Looking good now
A trio of this spectacular Japanese acer is aflame in the Autumn Garden.
A trio of this spectacular Japanese acer is aflame in the Autumn Garden.
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Wettest year since records began, but the visitors were undeterred.

All we got for Christmas was... 800mm (and more) annual rainfall!
The Garden ended the year with a record 812.7mm of rain falling on our now saturated oasis in 2012. This is all the more remarkable when reminded that the first quarter of the year in fact ran below average.

But just as hosepipe bans were instigated all around but never actually on the Botanic Garden, the heavens opened. April, June and July all recorded in excess of 100mm of rain with July peaking at 130.3mm. The wettest day was 25 August, when 49.4mm fell in the 24 hour period.

The deluges added up to make 2012 the wettest year since our records began in 1899, with the 800mm marker passed for the first time in recent history on Christmas Day, and the eventual total of 812.7mm is far in excess of our 30-year average of 557mm . In fact only eight years in the last 113 have gone through even 700mm in annual rainfall:

2012 / 813mm
1903 / 776mm
1958 / 737mm
1924 / 728mm
1960 / 724mm
1950 / 720mm
2001 / 706mm
2000 / 704mm

Despite the regular torrents, visitors were undeterred and we welcomed just a fraction under 200,000 people into the Garden in 2012 to enjoy the landscapes and excellent plant collections. Dr Tim Upson, Curator and Acting Director, said:

"Whatever the weather there is always something to enjoy in the Garden. It was novel to see the lawns green and verdant throughout the summer, when we usually expect dry periods to leave them brown and dry. Some of the trees, too, have put on spectacular new growth and it's fun to think that this exceptionally wet year will be forever recorded in an especially wide tree ring marking the trees' 2012 growth.

This wet year demonstrates how weather extremes are becoming more common, challenging our horticultural team to be flexible in responding to testing conditions so as to ensure that the Garden continues to bloom."

For monthly weather write-ups from John 'The Weatherman' Kapor and for a table charting rainfall in the last five years, please visit the link left, Climate and Soils.
Publication Date
04/01/2013
Image ID 00285