Local Historical Weather Events and Facts

  APPLEBY

 

  ADDITIONS MADE:

  16.02.17. - A new section on 'Early Newspaper Reports' along with more newspaper reports for: 1862, 1863, 1865, 1866, 1867, 1869, 1890 and 1899.

  29.01.17. - I have now finalised a 'Summary and Analysis' regarding the floods of Appleby (see link above - also available in pdf format: Summary and Analysis) - this was covered by the Cumberland and                     Westmorland Herald 31.12.16.

  21.02.16. - Creation of a new and dedicated page on 'The Floods of Appleby'  -  having sourced a lot of information the section had become to large and warranted its own page.

  17.02.16. - More on 'Floods in Appleby' - mainly the floods of August 1928, March 1968 and others - also the death of C.R. Rivington.

  14.02.16. - All rainfall data for 2015    -    re-calculation of 'Wet', 'Dry' years    -    and a start on 'Floods in Appleby'.

  07.03.15. - a few accounts of the affects of the winter of 1963 (see temperature).

  06.03.15. - New section regarding droughts     -      the wettest days of 1901 and 1928      -      notes on the year as a whole - 1899      -      death of Dr. Armstrong      -      thunderstorms in 1884 and 1886

  12.11.14. - All monthly rainfall totals back to 1856 when rainfall recording first commenced in Appleby, giving a complete record to the present day - necessitated a partial re-write of the 'Rainfall' section.

  11.05.14. - Added details of extremes from the Met' Office 'Monthly Weather Report' between 1931-46.

  20.03.14. - Added monthly rainfall totals from 2000 for the Mill Hill site and a few details about the observer and some of her predecessor's - also highest daily rainfall totals during 1961-68.

  28.01.14. - Re-write of the introduction and the section on temperature - a further enquiry to the Met' Office with more information helped them 'find' the temperature records from Castle Bank.

  17.01.14. - Added the few details from the 'Land Utilisation report' for Westmorland concerning Appleby - see temperature.

  19.09.13. - Details of the maximum falls of rain in 24 hours from various years.

  25.07.13. - Clarification that the Castle Bank EA rainfall site is now closed (as of June 2012).

  17.07.13. - Whilst researching summer rainfall I realised that the EA's figures for 1975-76 at Castle Bank were the same and hence one year was wrong. By using the 'Cumbrian weather Report' I have been                      able to correct the figures - all of 1975 and March/April 1976.

  09.06.13. - Now includes a section on temperature including mean monthly temperatures and average number of air frosts per year

                  - mean annual rainfall for and correction on commencement of observations regarding Mr. Whitehead.

  10.05.13. - Now includes all the monthly and yearly rainfall for Castle Bank for 1891-1999 and also yearly rainfall for 1863-1894 by Dr. Armstrong

                  - some notes regarding Mr. J.F. Whitehead.

  22.11.12. - Details added re commencement of rainfall records at Appleby.

 

  The historic town of Appleby lies in a loop of the river Eden in the Eden valley and in the relatively dry east of the county - it is well worth a visit and you can even visit the castle now (by guided tour at fixed times/appointment, speak with Tourist Information). It is approximately 5 miles to the north east of Maulds Meaburn and some 160 Ft lower and whilst the weather experienced by the two is in the main very similar, Appleby is undoubtedly drier, in the region of 200-250 mm (8-10 inches) per year.

  Unfortunately Appleby does not have its own official weather station, but is 'served' by the Met' Office site at Warcop Range a few miles further east (actually 1 mile south-east of Hilton and 3.75 miles away from Appleby). Until recently (Feb' 2013) I was only aware of rainfall records for Appleby and was somewhat surprised that I could find no mention of temperature records in any archive.

  But from two recent discoveries which I literally stumbled across (newspaper reports from the 1860's and two old publications), it became clear that there had been two people in the town, who at various times (one from 1856, the second from 1891) had been recording all the elements.

  One of those sites, Castle Bank, which commenced in 1891 would also become an official Met' Office site, but I just needed the Met' Office to confirm it.

  After many months of frustration at not being able to locate the whereabouts of the actual records, including a negative response from the Met' Office, it has now been found (Jan' 2014).

  And obviously they were at the Met' Office! - many thanks to Joan Self in the Library/archive at the Met' Office who following a further request with more information from myself, found the record along with some further intriguing information. However, a large number of years data still remains unaccounted for from Castle Bank.

  However, the first known person to have been recording the weather in Appleby was a Dr. Fergus Armstrong, (from 1856) although where exactly his instruments were located is not known. For several years I was only aware of his rainfall records, the annual totals (see below), but now, from newspapers of the day, it is clear that he was also recording the temperature as well - if only I could trace his written records!

  We also have a quite excellent rainfall record for Appleby, stretching back to the very early days of rainfall recording - all monthly totals are shown below from June 1856 to the present day. At times there have been several observers in the town, but undoubtedly the main record is from Castle Bank which commenced in 1891. This record was, nationally, one of the longest continuous such records and was only recently (2012) discontinued. But there is another established record in the town that commenced in 2000 and continues today.

  The site at Castle Bank commenced in 1891 and, as I have now established, recorded temperature and rainfall from that year with the rainfall record continuing long after the recording of temperature stopped in 1947.

  (!) Castle Bank or Appleby Castle? - from the records that I have found it fluctuates between the two, but Castle Bank would appear to be the more accurate location!

 

  Early Newspaper Reports

    In many ways these are excellent finds, intriguing, fascinating - but also so frustrating because it makes it clear that Dr. Armstrong was recording the weather, all of the elements. Sadly, apart from his monthly rainfall totals, everything else is presumed lost.

  It would be simply amazing to find his records. The Met' Office tell me that they don't hold them, so, lost it is and such a shame.

  The curiosity is that Dr. Armstrong did on occasion send a little piece into the local papers, usually a few details about the previous week's weather, but again these articles appear to have been infrequent. The only other point worth mentioning is that we have no details as to location of his site and the type of thermometers, etc that he used. Most probably it would have been a minimum/maximum thermometer placed on a north facing wall, but it does appear that he read them all at the appointed time of 0900 GMT.

  The articles that I have found to date, which include a few on notable events are:

 

    1862 - October Storm   -    The storm and its impact on Appleby was reported in various newspapers including the Newcastle Chronicle on 19th October.

                                                   'Storm of Sunday night - 5 or 6 large Ash and Sycamore trees were blow doen in the park at Appleby Castle'

 

    1863   -    Is the year with the most newspapers reports and gives a picture of someone who is is clearly keeping a comprehensive and detailed register. What we do have is a near complete record from the                     New Year through to mid April - apologies for the slightly awkward lay-out, all due to the articles being sized differently in the newspaper.

                        

 

 

    This would make the mean temperature for January during the period 1857-63 of 2.62°c - that is quite cold!

  

 

  

 

  

 

 

 

    1865 - February   -    We then move on to 1865 before I have found anything else in the papers, this is taken from the Kendal Mercury (11th March) - not a good month!

 

    1865 - March   -    Also taken from the Kendal Mercury (8th April) - intense cold.

 

    1867 - a snowy scene   -    This account taken from the Cumberland Pacquet and is quite late in the year, 19th March.

 

    1869 - an improvement in the weather   -    This account taken from the Cumberland and Westmorland Advertiser, 20th July.

 

 

  

TEMPERATURE

  In 1891 a C.R. Rivington began weather observations at Castle Bank and this included temperature and rainfall. The temperature series was discontinued by Lady Holmes as of 1st April 1947, but in that time it became an official Met' Office site and its data was often used in the 'Monthly Weather Report' produced by the Met' Office and also by Professor Gordon Manley, one of this countries most eminent climatologists, in at least two publications.

  It took some time to confirm the existence of the temperature records and my thanks must go to Joan Self at the Met' Office for finding them. The records are not listed in the Met' Office archive and they were located in the strongroom - if you want to see them you will need to go to the Met' Office in Exeter

  It is especially pleasing to have found them as I always suspected that such a site as Castle Bank wouldn't just have recorded rainfall and nothing else - and the evidence of its existence came slowly in dribs and drabs, first the booklet 'Enjoy Cumbria's Climate' and then 'Report of the Land Utilisation Survey' - both of which are described below.

  Below is the reply from the Met' Office confirming the existence of the temperature records:

  "I have now done some research on the Appleby station. You are correct that there was a station at Castle Bank, Appleby. The station opened in 1891 and appears to have been originally owned by the Royal Meteorological Society.

  We have correspondence in our Archive strong rooms which shows that the Met Office took over responsibility for the observation site around 1927. Up until this time, observations were taken by Lady Holmes’s gardener. In 1927, Lady Holmes herself took over responsibility for taking the observations.

  It was decided that the observations had become reliable enough for inclusion in the Monthly Weather Report from 1st January 1931.

  In 1947 (if date on letter is correct—see attached), Castle Bank was requisitioned and Lady Holmes had to move out of the house. The station was closed in 1947.

  We hold paper Climatological records from 1891-1911 (Royal Meteorological Society) and from 1931 – 1947 (Met Office). I attach a table of monthly averages of max and min temps from 1931 to March 1947."

  So a quite excellent record and obviously the Royal Meteorological Society were keen to set up stations in the area as the site at Newton Reigny (later Newton Rigg which continues to this day) was also established around this time.

  But keen eyes will have noted that the Met' Office do not appear to have the records between 1912 and 1930, a big gap. I'm sure that they will have them somewhere, because if the site was considered reliable enough to be included in the Monthly Weather Report from January 1931, that data to the end of 1930 must be somewhere.

