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“Record Rain” At Thirlmere

December 14, 2015

By Paul Homewood 




According to the Met Office, Storm Desmond brought a new 2-day rainfall record at Thirlmere.


Thirlmere sits at an altitude of 584 feet, and the Helvellyn Massif rises abruptly to the east. It is pretty obvious that any storms coming from the west, as Desmond did, will dump an awful lot of rain there.

The Helvellyn Massif from Thirlmere



It is also pretty obvious that large amounts of rain have dropped there in the past. It is therefore somewhat disconcerting to find that the rain gauge there has only been in existence since 1995.

This was confirmed to me by the Met Office, who also stated that it is an Environmental Agency station.





No reputable Met Agency would dream of declaring any records at a site with such a short history.

In recent years, the EA has naturally been setting up hundreds of rain gauges in sites such as Thirlmere, so as to plan for flooding problems well in advance. It was, of course, an EA gauge at Honister Pass which gave the Met Office a 24-hour record during Desmond. As we learnt afterwards, the gauge at Honister had only been there since 1970, and only monitored intermittently for most of that time, a fact never made public by the Met Office.

As we chuck more and more of these gauges into remote, mountainous areas, which are by nature extremely wet places, it is inevitable that we will find more and more “new records”.


As I have commented before, if this was just to get an entry in the Guinness Book of Records, it would be of no consequence. But it isn’t. It has instead allowed the Met Office to make unjustified claims about “record rainfall”. and to promote their “climate change/extreme weather agenda.

  1. catweazle666 permalink
    December 15, 2015 2:00 am

    No reputable Met Agency would dream of declaring any records at a site with such a short history.

    The obvious conclusion is therefore…

  2. December 15, 2015 9:00 am

    I’m told by a local that there was a met office station at Thirlmere Nook from 1937 to April thus year grid ref no 319129. A comparison could be illuminating

  3. Tim Hammond permalink
    December 15, 2015 9:22 am

    The Lake District National Park website has an interesting little list of “Extreme weather events frm the past”:

    November 2009: 314.4mm of rain fell in Seathwaite in 24 hours – a new record for England. Cockermouth and Keswick flooded.

    7 and 8 January 2005: Storms batter Cumbria – a gust of 111 knots recorded on Great Dun Fell – many trees blown down.

    Summer 1995: Drought year. Haweswater reservoir 89 per cent empty and the drowned village of Mardale visible.

    31 Jan 1995: 100mm of rain overnight cause floods that change the course of Raise Beck – Dunmail Raise – to flow to Grasmere instead of Thirlmere Reservoir.

    July 1988: Grasmere had its wettest month of the 20th century.

    Summer 1984: Drought year. Drowned village of Mardale visible in Haweswater reservoir.

    Feb 1984: Over 600 mm of snow fell in some areas of the District.

    July 1983: Temperature in Ambleside reached 31.7C, the same figure as in 1934.

    1963: Windermere completely freezes over.

    Nov 1955: Seathwaite in Borrowdale received 204mm of rain within 24 hours, about one quarter of the annual rainfall for Penrith.

    1954: Sprinkling Tarn near Sty Head received 6527.8mm of rain this year – the same height as 1.5 double-decker buses!

    Jan 1940: Temperature in Ambleside dropped to –21.1C. Ice measuring over 305 mm thick was recorded on Derwentwater.

    May 1935: Keswick in contrast to 1922 received 294.9 hours of sunshine in this month.

    July 1934: The temperature in Ambleside reached 31.7C.

    Dec 1922: During this month Keswick only received 5.5 hours of sunshine.

    Oct 1898: Flooding caused the level of Windermere to rise 2130 mm above its normal level.

    Nov 1683 – Feb 1684: Windermere frozen over, the longest recorded period for this event.

    Hot, cold, wet, dry. Very cold in the 17th C, very warm in the 1930s…

  4. December 15, 2015 11:25 am

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    Yesterday I recorded my coldest ever December day, today the coldest. Today also had record breaking amounts of rain….my observations only began yesterday! Welcome to the world of Met Office ‘records’.

  5. Roger Alsop permalink
    December 15, 2015 12:53 pm

    ..this blog is consistently interesting.

  6. Mark Robinson permalink
    January 12, 2016 10:23 pm

    The 2-day rainfall record at Thirlmere is the highest rainfall recorded at any rain gauge anywhere in the whole country. That is a real record!

    • January 12, 2016 11:17 pm

      Except it has only had a gauge since 1995 and is half way up a mountain. Good for the Guinness Book of Records, but little more

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