Revision and extension of the composite Carlisle rainfall record, northwest England: 1757-2012

Todd, B, Macdonald, N ORCID: 0000-0003-0350-7096 and Chiverrell, RC ORCID: 0000-0002-7307-2756
(2015) Revision and extension of the composite Carlisle rainfall record, northwest England: 1757-2012. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLIMATOLOGY, 35 (12). pp. 3593-3607.

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A 256-year composite monthly rainfall record representative of the lowlands around Carlisle, northwest England is presented, providing the third longest instrumental record of rainfall available in the UK and expanding the sparse network of long homogenous rainfall series. This article describes the construction of the rainfall record for the period 1757-2012 and presents analyses of long-term annual and seasonal variability, with a particular focus on wet/dry extremes. Three primary rainfall records from Carlisle underpin the reconstruction, with others selected based on length of record and proximity to the primary recording stations. Linear regression and adjustment factors were applied to create a homogenous continuous rainfall record, assessed by cross-comparison with other long-term UK rainfall records. Double-mass curve and standard normal homogeneity tests using long records representative of Manchester and Appleby confirmed that the Carlisle record is homogenous, but includes a period of uncertainty during the period 1886-1911, which is within the recognized instrumental phase of recording. Analysis of the series shows long-term temporal rainfall variability, with seasonal rainfall totals showing a significant increase in winter rainfall. An increasing trend in annual rainfall was also identified but is not significant. Several previously documented notable extreme wet (e.g. winter 1834) and dry (e.g. summer 1995) seasons were identified, along with several additional seasons (e.g. winter 1764 and summer 1891) that can be considered as extreme and occurred during the more poorly understood 18th and early 19th centuries. These results allow recent extremes to be placed within the context of long-term natural variability. At the decadal timescale seasonal rainfall totals are highly variable. The wettest season fluctuates between autumn and summer until the late 20th century (1990s), when winter became wetter than any other season for the first time on record.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: rainfall construction, rainfall time series, long-term variability, Carlisle, northwest England
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2016 11:51
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2022 16:01
DOI: 10.1002/joc.4233
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