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Devastating Yorkshire Floods – 1930

December 30, 2015

By Paul Homewood  


The Whitby lifeboat had to be called out for a flood two miles inland at Ruswarp in Yorkshire (pictured) on 23 July 1930 as the rising waters threatened Whitby and the surrounding areas. The Whitby Gazette called it “a thrilling rescue” amid gale-force winds. According to weather reporter Bill Foggit: “The awesome power of the flood was more than matched by the indomitable spirit of the Whitby lifeboat men. Up the raging Esk they came to rescue marooned families.” The floods left crops damaged, carried away sheep, and destroyed bridges.





The Telegraph has a series of pictures of wild “weather” events, (Incl earthquakes, for some reason!)

The above one particularly caught my eye, as it was in July 1930. This period was a particularly wet era. The four months from October 1929 to January 1930 were by far the wettest of any four months on record. In the year before, January 1928 remains the wettest January in the UK.

The Telegraph links to the UK Weatherworld website, which has collected together some newspaper cuttings from the Times. First, though, the tables from the British Rainfall publication for 1930. Note that the 11.97 inches at Castleton is 23% of the annual total, nearly three months worth.  

In reality, it is even more, as British Rainfall explain:    







  1. December 30, 2015 12:08 pm

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    Climate-changes. Always has, always will.

  2. Ian Magness permalink
    December 30, 2015 12:30 pm

    Julia Slingo blamed it on climate change.

  3. December 30, 2015 1:21 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    Unprecedented rainfalls…must be climate change

  4. Joe Public permalink
    December 30, 2015 1:38 pm

    There’s also historical facts in “Past Floods in the Calder Valley”:

  5. David Richardson permalink
    December 30, 2015 1:43 pm

    Well yes Paul but that was before even I was born!!

    Thanks for digging these things out – a real eye-opener especially the rainfall figs.

    I still don’t think the lack of dredging story has been high enough in profile yet. It needs a front page on a daily perhaps the Mail or the Express.

  6. December 30, 2015 1:46 pm

    If you want weather, try Texas and the western areas of the US this past week. They had floods, followed by tornadoes, followed by blizzards. Oklahoma was closed down by ice storms and then tornadoes. WV had severe flooding in the southern part around Charleston and a tornado along the Ohio River near Parkersburg just before Christmas. I was outside Knoxville, TN for Christmas and we had torrential downpours. There was heavy wind across WV Monday evening–I came yesterday on the one “good” day this week–to drive on dry roads and not in rain. Weather happens and there is no such thing as “standard” weather.

  7. December 30, 2015 2:33 pm

    It seems to be a run of quite wet days that causes problems, rather than a single very wet day, so daily rainfall records don’t capture the thing. We need the media to interview hydrologists not the Met Office, who don’t seem to know much beyond daily records.

    • Anthony permalink
      December 30, 2015 6:41 pm

      This is what I’ve been trying to get to, never mind the floods which have several factors which may affect that, I want to know about the rain event itself. How does it compare to previous rain events in the area.

      • December 30, 2015 7:03 pm

        The biggest problem in comparing is that nowadays we have plenty of EA gauges up in the hills. Moreover they are automatic, and read hourly.

        Up until a few years ago, there were few if any gauges of any sort there, ands certainly nothing that read day in day out, only the ones down in the villages. A good example is Honister Pass, where the 24-hour record was set. This has only been there since 1992.

        As upland rainfall is generally much greater, we are now recording higher totals, and assuming they are “unprecedented”

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