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Meteorology Newsletter Autumn, 2015

Our July Meteorology Section meeting was held in the Jersey Met Department at the Airport, where acting Principal Met Officer John Searson gave a talk.  His theme was past and present working methods and how they are likely to evolve, as even more stringent austerity measures are put in place and everyone in government is required to do more with less.  He spoke of the use of the Office web pages on the States website and social media such as Twitter.  These outlets put warnings, forecasts and other information in the public domain quickly and efficiently, resulting in less forecaster interruptions.  John was on duty and interrupted from time to time as fog to the north advanced and eventually enveloped the airfield.  It was a good demonstration of how weather conditions can change quite quickly.    

The summer weather has been changeable.  Fortunately the Natwest Island Games were favoured with generally fine weather and several hot days.  The maximum of 33°C on the 30th was the highest ever in June and hottest day there since 2006. 

Thunder and rainfall featured in August.  On the 11th a cold front wavering over the island dropped 29.3mm at a private station near Le Bourg but less than 10mm in the west.  The next day, thunder and lightning reached the island in the early evening, with a spectacular lightning display towards midnight, flashes averaging at least one per second for well over an hour.  It was accompanied by bursts of heavy rain, which produced impressive totals; Airport 21.0mm, St. Louis 46.2mm and Howard Davis Farm 50.6mm and at Le Bourg an exceptional 60.8mm.  On average a daily total of 60mm is only experienced about once in 20 years.  A cluster of storms brought another 25 to 35mm of rain to the island on the night of the 22nd.

The August St. Louis total of 163.3mm was the third wettest on record and wettest since World War II, but near Le Bourg 183mm was recorded while further west the totals were a little lower. 

The photograph shows a roll cloud spotted south of the island early evening on 15th July.  It lasted over 40 minutes and drifted slowly west.

 

Frank Le Blancq

Chairman – SJ Met Section

2 Sept 2015

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