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Slingo Fails To Answer The Real Questions

December 8, 2015

By Paul Homewood  




A predictably lame response from the Met Office about Storm Desmond. There is the usual arm waving about climate change, but it fails to address several more relevant issues:


1) How reliable are the supposed “records”? We already know that Honister only has a short period of record. What about Thirlmere?

2) There is talk of warm waters in the western Atlantic, but no mention of much colder than normal waters in the Northern part of the Atlantic, which certainly played a role.




3) Slingo correctly claims that their 3-monthly outlooks anticipated a stormy start to the winter. This was specifically related to the warm/cold gradient. So why no mention of this factor now?




4) As usual, Slingo goes on to talk about “fundamental physics”, but fails to quantify just how much extra rainfall this should in theory cause.

Theoretical studies suggest that the most we would be talking of is a few millimeters.


5) The underlying cause of the Cumbrian flooding has been the position of the jet stream, which has brought a succession of depressions towards the North West, including Desmond.

It is not acceptable for the Met Office’s Chief Scientist to fail to offer any explanation, or even thoughts, on why this should be. As far as meteorological matters are concerned, Sligo appears to be clearly out of her depth.


6) In particular, where is the relating of this storm to the many others in the past which have hit this part of the country?


7) Finally, we know that the storm in November 1898 brought very similar 24-hour rainfall totals to lower lying sites in the Lake District as Desmond. In those days, there were no rainfall gauges at higher altitude sites, such as Honister, so we simply don’t know whether it really was any wetter this time.

In the 1898 storm, it appears that most of the rain fell in about 16 hours, in turn suggesting an even more intense period of rain. Note that the 48-hour record for Thirlmere is said to have fallen over 38 hours. This indicates that it was the amount of time, during which the weather front was sat over the Lake District, that was the key factor last weekend.





Excerpt from Symon’s British Rainfall 1898

  1. December 8, 2015 1:05 pm

    I recall a TV programme a few years ago in which Dame Julia spoke on this topic, you could see that she was desperate to find the “anthropogenic signal”, see got misty eyed about it.

    She once was a good scientist, now she is something very different.

  2. December 8, 2015 2:11 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News.

  3. archimedes permalink
    December 8, 2015 2:32 pm

    Slingo on the news at 6 last night
    “The latest research says
    That under the same weather pattern an extended period of rainfall just as we have seen this weekend is seven times more likely because of the emissions of greenhouse gasses”

  4. December 8, 2015 2:38 pm

    Dame Julia Slingo, Met Office Chief Scientist, has been appointed as one of the seven members of a new European Commission Scientific Advice Mechanism group..0 November 2015 from the Student Climate Action Blog sorry Met Office Blog
    ..Sorry if you look at the Headline list you’ll understand how I get them mixed up

  5. NeilC permalink
    December 8, 2015 3:05 pm

    I do not understand how the Met Office can claim any weather event to be associated with climate change. For the last 20 years there has been NO up or down trend in pressure, temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, sunshine (actually gone down a fraction), rainfall volume, or rainfall duration.

    Dame Julia Slingo’s “fundamental physics” theory is not being replicated in the real world.

    Why don’t they look at their own data, or is that too much like real science.

  6. dosbrygos permalink
    December 8, 2015 3:28 pm

    It is easy to smell a ‘water’ rat as Julia Slingo squirms desperately not to answer the BBC question ‘Were the Cumbrian floods caused by climate change?.’ Her tippy toes around the houses show that she clearly has no evidence.

    It is unfortunate that she still has to try to force feed us some climate mush.

  7. December 8, 2015 4:05 pm

    Reblogged this on Wolsten and commented:
    In their 5th assessment report the IPCC state there there is low confidence for links between climate change (aka global warming) and increases in extreme weather events. Dame Julia Sligo stated with confidence last night that the Cockermouth flooding was a direct result of global warming. Cleary one of them is wrong and unusually I am coming down on the side of the IPCC.

  8. December 8, 2015 4:13 pm

    I’m struggling to think of some fundamental physics relating rainfall in Cumbria with increased CO2 emissions. I’ll have to go back to my copy of Feynman’s “Lectures on Physics”.

  9. December 8, 2015 4:24 pm

    How very selfish of the Brits, as usual. There was similar rain and flooding in the Ireland, not Northern Ireland, in the mountain shadows. (see Met Office rain maps, block out the republic)

    There is much complaining about the lack of flood defences, of lack of river dredging. Ah well, is ever thus when there is centralism.

  10. December 8, 2015 4:44 pm

    A major part of hydrology is the extremes problem, the long term extremes which need to be handled as part of infrastructure design. This is as much about experience, there is no definite calculation.
    Reliable data is critical, no games, no mistakes.

    On this, contrary to eg. the Met Office I have strong belief in the 1/f nature of rainfall.

    If you average over areas 1/f turns into gaussian. This can also happen where there are multiple catchment areas, a good instance being the Rhine.

    You might find this web site by a retired Dutch engineer of interest, includes some software if you want a play.

    So what are 100 year events, easy to work out?

    Demetris Koutsoyiannis and associates have plenty to say on this

  11. John F. Hultquist permalink
    December 8, 2015 9:01 pm

    The doom & gloom effects of global warming were supposed to happen after the temperature exceeded two degrees, say out about 2070. I’m not quite sure how the rainfall pattern in 2015 knows it is supposed to be 7X more likely than (?) something. Nature never ceases to impress me.

    I wonder, in the future will the “more likely” aspect remain at 7x or will the trend be linear or perhaps hocky-stick? Looking forward to 70X.

  12. Coeur de Lion permalink
    December 8, 2015 9:42 pm

    The Met Office really needs to take a critical look at the lies in its Climate Change section of its website. Accelerated sea rise forsooth. Etc

  13. December 9, 2015 8:43 am

    Slingo is to the UK what Flannery is to Australia. His prediction “Even the rains that falls won’t fill our dams” , was followed by years of floods. So it wouldn’t surprise me if these UK floods are the same, that this is just the mathematics of randomness that sometimes flood years bunch up and likewise there are fallow patches.

    Coincidentally Climate Alarmism is both their family business, bringing in lots of cash.

  14. December 9, 2015 9:08 am

    Climate Common-Ground : Today someople are stuck with the problem of having to deal with their flooded houses. What matters most to both sides of the climate debate is that other people won’t get the same problem next year. So doing anything about CO2 NOW in the UK won’t fix that
    …….nor will it make any difference to low dwellers in 50, or 100 years time, whereas those living on reasonably highground are still not going to have flood problems.
    (Newspapers are pointing out we spend more money on flood prevention abroad than in the UK, most for future imaginary sea level rise etc.)

    I think it’s one of those “have your cake and eat it things”, people want to live in a river valley and not get floods.
    Also flood prevention measures up stream may well to contribute to floods downstream.
    Be aware that every year is not the same : climate cycles, and change in crops/land-use change water run off. Rivers are not static but living things whose life cycle is measured in hundreds of years not one years. (How many former harbours have dried up, hundreds of years ago before anyone thought of climate change ?)

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