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Wet Winters!

March 11, 2014

By Paul Homewood


I have been drawing attention, with great regularity recently, to the comparison of this winter’s rainfall with October to January periods in earlier years.

It has been suggested that this is not a meaningful comparison, and that I should not describe periods starting in October or November as “winter months”.


The first thing to bear in mind is that serious scientists use the well established concept of hydrological years, which start in October, as the traditional concept of calendar years and seasons is irrelevant as far as precipitation is concerned.

Water UK, the water industry body, for instance, have this to say:


The ‘Hydrological New Year’ occurs on 1st October (in the Northern Hemisphere) and it’s the point when the hydrological cycle is in balance. After 1st October rainfall starts to fill up the water reserves in the ground, until 1st April (middle point of the Hydrological Year), when evaporation starts to deplete this stored water. This carries on until 1st October, when it starts to replenish, and the cycle begins again.


This is also the reason that NOAA provide analyses by hydrological year, for instance.




Clearly the use of a hydrological year precludes the use of normal seasons, as it starts in the middle of autumn.


But don’t take my word for any of this! The Met Office themselves have recognised this fact for many years, and used to use two six-monthly periods, one for “winter half year” and one for “summer”, for analysis of rainfall. (The winter half being October to March).

For instance, in their British Rainfall publication for 1914-15, they have this section:




They even have maps for each half year.




And tables.




But, most of all, they did exactly what I have done, and described and compared various runs of months, between October and March, as “winter months”.






Even in their final British Rainfall published for 1991, they still used the same analysis of half years.




So I will repeat my claim, using the Met Office’s own standards, that according to the England & Wales Rainfall Series:

 The winter of 1929/30 had by far the wettest run of months.Over the last four months, we have had 534.3mm, but between October 1929 and January 1930, precipitation totalled 624.3mm.



Meanwhile, I would invite the Met Office to show a bit of objectivity and honesty, just for once, and update this table. Does anybody recommend I hold my breath?



  1. A C Osborn permalink
    March 11, 2014 6:51 pm

    Paul, they can just get away with saying it any way they want, including outright lying, because the general MSM let them get away with it.
    Only a few reporters and the Blogs like yours are doing anything to try and stop them, but all the time the MSM goes along with it they will continue to do so.

  2. A C Osborn permalink
    March 11, 2014 6:52 pm

    Have you been following the lies spoken by the warmists at the Climate Change Committee as reported on Bishop Hill and elsewhere?

  3. March 11, 2014 7:58 pm

    Reblogged this on CraigM350 and commented:
    The weather (and seasons) must obey the Met Office dictats stopping abruptly on the 1st of the designated month.

    Personally I view the year in two six month blocks roughly bisected by the equinoxes. Even then mother nature pays scant attention to my whims! 😉

  4. March 12, 2014 6:05 am

    English, count your blessings that you have abundant rainfall – with concentration of population as England is – if you had the same amount of rainfall per hectare as Australia -> in England would have being bigger famine than in Ethiopia and more flies than in Australia
    inconvenience of rain / floods for few days in a year is easier to tolerate than prolong droughts.

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