  But an excellent record and that data we do have for 1931-47 is shown below:
                        

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Jan     Feb     Mar     Apr     May     Jun     Jul     Aug     Sep     Oct     Nov     Dec      Year
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Air temperatures (C)

       Min      -2.11   -0.28   -0.72    2.67    5.17    8.78   10.61    8.44    6.33    3.28    3.89    1.83      3.99
1931   Max       4.56    5.39    7.06   10.72   14.83   17.06   17.72   17.67   14.44   11.78    9.50    7.17     11.49
       Mean      1.23    2.56    3.17    6.70   10.00   12.92   14.17   13.06   10.39    7.53    6.70    4.50      7.74


       Min       1.67   -1.00    0.17    1.39    5.39    7.67   11.28   10.56    6.72    3.22    2.61    2.39      4.34
1932   Max       7.06    6.06    7.72    9.94   13.33   18.89   18.50   19.92   15.50   10.83    8.17    7.67     11.91
       Mean      4.37    2.53    3.95    5.67    9.36   13.28   14.89   14.89   11.11    7.03    5.39    5.03      8.12


       Min      -1.56   -0.22    0.83    4.00    6.78    8.56   11.11   10.94    7.61    5.28    1.00   -0.83      4.46
1933   Max       4.50    5.72   11.39   12.17   15.67   20.00   21.33   20.72   18.61   12.33    7.33    4.33     12.84
       Mean      1.47    2.75    6.11    8.09   11.23   14.28   16.22   15.83   13.11    8.81    4.17    1.75      8.65


       Min       0.44    0.22   -0.22    2.56    5.22    7.56   11.28    9.06    8.33    5.78    1.89    4.67      4.73
1934   Max       6.67    7.56    7.72   11.06   14.11   19.72   22.11   18.39   17.50   12.61    8.22    9.00     12.89
       Mean      3.56    3.89    3.75    6.81    9.67   13.64   16.70   13.73   12.92    9.20    5.06    6.84      8.81


       Min       0.33    1.22    2.78    2.33    3.22    8.83   10.11    9.61    7.33    4.22    2.17   -1.94      4.18
1935   Max       6.28    7.44    9.61   11.33   14.83   18.17   20.44   20.50   15.67   11.50    8.56    3.72     12.34
       Mean      3.31    4.33    6.20    6.83    9.03   13.50   15.28   15.06   11.50    7.86    5.37    0.89      8.26


       Min      -0.50   -2.00    2.56    0.22    5.22    8.22   10.33   10.17    9.72    3.56    1.28    0.89      4.14
1936   Max       4.50    4.61    9.22   10.00   16.39   18.56   18.11   19.22   17.00   12.11    7.78    7.11     12.05
       Mean      2.00    1.31    5.89    5.11   10.81   13.39   14.22   14.70   13.36    7.84    4.53    4.00      8.10


       Min       1.39    0.72   -1.28    4.44    6.28    8.56   11.00    9.72    6.89    4.78    0.17   -1.61      4.26
1937   Max       7.39    6.61    5.56   12.28   16.22   17.28   19.17   20.33   15.89   12.72    7.56    4.28     12.11
       Mean      4.39    3.67    2.14    8.36   11.25   12.92   15.09   15.03   11.39    8.75    3.87    1.34      8.18


       Min       1.44    1.06    4.61    1.56    4.67    8.50    9.00    9.67    7.89    5.72    5.00    0.50      4.97
1938   Max       6.94    7.50   11.78   12.11   14.56   16.89   17.39   19.44   16.56   12.56   10.67    5.83     12.69
       Mean      4.19    4.28    8.20    6.84    9.62   12.70   13.20   14.56   12.23    9.14    7.84    3.17      8.83


       Min      -0.50    1.22    1.67    3.33    5.72    7.33   10.28   10.67    8.44    2.22    3.61   -0.50      4.46
1939   Max       5.00    7.44    8.39   11.78   16.06   18.78   18.28   20.00   16.56   11.06    9.89    4.78     12.34
       Mean      2.25    4.33    5.03    7.56   10.89   13.06   14.28   15.34   12.50    6.64    6.75    2.14      8.40



MEANS 1931-39

       Min       0.07    0.10    1.16    2.50    5.30    8.22   10.56    9.87    7.70    4.23    2.40    0.60      4.39
       Max       5.88    6.48    8.72   11.27   15.11   18.37   19.23   19.50   16.41   11.94    8.63    5.99     12.29
       MEAN      2.98    3.29    4.94    6.89   10.21   13.30   14.90   14.69   12.06    8.09    5.52    3.30      8.34


                ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

       Min      -6.17   -0.89    1.94    4.33    9.33    7.72    9.17    8.83    6.33    5.17    2.33    0.33      4.04
1940   Max       1.50    4.22    8.61   11.78   17.28   22.28   17.89   17.94   15.17   11.56    8.44    5.94     11.88
       Mean     -2.34    1.67    5.28    8.06   13.31   15.00   13.53   13.39   10.75    8.37    5.39    3.14      7.96


       Min      -3.39   -2.28    0.33    1.94    3.39    8.17   10.22    9.17   10.06    5.00    1.50    1.50      3.80
1941   Max       1.83    4.56    8.33    9.17   13.22   19.39   21.33   17.39   17.72   12.67    8.61    7.22     11.79
       Mean     -0.78    1.14    4.33    5.56    8.31   13.78   15.78   13.28   13.89    8.84    5.06    4.36      7.79


       Min      -2.00   -4.39    0.00    2.94    4.78    7.56    9.06   11.39    7.89    5.72   -0.39    2.11      3.72
1942   Max       2.33    2.39    7.67   12.94   14.78   18.00   18.61   18.17   15.78   12.39    6.67    7.83     11.46
       Mean      0.17   -1.00    3.84    7.94    9.78   12.78   13.84   14.78   11.84    9.06    3.14    4.97      7.59


       Min       0.28    1.72    1.22    4.83    4.50    8.39    9.11   10.11    7.28    5.17    1.56   -0.28      4.49
1943   Max       5.78    8.50   10.11   13.06   15.56   17.67   19.94   17.89   15.44   13.00    7.89    6.11     12.58
       Mean      3.03    5.11    5.67    8.95   10.03   13.03   14.53   14.00   11.36    9.09    4.73    2.92      8.54


       Min       1.61   -0.17   -0.17    4.06    5.17    8.00   11.17   10.83    6.28    4.06    0.72    0.28      4.32
1944   Max       8.50    6.83    8.94   13.39   14.56   16.78   18.50   19.94   14.83   11.22    7.72    5.44     12.22
       Mean      5.06    3.33    4.39    8.73    9.87   12.39   14.84   15.39   10.56    7.64    4.22    2.86      8.27


       Min      -4.83    2.22    2.94    3.67    5.72    8.72   11.33    8.83    8.17    6.17    3.33    0.28      4.71
1945   Max       2.61    9.06   11.11   13.28   15.11   17.67   19.72   19.50   17.06   14.39    9.50    6.50     12.96
       Mean     -1.11    5.64    7.03    8.48   10.42   13.20   15.53   14.17   12.62   10.28    6.42    3.39      8.84


       Min      -2.00    1.28    0.44    3.50    4.39    7.00    9.72    8.67    8.83    5.00    4.44   -0.78      4.21
1946   Max       5.39    7.44    8.83   13.44   14.94   16.17   18.61   17.33   16.06   11.72    9.72    5.28     12.08
       Mean      1.70    4.36    4.64    8.47    9.67   11.59   14.17   13.00   12.45    8.36    7.08    2.25      8.14


       Min      -0.72   -4.83   -2.50                                                                                  
1947   Max       4.39    0.50    4.67                                                                                  
       Mean      1.84   -2.17    1.09                                                                                  



MEANS 1940-46/47

       Min      -2.15   -0.92    0.53    3.61    5.33    7.94    9.97    9.69    7.83    4.47    1.93    0.49      4.06
       Max       4.04    5.44    8.53   12.43   15.06   18.28   19.23   18.31   16.01   12.42    8.36    6.33     12.04
       MEAN      0.95    2.26    4.53    8.02   10.20   13.11   14.60   14.00   11.92    8.45    5.15    3.41      8.05



MEANS 1931-46/47

       Min      -0.98   -0.38    0.86    2.99    5.31    8.10   10.30    9.79    7.76    4.33    2.19    0.55      4.24
       Max       5.01    5.99    8.63   11.79   15.09   18.33   19.23   18.98   16.24   12.15    8.51    6.14     12.17
       MEAN      2.02    2.81    4.75    7.39   10.20   13.22   14.77   14.39   12.00    8.24    5.35    3.35      8.20
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Jan     Feb     Mar     Apr     May     Jun     Jul     Aug     Sep     Oct     Nov     Dec      Year
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  Those mean temperatures compare closely with those shown below that were quoted by Manley, who must have had access to a slightly longer period of temperatures than the 16 years shown above. And as I touch on below, they even compare reasonably well to the 1971-2000 averages for Warcop, all apart from the winter months and October which are now noticeably warmer.

  The comparable data for the site at Newton Rigg for 1931-46 is: mean minimum of 4.42°c - mean maximum of 12.25°c (4 months of missing data) - mean temperature of 8.38°c.

  That is about exactly what I would have expected, Appleby just slightly colder.

  Lady Holmes took readings upto and including March 1947 before she was forced by circumstances to stop. The letter that she wrote to the Met' Office at the time informing them of this makes interesting reading.

 

 

  MET' OFFICE 'Monthly Weather Report' 1931-46 - extremes

    As previously mentioned, in 1931 the Met' Office 'trusted' the validity of Castle Bank's data sufficiently to include its data in the 'Monthly Weather Report'. These can be found on the Met' Office website and there is the occasional reference to Appleby, principally when an extreme of temperature/rainfall for that month in either England or the UK as a whole occurred at Appleby. The instances of such that I am aware of are shown below, every temperature 'extreme' shown is for the coldest temperature recorded that month, there's none for Appleby having been the warmest!:

  29th July 1931 - when 31.0 mm of rain fell - the wettest day of the month in the UK.

  11th and 13th September 1931 - when the temperature fell to 29°F (-1.7°c) on both nights   -   air frosts in September are fairly rare and these are early

  31st December 1931 - when the temperature fell to 15°F (-9.4°c).

  29th October 1932 - when the temperature fell to 25°F (-3.89°c).

  21st October 1935 - when the temperature fell to 21°F (-6.1°c)   -   very cold for still quite early in Autumn.

  24th December 1935 - during a severe cold spell during the 17-24th the temperature fell to 8°F (-13.3°c)   -   during this period Newton Rigg recorded a day-time maximum of just 25°F (-3.9°c) on the 23rd.

  7th and 8th December 1936 - when the temperature fell to 14°F (-10.0°c) on both nights.

  27th August 1937 - when the temperature fell to 35°F (1.7°c)   -   notable, but not significant.

  27th September 1937 - the temperature fell to 30°F (-1.1°c)   -   possibly not too significant in 1937, but would be notable now (2014) and made Appleby the coldest place in England two months running!

  November 1937 - Appleby is mentioned due to having had only 10% of average rainfall.

  26th and 27th October 1939 - when the temperature fell to 21°F (-6.1°c) on both nights   -   as 21.10.35. above but more significant due to being over two nights.

  20th January 1941 - when the temperature fell to 11°F (-11.7°c).

  22nd November 1942 - when the temperature fell to 18°F (-7.8°c).

  11th February 1945 - when the temperature fell to 19°c (-7.2°f) - February 1945 was a very mild month overall

  20th January 1946 - when the temperature fell to 11°F (-11.7°c).

 

    A site where temperature was also recorded was at Highfield by Mr. J.F. Whitehead and he was also the author of the monthly weather report for the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald. He also reported his rainfall data to the Met' Office, but alas his records are sadly 'missing' and seemingly with little hope of being found.

  The Cumbria Tourist Board publication entitled 'Enjoy Cumbria's Climate' published in the early 1970's just before local government reorganisation led to the formation of Cumbria gives further information about Appleby's weather. This is written by the eminent meteorologist/climatologist Gordon Manley and fortunately he provides us with some hard data for Appleby.

