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More Misleading Claims From The Met Office

November 7, 2014

By Paul Homewood 





It seems the Met Office are touting for the “wettest or second wettest year since records began” nonsense, even though we are only up to October.

However, as is often the case with them, you have to pay attention to what they don’t tell you. It may so far be the second wettest on record back to 1910, but, as we all know, they have the much longer England & Wales Precipitation Series, dating back to 1766.

As you might have suspected already, this shows their claim to be rather hollow.




On this dataset, this year so far only ranks as 19th wettest, with 900mm. The wettest January to October was in 1782, which clocked in with 1026mm. Such years were relatively common during the 18th and 19thC, with four years topping 1000mm.


March to October

There is also an implication that the rest of the year, since the winter, has been unusually wet. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth, as March to October has been just about as normal, rainfall wise, as it is possible to get.




Since February, there has been 579mm of rain, against the mean of 590mm. Out of 249 years, it ranks 132nd wettest.  



Met Office

This is not the first time that the Met Office has made misleading claims to support an agenda, based on selective use of the data it has available.

For any scientific body, never mind a taxpayer funded one, this is simply not acceptable. We deserve better.

  1. Bloke down the pub permalink
    November 7, 2014 12:15 pm

    When will they learn that, given the choice, most Brits would like the weather to be warmer. Of course, once they start making predictions that it will warm, everyone will go out and buy extra cold weather gear.

  2. November 7, 2014 2:14 pm


    Met Office have not made any such statements. Met Office climate data are published openly in the public domain every month and many people use them and are free to say what they like about them. To claim that Met Office publishing their data is an act to mislead and support an agenda is nonsense. Indeed your very own response is based on Met Office data so theres hardly likely to be a conspiracy here.

    The difference between the series from 1910 and EWP is that the former includes Scotland and Northern Ireland and is therefore currently the only ‘UK’ wide series. It would be wrong to ignore Scotland (and NI) in monitoring climate of the UK even though EWP does indeed have a longer series. There is nothing wrong with commenting on UK-scale records when they occur, even if they are not records in EWP (or CET). Thankfully most articles these days make clear reference to what dataset any statement is based on.

    For me I would say the main problem with the article is not 1910, but that the ranking of Jan-Oct is not a reliable predictor of the full year statistics so I’d go for a wait-and-see option myself. Although I predict similar articles might well appear once November stats are published too, but again that is not sign of conspiracy to mislead.

    Some comment on different climate records:


    • November 7, 2014 3:58 pm

      The news item reports:

      New figures published by the Met Office show the period from January to October this year has been the warmest since records began in 1910 while it has also been the second wettest.

      The news appears to have come from the Met Office’s spokesman, Dan Williams, who is is named in a similar story in the Independent.

      It clearly was not the Press Assocn just getting the numbers themselves and analysing them, as that is not the sort of thing they would do.

      So, that brings us back to why the Met Office forgot to mention the data prior to 1910, even if it excludes Scotland & Wales?

      Unfortunately, they have a history for this sort of thing.

      (BTW – I do accept that Bob Ward has had a hand in this as well. So I look forward to the Met Office correcting his misinformation!)

      • November 7, 2014 5:48 pm

        As I said the Met Office published the data, as is done every month. No press release was made about them so any Met Office quotes will most likely be from answering journalists questions rather than Met Office writing a story. The numbers quoted in the articles are correct so there is no misinformation to correct.

      • November 7, 2014 6:50 pm

        Second wettest on record, when it is actually 19th, is not misinformation?

      • November 8, 2014 10:56 am

        second wettest for “UK”. England and Wales are not the entirety of UK.

      • November 8, 2014 11:16 am

        We don’t have data for Scotland and NI back to 1766, so your comment is irrelevant.

  3. November 7, 2014 2:50 pm

    The use of superlatives such as “warmest” allows a person to make grandiouse claims. The very FIRST question out of any rational person’s mouth should be “How much warmer?” When the answer is “A tenth of degree”, enough said.

    Also, it is virtually impossible statistically to have over 300 months of “hottest month yet”. Either the data is deliberately manipulated to get the result, or they need a new mathematician to come on the project. Even their “99.999%” positive models could not illustrate 300 plus months of warming. It’s obviously either lies or incompetence. Either way, it needs to be shut down.

  4. November 12, 2014 6:30 am

    If it’s 2nd in one dataset and 19th in the other, there’s only news about Scotland and NI.Perhaps.

    This is a MetO fail unless they finally stop supinely following whatever Bob Ward says.


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