Penzance 1st F8 gale since October - 93mph Gwennap Head!

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Graham Easterling

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Mar 31, 2023, 4:38:24 AM3/31/23
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Well, that was a noisy night. The first gale of the year here in Penzance, strongest gust of the year at Gwennap Head. >70mph recorded even away from the coast at some spots in SW Cornwall. This on the Kernow Weather Group
"93mph gust of wind was recorded at Gwennap Head at 5.57am this morning wow, our weather station based in Illogan had 74.9mph"

Plenty of homes lost power. Nevertheless the strongest winds of the year so far. The entire Jubilee Pool in Penzance is shut this morning due to the conditions, the weather never caused the site to be closed during the whole of the winter.

These little depressions passing just to the north, always affect the tip of Cornwall badly, as the winds are squeezed around the Lands End peninsula, always giving some extreme conditions at Gwennap.  Though not normally as bad as March 2008 http://www.sennen-cove.com/10march08.htm (Any excuse, but it was the weather event of my life, even if nowhere east of Cornwall was affected & therefore got minimal news coverage).

Luckily the severe gale area over the sea was too small & quick moving to generate a powerful swell. Although it touched 20' at Sevenstones it was locally generated, very short period & speed, & lacked real power. Also the tides are small, and the peak swell was near low tide.

So a bit of excitement without too much damage done.

Graham
Penzance


Graham Easterling

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Mar 31, 2023, 5:02:16 AM3/31/23
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Just checking the rainfall for the 6 months October-March. It's been wet, we've had 779mm of rain. That's exactly the same as the 779mm for the YEAR ending June 1992. Unsurprisingly the local reservoirs are full, and have been pretty much so since January. So why are we under drought orders when the water is pouring over our local reservoir into the sea, and why is Colliford on Bodmin Moor so low?

Graham
Penzance

Len

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Mar 31, 2023, 6:19:38 PM3/31/23
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They pipe it from the large reservoirs to the small ones Graham.
That's why.

Len Wood

Graham Easterling

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Apr 1, 2023, 9:10:04 AM4/1/23
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As someone in a drought area I received this a few hours ago.

A Hosepipe Ban remains in place across Cornwall

Thank you for everything you’ve been doing to help reduce demand since last summer to help Stop the Drop.  Your help allowed us to get Colliford reservoir to 30% by the end of 2022. 

Since then, the South West has continued to receive lower than normal levels of rainfall, and we remain in drought following some of the driest conditions in nearly 90 years. 

It is, of course, completely incorrect on all levels. Apart from the fact I've recorded more rain in the last 6 months, than I have in the past recorded in over 12 months, the MetO anomaly charts show a wet November, normal rainfall over the 3 winter months, and a very wet March. I was so irritated at being asked to save water I went 3 miles up the road to take this photo (it's similar at Stithians now)

DriftSm.jpg

Water gushing over the central overflow, as it has since mid January, they still felt under an obligation to pay me to save water.

In fact this is quite interesting, not quite up to date but. .

2023-04-01 14_00_44-Capture.png
There are others.

Roadford always takes a while to fill, but not normally Colliford. All the others are basically full. In fact Wimbleball, which is larger than Colliford is full.
Why can't they be honest & accept it's a Colliford problem, and have drought orders for just SE Cornwall which is reliant on it?

Still, SW Water have reduced the number of sewage incidents by dramatically reducing the number of monitoring stations over the winter, so some good news.

Graham

Len

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Apr 1, 2023, 12:42:40 PM4/1/23
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To be sure of how short of rainfall we have been we need to look over the period when the below average monthly rainfall period began.
I have looked at my rainfall figures from Dec 2021 to March 2023. A period of 16 months.
We are still below average for that period by 56.5 mm.
The first graph below shows how much monthly rainfall has been below or above average.
The second graph neatly shows how the deficit in rain built up to Oct 2022 and then recovered somewhat until the very dry Feb.
The recent wet March has now helped a lot but we are still 56.5 mm from breaking even.

I would be interested Graham, and anyone else, to see a similar analysis with monthly rainfall figures for their location.
Monthly rain deficits.png

Monthly cumulative rain deficits.png
Len
Wembury, SW Devon

Graham Easterling

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Apr 2, 2023, 7:28:37 AM4/2/23
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Hi Len,

No graph but, this is the running 12 month annual rainfall, calculated at the end of each month

2023-04-02 12_14_58-Capture.png

So the running total is now at the highest point since November 2021

Normal annual rainfall (1991-2020) is 1254mm, so there is still a small rainfall deficit. However, many recent years have been relatively wet. The 1961/90 official annual rainfall was 1140mm.

There have also been other much drier periods.

Publication1.jpg 

So the 12 months to March 2012 the running annual total was 873.9mm, substantially lower than the last 12 months, with no water restrictions.

Graham
Penzqnce

Graham Easterling

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Apr 2, 2023, 7:40:14 AM4/2/23
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Of course, the main thrust of my post is why we've have water restrictions in an area where the reservoirs are full and have been for some time. For some reason there seems a specific issue affecting Colliford, and the restrictions should be limited to the area served by that reservoir. 

Graham
Penzance

Len

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Apr 2, 2023, 6:30:30 PM4/2/23
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As I was pointing out Graham, SWW pipe water from the big reservoirs to the smaller ones.
I know this as fact for Roadford which is only 61% but supplies Burrator which is 99.6%.
Not sure about Colliford but note this is only 53% maybe supplying Stithians which is 91.8%.

Cornwall is a smaller county than Devon and has a smaller river catchment.
With your huge influx of tourists each summer SWW are worried about having enough water.
Perhaps a bit silly, I think there is wastage going as well.
With increased water usage they need to build new reservoirs (none built since the 80s) instead of lining their pockets with profits from the consumers.

Len
Wembury

Graham Easterling

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Apr 3, 2023, 7:02:56 AM4/3/23
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Stithians is actually overflowing, SW Water currently show it as 98.5% full. So if they are pumping water into a reservoir, that's been essentially full since late January,  from a half empty reservoir, it beggars belief.  In fact, if they are pumping water out of Colliford at all why - given that almost all the smaller reservoirs are overflowing (see list in my earlier post.) I know for a fact there is no ability to pump water in /out of Drift, still the overflow is being used for white water kayaking, the kayaks bought by the handouts paid to us for saving water during the period it was overflowing.

I agree totally agree with your last sentence. In my little email from SW Water, it said it's been the driest period for 90 years. You couldn't make it up, well there's no need to, they do the fiction.

Just a bit of honesty, and some sort of attempt to genuinely explain what's happened at  Colliford, would be nice

Graham
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