  Manley quotes the site as Appleby and without naming the site as that of Castle Bank, states that it is located at 440 Ft asl, which is the same asl quoted in 'British Rainfall' for Castle Bank.

  More frustratingly he does not state the period to which these temperatures apply, only stating that (in comparison to Keswick) 'Mean temperatures in the valley of the river Eden are slightly lower in summer, markedly lower in winter.'

  Comparing to today's records from Warcop and Newton Rigg, this statement would appear to still hold true today, but those temperatures for January and February look quite cold.

  The only other points that we learn from Manley about Appleby are: 'At Appleby ... there are about 84 nights yearly with frost; and the first morning nip may come before the end of September, the last in early June.' I would certainly concur with this, but an air frost in June is relatively rare.

  The mean temperatures quoted by Manley are:
                        
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Jan    Feb    Mar    Apr    May    Jun    Jul    Aug    Sep    Oct    Nov    Dec     YEAR 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
     °c      2.0    2.4    4.9    7.4   10.5   13.2   14.7   14.3   12.1    8.7    5.2    4.1      8.3

  And now another publication as turned up, 'Report of the Land Utilisation Survey' (parts 49 Cumberland and 50 Westmorland) pb 1943 and with a section by Gordon Manley on the climate of the two counties. Even back in 1943 he uses 'Cumbria' to collectively describe the two counties.

  One of this countries most eminent climatologists with amazing longevity, as demonstrated above by the number of years separating these two publication - but back in 1943 Manley states that Appleby is one of the few official recording stations in the two counties.

  There are no tables or great depth of facts in this publication, but Manley tells us the following:

  Under a section entitled 'Local Topography and extremes' he states ... '...accordingly topography favours the development of lowland inversions to an exceptional degree, especially after an outburst of Arctic air with the ensuing clear skies. Winter minima have certainly fallen below -10°F on occasion in east Cumberland, even more remarkable were 19°F at Appleby as late as May 18th 1891.'

  19°F in new money is -7.2°c which is indeed cold for that time of year.

  Manley goes on to add 'The Westmorland station at Appleby however is very generally colder on clear nights than Newton Rigg (Penrith) and is one of the most "frosty" station in the Northern counties; it lies close to the valley-bottom, although at 440 feet.'

 

  After the infamous winter of 1963 the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald published a booklet entitled 'The Worst Winter of the Century' and whilst there are numerous accounts of the affects of that winter on the fellside villages, there are just the two concerning Appleby.

  In the introduction we read: 'The weather played almost unbelievable tricks. While the sun beamed on Appleby, a blizzard raged at nearby Murton ...'

  And a photograph of a frozen and snowy river Eden is annotated that in the second week of the 'worst winter' 'With night after night of severe frost, rivers and lakes were frozen hard. The river Eden at Appleby froze over from bank to bank.'

 

  The river Eden in Appleby - unfrozen! 

 

 

RAINFALL

 

  Appleby has a simply superb historical rainfall record which goes back to 1856 and for which I have now secured all the monthly records - with thanks to both the Environment Agency and Meteorological Office (archives). It is also one of the longest existing rainfall records both locally and nationally. Alas the main site, Castle Bank, has now been closed (June 2012) by the Environment Agency (EA); this is due to issues with access to the site. Such a big shame, but the EA do have another rainfall site in the town at Mill Hill, details of which are shown below.

  They also demonstrate rather well the decrease in rainfall as we travel further east in the county.

  The British Rainfall Guide for 1863 when still in its infancy provides an interesting historical point. The founder of British rainfall recording, George Symons, was building up his number of observers and to this end he wrote a letter to 'The Times' newspaper requesting more observers, either those who were already taking rainfall readings and he was not aware off or anyone who would be prepared to do so, especially in certain 'Out of the way districts', of which Appleby was the first one that he named!

  His letter to The Times was dated 24th November and must have been 1862 (and reported in the 1863 edition) and it obviously did the trick because then on the 16th December he sent a second letter to the paper to provide an update. In this second letter he lists Appleby as one of the locations from which he would now be receiving rainfall records. Appleby is then listed in the 1863 edition for the first time.

  The observer who obviously took The Times was Dr. Fergus Armstrong and most perfectly his gauge (and one of the few at that time) is set at 1 ft above the ground and he had actually commenced the recording of rainfall in June 1856.

  In the 1863 edition he had submitted the following: 'Latter part of the year very mild; bees working as in summer on November 26th and mignonette in flower in the open garden December 31st.'

  In the 1864 edition Dr. Armstrong submitted a brief note on the year '4.72 below the average of 7 preceding years' and the following appeared in the Carlisle Patriot newspaper on 7th January 1865:

 

  And in the Cumberland and Westmorland Advertiser on 8th January 1867 was the following article about the rainfall of 1866, which also gives an indication of just how cold the start of 1867 had been:

 

  He submitted very few comments regarding individual days, but the most detailed one comes from 21st September1884:

  'Great darkness about 4 p.m. followed by sharp thunderstorm, with nearly 0.75 in. of rain in less than an hour.'

  Also this from the 10th June in 1886:   'Upwards of half an inch of rain fell in 20 minutes.'

  January 1890 was quite wet and stormy at times and with some flooding on the 25th, which resulted in the following article in The Westmorland Gazette on 15th February:

 

  In 1891 a new rainfall site for Appleby appears for the first time, that of Castle Bank with C.R. Rivington {^^} being the 'authority'. Dr. Armstrong continued his record until his death on 5th June 1895. By a quirk of fate, his death is reported in the 1894 edition we find that the obituary section shows Dr. Fergus Armstrong commenced observations during 1856 and hence had completed 38 years of 'perfect records'. This anomaly is caused by the late publication of the 1894 edition and the obituary column was for all deaths upto July 1895!

  Having now obtained all the monthly records for Armstrong's site, a certain mystery unearths itself - he may have died in June 1895, but his records continue upto and including October 1895! At present I can not explain this, but why continue the record then stop?

  A few points arise out of Armstrong's records: 1.) There is one 'missing' year (1879) - record shows that Symons had 'no reply') - this remains the case having secured the Met' Office records and there is no explanation as to why, but the Met' Office, obviously in order to maintain a complete record, made an estimation of Appleby's rainfall based on the totals at Reagill and Lowther Castle - those estimated figures are included below.

  2.) The British Rainfall Guide had annotated the 1876 record as 'Imperfect', the Met' Office records show that in April of 1876 the rain gauge was changed from an 8 inch gauge to a 5 inch gauge and this must be the reason for this 'Imperfection'.

  3.) The record for 1880 is annotated 'St. Lawrence church 150 yards NW'     and 4.) In 1885 'Gauge moved about 100 yards S'.

  So for Dr. Armstrong we have 38 complete years of records between 1856 and 1895 (but every month has at least 39 years data and June-Oct' all have 40 years).

  Then for Castle Bank; the record commenced in 1891 and is complete to 1999. Whilst all the yearly totals appeared in the Rainfall Guides (some editions also listed the monthly totals for that year as well), the Castle Bank site is actually managed by the Environment Agency (EA). But anyone local will know of the issues regarding access to the Castle and this has also affected the EA and from 2000 that record becomes fragmented with many missing months.

  Obviously a big shame, especially as the EA are particularly proud of this record which was one of their oldest 'still in operation!', but the rain gauge at Mill Hill continues the long tradition of rain records in the town and in many ways Appleby continues to have one of the longest and continuous records in the country.

  Rivington continued the observations upto his death in 1928 and from 1929 Lady Holmes is shown as the observer. Rivington submitted precious few entries regarding the days, months and years, but here is one from 1899:

 

  {^^} Mr. Charles Robert Rivington was a London solicitor who made Appleby his country home. He was a former Westmorland High Sheriff and the Mayor of Appleby during 1894-96, a founder and first Master of the Vale of Eden Lodge (Appleby - Freemasons), a director of 'Equity and Law Life Assurance and his family were publishers, owning the 'House of Rivington' publishers. He died aged 81 years on Wednesday 22nd August 1928 and somewhat curiously, although coincidentally, his death was reported in the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald at the same time (25th August) as the reports on the devastating flooding in the town of 20th August 1928 - see the page on 'Floods'.

  Firstly the record for Dr. Armstrong (with many thanks to the Met' Office) - further notes are given below.




