Oxford.

January rainfall comparison

So which is the best series to use?
Well, the answer is that we need to use them all. The Met Office routinely quotes rainfall statistics based on the gridded data, because these are considered the most reliable estimates, are based on the full network of observations, and can provide the regional pattern of rainfall.

The EWP series is an invaluable climate series because it provides a much longer near 250-year perspective but has less regional detail.

However, our climate analyses would not be possible without the long running high quality individual station series such as Oxford. These are the foundations of historical climate analysis.

Categories: Weather

January weather summary

UK Met Office Dates: ddmmyyyy - Fri, 14/02/2014 - 14:09

January saw a succession of weather systems tracking across the UK from the Atlantic which brought high winds, at times gale force, and persistent rain to the country. This extended a sequence of deep lows that began in mid-December. The worst of these were over by the 7th to give some brief respite, but rain continued through the remainder of the month with very few dry days. For the period from 12th December to the end of January some stations in the south of England had recorded over five months worth of rainfall.

The UK mean temperature for January was 4.8 °C, which is 1.1 °C above the 1981-2010 average. The UK overall received 151% of average rainfall making it the third wettest in the series. A broad region from east Devon to Kent and up to the central midlands received well in excess of 200 % and some more localised regions were closer to three times the average. Visit our climate section for a full written summary of the month.

Our infographic and video provide a summary of the weather throughout January:

Categories: Weather

Green alert for tropical cyclone FOBANE-14. Population affected by Category 1 (120 km/h) wind speeds or higher is 0.

From 08/02/2014 to 14/02/2014, a Tropical Storm (maximum wind speed of 111 km/h) FOBANE-14 was active in SWIndian. The cyclone affects these countries: [unknown] (vulnerability [unknown]). Estimated population affected by category 1 (120 km/h) wind speeds or higher is 0.
Categories: Earthquakes

Green earthquake alert (Magnitude 4.6M, Depth:11.5km) in Greece 14/02/2014 03:38 UTC, 334116 people within 100km.

On 2/14/2014 3:38:33 AM, an earthquake occurred in Greece potentially affecting 334116 people within 100km. The earthquake had Magnitude 4.6M, Depth:11.5km.
Categories: Earthquakes

Green earthquake alert (Magnitude 4.7M, Depth:9.92km) in Turkey 14/02/2014 00:33 UTC, 4554147 people within 100km.

On 2/14/2014 12:33:38 AM, an earthquake occurred in Turkey potentially affecting 4554147 people within 100km. The earthquake had Magnitude 4.7M, Depth:9.92km.
Categories: Earthquakes

12 February 2014 – Storm Statistics

UK Met Office Dates: ddmmyyyy - Thu, 13/02/2014 - 16:26

The UK saw severe weather conditions throughout the course of Wednesday 12 February 2014 and as forecast the strongest winds hit the Welsh and Northwestern coast. Below you can see the highest gusts of wind and rainfall totals recorded at Met Office observing sites on Thursday 12 February 2014.

Maximum gust speeds:

Site Area Elevation (m) Max gust speed (mph) ABERDARON GWYNEDD 95 108 MUMBLES HEAD WEST GLAMORGAN 43 96 WIGHT: NEEDLES OLD BATTERY ISLE OF WIGHT 80 96 LAKE VYRNWY POWYS 360 96 CAPEL CURIG NO 3 GWYNEDD 216 93 HIGH BRADFIELD SOUTH YORKSHIRE 395 92 PEMBREY SANDS DYFED 3 89 ABERPORTH DYFED 133 87 LOFTUS CLEVELAND 158 85 BERRY HEAD DEVON 58 85

Rainfall totals:

Site Area Rainfall (mm) SHAP CUMBRIA 46 BAINBRIDGE NORTH YORKSHIRE 41 BALLYPATRICK FOREST ANTRIM 39 CAPEL CURIG NO 3 GWYNEDD 37.4 BANAGHER, CAUGH HILL LONDONDERRY 35.8 BALA GWYNEDD 32.8 ALTNAHINCH FILTERS ANTRIM 32.4 KESWICK CUMBRIA 29.6 PATELEY BRIDGE, RAVENS NEST NORTH YORKSHIRE 27.4 TREDEGAR, BRYN BACH PARK GWENT 26.8

The unsettled weather will continue over the next 48 hours with a system bringing heavy rain on Friday 14 February, however the latter part of the weekend should bring drier and brighter weather for many. Everyone is advised to stay up to date with the latest Met Office forecasts and National Severe Weather Warnings and find out what to do in severe weather.

Categories: Weather

Green earthquake alert (Magnitude 4.6M, Depth:54.59km) in Papua New Guinea 13/02/2014 14:29 UTC, 199591 people within 100km.

On 2/13/2014 2:29:24 PM, an earthquake occurred in Papua New Guinea potentially affecting 199591 people within 100km. The earthquake had Magnitude 4.6M, Depth:54.59km.
Categories: Earthquakes

Green earthquake alert (Magnitude 4.9M, Depth:9.93km) in Turkmenistan 13/02/2014 08:35 UTC, 272465 people within 100km.

On 2/13/2014 8:35:50 AM, an earthquake occurred in Turkmenistan potentially affecting 272465 people within 100km. The earthquake had Magnitude 4.9M, Depth:9.93km.
Categories: Earthquakes

Green earthquake alert (Magnitude 4.7M, Depth:21.15km) in Costa Rica 12/02/2014 20:38 UTC, 2938919 people within 100km.

On 2/12/2014 8:38:07 PM, an earthquake occurred in Costa Rica potentially affecting 2938919 people within 100km. The earthquake had Magnitude 4.7M, Depth:21.15km.
Categories: Earthquakes

Green earthquake alert (Magnitude 5.2M, Depth:43.68km) in Chile 12/02/2014 13:35 UTC, 1424967 people within 100km.

On 2/12/2014 1:35:23 PM, an earthquake occurred in Chile potentially affecting 1424967 people within 100km. The earthquake had Magnitude 5.2M, Depth:43.68km.
Categories: Earthquakes

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