Annual Precipitation: 1910-2012
Annual precipitation as a percentage of 1961-1990 average1
The average annual precipitation in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s was higher than in previous decades, particularly the 1970s, which contained several years with below average rainfall. Annual precipitation in 2012 was 15% above the 1961-1990 baseline.
The average winter precipitation in the 1990s and 2000s was around 23% higher than the 1961-1990 baseline, compared to the 1960s which was around 9% lower. In 2012, the winter precipitation was 41% greater than the baseline, the 10th highest winter precipitation recorded in the period 1911-2012. Summer precipitation has not differed as much; average summer precipitation in the 1990s was 4% below the 1961-1990 baseline and in the 2000s 15% above the baseline. In 2012, summer precipitation was 39% higher than the baseline.8
Climate change will have an effect on all weather patterns in Scotland. The UK Climate Projections scenarios indicate that while the amount of annual precipitation will remain about the same, it is likely that winters will be wetter and summers will be drier. For example, projected changes5 in the region Scotland East are a decrease in summer months7 precipitation of 17% (-33% to 0%) and an increase in winter months6 precipitation of 12% (1% to 25%). Precipitation changes have several implications for Scotland, affecting water resources, flood and drought risk and habitat loss.
Email: Callum Neil