The Climate around the Blackwater
The climate on the Essex costal region and around the Blackwater Estuary is notable different to the majority of the UK and even other parts of Essex. Being on the east coast with prevailing westerly winds, and low land, cloud thickness and rainfall are on average very low, resulting in sunshine levels that on average are higher. The phenomena is known as rain shadow effect. Extensive national and regional data is available from the Met.Office showing the history and variations in climate across the UK over a 30 year period, and this data has been interpreted to demonstrate its significance for the Essex coastal region...
total annual rainfall
lightest areas = least rainfall
(black: greater than 200cm white: less than 60cm)
total annual sunshine
darkest areas = most sunshine
(dark: greater than 640hrs white: less than 400hrs)
These two maps reveal that the immediate vicinity of
the Blackwater has the combination of both very low rainfall and
high levels of sunshine, comparable to the south coast. The two driest places
in the UK are recorded as St Osyth and Shoeburyness, both on the Essex coast.
The two driest gardens in the UK open to the public are Beth Chatto's Garden
at Elmstead Market and RHS Hyde Hall, again both in Essex. The total annual
rainfall recorded near Goldhanger in 2013 was 51.7cm. Here are some average
annual rainfalls in centimetres from the Met. Office website as a comparison:
National and regional weather forecasters rarely say "
..and it will be drier on the east coast", but often say "it will
be cooler on the east coast". However, the average temperature maps
available from the Met. Office and summarised below show that both the summer
and winter temperatures along the Essex coast are not significantly different
to those along the south coast...
average summer temperatures
darkest areas = warmest
(black: greater than 21oc white: less than 17oc)
average winter temperatures
darkest areas = warmest
(black: greater than 3oc white: less than 1oc)
and gardeners know that coastal areas benefit from the moderating effect of
the warmer sea, technically known as "maritime influence", and
estuaries bring that maritime influence further inland. Crops located near
the estuary, such as the orchards once all around Goldhanger village, were,
and still are less likely to suffer from frost damage. In addition, there is
the temperature effect of differing altitudes, giving a average reduction in
ambient temperature of about 2 degrees centigrade for each 100 metres of
elevation and making the low lying coastal region slightly warmer on average
than just a few miles inland.
The favourable local climate must have had a significant beneficial effects on several products and features in the neighbourhood, such as...