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January 2014 Rainfall Not So Unusual

February 13, 2014

By Paul Homewood


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Before anybody gets carried away with claims of “record rainfall” that we keep hearing about in the UK, let’s consider the facts.


In the UK as a whole, January was only tie 17th wettest month since 1910, with 183.8mm.

Relatively speaking, last month was wetter in England & Wales, but even there it was only the 16th wettest month, on the England & Wales Series, dating back to 1766 . Last month recorded 184.6mm, well short of the wettest month on record, October 1903, which had 218.1mm.

The table below lists the wettest months on the England & Wales series.


Month Precipitation
Oct 1903 218.1
Nov 1852 202.5
Nov 1770 200.8
Nov 1940 196.5
Dec 1876 193.9
Aug 1912 192.9
Aug 1799 192.1
Nov 2009 192.1
Dec 1914 190.8
Sep 1918 189.5
Oct 2000 188.0
Sep 1799 186.8
Dec 1868 185.6
Sep 1797 185.4
Dec 1915 184.9
Jan 2014 184.6


Interestingly, if you plot these months, they appear to be in clusters. Now, maybe that’s something Slingo should be looking at. (But I would not hold my breath).



  1. Roger Stroud permalink
    February 13, 2014 3:08 pm

    But rivers used to be dredged and now they are not. There has been significant deforestation which must make a difference. Also, in recent years houses have been built on flood plains. Giving foreign aid whilst saying it will help those countries to reduce CO2 levels does not make sense.

    • Me_Again permalink
      February 13, 2014 5:15 pm

      I don’t think they used to dredge back before steam engines became routinely deployed for industry. So I would say there would not have been significant dredging before 1870 -at a guess.
      I take your deforestation point. There is some EU directive for land that gives you a subsidy if you remove the trees and bushes. Since trees and bushes act as soak-aways, being 67% more efficient at this than grassland, it has to make a major difference to river volume.

  2. tom0mason permalink
    February 13, 2014 3:16 pm

    Could be worse, it might be the start of an event similar what happened at the beginning of the 14th century –

    • February 13, 2014 9:18 pm

      Seems related to solar minimums:
      Wolf minimum 1280 1350
      Spörer Minimum 1460 1550

      • tom0mason permalink
        February 14, 2014 10:07 am

        Now that is surely the heresy of thinking that climate has natural cycles. 97% of climoastrologists understand that climate is best described by straight lines on spreadsheets. Also climate has only just started, since about 1977 or so, and that everything before that is just poorly recorded weather events.

  3. February 13, 2014 3:57 pm

    Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    Record rain can happen at any point in the autumn or winter in UK

  4. February 13, 2014 4:03 pm

    Ah yes, there’s “record” rain, and then there’s “unprecedented” rain 🙂

  5. P. G. Berkin permalink
    February 13, 2014 4:14 pm

    Those other months achieved their records on a lot less evil CO2 as well.

    • February 13, 2014 5:35 pm

      P. G. Berkin permalink
      February 13, 2014 4:14 pm

      Those other months achieved their records on a lot less evil CO2 as well.

      Notice how only 3 of the events happened after 1950, the year the IPCC claims CO2 started having an impact …and all 3 of those happened after 1999, around when CAGW seems to have stopped.

      Now that’s irony

  6. February 13, 2014 7:01 pm

    Paul, thanks very much for this invaluable compilation that I will come to use and reference. While all this stuff is going on in England, we are having “unprecedented” snow fall in Scotland 😉

    Ski Scotland: another global warming paradox

  7. February 13, 2014 7:26 pm

    What is the source of the January HadUKP figure?

    As far as I can tell the MO data files haven’t been updated yet.

    • February 13, 2014 8:27 pm

      The daily figures are published. I gave up waiting for the monthly ones, son added them up myself!

      • February 13, 2014 8:37 pm

        Thanks, i should have thought of that!

        I presume the daily figures add up to the monthly ones and don’t get revised, like the daily CET figures.

  8. February 13, 2014 8:21 pm

    Reblogged this on CraigM350 and commented:
    So much for the warm air (from co2) aloft in the atmosphere meme the MetO and especially Slingo have been banging on about every time we get something out of the ordinary. Interesting you point to the clusters Paul, noted that myself in recent lookbacks at wet periods. The 1929/30 period you highlighted for Slingo may have eased somewhat into spring 1930 but the MetO monthly summaries contained many ‘wet’ headlines into 1931. The 1852 affair was a 5 month episode (not looked at the period either side of that yet). I suppose this is a continuation of 2012, with a dry pause in 2013, before the overarching pattern resumes. Not sure if this links but some very deadly floods in China are clustered around the same periods e.g. 1930s) highlighted. Suggests superficially the jetstream moving from our locale but essentially doing the same thing in another part of the Northern Hemisphere. The major positive is many previous floods had deaths in the 4-6 figure region not double digits like now.

