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1929 – The Most Extreme Year On Record For Rainfall

October 5, 2014

By Paul Homewood


The Met Office have claimed that claimed that last month was the driest on record since 1910 for the UK.

Although no figures are yet out for the longer running England & Wales Series, which dates back to 1766, separate data for England and for Wales suggest that this year will rank either 5th or 6th driest, with the driest September in 1959.


Last month stands in stark contrast to the wet start to the year, but for a real contrast you need to look back to 1929.






According to the British Rainfall Publication for that year:





The first nine months of the year were in fact the driest such period since records began in 1766, and remain so to this day, as the chart below illustrates.




This record dry spell was followed by the wettest sequence of four months on record for any months of the year. (2013/14 ranks only in 5th place).




Note also the reference to 1879/80, when a “remarkably dry winter followed one of the wettest summers on record

In those days, they recognised it was just a case of nature at work. I wonder what Julia Slingo would blame these extremes on if they had happened this year?

  1. October 5, 2014 4:53 pm

    Interesting, perhaps, to note that, indeed, rainfall just swings like the pendulum of a clock, with time actually causing the in reverse trend

  2. October 5, 2014 5:56 pm

    I know the “law of averages” doesn’t really exist (at least not in the unnatural world) but rainfall tend to average out in the long term.

  3. October 5, 2014 6:53 pm

    Yes, but there is good reason for it seemingly swinging like the pendulum of a clock.
    I am disturbed to find my initial comment missing, after all my work this afternoon on the results from the metoffice.

  4. David permalink
    October 5, 2014 7:51 pm

    “The Met Office have claimed that claimed that last month was the driest on record since 1910 for the UK.”

    I hadn’t noticed that, even though I’d already uploaded the September data. Of course I’d noticed that it was the driest September for the UK, but it never even occurred to me to check the other months. I must be slipping.

    So far in 2013/14 we’ve seen the wettest winter on record and now the driest month. The Jan-Sept period in 2014 is also the warmest Jan-Sept period. We Brits go on about the weather for good reason!

    • David permalink
      October 5, 2014 8:05 pm

      Hold on a second, I hadn’t noticed it because it’s not true. The driest month in the UK record was February 1932. Loads of other months have seen lower rainfall than September 2014.

      So I stand corrected re the above.

      • October 5, 2014 8:44 pm

        I think Paul must have meant the driest September.

      • October 6, 2014 11:12 am

        Sorry for the confusion. I was referring to the driest September

  5. Green Sand permalink
    October 5, 2014 10:01 pm

    Weather Watch – Philip Eden – Sunday Telegraph – 5th Oct 2014

    “September …….. Over all it was the warmest September since 2006 and the driest over England and Wales since 1959, and UK wide it was the driest since before 1910.

    The England and Wales rainfall series stretches back to 1766, and the only drier Septembers occurred in 1795, 1804, 1865 and 1959 – ……

    …….Notably, September was slightly warmer than August, something that has only happened three times in the last 100 years……..

    Lot more in the article but it does not appear to be on line.

  6. mkelly permalink
    October 6, 2014 1:15 pm

    Paul says: “The Met Office have claimed that claimed that last month…”

    Paul I think the words “claimed that” need to be removed for this sentence.

  7. October 7, 2014 2:57 pm

    Bruce at xmetman is also looking at this and has 1959 drier with 2014 6th going back to 1766.

    In 2012 we also went from drought to deluge and we swung from the 76 drought to deluge that September (400% of average).

    Cherry picking stats to sex them up seems to be the MetO’s modus operandi…and still not a word on record Antarctic sea ice, yet the 6th lowest Arctic ice was of course worthy.

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