Science - September 15, 2011

So much for summer

The wettest day of this summer in Wageningen was Thursday 14 July when the town received more than 29mm of rain.

And that is a lot, in fact nearly 10 percent of the rainfall for the whole summer, as shown by data from the Meteorology and Air Quality chair group's weather station. The total rainfall for June, July and August in Wageningen was 381mm: above the national average (see graph), and well above normal. ‘Normally we get that much rain in six months', says meteorologist Bert Heusinkveld. ‘And the Netherlands doesn't have a rainy season, so this is an awful lot.' But things could always be worse. In Herwijnen on 28 June there was 100mm of rain in 24 hours, 79mm of it in one hour. The summer was not just wet but also exceptionally cloudy. The sun only shone in Wageningen for 489 hours. Which is 40 hours (a whole working week!) less than the national average. And in a normal summer we can count on 120 hours (three working weeks) more sun than we enjoyed this year. The temperatures were no better. Only on two days at the end of June did the thermometer go about 30 degrees Celsius. And most of us were still hard at work then.

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