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UK Winter Precipitation – As Unpredictable As Ever!

March 6, 2015

By Paul Homewood




A year ago, we were told that the wet winter was due to climate change. Apparently the climate has changed again, because this rainfall is pretty much back to average this winter.





Of the last ten years, five have been below the long term average, 1900 to 2015, and five above, rather indicating that British weather continues to do what it always has done.


The consensus of Julia and her pals is that “climate change” will lead to wetter winters. (This is except when we get a cold, dry one, which is then blamed on the melting Arctic).

The reality is that none of them have a clue what the next month will bring, never mind the next century.

  1. March 6, 2015 4:13 pm

    I’m in the white zone, and 90-110% of normal seems about right to me for this winter. “Climate change” is obviously causng more extreme normal conditions.

    • March 6, 2015 4:44 pm

      You lucky lucky man I live in one of the wettest places and we’ve had 130-150% more rain.

      And I blame it all on the Met Office! 🙂

      • March 7, 2015 3:20 pm

        I think you are misreading the scale of the map and what you got was 30-50% more rain than average – 130 to 150% of the average.

  2. Geoff French permalink
    March 6, 2015 4:32 pm

    The Met Office run two separate precipitation data series:- station data and gridded (i.e. homogonised across a 5km x 5 km grid) which they call “areal”.

    I looked at this a couple of years ago and noticed that while the England and Wales Areal series was a reasonable match to the station-based EWP series, the match between the Scotland Areal series and station-based SP series was not so good. After 2000, the Scottish Areal figures were noticeably higher that the station data with many variances in the 10 % – 15 % range. This is a big gap.

    I asked the Met Office about this and they replied,

    “Differences between these series will be greater for Scotland than for England & Wales, this is due to the complex topography across much of Scotland and the way in which the series address the relationship between rainfall and elevation.

    However, we are aware of some more significant differences in the Scotland series, particularly for the years stated below. There are some interesting trends present in Scotland’s rainfall statistics and these are currently under investigation.”

    So, there might be some artifacts in the data. Scotland still looks very blue.

  3. March 6, 2015 4:41 pm

    Paul, another great article. You might find my latest article interesting:

  4. March 6, 2015 4:54 pm

    Is the brown line a trend line or the 1900 – 2014 average?

  5. March 6, 2015 5:06 pm

    One of your followers made the point that global mean temperature change does not equal climate change in a significant way. On consideration together with the regional climatic records that you have been analysing, it looks like a good comment: that is to say that climate is not some average global temperature, other than an academic value, but a set of regional results.

    Thus, climate change should be measured in terms of mean weather at the micro regional level and the sum of the micro-climate changes used to show any significant effects. E.g. if the equatorial mean temperature increased by 10 deg K and the arctic region values fell by 10 deg K this would result in no change to the global mean temperature but would reflect a massive climate change; the standard deviation of the mean temperature would increase but this is never reported anyway.

    It is clear that the believers use weather as climate when it suits them and say that the two are not the same thing when it does not.

    • Brian H permalink
      March 12, 2015 12:34 am

      Note that the net heat change for your +10/-10 would be substantially negative because the specific heat of moist air is far higher than that of dry. That’s part of the reason averaging temperatures is illegitimate unless everything else is equal. Another example is desert vs rainforest temps.

  6. March 6, 2015 6:48 pm

    Here on the E. Kent coast we’ve had some pretty wet days. The veg patch is not workable and standing water has appeared in parts of the garden that have not seen such since we moved in 10 years ago. As we live at the foot of the North Downs, and seasonal streams have been becoming gradually more prevalent over the past few years, I’m guessing that the chalk aquifers are finally back to normal after the effects of the dry periods up to 1998 or thereabouts and that the enormous amount of water used in the making of the Channel Tunnel has finally been replenished.

    • Brian H permalink
      March 12, 2015 12:36 am

      Cool air causes droughts.

  7. A C Osborn permalink
    March 6, 2015 7:19 pm

    So we have had more rain and more sunshine, what’s up with that?

  8. KTM permalink
    March 6, 2015 9:40 pm

    Climate can only change it cannot change back. Tipping points and all that. Nature is just a cataclysmic chain reaction waiting for humanity to nudge it over the cliff with 4% of the CO2 emissions that occur naturally.

    • Evan HIghlander permalink
      March 7, 2015 7:53 pm

      You’re joking of course ? Of course Climate can change back – like a pendulum – “goes” nowhere – just pendles – and every time hits a different “skittle ” . As for the tipping point ?

  9. Ulric Lyons permalink
    March 7, 2015 12:49 pm

    2013-14 UK winter would have been cold-dry in Jan-Feb if it were not for the powerful blocking off the west of the U.S. The block is due to very warm sea surface temperatures in the N.E. Pacific, which accumulated there strongly from the very cold March 2013 when the jet stream was some 1000 miles south of normal. The effects of the block showed again from 10/11 Nov 2014 for a couple of weeks, where the U.S. received an Arctic outbreak, but the UK got the opposite signal with milder and wetter conditions. However from late Dec 2014 onwards the easterly QBO is having an influence, weakening westerlies and allowing some colder flows to the UK.

  10. March 8, 2015 9:33 pm

    You’re right that it’s hard to predict that, but I would like to add something. There were times in our evolution, especially in the past century, when human activity influenced the rainfall. Let’s take, for example, the two World Wars. October 1939 seems to have brought plenty of rainfall for England, and not only: “Southeast England recorded rainfall of more than three times above average inOctober 1939. Greenwich saw a higher rainfall only in 1888, and before that in 1840. Greenwich total for October (6.16 in.) and November (4.13 in.) together –10.29 inches – was the highest ever since recordinghad begun at Greenwich. Similar conditions had been observed at Camden Square (London), where hours of rainfall are recorded as follows: October 77.3 h., November 96.7 h. These were 50 hours higher than the average.”. This excerpt is from, interesting aspects abot the resultant rain due to war.


  1. UK Winter Precipitation – As Unpredictable As Ever | Atlas Monitor

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