|Title||The natural history of the Slapton Ley National Nature Reserve XXII: the climate of Slapton Ley|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2001|
|Authors||Burt TP, Horton BP|
Meteorological observations have been carried out at Slapton Ley Field Centre since April 1960; this paper reviews the first four decades of that record. The ecological richness of the Slapton Ley National Nature Reserve relates in large part to its climate, which is very favourable by British standards: mild and wet with few frosts and minimal snowfall. Since 1960, the Slapton climate has become noticeably warmer, especially in winter. Rainfall has tended to be more strongly seasonal in its distribution, with a tendency towards wetter winters and drier summers; there have been some major droughts, the one in 1975-76 being the most extreme and protracted. A number of the observed changes in climate, with the exception of rainfall, can be related to a strengthening of the westerly circulation in the North Atlantic since 1960.