		Jan	Feb	Mar	Apr	May	June	July	Aug	Sept	Oct	Nov	Dec		YEAR
															
1856							 62.2	 29.5	 54.6	 85.3	 56.4	 31.8	186.4 		      
1857		 71.1	 36.3	 64.8	 30.0	 31.8	 62.5	 45.2	 89.2	 49.5	 66.8	 51.1	 50.8		 649.0
1858		 30.7	 23.9	 37.3	 23.6	 65.3	 38.6	 50.0	 67.3	102.4	103.1	 75.4	 85.1		 702.8
1859		133.9	 44.5	103.4	 32.0	  2.0	 60.7	 33.8	 73.9	105.9	 56.9	 87.1	 63.0		 797.1
1860		111.5	 39.4	113.3	 48.5	 67.8	136.7	 66.3	102.9	 38.9	119.1	 52.6	 74.2		 971.0
1861		 40.1	139.2	107.2	 21.3	 16.5	 43.9	120.4	125.2	109.2	 55.6	203.5	 83.6		1065.8
1862		 72.9	 18.3	 71.4	 64.5	 69.3	 77.7	 85.6	 90.2	 51.3	146.3	 34.0	104.6		 886.2
1863		141.5	 45.5	 22.6	 47.8	 39.6	115.8	 32.3	 74.2	118.9	112.0	 78.0	 68.8		 896.9
1864		 74.2	 56.4	 50.5	 34.8	 56.4	 69.1	 31.8	 44.2	106.7	 60.2	 62.5	 86.1		 732.8
1865		 48.0	 64.0	 40.6	 21.6	141.7	 19.3	 30.7	 97.8	 11.2	120.1	 73.4	100.1		 768.6
1866		167.6	 81.5	 42.2	 50.0	 21.8	 56.9	 69.9	117.9	146.6	 43.9	 87.9	113.5		 999.7
1867		124.2	 59.4	 61.2	113.5	 53.8	 40.6	116.1	 74.4	 66.0	 90.2	 16.8	 61.2		 877.6
1868		152.7	 90.7	107.4	 59.9	 35.8	 17.3	 14.7	 62.7	 69.6	 76.7	 78.0	226.1		 991.6
1869		140.0	135.6	 16.8	 30.0	 39.1	 32.5	 24.4	 49.0	191.5	 63.0	 86.6	143.8		 952.2
1870		 83.3	 78.0	 30.0	 19.1	 59.7	 33.8	 19.3	 58.7	 63.0	131.6	 60.7	 56.6		 693.7
1871		 52.6	 73.2	 58.4	 44.2	 31.2	 70.9	121.2	 69.1	 81.3	 94.5	 23.6	 87.6		 807.7
1872		151.9	111.3	 66.5	 29.0	 62.0	 82.8	 77.0	113.0	110.5	158.2	 96.3	108.0		1166.4
1873		226.8	 35.1	 51.1	 17.0	 23.4	 34.5	 65.8	 82.8	 36.1	 73.7	 54.9	 36.3		 737.4
1874		110.5	 70.4	 87.4	 69.1	 38.6	 23.4	 41.1	121.2	107.7	170.7	 82.8	 68.3		 991.1
1875		134.1	 17.5	 33.3	 13.7	 40.9	 83.8	 91.7	 43.4	126.5	 71.4	 79.2	 88.4		 824.0
1876		 34.0	 80.0	 90.7	 46.7	 23.1	 66.5	 54.9	 86.4	118.4	 70.6	 68.6	145.3		 885.2
1877		153.9	 61.7	 61.2	 58.4	 48.3	 61.2	166.1	156.5	 52.1	119.6	158.2	 62.5		1159.8
1878		 70.6	 31.2	 43.4	 51.1	112.0	 68.3	 20.3	 68.8	 77.7	 98.6	 64.8	 52.3		 759.2
1879		 14.5	 39.6	 63.2	 37.8	 32.3	 90.4	103.9	123.4	 65.0	 29.0	 22.4	 64.8		 686.3
1880		 25.9	101.1	 43.7	 46.5	 31.0	 51.6	149.6	 38.4	101.3	 55.6	104.1	 92.5		 841.2
1881		  9.7	 86.6	 75.7	 26.7	 51.1	 66.3	117.1	112.0	 66.3	 52.3	160.5	 98.3		 922.5
1882		 52.8	 74.9	 65.3	102.4	 47.2	 97.0	143.0	 59.9	 54.6	 67.1	121.4	 76.2		 961.9
1883		159.3	 90.4	 35.8	 34.8	 24.9	116.3	 89.2	 55.6	 82.6	 97.0	 90.4	 75.9		 952.2
1884		139.4	 89.4	 56.6	 24.4	 47.5	  8.9	120.1	 25.7	 83.6	 37.6	 57.4	109.0		 799.6
1885		 47.5	113.0	 44.2	 37.8	 61.0	 26.7	 32.8	 38.1	 71.6	 81.5	 45.0	 42.9		 642.1
1886		129.5	 26.4	 74.7	 67.1	100.6	 53.3	133.4	 51.8	 90.7	141.5	 81.5	139.2		1089.7
1887		 77.5	 38.1	 35.8	 46.2	 40.9	  6.1	 43.2	 43.4	123.4	 26.4	 64.5	 81.3		 626.9
1888		 47.2	 23.4	 75.4	 34.0	 51.6	 25.1	142.7	 62.7	 19.8	 89.2	119.1	 87.4		 777.7
1889		 36.8	 35.8	 30.5	 39.1	 58.4	 36.8	 74.7	125.0	 36.6	122.7	 38.4	 69.1		 703.8
1890		169.9	 16.0	 50.0	 25.4	 54.1	 62.2	 47.5	 96.0	 61.7	 48.3	115.8	 17.8		 764.8
1891		 69.3	  1.8	 33.0	 21.3	 27.2	 54.6	114.8	175.5	116.6	177.0	 72.9	147.8		1011.9
1892		 54.1	 54.9	 16.8	 31.2	101.9	107.7	 35.3	149.4	131.1	153.4	 58.7	 20.6		 914.9
1893		 40.9	 94.2	 22.4	 12.7	 51.6	 44.7	 86.6	 98.8	 82.0	 76.2	 56.6	104.4		 771.1
1894		118.6	140.0	 63.8	 55.6	 75.9	 48.3	 82.0	 89.2	 15.2	 86.1	101.3	 98.3		 974.3
1895		 66.5	 13.7	101.3	 30.2	 25.1	 47.5	176.5	 92.5	 41.9	 88.6				      

MEANS		 91.9	 62.4	 57.7	 41.0	 50.3	 57.6	 77.5	 84.0	 81.8	 89.7	 77.4	 89.2		 860.4


Lowest		  9.7	  1.8	 16.8	 12.7	  2.0	  6.1	 14.7	 25.7	 11.2	 26.4	 16.8	 17.8		 626.9
Highest		226.8	140.0	113.3	113.5	141.7	136.7	176.5	175.5	191.5	177.0	203.5	226.1		1166.4
															
															
1860's		107.3	 73.0	 63.3	 49.2	 54.2	 61.0	 59.2	 83.8	 91.0	 88.7	 77.3	106.2		 914.2
1870's		103.2	 59.8	 58.5	 38.6	 47.1	 61.6	 76.1	 92.3	 83.8	101.8	 71.1	 77.0		 871.1
1880's		 72.6	 67.9	 53.8	 45.9	 51.4	 48.8	104.6	 61.3	 73.1	 77.1	 88.2	 87.2		 831.8




	              TOP TEN WET MONTH'S		         TOP TEN DRY MONTH'S			
								 	
	1	226.8	 Jan - 1873			1	 1.8	 Feb - 1891	
	2	226.1	 Dec - 1868			2	 2.0	 May - 1859	
	3	203.5	 Nov - 1861			3	 6.1	June - 1887	
	4	191.5	Sept - 1869			4	 8.9	June - 1884	
	5	186.4	 Dec - 1856			5	 9.7	 Jan - 1881	
	6	177.0	 Oct - 1891			6	11.2	Sept - 1865	
	7	176.5	July - 1895			7	12.7	 Apr - 1893	
	8	175.5	 Aug - 1891			8	13.7	 Apr - 1875	
	9	170.7	 Oct - 1874			9	14.5	 Jan - 1879	
	10	169.9	 Jan - 1890			10	14.7	July - 1868	



 

  For those 38-40 years this makes for an average of 860.4 mm (33.87 inch) with rain of 0.2 mm falling on 189 days per year (1863-1894).

  It took a little while to find those missing years (1856-1862), but it was worth it and what a fine record to have.

  Even though all three rain gauges are in Appleby and a literal 'Stones throw' away from each other, can they be classed as one continuous record? The four years (1891-94) for which Armstrong's and the Castle's records can be compared and then the Castle with Mill Hill show quite favourable results and yes I have classed it as one continuous record.

  For the period 1891-94 Dr. Armstrong's gauge averaged 918.1 mm falling on 207 days and Castle Bank was 945.0 mm on 208.8 days - one slight curiosity is that 1891 and 1892 are very similar, but then 1893-4 show a bigger margin in both the total fall and rain days.

  And many thanks to the EA for providing me with all the monthly rainfall totals for Castle Bank from 1891 - a truly remarkable record.

  I have added the averages to those totals along with wettest/driest years and all the seasonal averages as well - there is a lot to digest.





	         Jan     Feb	 Mar     Apr	 May     Jun	 Jul     Aug	 Sep	 Oct	 Nov	 Dec		 YEAR

1891		 72.6	  3.2	 36.0	 22.5	 28.8	 58.7	118.7	187.6	118.9	136.7	 77.5	143.8		1005.0
1892		 49.2	 54.2	 15.7	 34.2	112.2	101.6	 46.0	177.6	113.7	146.2	 65.7	 23.9		 940.2
1893		 43.8	100.1	 23.2	 15.8	 52.7	 51.0	 88.0	 97.0	 90.3	 89.6	 52.6	112.9		 817.0
1894		128.9	156.3	 58.2	 56.5	 81.6	 46.5	 86.6	 95.3	  9.6	108.0	 86.0	104.1		1017.6
1895		 60.0	 14.1	105.7	 34.3	 32.8	 55.3	173.1	 92.3	 55.0	 75.8	132.5	 85.9		 916.8
1896		 38.2	 55.1	122.6	 50.1	 17.3	 78.4	 78.0	 39.2	121.2	118.9	 26.6	 93.6		 839.2
1897		 28.4	 71.6	132.7	 55.9	 40.1	 55.3	 28.2	131.6	 88.1	 61.3	 72.6	168.4		 934.2
1898		 52.1	 71.7	 17.1	 79.2	 63.2	 41.9	 30.1	 83.7	 20.1	117.0	 55.8	131.0		 762.9
1899		159.3	 94.6	 61.9	 86.3	 79.7	 67.9	 97.2	 46.2	129.6	 54.8	107.1	 62.6		1047.2

1900		 81.4	108.5	 14.9	 61.7	 36.7	 97.3	 53.5	119.4	 36.8	146.9	 86.7	138.6		 982.4
1901		 64.1	 29.7	 69.2	 47.6	 33.7	 46.1	 28.5	 63.4	 36.6	 64.4	123.8	111.7		 718.8
1902		 51.5	 26.6	 64.4	 52.0	 64.0	 29.5	 97.0	 54.9	 53.5	 65.8	 65.4	123.1		 747.7
1903		153.8	160.9	190.9	 27.5	 54.8	 24.3	101.0	 95.7	106.7	230.3	 76.9	 69.1		1291.9
1904		131.6	 79.8	 48.3	 63.4	 87.9	 56.8	 40.8	 77.2	 22.1	 28.9	 74.5	 84.8		 796.1
1905		 37.0	 61.9	 76.7	 78.1	 20.8	 49.1	 25.0	 99.6	 69.8	 63.9	 99.3	 27.3		 708.5
1906		131.5	 64.6	 57.3	 28.1	154.0	 27.4	 45.7	109.7	 24.4	160.2	 78.4	 76.9		 958.2
1907		 26.5	 63.6	 73.4	 55.3	101.7	128.1	 63.1	 64.3	 11.8	102.5	 58.7	140.2		 889.2
1908		 65.3	103.2	101.2	 43.3	 69.1	 40.6	 78.7	 97.1	 97.7	 65.7	 68.5	 63.3		 893.7
1909		105.0	 44.6	 79.6	 74.7	 43.2	 58.0	 91.8	114.6	 56.5	136.2	 35.8	105.9		 945.9

1910		120.7	141.8	 67.6	 61.4	 51.4	 33.1	110.5	133.7	 10.2	 53.0	 82.7	 78.0		 944.1
1911		 45.9	 94.9	 41.0	 45.2	 38.2	 84.5	 31.3	 55.2	 87.0	 75.7	128.8	184.8		 912.5
1912		 74.5	 73.7	102.6	 11.7	 43.3	209.6	 91.9	110.2	 54.4	 90.7	 99.2	126.8		1089.0
1913		 93.1	 67.3	142.2	146.1	 35.7	 46.1	 28.1	 29.5	 63.8	 51.3	 91.7	 91.5		 886.4
1914		 80.9	155.7	 88.6	 38.0	 52.5	 44.6	 90.0	 68.5	 57.6	 35.4	128.5	202.0		1042.3
1915		 78.6	146.8	 32.1	 52.2	 35.7	 10.2	112.1	 89.2	 24.6	 35.6	 41.7	173.4		 832.2
1916		129.2	110.8	 73.9	 62.3	 57.8	 65.6	143.0	 83.0	 48.5	170.6	102.2	 62.8		1109.7
1917		 50.3	 20.5	 47.3	 61.4	 60.6	 48.7	 36.6	216.1	 66.7	109.7	 71.3	 42.9		 832.1
1918		113.7	 87.0	 32.6	 30.3	 39.5	 39.1	117.4	109.9	229.4	125.1	 67.2	112.9		1104.1
1919		109.4	 24.6	 68.6	 51.1	 38.9	 39.3	 31.8	 78.5	 38.9	 63.0	 85.5	137.9		 767.5

