Rainfall 2019

Facts and figures behind 2019 rainfall

The rainfall chart for 2019 (click on the link to access the full chart and report on the website) makes for some surprising and dramatic reading: The total rainfall for the year exceeded 1000mm for the first time since the readings began being taken in 2005. This is 200mm more than the previous wettest year (2014) and over 300mm more than in 2018. The average for the previous 14 years is 675mm, this has been exceeded by 330mm.

The chart shows the monthly totals for every month from the last 15 years. In the 180 months shown there has only been one month wetter than October and November 2019 (June 2007), showing these were the second and third wettest months in 15 years! There has also never been three months in a row with 100mm+ rainfall before (this is effectively 4 months as December saw almost 100mm of rain).

The daily totals show that there were only 20 dry days in the period between late September and the end of November. This means the ground does not get chance to dry out because of continuous rain.

It cannot be said that a dry summer has allowed the ground to soak up all of this water as the summer was actually quite wet when you compare rainfall totals to previous years. However, the water table was still fairly low after a dry second half of 2018 and early 2019, and cracks that had appeared in the ground during this time did help to soak up a lot of this rain.

Bearing all this in mind, there would be an expectation that the course would be really wet and be showing signs of a lot of wear and tear.

This, however, is not the case. The course is generally dry in most areas, with just a few areas of standing water remaining and some evidence of standing water showing in a few places. The course was fully open until Thursday this week (after another inch of rain overnight Wednesday) and playing its full length, with just the winter tees in use that are there to allow the main tees to recover from summer wear.

This is testament to the work done on the course over the year to aerate areas of the course and reduce thatch levels.

It also shows the reasons for, and benefits of, using winter greens, winter tees or tees on fairways, roping and white lining areas, implementing carry only policies and closing holes or the entire course. Whilst none of these may not be popular at times; the recent spell of weather has made this necessary and the benefits of these are being seen now.

Steve Beverly
Head Greenkeeper
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13.05.2020 07:25
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