Six months worth of rain in just seven weeks – is it a record?

Gadebridge Park flooding. Feb 2014. Picture by James Mcloughlin.
Gadebridge Park flooding. Feb 2014. Picture by James Mcloughlin.

Weather buff Stephen Wilson, who has been monitoring the elements from his back garden for 35 years, is unsurprisingly reporting record rainfall.

The former geography teacher of Hollybush Lane, Hemel Hempstead, says that in just seven weeks we’ve endured almost half a year’s worth of rain.

Overnight last Thursday his garden gadgets recorded 28.4mm – over an inch – of rain, which explains why many awoke to flooding and the River Gade had swamped Gadebridge Park.

Stephen, who is also secretary of the Friends of Gadebridge Park, said: “The river simply had no way of containing this as water poured off roads and fields. To give a bit more perspective to the current weather, my records for Warners End show that we have received 350mm of rain since December 15. In just seven weeks we are approaching the average rainfall for what would normally occur in half the year.

“I suspect that further rain this weekend and next week will certainly take us to that half year total if not beyond.

“In my 35 year record we have never had such an intense and prolonged period of rain.

“December had 150 per cent and January more than 200 per centof normal rainfall.

“We had the average for February in the first week!

“With the ground now so saturated it seems likely that any further heavy periods of rain will be followed by more local flooding.

“On this occasion no additional management of the Gade would have helped.

“The river has simply done what most rivers do and flooded its floodplain.”