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Yet Another Met Office Fail

October 7, 2012
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood




On August 24th, the UK Met Office issued their 3-month outlook, which forecast

SUMMARY – TEMPERATURE: The balance of probabilities suggests that September will be slightly warmer than average.

It will therefore have come as no surprise that September in the UK turned out much colder than normal, in fact 0.7C colder than the 1981-2010 baseline, and the coolest since 1994. Incidentally, the CET numbers suggest the YTD figure is running close to the 30 year average for the year as a whole.




Still, maybe they fared better with their rainfall forecast.

SUMMARY – PRECIPITATION: For UK averaged rainfall the predicted probabilities weakly favour below normal values during September.



Woops! Rainfall was 17% above normal!

With this level of competence, do they seriously expect us to believe their predictions for the end of the century?

By the way, while we are looking at September’s weather, I really cannot allow the Huff Post to get away with the drivel that they print. They claimed that

Britain has been hit with the most extreme September weather for decades, with hundreds evacuated from their homes and fire and rescue teams battling against the floods to help residents of some of the worst-hit areas.

According to Philip Eden, one of the UK’s best known meteorologists, the heaviest rainfall recorded was 131mm over three days at Ravensworth, N Yorks. He points out that exactly the same amount of rain fell in a storm in September last year, although this was in the Scottish Highlands, where less damage was caused.

We can find a similar event in England in September 2008. As the Met Office map below shows, three  day rainfall was greater and more extensive, with areas of Northumberland exceeding 150mm ( see table here).





And if you really want an example of extreme September weather, you need to go back to 1968, which Philip Eden describes as “probably the most severe inland flood to hit the Home Counties in the last 100 years”. According to Eden, “a sizeable area covering much of Surrey, west Kent, southeast London and south Essex was deluged with more than 150mm of rain, and two rainfall-recording sites in Essex – Tilbury and Stifford – received slightly more than 200mm, which is more than they had had during the whole of the summer quarter.”

Still, when did the Huff let facts get in the way of a bit of propaganda?

  1. grumpydenier permalink
    October 7, 2012 5:13 pm

    Everything is ‘unprecedented’ isn’t it?

    • Hugh K permalink
      October 9, 2012 3:15 pm

      Indeed grumpy, not least being the ‘unskeptical’ scientist.

  2. Billy Liar permalink
    October 7, 2012 6:10 pm

    I posted this under ‘UK Summers Back to Normal’ but it seems to be appropriate to re-post it here:

    “From the Reading University Department of We Haven’t Got a Clue comes these gems:

    Dr Peter Stott, a climate scientist at the University Of Reading and co-author of the paper, said: “The paper is saying there is a significant human influence on global rainfall patterns and this includes an increase of precipitation north of 50 degrees northern latitude, an area that includes the UK.

    “In the UK wetter winters are expected which will lead to more extreme rainfall, whereas summers are expected to get drier.


    Recent warming in the Atlantic Ocean is the main cause of wet summers in northern Europe, according to a new study. A cyclical pattern of rising and falling ocean temperatures is seen as a major influence on our weather. Scientists say the current pattern will last as long as the Atlantic warming persists.

    The study was led by Professor Rowan Sutton, director of climate research at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of Reading.


    • October 7, 2012 6:18 pm

      Interestingly the recent trend has been to drier winters and wetter summers. While this is only for the last decade or so, it cast doubt on Stott’s models.

      • Billy Liar permalink
        October 7, 2012 11:31 pm

        Paul, I think they genuinely haven’t got a clue. They flounder around pretending that whatever the weather is doing it must be because of AGW.

        Here’s another recent gem:

        UK Outlook for Sunday 21 Oct 2012 to Sunday 4 Nov 2012:

        Indications are that through the end of October and into early November mixed autumnal weather will dominate across the UK. There will be some dry and bright periods, interspersed with showers or longer periods of rain. Overall the rainfall signal is for near normal amounts. Temperatures are likely to be generally close to average, but perhaps falling below normal towards the end of October, with some chilly nights possible and the risk of some wintry showers for upland parts of Scotland.

        Updated: 1237 on Sat 6 Oct 2012

        I call this ‘weather you can plan on’! It is almost totally content free: as though someone has gone out of their way to avoid committing themself.

  3. Christopher Korvin permalink
    October 9, 2012 6:52 pm

    Low cost weather forecast…Sometimes it rains and sometimes it doesnt.

  4. October 10, 2012 3:42 pm

    Apparently the Met Office’s new super computer allows them to get garbage in and garbage out much faster now.

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