Oxford University researchers have recorded the wettest October day since daily rainfall records began at the Radcliffe Meteorological Station in January 1827. 60.0 mm of rainfall was observed in the rain gauge on Saturday 3rd October 2020, which was the sixth wettest day of the 70,000 days in the records, and the rainiest day in Oxford for over 47 years.
David Crowhurst, current doctoral researcher and Radcliffe Meteorological Observer, who took the rainfall measurement at Green Templeton College, said, "This astonishing rainfall amount was associated with the exceptionally intense Storm Alex low pressure system. The cumulative 72-hour rainfall total was 104.8 mm, which was also a new record for the Station."
The Radcliffe Meteorological Station, managed by the School of Geography and the Environment at the University, holds the longest series of temperature and rainfall records for one site in Britain. Daily records extend back to December 1813 for air temperature, January 1827 for rainfall, and February 1880 for sunshine hours.
Long weather records such as the Radcliffe record are primarily of benefit for climate research rather than weather forecasting. They provide a link between the abundant weather records of recent decades and those of the 18th and 19th centuries. They allow us to characterise today's weather in the context of the past and are especially important to allow us to understand how the natural environment is changing under global warming.
More information about the Radcliffe Meteorological Station is available on our website.