SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Indian Monsoon

  1. Top of page
  2. Indian Monsoon
  3. Flooding in Cornwall
  4. Mixed fortunes for our birds
  5. New academic partnership
  6. From the Editor
  7. Reference

Mumbai is the second most populated city in the world after Shanghai and is the commercial and financial capital of India. The city lies in the region of the annual monsoon, with its wettest months being the period between June and September. In the run up to June 2010 the city experienced severe water shortages which led to fights and some people going days without water. However, as June arrived, so did the rains and this year's monsoon proved extreme, with Mumbai seeing its wettest season since 1951. The average monsoon rainfall at Mumbai airport is 2300mm and it has only seen rainfall totals exceeding 3000mm in three seasons since records began (1958, 2005 and 2010). The wettest ever monsoon season was in 1958, when 3760mm of rain fell from June to September. 2010 saw the second wettest season with a total of 3330mm, coming through fairly steady falls during the season, in contrast to 2005, when a massive 944mm fell in one 24-hour period ending 0830 on 27 July.

The monsoon is a mixed blessing, inevitably bringing the potential for flooding, travel disruption, damage to infrastructure and a risk of diseases such as malaria and dengue. During any particularly severe events, and when the rains coincide with high tide in the Arabian Sea, the water cannot escape and the city floods. This happens on average up to a few times each season.

Flooding in Cornwall

  1. Top of page
  2. Indian Monsoon
  3. Flooding in Cornwall
  4. Mixed fortunes for our birds
  5. New academic partnership
  6. From the Editor
  7. Reference

There was a quite a range of notable weather during November, and you will find references to much of it elsewhere in this issue. Here we focus on one event which made the news: the mid-month flooding in Cornwall. Some motorists were trapped in their cars as flood waters rose to two metres in places and more than 100 homes were evacuated.

In the early hours of 17 November, a line of very intense rainfall developed within a slow-moving occluded frontal system. The heaviest rain fell between 0400 utc and 0700 utc: 45.0mm was recorded at Heligan (near Mevagissey) and 28.0mm at Luxulyan, north of St Austell, between 0400 and 0600. 30.8mm fell at St Clether (north of Bodmin Moor) between 0500 and 0700. The deluge led to a rapid run-off of surface water, overwhelming drainage systems and very quickly increasing river flows, for example in the River Fowey. The short, steep, rapidly-responding nature of Cornwall's river catchments make them particularly susceptible to flooding from this type of intense rainfall: the most dramatic example of this in recent years occurred at Boscastle on 16 August 2004.

(Information from the National Climate Information Centre and the Environment Agency).

Mixed fortunes for our birds

  1. Top of page
  2. Indian Monsoon
  3. Flooding in Cornwall
  4. Mixed fortunes for our birds
  5. New academic partnership
  6. From the Editor
  7. Reference

Provisional results from the British Trust for Ornithology's (BTO) Ringing Scheme show mixed fortunes for our birds in 2009/10. Their Constant Effort Sites scheme is a standardised ringing programme and has been operating since 1983. Its aim is to show trends on the British bird population for 25 species of common songbird.

The headline results show a significant downward trend in the abundance of several species, including the robin (27% reduction), wren (−20%) and greenfinch (−44%). The BTO suggests this may be as a result of the harsh 2009/10 winter, with long periods of frozen soil and snow cover over large parts of the country having a significant impact on ground-feeding species. Other factors, aside from the difficult weather conditions, may include disease. More positively, despite these reductions, in many cases the species' breeding productivity was up on the long-term average.

The BTO plans to publish the full results early in 2011. www.bto.org

New academic partnership

  1. Top of page
  2. Indian Monsoon
  3. Flooding in Cornwall
  4. Mixed fortunes for our birds
  5. New academic partnership
  6. From the Editor
  7. Reference

UK universities have teamed up with the Met Office in a new collaborative partnership which aims to bring together the country's leading weather and climate expertise. The universities of Reading, Exeter and Leeds all have distinct research capabilities and, under this new scheme, they aim to work on joint research projects and help the UK to lead the world in improving our understanding of weather forecasting and climate prediction. Amongst other things, they hope to use this knowledge to understand and mitigate the hazards of climate change and its impacts on the world's economies and societies.

More information is available here: www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/partnership

From the Editor

  1. Top of page
  2. Indian Monsoon
  3. Flooding in Cornwall
  4. Mixed fortunes for our birds
  5. New academic partnership
  6. From the Editor
  7. Reference

We start the New Year with this Special issue, comprising articles about severe winter weather, about which more on the next page. This issue also sees our newest Board member, Helen Roberts, take on the role of Book review editor, with the intention of a more comprehensive and immediate review of key books that are likely to be of interest to Weather readers. In part, this idea came from one of the first Editors of Weather, Oliver Ashford – which makes a neat link to our other Special issue, in May, when we commemorate 65 years of Weather, and in which there will be at least one short article by Oliver. That issue will feature several articles from the journal's earlier days about notable weather events, such as the winter of 1947 and the Lynmouth floods of 1952. In our other issues this year there will be an even wider range of material than usual, including articles on Meteorology and the Ancient Greeks and Meteorological phenomena in western classical orchestral music. There are several more articles to come in our From Observations to Forecasts series, which will be concluded at the end of the year. Articles with a maritime flavour feature strongly during the spring, including two on Mesoscale weather features over the Mediterranean by the prolific Jim Galvin. There will be articles on last summer's eastern European floods, the USA's biggest hailstone, and Gibraltar's climate – and much, much more including all the regular features such as Readers' Forum, weather photographs and a restyled Weather images page which will appear every month.

Reference

  1. Top of page
  2. Indian Monsoon
  3. Flooding in Cornwall
  4. Mixed fortunes for our birds
  5. New academic partnership
  6. From the Editor
  7. Reference
  • Golding B, Clark P, May B. 2006. The Boscastle flood: Meteorological analysis of the conditions leading to flooding on 16 August 2004. Weather 60: 230235.