1920		122.5	 60.6	148.3	 74.7	136.3	 27.7	123.3	 45.7	 53.8	 27.7	 85.8	 94.2		1000.6
1921		132.8	  2.5	109.8	 20.2	 60.7	  8.2	 56.6	121.9	 41.1	 56.1	 49.4	112.4		 771.7
1922		 92.0	 87.4	 77.5	 62.5	 31.1	 54.9	101.6	 65.7	 62.3	 41.6	 69.8	179.0		 925.4
1923		 77.3	109.2	 45.6	 81.9	 66.0	 37.7	 70.7	160.4	 91.1	155.8	107.9	105.2		1108.8
1924		 96.4	 21.9	 23.6	 46.0	147.8	 44.5	127.6	 67.1	126.7	 99.5	 53.9	198.6		1053.6
1925		144.7	147.0	 45.7	 85.7	118.6	  3.6	 43.7	100.9	119.4	111.6	 63.8	111.6		1096.3
1926		122.7	 81.5	 47.1	 45.9	 52.8	 71.5	 75.9	 81.7	117.3	 79.1	150.7	 26.3		 952.5
1927		137.6	 43.2	 89.4	 66.7	 68.2	 63.7	108.6	195.7	124.4	106.2	 77.6	 30.8		1112.1
1928		208.7	110.9	103.4	 26.6	 53.3	146.6	 88.3	225.6	 39.8	131.1	143.3	 41.2		1318.8
1929		 27.9	 18.1	  6.6	 42.9	 47.8	 49.9	108.6	 97.1	 53.7	128.8	170.5	177.3		 929.2

1930		167.1	  7.3	 69.9	 48.9	 45.5	 38.7	100.2	138.8	 62.2	140.3	105.4	 96.9		1021.2
1931		 84.4	 75.7	 22.9	 67.8	 76.8	117.3	140.2	 92.5	 33.6	 70.7	172.6	 70.0		1024.5
1932		170.1	  9.7	 72.4	 80.1	 89.0	 57.3	126.7	 25.5	 95.5	149.0	 56.6	120.2		1052.1
1933		108.8	 63.9	 45.4	 32.8	 87.4	 49.6	 59.2	 53.4	 38.5	134.5	 50.7	 29.7		 753.9
1934		117.3	  4.8	 58.9	 68.9	 78.7	 44.9	 43.0	 89.7	 84.6	152.4	 18.9	138.4		 900.5
1935		 56.5	115.2	 33.5	 78.6	 19.5	 81.8	 19.9	 41.7	154.2	125.3	 74.9	 48.1		 849.2
1936		121.8	 48.3	 47.9	 16.4	 18.0	 71.5	128.8	 42.1	105.2	 85.4	108.1	148.6		 942.1
1937		 66.1	102.4	 47.1	 45.4	 77.1	 33.1	 73.5	 40.1	 60.7	 34.2	  8.8	 53.5		 642.0
1938		123.4	 32.8	 49.2	  6.2	 63.2	 72.4	119.6	 54.7	 45.5	196.4	134.0	 97.9		 995.3
1939		157.4	 76.5	 79.1	 30.6	 17.7	 71.1	 97.9	 69.6	 32.7	 52.3	121.9	 43.7		 850.5

1940		 28.5	 29.9	 74.1	 35.0	 26.6	 29.3	125.2	 46.8	 80.4	106.7	101.7	 84.1		 768.3
1941		 13.3	 92.3	 63.7	 18.1	 45.3	 15.0	 31.8	115.7	 23.8	106.5	 64.5	 41.9	 	 631.9
1942		104.3	 58.6	 54.4	 50.9	 80.2	 27.9	 69.1	 88.8	 85.3	 61.9	 29.0	100.7		 811.1
1943		127.3	 43.1	 31.5	 64.4	 97.0	 71.9	 56.9	126.6	 90.7	104.4	 53.0	 54.4		 921.2
1944		 94.2	 36.7	 13.5	 44.5	 24.8	 62.0	125.7	 62.1	131.5	 92.4	158.9	 98.8		 945.1
1945		 95.5	 90.8	 53.9	 58.0	 81.0	 82.7	 44.6	 66.9	 67.0	137.8     5.7	 44.7		 828.6
1946		 93.5	 61.3	 43.2	 31.3	 44.4	 60.2	111.1	114.4	116.8	 18.5	155.5	 99.2		 949.4
1947		108.7	 30.0	114.8	131.8	 61.1	 67.2	 93.0	  1.3	 86.5	 14.9	113.5	 49.1		 871.9
1948		158.5	 62.7	 71.5	 42.0	 39.6	131.9	 27.2	147.3	 93.1	 51.2	 64.3	103.7		 993.0
1949		 44.8	 59.3	 28.5	 80.2	 52.2	 13.1	 41.9	 49.8	 32.1	111.2	133.2	136.2		 782.5

1950		 61.6	 99.8	 41.1	 51.3	 49.4	 42.6	102.2	129.2	174.9	 60.5	 89.5	 48.0		 950.1
1951		 68.7	 83.3	 51.9	 63.0	 34.3	 25.3	 62.3	 89.2	 72.3	 17.8	156.5	177.8		 902.4
1952		 84.2	 11.0	 45.6	 69.0	 60.1	 56.9	 24.6	 90.6	 56.9	111.5	 41.3	 77.7		 729.4
1953		 20.7	 31.3	  9.5	 66.3	 37.9	 43.8	 94.3	111.5	 85.5	 44.7	 80.7	 39.9		 666.1
1954		 59.3	 58.5	 61.6	 13.5	 83.3	 66.2	 55.5	107.8	144.3	208.9	169.3	105.1		1133.3
1955		 61.9	 45.4	 25.5	 26.7	 79.5	 49.9	 52.2	 36.0	 28.8	 49.3	 46.4	 87.8		 589.4
1956		 71.8	 19.3	 13.0	 17.9	 32.5	112.6	 61.0	206.6	 61.3	 57.5	 26.5	104.8		 784.8
1957		107.9	 57.6	 34.7	 10.2	 49.1	 31.3	 88.2	114.5	 98.1	 92.1	 32.7	 63.9		 780.3
1958		 80.5	120.7	 17.6	 18.0	 89.6	 76.5	 87.9	122.7	 91.2	111.2	 15.3	 68.1		 899.3
1959		 54.6	 19.2    32.3	 72.9	 19.2	111.6	 96.1	 14.5	 28.4	 76.5	117.4	122.3		 765.0

1960		111.8	108.9	 21.2	 52.2	 38.5	 36.7	128.4	 62.6	 50.4	 52.3	161.9	 87.2		 912.1
1961		105.2	 79.7	 24.1	 59.1	 50.3	 37.2	108.3	 65.6	 84.1	135.6	 49.1	 84.9		 883.2
1962		158.8	 43.0	 25.7	 66.1	 62.0	 35.4	 45.3	122.1	101.2	 29.8	 44.6	 70.2		 804.2
1963		 17.5	  9.1	 94.1	 67.7	 62.6	 93.9	 76.5	 84.9	 66.0	 81.3	138.6	 38.3		 830.5
1964		 26.7	 30.2	 55.0	 71.6	 55.0	 42.8	 38.6	 75.5	 59.6	 61.8	 56.5	174.0		 747.3
1965		114.6	 17.6	 34.4	 66.0	 44.1	 94.7	137.2	 89.6	122.7	 49.6	 60.7	 80.5		 911.7
1966		 47.1	121.5	 55.9	 60.1	 67.5	 84.3	 57.4	 98.4	 83.8	116.0	 62.7	103.2		 957.9
1967		 54.9	137.7	 71.6	 30.1	 98.9	 34.3	 84.1	103.1	101.2	213.9	 71.2	 69.5		1070.5
1968		 61.5	 33.4	140.7	 68.8	 64.9	 83.0	 75.7	 40.4	221.1	146.7	 34.7	 68.8		1039.7
1969		 71.1	 48.8	 39.0	 47.0	 80.9	 81.7	 33.7	 69.6	 59.6	 24.1	133.9	 81.3		 770.7

1970		 88.9	 84.1	 42.2	 50.2	 20.0	 73.6	 68.1	 58.4	 81.4	 70.4	106.1	 38.4		 781.8
1971		 60.0	 51.6	 45.4	 14.6	 37.0	 46.0	 60.2	123.3	 20.0	 51.0	 66.2	 30.3		 605.6
1972		 97.2	 61.1	 81.1	 69.4	 89.3	 86.4	 74.0	 30.0	 16.5	 23.3	142.4	130.2		 900.9
1973		 45.2	 35.3	 25.8	 47.4	 56.6	 29.4	 92.9	108.1	 42.3	 43.0	 43.0	 72.8		 641.8
1974		183.6	 89.7	 36.6	  0.9	 25.0	 55.3	 79.6	 76.6	 88.2	 57.9	138.6	145.7		 977.7
1975		157.4	 20.7	 39.8	 54.6	 33.3	 17.7	 69.8	 91.6	138.1	 44.6	 55.8	 32.8		 756.2
1976		 75.3	 50.2	 34.0	 52.1	 74.2	 26.6	 42.8	 14.5	111.3	129.3	 74.0	 65.3		 749.6
1977		105.6	 72.6	 73.5	 42.6	 18.1	 69.0	 40.4	 53.4	 48.9	 94.8	116.7	 87.4		 823.0
1978		118.1	 69.0	 93.4	 23.5	 24.3	 55.4	 53.1	100.4	 92.4	 54.7	109.5	 96.3		 890.1
1979		 58.1	 40.8	125.0	 50.1	111.9	 26.6	 38.1	 80.8	 41.3	 80.6	113.6	177.7		 944.6

