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Met Office’s ‘wettest ever’ claim fails again – Booker

January 10, 2016

By Paul Homewood  




From the Telegraph:


We are all aware that parts of the country, including the north of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, have lately been hit, at huge cost, by abnormal amounts of rain.

But as soon as the Met Office rushed to proclaim that 230mm of rain (9in) had made it “the wettest December on record” (and the “wettest calendar month”) – predictably echoed by the BBC and the Prime Minister – we knew it might be wise to examine the small print behind its claims.


We know how eager these people are to seize on any “extreme weather event” as a sign of unprecedented “climate change”, as they did when the Met Office trumpeted on July 1 that it had been “the hottest July day evah”, solely on the basis, it turned out, of a fleeting temperature spike probably caused by an airliner passing its temperature gauge near a runway at Heathrow.

Sure enough, the Met Office’s longest rainfall record, covering England and Wales (thus including two of the areas most affected) showed, with its 145.1mm (5.7in), that December ranked as only the 20th wettest since 1766. Even Northern Ireland didn’t break its own record from 1919 – so only Scotland’s 351mm (14in) was unprecedented. But if the Met Office had more honestly reported merely that it had been the wettest December recorded in Scotland, this would scarcely have provided the BBC and Mr Cameron with the headlines they were after.

According to the Met Office’s own data, last December in England and Wales was way behind the 193.9mm (7.6in) recorded in 1876; while the wettest calendar month was October 1903 with 218.1mm (8.6in). As for the other impression the Met Office likes to give, that extreme rainfall is becoming more frequent, graphs meticulously plotted from Met Office data by Paul Homewood on his Notalotofpeopleknowthat website show no evidence at all for this, either for December or more generally.

Just as shameless last week was the Environment Agency’s boast of all the measures it has taken to avert any repetition of the disastrous floods that covered a large area of Somerset in 2014. It has dredged the main drainage river, installed many new pumps, reactivated others, and seen the setting up of a new Somerset Rivers Authority to organise the cleaning of ditches by local drainage boards.

What the agency didn’t admit was that all this marked a complete reversal of the “ultra-green” policy it followed in the years before 2014, which deliberately misused various EU directives and made flooding inevitable, supposedly in the interests of wildlife (much of it then wiped out when the inevitable happened).

And this policy U-turn would never have taken place but for the decisive intervention of the former environment secretary Owen Paterson who, after talking to local engineers and other practical experts, called a halt to what he terms the “green-plating” of EU directives, and came up with detailed plans to avert such a disaster happening again. Dredging and all, these included every point on which the agency is now trying to take credit.

  1. January 10, 2016 11:55 am

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News.

  2. Joe Public permalink
    January 10, 2016 12:21 pm

    It’s good to see your investigatory work & analysis achieving the wider exposure given by the Telegraph.

  3. January 10, 2016 12:45 pm

    Excellent piece. Recently I had a WV attorney criticize me for mentioning a climate piece by Cristopher Booker, linked from this site, in a posting from a statewide commentary by Hoppy Kercheval who also has a 2 hour stateside radio show each weekday. I had to “school” Mr. Peyton, who tends to be a knee-jerk liberal, on the accuracy and careful writing of Mr. Booker and my credentials to have an opinion on things science. Apparently lawyers think themselves “experts” in everything by virtue of their existence. Did not hear back.

  4. January 10, 2016 1:32 pm

    Bring back Owen Paterson, sacked for doing his job well

  5. January 10, 2016 1:46 pm

    At least the Telegraph still has at least one excellent journalist, who knows where to go to get reliable information.

  6. January 10, 2016 1:53 pm

    The Sunday Telegraph’s weather report was again written by Peter Stanford. Mr Stanford is a writer journalist and broadcaster. Formerly editor of the Catholic Herald and known for his biography of Lord Longford, one might well ask why he has suddenly become a weather guru.
    In this week’s contribution he quotes Professor Myles Allen. Professor Allen (geosystems) proposed the use of “Probabalistic Event Attribution”. He leads using distributed computing to run the world’s largest ensemble climate modelling experiment. In other words he doesn’t know anything about the weather either, but why would that stop him pontificating and presumably being richly rewarded?

  7. Alison Wright permalink
    January 10, 2016 3:23 pm

    Next to your post in my inbox is this link sent by a friend :

    It too emphasises the folly of not dredging!

    Alison Wright

  8. January 10, 2016 8:02 pm

    Thanks, Paul, for bring this article by Christopher Booker to our attention.
    He pays attention to the data, and that is more than most people want to do.
    Thanks, Christopher Booker.

    Meanwhile, our Earth keeps on cooling:
    The temperature trend for REMSS lower tropospheric global mean from 2002 to 2014.92 was -0.59°C per century.

    The RSS temperature trend from 2002 to 2015.92 was just -0.16°C per century, due to the 2015 El Niño.

    See Remote Sensing Systems (REMSS) – MSU & AMSU Time Series Trends in temperaure anomalies (K): at

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