Britain gets more extreme weather

by Richard on June 26, 2007

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.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Greg Wiley 06.26.07 at 12:20 pm

Hi Richard,

I hope your mum’s okay. My mum also lives in Sheffield, though fortunately she lives on top of one the hills. She told me last night that the power has been out and communication has been difficult with both land and mobile phones, so I guess base stations and exchanges have been hit.

The BBC have some incredible pictures and youtube has some video if you search for “sheffield flooding”.

Cheers, Greg.

2

Richard 06.26.07 at 12:41 pm

As I say,I’m sure she’s fine. My mum lives up a hill too! It looks like the roads at the bottom of her hill are closed though and so far I’ve not been able to get in touch with her.

3

Kim 06.27.07 at 3:59 pm

I now expect a deluge of Jehovah’s Witnesses to turn up, suggesting that biblical prophecies are now being fulfilled - and in Sheffield of all places!
(No offence meant to disgruntled of Sheffield, only to the JWs!)

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