1980		 60.7	 78.0	 73.1	  6.4	 27.0	129.6	 68.9	104.5	 61.3	108.0	 93.3	 93.9		 904.7
1981		 53.7	 37.0	122.3	 36.2	 69.2	 44.9	 45.1	 22.5	153.2	134.3	105.5	 38.0		 861.9
1982		101.4	 61.3	111.3	 13.3	 55.5	 76.1	 44.0	 58.7	 63.5	 78.1	183.3	110.9		 957.4
1983		125.7	 28.0	 71.8	 63.2	101.7	 35.6	112.6	 26.2	 92.7	123.5	 39.7	111.6		 932.3
1984		116.2	 38.7	 53.9	 10.7	 14.3	 37.5	 23.9	 86.5	129.7	103.3	169.4	 79.7		 863.8
1985		 42.8	  2.5	 33.1	 71.4	 66.0	 56.9	108.9	117.0	 82.2	 44.5	 74.1	128.8		 828.2
1986		 88.9	 10.5	 70.3	 43.7	126.2	 42.0	 44.2	110.3	 17.2	107.9	115.2	163.8		 940.2
1987		 33.2	 44.3	111.8	 38.3	 39.1	103.9	125.4	 66.7	112.6	144.9	 64.7	 85.1		 970.0
1988		128.7	 87.6	 63.9	 26.1	 49.6	 17.5	179.1	 76.0	 61.1	 72.0	 51.4	 71.3		 884.3
1989		 56.5	109.0	 92.5	 53.6	 29.9	 23.5     7.7	 76.8	 11.7	 84.7	 57.6	 71.5		 675.0

1990		200.4	220.2	 25.9	 29.6	 68.8	 67.4 	 42.2	 42.7	 44.0	110.1	 41.6	137.4		1030.3
1991		126.6	 94.9	 97.7	 43.2	 14.0	 66.2	 27.9	 23.6	 35.5	 91.0	128.1	 69.3		 818.0
1992		 29.9	 52.8	 62.8	 44.9	 35.6	  8.0	 51.7	 98.6	 88.2	 74.3	129.0	100.6		 776.4
1993		173.7	  7.4	 21.7	117.1	 97.0	 24.2	 57.0	 61.2	 60.5	 43.1	 34.5	154.5		 851.9
1994		104.1	 54.2	107.1	 72.5	 14.6	 33.4	 28.1	 94.9	 86.0	 77.5	 98.7	182.4		 953.5
1995		152.4	155.9	 84.2	 17.0	 39.4	 17.0	 55.5	 11.9	 49.3	100.0	 60.0	 30.7		 773.3
1996		 53.7	 98.4	 17.5	 48.0	 23.2	 21.2	 45.6	 51.6	 45.6	 85.4	 90.3	 42.4		 622.9
1997		  9.5	228.5	 49.9	 13.6	 74.5	 54.4	 61.1	 32.1	 38.8	 39.6	 85.4	103.0		 790.4
1998		125.7	 35.7	 81.4	 96.1	 26.4	100.5	 98.1	 46.2	 52.2	182.7	110.1	 68.4		1023.5
1999		189.5	 43.8	 62.0	 44.0	 78.1	 64.6	 27.7	 41.7	111.2	 69.2	 55.8	138.5		 926.1



MEAN		 91.6	 67.1	 61.7	 49.6	 57.2	 56.8	 74.2	 85.1	 74.9	 91.1	 86.1	 95.7		 891.0

 Lowest  	  9.5	  2.5	  6.6	  0.9	 14.0	  3.6	  7.7	  1.3	  9.6	 14.9	  5.7	 23.9		 589.4
Highest         208.7	228.5	190.9	146.1	154.0	209.8	179.1	225.6	229.4	230.3	183.3	202.0		1318.8


  So this is quite interesting in that Dr. Armstrong for his 38-40 years of records in the 19th century had an average fall of 860.4 mm and then the Castle Bank average for 109 years into the 20th century is only 30.6mm more (that's only just over one inch)!

  But what a record this is from Castle Bank and also Dr. Armstrong's and especially to have all the monthly data as well.

  Then we move onto the decadal averages and what is interesting here is to compare directly for the 100 years of 1900-99 to the site at Newton Rigg (Penrith). For those 100 years Newton Rigg averaged 917.0 mm compared to Appleby's 888.4 mm, quite favourable, quite alike, but a difference that we would expect to see (may possibly have expected something even greater) as we know that Cumbria is drier in the east.

  But there are a few oddities as to how the decades break down from wettest to driest for that time. No surprise that they both have the 1920's as the wettest, but Appleby has the 1970's as the driest, not the 1950's, but both sites do share the same eighth, ninth and tenth wettest (1st-3rd driest!) decades. They also share the fifth wettest (1960's) but there is fairly big departure in the 1900's (7th wettest at NR and 4th at Appleby) and the 1990's (2nd wettest at NR and 7th at Appleby). The difference for the 1930's being slightly less marked (6th for NR and 3rd for Appleby).

  The decadal averages for Castle bank are:




	         Jan     Feb	 Mar     Apr	 May     Jun	 Jul     Aug	 Sep	 Oct	 Nov	 Dec		 YEAR

        
	1890's	 70.3	 69.0	 63.7	 48.3	 56.5	 61.8	 82.9	105.6	 82.9	100.9	 75.2	 102.9		 920.0
	1900's	 84.8	 74.3	 77.6	 53.2	 66.6	 55.7	 62.5	 89.6	 51.6	106.5	 76.8	  94.1		 893.2
	1910's	 89.6	 92.3	 69.7	 56.0	 45.4	 62.1	 79.3	 97.4	 68.1	 81.0	 89.9	 121.3		 952.0
	1920's	116.3	 68.2	 69.7	 55.3	 78.3	 50.8	 90.5	116.2	 83.0	 93.8	 97.3	 107.7		1026.9
	1930's	117.3	 53.7	 52.6	 47.6	 57.3	 63.8	 90.9	 64.8	 71.3	114.1	 85.2	  84.7		 903.1
	1940's	 86.9	 56.5	 54.9	 55.6	 55.2	 56.1	 72.7	 82.0	 80.7	 80.6	 87.9	  81.3		 850.3
	1950's	 67.1	 54.6	 33.3	 40.9	 53.5	 61.7	 72.4	102.3	 84.2	 83.0	 77.6	  89.5		 820.0
	1960's	 76.9	 63.0	 56.2	 58.9	 62.5	 62.4	 78.5	 81.2	 95.0	 91.1	 81.4	  85.8		 892.8
        1970's	 98.9	 57.5	 59.7	 40.5	 49.0	 48.6	 61.9	 73.7	 68.0	 65.0	 96.6	  87.7		 807.1
	1980's	 80.8	 49.7	 80.4	 36.3	 57.9	 56.8	 76.0	 74.5	 78.5	100.1	 95.4	  95.5		 881.8
	1990's	116.6	 99.2	 61.0	 52.6	 47.2	 45.7	 49.5	 50.5	 61.1	 87.3	 83.4	 102.7		 856.6

 

  Below are shown all the months which recorded less than 10 mm of rainfall and all those that had in excess of 200 mm. Originally I had only shown this for the Castle Bank years, but I have now included the whole period from June 1856 to the present day - the rainfall record for Mill Hill from 2000 is also shown below.

  The number of months to have recorded less than 10 mm certainly out numbers those months with over 200 mm and I would have expected there to have been more than just 21 months with 200 mm+ rainfall over a 159 year period.

  Also shown below are both the wettest and driest years, showing all years with over 1000 mm and all those with less than 700 mm. Note the fact that five years since the turn of this century are in the top ten wettest years, with eight of the thirty four years to have exceeded 1000 mm also coming from this century!

  Yet despite this clear change to wetter years since the turn of the century, only four of the twenty months to have notched up 200 mm have come from this century, but with both the wettest and second month's in the entire Appleby record (like all other sites in Cumbria) being December 2015 and November 2009.

  And still the wettest decade in the entire period and the only decade to average in excess of 1000 mm is the 1920's! The 1970's being the driest decade and which gives a staggering difference between driest and wettest decade of just over 8.5 inches.



     All Month's With Less Than 10 mm			      All Month's With Over 200 mm
									
       1	0.9	 Apr - 1974				1	382.1	 Dec - 2015
       2	1.3	 Aug - 1947				2	284.8	 Nov - 2009
       3	1.8	 Feb - 1891				3	230.3	 Oct - 1903
       4	2.0	 May - 1859				4	229.4	Sept - 1918
       5	2.5	 Feb - 1921				5	228.5	 Feb - 1997
	 	         Feb - 1985				6	226.8	 Jan - 1873
       7	3.2	 Feb - 1891				7	226.1	 Dec - 1868
       8	3.6	June - 1925				8	225.6	 Aug - 1928
       9	4.8	 Feb - 1934				9	224.2	 Dec - 2006
      10	5.7	 Nov - 1945				10	222.1	Sept - 1968
      11	6.1	June - 1887				11	220.2	 Feb - 1990
      12	6.2	 Apr - 1938				12	216.1	 Aug - 1917
      13	6.4	 Apr - 1980				13	213.9	 Oct - 1967
      14	6.5	 Aug - 2003				14	209.8	June - 1912
      15	6.6	 Mar - 1929				15	208.9	 Oct - 1954
      16	7.3	 Feb - 1930						 Aug - 2004
	 	        Sept - 2014				17	208.7	 Jan - 1928
      18	7.4	 Feb - 1993				18	206.6	 Aug - 1956
      19	7.7	July - 1989				19	203.5	 Nov - 1861
      20	8.2	June - 1921				20	202.0	 Dec - 1914
      21	8.8	 Nov - 1937				21	200.4	 Jan - 1990
      22	8.9	June - 1884							   
      23	9.1	 Feb - 1963							   
      24	9.5	 Mar - 1953							   
	 	         Jan - 1997							   
      26	9.6	Sept - 1894							   
      27	9.7	 Jan - 1881							   
		         Feb - 1932							   




	 All Years with 1000 mm + 	                     All Years with less than 700 mm

	 1	1318.8	       1928			        1	589.4          1955	
	 2	1291.9	       1903			        2	605.6	       1971	
	 3      1251.1         2015                             3       622.9          1996     
         4	1166.4	       1872			        4	626.9	       1887	
	 5	1159.8	       1877			        5	631.9	       1941	
	 6	1133.3         1954			        6	641.8	       1973	
	 7	1130.3	       2000			        7	642.0          1937	
	 8	1125.5	       2011			        8	642.1	       1885	
	 9	1117.7	       2012			        9	666.1	       1953	
	10	1115.0         2009			       10	649.0	       1857 	
	11	1112.1	       1927			       11	674.4	       2010	
	12	1109.7	       1916			       12	675.0	       1989	
	13	1108.8	       1923			       13	683.8	       2003	
	14	1104.1	       1918			       14	686.3	       1879	
	15	1102.7	       2008			       15	693.7	       1870	
	16	1096.3	       1925			       	                                
	17	1089.7	       1886						                
	18	1089.0	       1912						                
	19	1070.5	       1967						                
	20	1065.8	       1861						                
	21	1053.6	       1924						                
	22	1052.1	       1932						                
	23	1047.2	       1899						                
	24	1046.1	       2002						                
	25	1042.3	       1914						                
	26	1039.7	       1968						                
	27	1030.3	       1990						                
	28	1024.7	       2006						                
	29	1024.5	       1931						                
	30	1023.5	       1998						                
	31	1021.2	       1930						                
	32	1017.6	       1894						                
	33	1005.0	       1891						                
	34	1000.6	       1920	                                                        


 

  In the wettest years the top three come as no particular surprise, however, their order is more interesting. I only have Ravenstonedale with which to make a direct comparison for the early years and it had the order of wettest years as: 1872 - 1903 - 1928, ie: the other way round. Morland had 1903 wetter than 1928 and Great Strickland has 1903 wetter than 1872!

