Random rain on longest day

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Weather-wise the longest day is a bit random - but one vital statistic sticks out...

In Sheffield June 21 has been wet as many times as it has been dry over the last 132 years.

Since records began in 1882 66 June 21sts have been wet and 66 have been dry.

“To be honest the weather patterns for this particular day are as random as any other day,” said Alistair McLean, Curator of Natural Science at Museums Sheffield. “Quite a lot have had a little rain but the majority of wet days have had less than 1mm of rain.

“2007 was the last really wet one and that’s the one that helped lead to the Sheffield flood.

Other notable Longest Days:

n Warmest: 1941 - average temp 22.6c high of 29.5c

n Coldest 1903 - 3.3c

n Lowest maximum temperature 1883 - 12.2c

n Most sunshine hours: 1998 with 15.3

n Last zero sunshine hour day - 1997

n Wettest 1982 with 36.1 mm of rain

What does this tell us - if anything?

“It doesn’t look like that particular day is getting any warmer, drier, wetter or colder than they have ever been, although with the right, in-depth computer analysis weather patterns can be seen to emerge,” said Alistair.

“The Stevenson Screen weather centre - the white box on a stick in Weston Park - has been in operation since 1882, one of the oldest centres in the country.’’

So are we seeing climate change in Sheffield?

“The one thing you can see is the number of cloudburst events has risen - a cloudburst is when 50mm of rain or more falls in 24 hours. They have become more common.”

“Other than that it’s just the same old random English weather it seems!”