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May weather sets new records in Berkshire – University of Reading

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May weather sets new records in Berkshire

Release Date 31 May 2012

May has been a month of two halves for weather in Berkshire, as well as setting new records for high pressure and warm days, according to scientists at the University of Reading.

After a wet April, which brought some much-needed rain to the drought-hit south of England, May began with more sporadic rainfall, with 21.3 mm falling during the first 15 days and just 15.2 hours of sunshine in total until 10th May.

Some chilly weather also persisted, with the mercury failing to push above single figures on the 3rd, 4th and the 6th, and with below-average temperatures right up until the 20th.

Dr Roger Brugge, from the University of Reading's Department of Meteorology, said: "On the 12th we recorded the highest pressure in May for 60 years, with the barometer rising to just over 1038 mb thanks to an anticyclone off the south-west coast of Ireland."

After a cold 20th May, temperatures shot up, reaching 24.4 °C on the 22nd and peaking at 26.6 °C on the 27th, with temperatures staying high even at night, not dipping below 15 °C on the night of the 25th/26th.

Despite the chilly start, overall temperatures across the month were 0.5 °C above average and there were more days reaching above 25 °C this May than in any May in the past 50 years.

Even with the early rain, a distinct lack of rainfall in later weeks meant rainfall was below average for the month, with just 22.4 mm of rain falling in total by the morning of the 31st compared to the normal May total of 46 mm.


For more details contact Pete Castle at the University of Reading press office on 0118 378 7391 or  

Notes to editors:

Figures are for the University of Reading and are correct as of 31st May. Observations were made daily by Mike Stroud and other observers at the University of Reading climatological station.

The University of Reading is ranked among the top 1% of universities in the world (THE World University Rankings 2011-12), is among the top 20 universities in the UK for research funding, and has the joint best campus environment in the UK for students (THE Student Experience Survey).

The University is home to the Department of Meteorology, which is internationally renowned for its excellent teaching and research in atmospheric, oceanic and climate science. Reading is the only UK university to offer a full range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in meteorology, and 75% of the Department's research work has been graded as world leading or internationally excellent.

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