  To compare Appleby with Newton Rigg (NR - for 1900-2015) throws up a few surprises: 1928 only now makes number six at NR, but at NR the number of days (241) in which rain fell during 1928 was the most of any year for which I have the data (1900-60), so it is curious as to why there is this discrepancy; especially when 1903 and 1954 fall first and second (1903-2015) at NR and second and sixth at Appleby. Although 2015 is the third wettest at both sites.

  But then 1930 is fourth at NR and would only be 26th at Appleby (1900-2013)! The years 1927, 1925, 1912 (big Surprise) and 1924 do not appear in NR's top ten.

  And then the seasonal totals as well for Castle Bank:




	   Winter			    Spring			   Summer			   Autumn		
		1890's	242.2			1890's	168.5			1890's	250.3			1890's	259.0
		1900's	253.2			1900's	197.4			1900's	207.8			1900's	234.9
		1910's	303.3			1910's	171.0			1910's	238.8			1910's	239.0
		1920's	292.2			1920's	203.3			1920's	257.5			1920's	274.0
		1930's	255.6			1930's	157.5			1930's	219.5			1930's	270.5
		1940's	224.7			1940's	165.8			1940's	210.7			1940's	249.2
		1950's	211.2			1950's	127.7			1950's	236.4			1950's	244.7
		1960's	225.6			1960's	177.5			1960's	222.1			1960's	267.5
		1970's	241.8			1970's	149.2			1970's	184.2			1970's	229.6
		1980's	225.9			1980's	174.5			1980's	207.3			1980's	274.1
		1990's	318.6			1990's	160.8			1990's	145.6			1990's	231.8
															
			254.0				168.5				216.4				252.2


						

 

  

MILL HILL - Rainfall from 2000

 

  With the record at Castle Bank becoming fragmented from 2000 we are indebted to Mrs. Judith Mounsey of Mill Hill who in 2000 began her own rainfall records and which have been adopted by the EA.

  Mrs. Mounsey began her records in March of 2000 (for completeness the table below includes the Castle Bank data for Jan/Feb of that year) when she 'took over' from Mr. Brian Potts who recorded rainfall from 1992 to 2000 at Redstones, The Sands and who also submitted his data to the EA.

  Mrs. Mounsey tells me that she has Mr. Potts records and that they make good reading has he also recorded the minimum and maximum temperatures each day and noted first sightings, etc of birds, butterflies and flowers. Prior to 1992 the rainfall was being recorded at 3 Bongate by a Mr Henderson and he also submitted his data to the EA. Mrs. Mounsey has a copy of the letter that he sent recommending that Mr. Potts take over from himself.

  But the site at Mill Hill with its immediate proximity to that of Castle Bank would in effect make for one homogeneous record and indeed the figures of both sites when compared show virtual uniformity.

  Again thanks to both the EA and Mrs. Mounsey for supplying their data which is now shown below.




	         Jan     Feb	 Mar     Apr	 May     Jun	 Jul     Aug	 Sep	 Oct	 Nov	 Dec		 YEAR

2000		 66.8	 85.3	 29.3	 91.0	 57.4	 61.2	 38.8	 48.4	182.9	164.6	179.0	125.6		1130.3
2001		 50.3	 96.2	 27.3	 65.2	 18.0	 26.0	 34.3	 83.5	 90.7	 93.0	 63.8	 64.6		 712.9
2002		110.9	195.0	 51.2	 42.3	 88.6	 63.2	 79.9	 77.3	 37.3	101.1	105.1	 94.2		1046.1
2003		 63.9	 28.3	 46.7	 43.7	 98.4	 72.3	 51.8	  6.5	 73.8	 23.7	 77.2	 97.5		 683.8
2004		110.4	 75.3	 55.8	 43.3	 56.1	 59.4	 49.6	208.9	 81.8	105.6	 29.1	 71.2		 946.5
2005		153.1	 36.2	 30.4	 62.1	 63.2	 54.3	 24.1	111.4	 92.2	121.9	101.7	 43.5		 894.1
2006		 38.2	 50.0	 86.9	 41.4	 88.5	 32.0	 40.4	 98.1	 87.3	108.4	129.3	224.2		1024.7
2007		146.7	 64.5	 58.3	 21.7	 61.0	111.9	148.4	 60.0	 61.1	 46.0	 44.8	140.8		 965.2
2008		187.2	 55.7	 90.7	 58.0	 18.4	 65.6	146.1	119.7	 94.9	135.3	 58.3	 72.8		1102.7
2009		142.7	 29.5	 40.5	 36.8	 71.1	 47.3	173.1	 83.9	 31.1	 75.3	284.8	 98.9		1115.0
 
2010		 42.5	 24.2	 77.9	 23.1	 22.8	 37.6	 87.9	 64.8	 78.3	 83.0	112.3	 20.0		 674.4
2011		 87.6	136.2	 42.2	 26.5	109.7	 86.6	 85.3	128.2	 91.5	110.9	 70.0	150.8		1125.5
2012		 73.8	 23.0	 23.2	 54.8	 84.9	153.9	104.9	132.0	 58.0	103.1	111.6	194.5		1117.7
2013		 85.1	 19.6	 32.1	 49.3	 64.4	 40.1	 82.4	109.5	 50.2	130.1	 55.2	195.1		 913.1
2014            151.2	152.2	 66.7	 49.9	112.5	 42.4	 51.5	172.7	  7.3	140.6	 61.1	 54.6		1062.7
2015		114.6	 43.0	 71.1	 39.4	 94.9	 27.7	 75.8	105.2	 39.5	 66.6	191.2	382.1		1251.1
2016		146.6	 80.4	 54.2	 77.8	 33.1	 94.7	 74.6	130.4	 72.2	 18.8	 90.7	 56.9		 930.4


MEANS		104.2	 70.3	 52.0	 48.6	 67.2	 63.3	 79.3	102.4	 72.4	 95.8	103.8	122.8		 982.1


 LOW		 38.2	 19.6	 23.2	 21.7	 18.0	 26.0	 24.1	  6.5	  7.3	 18.8	 29.1	 20.0		 674.4
HIGH		187.2	195.0	 90.7	 91.0	112.5	153.9	173.1	208.9	182.9	164.6	284.8	382.1		1251.1


 00's		107.0	 71.6	 51.7	 50.6	 62.1	 59.3	 78.7	 89.8	 83.3	 97.5	107.3	103.3		 962.1
 10's		100.2	 68.4	 52.5	 45.8	 74.6	 69.0	 80.3	120.4	 56.7	 93.3	 98.9	150.6		1010.7
 C21st 		104.2	 70.3	 52.0	 48.6	 67.2	 63.3	 79.3	102.4	 72.4	 95.8	103.8	122.8		 982.1

 

  So, now 17 years worth of records and it quite neatly shows the increase in annual rainfall since the turn of the century.

  In this time, using the complete data set from 1856, Mrs. Mounsey has recorded the following:

  1.)   2015-16  the wettest winter on record   -   a record broken even before January was out and finishing with a final total of 609.0 mm   -   beats the 501.7 mm of 1868-69.

  2.)   2013-14  the third wettest winter on record with final total of 498.5 mm   -   Follow the link to read a summary of the winter 2013-14    WINTER 2014.

  3.)   2000  the wettest autumn with 526.5 mm

  4.)   2014  the driest September with 7.3 mm

  Prior to the disastrous winter of 2015-16, I initially believed that the 2013-14 winter had been the wettest on record and indeed it was in some ways, only having the monthly data back to 1891 - but take a look at the winter of 1868-69 in the Dr. Armstrong years.

  With 501.7 mm, 1868-69 was the wettest winter of all and which could quite possibly have been the wettest in Cumbria as well, a fact that I believe will have been unknown or missed by many. But with very few records in existence at the time it will be difficult to substantiate this, but now obviously beaten by 2015-16.

  We can also directly compare the rainfall of Mill Hill to Maulds Meaburn, Shap and Newton Rigg for the last few years and we see that on average Appleby is drier than Maulds Meaburn by just over 8 inches per year:

Meaburn Mill Hill Shap Newton Rigg Orton 2008 1381.3 1102.7 2222.4 1085.8 1973.9 2009 1264.5 1115.0 2400.4 1048.8 1934.8 2010 702.9 674.4 1175.1 688.3 1167.6 2011 1305.4 1125.5 2154.6 1012.8 1979.5 2012 1415.9 1117.7 1894.8 1099.6 1910.1 2013 1232.1 913.1 1699.0 882.9 1606.2 2014 1343.8 1062.7 2029.4 1079.0 1685.6 2015 1663.8 1251.1 2624.8 1224.7 2307.8 2016 1072.1 930.4 1686.0 969.9 1557.6 MEAN 1264.6 1032.5 1989.7 1009.6 1791.5

 

THE MEAN RAINFALL FOR THE ENTIRE PERIOD OF 1856- 2016 is ...... 893.1 mm

  This is obviously only 2.1 mm more than that for the Castle (after 2014 it was 0.4 mm less and after 2015 it was 1.9 mm more), but over so many years and the fluctuations from decade to decade, each site compares favourably.

  And finally, the Met' Office currently use the 30 year period of 1981-2010 as the standard reference point for averages and for Appleby they are:

Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec YEAR 100.8 71.7 64.5 47.0 55.6 50.9 68.7 70.3 74.9 94.1 96.0 98.0 892.5

 

  WETTEST AND DRIEST YEARS

  We can interpret these years by applying the following standards (using data upto 2015):

  'Very Dry' years showing a departure from the average of more than 25% (less) - 10 years fall into this bracket and equates to 6.25%

  'Dry' years being 10-25% less rainfall than average - 38 years were 'dry' and equates to 23.75

  'Average' years being +/- 10% of the average - obviously by far the greatest amount with 72 years and equates to 45.0%

  'Wet' Years being 10-25% more than the average - doesn't quite balance out the 'dry' years and totals 31, equating to 19.4%

  'Very Wet' years showing a departure from the average of more than 25% (greater) - totals 9 years and which equates to just 5.63%.

 

  The change in the make-up of these categories following 2016 is very minimal - average years is up 2 (inc' 2016) and wet years was down 1.

    Looking at the years categorised in this way some of the striking features for myself are:

  1.)   After the 'Very Wet' year of 1954 there were no more for the rest of that century, but since the turn of this century we have had another four with a further five being classed as 'wet'.

  2.)   Three of the last five years are classed as 'Very Wet'  -  and hence 33% of all the 'Very Wet' years have occurred in just those last five years (2011-15).

