North eastern Britain was hit by torrential rain yesterday causing severe flooding. The city of Sheffield appears to have been the most affected, with a month’s worth of rain falling in a few hours. The M1 motorway has been closed and 250 people evacuated from their homes after cracks appeared in a dam. At least 3 people have lost their lives.
My mother lives in Sheffield. I’m sure she’s OK, but I haven’t been able to get through to her yet and I won’t pretend I’m not anxious.
Of course, it isn’t possible to link a single weather event like this to climate change. But doesn’t it feel to you that the weather is getting more and more peculiar? Hardly a month goes by without some weather record being broken: wettest, warmest, coldest, windiest — and it seems to be true everywhere. When climatologists talk about average rises in temperature of 1 or 2 °C, we shrug because it doesn’t sound that important. Weather like last night’s should remind us that averages can disguise some wild extremes.