Met Office get caught out by heavy rain in own backyard

Actual v Estimated

The results from NWP models these days are truly astounding, but just very occasionally weather services can get caught out even in the short range as were the UKMO, even in their own backyard, by a eighteen hours of heavy rain across Devon. They must have got a bit twitchy about it themselves, because at 0338 UTC they issued an emergency yellow warning for heavy rain. I can’t say just how accurate my rainfall radar estimates are up to 0735 UTC are across the south of Devon, because there are simply no SYNOP observations down there to compare them against, and even the AWS at the Met Office Exeter headquarters has been AWOL for sometime now. I also notice that the rain has spread much further north than was anticipated in the various forecasts I saw for yesterday. If my estimates of extreme totals in excess of 80 mm over Dartmoor are close to accurate, I would have thought this would cause flooding problems in the area this morning as the rain continues, or perhaps the ground is soaking up a lot of it up after the recent dry spell in April.

Courtesy UKMO

Here’s a closer look at the estimated totals in more detail.

Estimated accumulations from weather radar

And here’s a hyetograph for Kingsteignton to show how the rain fell hour by hour.

Estimated accumulations from weather radar

8 thoughts on “Met Office get caught out by heavy rain in own backyard”

  1. Your hourly total scale for Kingsteignton is a bit out – 82 mm falling in the hour beginning 1800?

    1. You should have gone to Specsavers…
      I can assure you that there is a decimal point between the 8 and the 2 even I can see it with my Poundland glasses.
      To cut down on the file sizes of jpg I have increased the compression which might not help you.

      1. Oops apologies, Bruce. I have taken my glasses off and had a squint and can see the decimal point 🙂

  2. Looking at your map I think I live in an area that is coloured white (a few miles from Moretonhampstead on a line just south of east), so an estimated 80mm plus in the time period. I think we had (AWS and slightly dodgy rain gauge) 50-60mm in that period – but the totals vary a lot over a short distance in what looks like my area.

    What I do wonder is are the figure on the map point totals or radar estimates? I know someone in Chudeigh who also measured ~50mm up until about 6.30 this morning and I know it rained more heavily in Kingsteignton.

    Whatever, while I like rain, it’s been raining since 2pm yesterday and it can stop now…

  3. “A fee miles *east* of Mortenhampstead…”

    How much is it per mile ??

  4. I know…Rule 1 – don’t dash a reply off if there’s no edit post feature…

    From dust and nothing growing to mud and cold growth in less than a week…now about 65mm of rain since 2pm yesterday

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