  3.)   22% of all the 'Wet' and 'Very Wet' years have occurred since the turn of this century.

  4.)   The 1920's had six years that were either 'Wet' or 'Very Wet', accounting for 14.63% of all the 'wet' and 'very wet' years  -  but which is becoming an ever decreasing amount since 2009  - albeit after 1929            the 1920's accounted for 37.5% of all years in these categories upto that point.

  5.)   The run of average years from 1977-1988.

  6.)   The last 'Very Dry' year was 1996'.

  7.)   You are more likely to get successive 'Dry' years (on 9 occasions two or more dry years fell consecutively) than 'Wet' ones (wet years only fell consecutively on 4 occasions)

  8.)   We have never had consecutive 'Very Dry' years but have had one such occasion with 'Very Wet' years (2011-12)

  9.)   Between 1956-99 apart from there being no 'Very Wet' years there were only 4 'Wet Years'  -  a remarkable run of either average, dry or very dry years

  10.)   83 years have above the average (893.1 mm) rainfall whilst 76 years have less than the average.

  Obviously we can make a direct comparison to the Newton Rigg record for 1900-2016 (Newton Rigg record continues without any breaks to this day) and possibly as expected they are very similar with NR being just that bit higher.

  For that period 1900-2016 Newton Rigg averages 927.1 mm whilst it would be 902.0 mm at Appleby, basically a difference of one inch. Still very much as expected and the comparisons below use that 1900-2016 average at Appleby to make a direct, like for like, comparison.

  At Newton Rigg the spread of years is: 'Wet' (20), Dry' (19) and is very even  -  'Very Wet' (8) and 'Very Dry' (10) fluctuates as after 2014 they both had 9 each  -  and 'Average' has a total of 59.

  At Appleby the combined total of 'Wet' and 'Very Wet' years at 31 is now three more than at Newton Rigg, although Newton Rigg has one more (8) 'Very Wet' year.

  And whilst Newton Rigg has 10 'Very Dry' years, three more than at Appleby, Appleby has a combined total of 32 'Dry' and 'Very Dry' years compared to the 29 at Newton Rigg. Finally, the number of average years is 59 at Newton Rigg and 53 at Appleby.

  These figures could suggest that as we move further east to drier locations, there is a slight increase in what would be an 'Average' year further west, becoming 'Dry' in the east. Although the overall combined frequency of 'Wet' and 'Very wet' years remains neutral.

  In some of the other chapters I have commented that there is a suggestion that a 'Very Wet' year could be expected in every 20 years and that this still needs further work to make such a conclusion! But using the full records for both sites we find that at Appleby it is every 17.7 years (16.57 years for 1900-2015) and at Newton Rigg 14.5 years - but obviously it would appear more honest to class 'wet' and 'very wet' together and then there is a slight margin with the ratio at Appleby 1:3.74 and at NR, 1:4.14

  The only other consideration is that since the turn of the century to the C21st, the frequency of 'Wet' and 'Very Wet' years at Newton Rigg has increased from 20% (1900-99) to 24.13% (1900-2015) whilst at Appleby the figures are 22.38% (1857-1999) and 25.79% (1857-2015) and the ratio for the 16 yrs of this century is an alarming 1:1.77

 

 

 

    Castle Bank was obviously considered to be an important site or at least representative of the area as its averages were used in several Met' Office and Rainfall Guides publications.

  A Met' Office publication 'Averages of Rainfall 1916-1950' from 1958 (with several reprints) includes five locations from Westmorland, of which Castle Bank is one; the averages are shown below.

  And also the Rainfall Guides had also provided averages for an earlier period (1881-1915), but these are slightly 'weighted' due to Castle Bank having only commenced records in 1891 - but the averages are shown below for both periods:

 

RAINFALL AVERAGES FOR APPLEBY (Castle Bank) 1881 -1915
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec YEAR MM's 81.3 75.2 68.1 49.5 55.9 58.2 80.3 83.8 64.3 88.4 84.3 100.6 889.8

 

 

RAINFALL AVERAGES FOR APPLEBY (Castle Bank) 1916 -1950
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec YEAR MM's 104.6 60.7 58.1 52.3 61.0 55.6 85.1 92.7 82.5 97.5 88.4 89.7 928.4

 

 

  

 Maximum Falls in 24 Hrs for Various Years.

  For the period 1865-67 the British Rainfall guides listed the maximum fall for a 24 hour period for all of the reporting stations and hence we have details of the wettest days in some years. After 1867 I have found very few entries, but then in 1961 the guides once again list the maximum falls - they are:

  1865  -    1.29" (32.8 mm) - 29th May

  1866  -    No Listing

  1867  -    1.10" (27.9 mm) - 7th January

  1873  -    2.66" (67.6 mm) - 18th January - this represented a somewhat high total of 9.2% of Appleby's annual total rainfall for that year.

  1901  -    2.50" (63.5 mm) - 12th November - this represented a somewhat high total of 8.8% of the annual total that year.

  1928  -    2.87" (72.9 mm) - 20th August - this represented 5.5% of the anual total.

  1961  -    12th July was the year's wettest day - Appleby Castle 33.3 mm and 35.6 mm at Highfield.

  1962  -    2nd April was the year's wettest day - Appleby Castle 33.5 mm and 31.8 mm at Highfield.

  1963  -    27th June was the year's wettest day - Appleby Castle 21.3 mm and 22.4 mm at Highfield.

  1964  -    8th December was the year's wettest day - Appleby Castle 43.4 mm and 42.2 mm at Highfield.

  1965  -    24th July was the year's wettest day - Appleby Castle 79.0 mm (8.7% of annual total) and 76.5 mm at Highfield.

  1966  -    different wettest days this year - Appleby Castle was 3rd Ocotber with 34.0 mm and Highfield had 41.0 mm on 1st December.

  1967  -    different wettest days this year - Appleby Castle was 22nd February with 35.0 mm and Highfield also had 35.0 mm but on 27th February.

  1968  -    different wettest days this year - Appleby Castle was 12th September with 52.0 mm and Highfield had 58.0 mm on 23rd March.

  2015  -    61.6 mm - 5th December - represents 4.92% of the annual total.

 

 Droughts.

  Following the meteorological definition of a drought, there will have been numerous droughts at Appleby over the years, first the definition and then the historic ones that I'm aware off:

  An 'Absoloute Drought' - is a period of at least 15 consecutive days to none of which is credited 0.2mm (0.01 inch) of precipitation and a 'Partial Drought' - Period of at least 29 consecutive days whose mean daily precipitation does not exceed 0.2mm

  1920 -    Absolute drought for a 19 day period of 13th to 31st October      and      a Partial drought for the 39 days of 6th Oct' to Nov' 13th, which had just 0.24" of rain.

  1921 -    Partial drought for 30 days, 1st Feb' to March 2nd, with 0.23" of rain      and      a second partial drought for the 35 days of 1st June to July 5th, with just 0.34" of rain.

 

  

Mr. J.F. Whitehead - Highfield

 

  There have been several other observers at Appleby over the years and possibly the most noteworthy was Mr. J.F. Whitehead who made observations from his home 'Highfield'. Initially after speaking to the family it was thought that he commenced his records about 1947, but in a 1961-1965 supplement to British Rainfall (Pb 1971 by HMSO) it actually shows that his rainfall records commenced in 1941. He continued his records upto his death in 1973.

  He kept both temperature and rainfall records and for the period 1958-1973 he was also an official rainfall observer for the Met' Office, his records are kept in their archive Ref: Highfield (station number: 598807, old station number: 3685/1) and he first appears in British Rainfall in 1958.

  He was also a correspondent for the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald and provided them with a brief monthly weather summary.

  Unfortunately his family do not what became of his own records, which they know were meticulously kept and would certainly be a good find in respect of the temperature records - if you do know please get in touch.

  In those editions of British Rainfall and the aforementioned supplement, Whitehead's average annual rainfall is quoted as 35.6 inch (904.2 mm). This compares to 36.5 inches at Castle Bank - less than an inch difference.

 

    1961 - Cold December

  Taken from 'The Cumberland and Westmorland Herald' on 3.12.2011. - their 'This week in history' section from 50 years ago

'This week saw the coldest night experienced at Penrith for over 20 years. The minimum temperature recorded at Queen Elizabeth Grammar school weather station was 3°F (-29 degrees below freezing point.) The last time the temperature dropped so low was in January 1940, when it reached zero (32 degrees of frost).

At Morland this week's weather has been even colder. The minimum registered on the thermometer of Mr. R. G. Thwaites, Lowergate, was minus 5°F (37 degrees of frost) at night.

At Appleby, Mr. J. F. Whitehead recorded a minimum temperature of 10F (22 degrees of frost) the lowest for many years.'

 

    1965 - Wet September

  Taken from 'The Cumberland and Westmorland Herald' on 3.10.2015. - their 'This week in history' section from 50 years ago

'Rain! rain! rain! This has been the interminable complaint during the past few days of Northern people. At Appleby the total rainfall for September was 4.73 in. - and 2.5 in. fell in the last seven days!

  I find this quite curious, July was wetter that year and included the year's wettest day and 120 mm (4.73") in a month isn't that notable, not even the 63.5 mm in seven days

 

 

  RANDOM YEARLY COMPARISONS

  Taking a few random years from the Rainfall Guides and to show how much drier Westmorland is to the east and north, we find some interesting points:

  1883 -   Reagill recorded 48.25 inches of rain, other nearby figures are: Shap (Sleddale) 86.00" - Shap (Copy Hill) 65.27" - Appleby 37.49" - Orton 62.42" - Ravenstonedale 47.14"

  1885 -   Reagill recorded 38.89 inches of rain, other nearby figures are: Shap (Sleddale) 81.45" - Shap (Copy Hill) 57.23" - Appleby 25.28" - Orton 54.62" - Ravenstonedale 37.04"

  1889 -   Reagill recorded 30.06 inches of rain, other nearby figures are: Shap (Sleddale) 52.20" - Shap (Copy Hill) 39.55" - Appleby 27.71" - Orton 39.68" - Ravenstonedale 31.83"

  1900 -   Great Strickland recorded 36.97 inches of rain, with Morland having 33.45" - Lowther Castle 33.80" - Shap Vicarage 46.22" - Ravenstonedale 51.98" and Appleby 31.30"

  1918 -   Morland recorded 43.01" with Ravenstonedale (The Chantry) having 62.61" - Appleby 43.47".

  1934 -   Morland recorded 35.75" with Appleby having 35.42" - Shap (Thornship Gill) 66.84" - Cliburn 32.63" - Temple Sowerby (The Grange) 29.47" - Ravenstonedale (railway stn) 46.25"

  1936 -   Morland recorded 40.27" with Appleby having 37.09" - Shap (Thornship Gill) 62.78" - Temple Sowerby 33.37" - Ravenstonedale (railway stn) 45.31"

 

   © Darren Rogers 2016

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