Third driest year – and 16% more sun

2 year old MIQUELLE SANCHEZ  fom Gleadless enjoys the Peace Gardens fountain
2 year old MIQUELLE SANCHEZ fom Gleadless enjoys the Peace Gardens fountain
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SHEFFIELD has recorded its third driest year since records began in 1882.

And it saw the mildest ever November as part of the second warmest autumn on record – “a veritable Indian summer”, according to Sheffield Weather Station at Weston Park. October 1 saw temperatures soar to 27.4C, which was 168% above average.

The annual statistics from the weather station indicate the city had a much warmer and drier year than normal – but with a letdown at the height of the summer.

Every month was warmer than on average, apart from July and August.

Overall, the weather in 2011 was “fairly benign with a snow-free winter, a very pleasant spring, a dry summer and a warmer than average autumn,” says the weather station, which is run by Museums Sheffield.

Over the year, there was 16% more sunshine than normal, mean temperatures were 13% above average and there was 32% less rain.

“The long dry periods had a very noticeable impact on gardens, farms and reservoirs but didn’t lead to widespread drought orders locally.

“The last year with such low rainfall was 1975, which led to major water restrictions in the following dry summer of 1976.”

lYorkshire Water says reservoir levels have risen by nearly 20% since the end of November.