Hi Sebastian

interesting post.  Your rainfall figures are higher than mine at Steyning. Are you using a Met office approved 5 in dia gauge? And you may be at a higher elevation  than me?
Automatic weather station raingauges are often mounted in non standard positions and readings are not strictly comparable with Met Office exposure eg look at the rain recorded on the Shoreham Beach Weather Stn site. 
Here at Steyning (400metres N of  the Downs at 30 m asl)  in winter we can get 1/3 more rain than at Worthing on the lea side and 1/3 more than sites 2 mile inland .ie the air rising over the Downs condenses out and produces more rain and we are still in the cachment area for it. 2 mile further inland the rainfall is back to where it was at the coast. Areas north of the N Downs are a lot drier.
 As an average guide over a year  for  1931-60  my rainfall map gives 35-37.5 in for the Downs from  Lewes to the Adur ,
35in Steyning- Amberley,  35-40in for Storrington - Winchester.  Sebastian's site looks at about 37.5 in
 We are often warmer at night than Shoreham Airport  in SW to NW winds, up to 5c even. On foggy days down below it is often sunny on the tops.
You station must be susceptible to considerable local weather variations as well?.
This wet spell is notable for its length with little break since 13 Dec.. The flooding of the Adur and Arun floodplains is quite common and although this winter's rain has just beaten the local record since 1923 and possibly beating 1914/15 ,  it  is way behind the Oct+ Nov+Dec total of 2000 when Oct was particularly wet. Here at Steyning we are getting less heavy showery rain from troughs and active cold fronts than places more inland.. Usually there are more deep warm sectors  giving us  copious orographic rain which drops off rapidly with distance from the coast.This season Horsham and Hurstpierpoint are well ahead of me in the rainfall stakes eg 20-40mm more each month.
Hurst also recorded more than me in Oct 1987 and 2000.  What clouds the autumnal rain is the showery contribution. 3 times since 1985 I have experienced at Small Dole, south of Henfield, the most violent rain in all my life - probably 2 inches at least in an hour ;but 2 mile away much less. Hurst recorded 70mm that day in Oct 1987.
There is a lot of weather info in our area from 1991 back into the mid 1800's including Tottington Barn and Butser Hill but more recent local weather is difficult to obtain . I can direct you to sources of past info if you like. It might be possible to get  readings from the Environment Agency  
I communicate regularly with Horsham, Hurstpierpoint and Coombes (Lancing) weather stations and exchange rainfall.
A comprehensive  UK weather summary is from  COL (Climatological Observers Link) . The Met Office site does detailed maps.
John Killick

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Comment by John Greves on February 17, 2014 at 22:11

Hang on .... we were all taught this sort of thing at Steyning Grammar School 60 years ago along with diurnal effect of Sea Breezes.

Later problem was convincing a junior Farm Manager that he was not going to get 2000 bales on a day when weather "on top" was very different from that "down below". Serious barn fire due to spontaneous combustion taught him  a lesson he would never forget ... took days to put that out.

Steyning Bowl popular with Air Sports enthusiasts for its interesting micro-climate .... Shoreham Airport more interested in cloud base for getting its guys back to base under VMC rules.

Farmers will also want to know when to irrigate sensitive crops and whether it is safe to spray herbicides etc.

Remote interrogation of automatic weather sensors probably more useful than a standard Met Office instrument that needs to be hand read and protected from interference.

Had a feeling original intent was rather more social than technical, especially in the current farming climate.

Comment by Skylark on February 23, 2014 at 17:55
Skylarks "prefer"(RSPB) not to migrate. However, this year I took to the wing and am currently 4,116 miles, as the lark flies, due south west. I am making friends with humming birds at ground level. Very beautiful little flyers. However, the thermals are terrific and I have reached heights previously unknown to me ! (The type of thermals I was needing to use in Uk this year were not becoming).
I shall be back.

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