Meteorological drought and thunderstorms, June 2023

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Friday 9th June marked the end of Jersey’s 131st period of absolute meteorological drought since official records began at the Maison St. Louis Observatory. Absolute meteorological drought is defined as a period of 15 or more consecutive days with no measurable rainfall (<0.2mm each day).

The 25-day drought period began on May 15th but came to an end as showers from France moved across the Channel Islands during Friday afternoon and evening. 13 periods of drought lasting 25 days or more have been recorded since climatological records began in 1894 at the Maison St Louis Observatory.

Some much appreciated rainfall, in the form of showers, was recorded in Jersey between 10am on Friday 9th June and 10am on Saturday 10th June with a total of 2.2mm at the Maison St Louis Observatory, 2.6mm at Jersey Airport and 5.4mm at Howard Davis Farm in Trinity.

The images below, from the Channel Islands weather radar and, show the intensity of the thunderstorms and showers over Normandy, where temperatures were much higher than in the Islands. With a south-easterly flow, the severe thunderstorms tracked north-westwards towards the Channel Islands, however, as the thunderstorms moved over the cooler coastal waters between France and Jersey, the source of their energy was cut-off and they weakened. This led to much lower rainfall totals here in Jersey than nearby France. In comparison, Trelly, along the Normandy coast, recorded 36.4mm of rainfall in just 2 hours, with 23.8mm of this falling in an hour.

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