  9. P. G. Berkin permalink
    February 13, 2014 8:54 pm

    Please excuse my ignorance if this is a daft question but can anyone tell me: does all this rain just fall into the sea in other years, where no-one measures it and no-one is bothered by it (apart from seafarers)?

    • February 13, 2014 9:32 pm

      Good point.

      When the rainbelt passes further north, a lot just falls into the Atlantic/North Sea, as it passes over the North of England or Scotland.

      As the South of England is much wider, more falls on land as it moves west to east (or even more so south to north)

      • P. G. Berkin permalink
        February 13, 2014 10:05 pm

        Thank you, Paul.

  10. February 14, 2014 12:59 am

    Reblogged this on greener.

  11. February 14, 2014 2:22 am

    Paul, you are giving insomnia to the Warmist – when they sleep less during the night – they have more time to think of new lies…

  12. February 14, 2014 11:13 am

    Looking at the rolling 30 year average January (HadUKP) rainfall, a cyclical pattern is apparent.

    These peaked in roughly 1796, 1865 and 1934, (mid. point of the average), indicating a roughly 70 year cycle which would next peak around 2004.

    February doesn’t show much of a pattern, but December shows two peaks in roughly 1818 and 1911 which would indicate another peak at roughly the same time.

    If this pattern hold true we might expect relatively high rainfall now and given the fact that the is a long-term upward trend in winter rainfall, i don’t know why the MO 3-Month Outlook forecasted a below average rainfall this winter.

  13. Phil permalink
    February 14, 2014 4:05 pm

    The following information has been completely missed by the press. It is the reason way a great deal of stress is being put upon ‘natural disaster’.

    The climate mayhem has been deliberately caused by the lunatics who think that AGW is real.
    Consequently the Jet and Gulf streams have been moved, possibly permanently by Geo-engineering. The weather now being experienced by the UK should be
    dissipating in the mid Atlantic as normal. It has been moved over the UK and Europe as a consequence of utter stupidity.

    The Government sponsored lunatics GeoEngineering our Climate were warned many times that what they were
    doing may PERMANENTLY change our climate. They had no idea what the consequences of their actions may be.

    Cameron and LibLabCon are well aware that this has been happening in plain view
    for 80 years. They and previous governments are responsible.

    You will find the lunatics here;

    Prof.Plimer explains climate here;

    Severe weather is being experienced worldwide. Spain, for example, has the same weather as the UK. The USA and Italy have very severe snow, all of which is being censored by our free press.

    More damning evidence – about 40 pumps worth of water being HELD BACK!!

    Somerset Levels’ Environment Agency Huntspill sluice CLOSED mid-tide 2pmSat25Jan2014

    Australian MP Anne Bressington explains the origins’ of AGW here.

    Training the Pilots

    HAARP is used for Climate warfare and can set off earthquakes apparently

  14. Richard Barraclough permalink
    February 19, 2014 2:21 pm

    I’d say the England & Wales rainfall for January WAS quite unusual. It was the wettest January in 249 years of records, wetter by 8mm than the next wettest (1948), and only 2 of the other 248 years came within 20mm of this year. It was the result of moderate amounts of rainfall nearly every day, rather than a single spectacular event skewing the total.

    All the wetter months were between August and December, perhaps implying that such extremely wet weather is less likely in the first half of the year.

    • February 19, 2014 4:59 pm

      The wettest month on average is October, and January is second wettest.

      Followed by Nov and Dec.

      There is not much difference between any of the four, though, and they are much wetter than Feb – Sep.

      So, no, you cannot differentiate between Jan and the other three months.

    • February 19, 2014 5:47 pm

      Unusual perhaps, but not significantly so.

  15. February 20, 2014 12:13 pm

    e-mail from greenpeace today!


    The public mood has massively changed over the last week: people are making the connection between the floods and climate change, putting the sceptics on the back foot.

    In just a few days nearly 40,000 of us have signed the petition calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to dump his climate change denying environment minister. Now is the chance to put climate change back at the heart of our national debate and isolate these dangerous climate sceptics. Please sign the petition now:

    We’re in the middle of a crisis, which the overwhelming majority of scientists and senior politicians are convinced is linked to climate change. So why is a climate sceptic in charge of the department responsible for responding to its effects? It would be absurd if the issue was not so serious.

    Cameron says he’ll do ‘whatever it takes’. That means having an environment minister that’s serious about climate change. Help us get to 50,000 – sign now:

    Even Cameron himself says he suspects the floods are linked to climate change, and “money is no object” when it comes to flood defences. It’s increasingly embarrassing for him to have an environment secretary who doesn’t even believe the problem exists, and who cut funding to 1400 flood defence projects, in areas now under water.

    Cameron is vulnerable right now on climate change and he knows it. The more of us who can show we’re serious about protecting our climate and stopping extreme weather, the more likely he’ll be forced to act.

    Let’s pressure Cameron to get the sceptics out of government. We can reach 50,000 signatures today:

    It’s high time this government got serious about climate change, its causes and its devastating effects.



    I hadn’t detected a massive change in public mood?

    Needless to say, I won’t be signing their petition!


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