Dumbing Down At The Telegraph
By Paul Homewood
The process of dumbing down continues at the Telegraph!
For some reason, Philip Eden has been dropped from the Sunday Telegraph for the last few weeks, and been replaced with someone called Peter Stanford, who seems to have little in the way of qualifications for the job of reporting the weather.
So, instead of getting serious reporting of events and their context in the longer history of climate, we end up with a load of lightweight, inaccurate drivel.
If we take his latest piece last Sunday, we get claims that Storm Frank was somehow stronger than the 1987 Hurricane (which was not one anyway). I really don’t know where he gets his “120 mph winds” from, but the highest recorded, according to Accuweather, was 85 mph on the Hebridean island of South Uist, something that is not uncommon in those exposed parts.
It is ironic that they chose a picture of some waves at Porthcawl, on the South Wales coast to illustrate the “fearsome” storm. Just along the coast at Bristol, the local rag warned:
Yes – 26mph!
Frank certainly brought an awful lot of rain, but to put it into the same category as the 1987 Storm is simply ludicrous. Even the Met Office could not be bothered to publish wind speed data on their blog, as they had done with Abigail and the rest.
Then we get the insinuation that these storms have something to do with global warming, for which there is not a shred of evidence. Indeed, winter storms such as these should be happening less frequently in a warming world, as temperature differentials between the Arctic and lower latitudes reduce, something Philip Eden might have told them.
As we know, the wettest December in England & Wales was in 1876. We have no Met Office reports for that month, but we do for December 1914, which ranks second:
Amongst the gales mentioned, top wind speeds of 91mph, 78mph and 81mph were recorded on the 4th, 12th and 28th. There is no mention of anything from the Hebrides, which suggests they were not recorded there.
The three storms last month, Desmond, Eva and Frank, were certainly no worse than those in 1914.
It turns out that December 1915 was little better, being the fourth wettest December on record.
Perhaps the most telling comment was this:
Force 8 is categorised as a “Gale” on the Beaufort Scale, with sustained winds of 40 to 46mph. We may recall that “Storm” Barney never got above Force 8. The idea that we could have twenty days of Storm Barneys and worse would send our dopey reporters into apoplexy!
Heaven knows what Julia would make of it, particularly after the cold, dry month that preceded it.
One more comment stands out:
A “Whole Gale”, also known as a “Strong Gale” has sustained winds of 47 to 54mph, and must have been some storm to last for 51 hours.
Perhaps Peter Stanford needs a history lesson?