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Met Office Data Shows Storm Desmond’s Rainfall Was Not “Record Breaking”

January 11, 2016

By Paul Homewood  



I’ve just received some more data from the Met Office about Storm Desmond, which I asked for last month.

They have confirmed rainfall at Seathwaite of 122 and 112mm on the the 4th and 5th of December respectively, the days when most of the rain fell. We may recall that a 24-hour record of 341mm is claimed to have been at Honister Pass up to 6.00pm on the 5th.

If we plug in the Seathwaite numbers, along with the other data supplied by the Met Office at the time showing the highest 48-hour totals, we can compare Desmond with the storm in November 1898.




Just to recall :


Storm Desmond







Rainfall mm 1898 2015
Ambleside 170  
Skelwith 175  
Grasmere 175  
Seathwaite 223 234
Keswick   178



Seathwaite is higher up than the other sites, and therefore tends to get more rain. Indeed, it is reckoned to be the wettest inhabited place in England. The other sites all down at lake level.

It is apparent from the comparison of 1898 and 2015, that there was very little difference in rainfall.





We can also make comparisons with November 1897:





The above table is from the British Rainfall Publication, which does not give information on the day before or after. Nevertheless, the 8.03 inch (204 mm) recorded at Seathwaite certainly suggests much more intense rainfall than seen last month, as do the measurements at Ambleside.



The rainfall during Storm Desmond has, of course, been repeatedly described as “record breaking”, but this has been purely on the basis of the 24-hour reading at Honister Pass. This is a high altitude site, run by the Environment Agency, who have confirmed to me that they have only been collecting daily data there since 1992.




Weather Station, Honister



We now have many automatic weather stations set up in mountainous areas where rainfall is inevitably much heavier. But just because we now have measurements from them does not mean that rainfall is becoming more extreme. 

  1. January 12, 2016 1:34 am

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    Why let data spoil another cherry-picked global warming exteme weather propaganda story..?

    Sarcasm aside, the climate alarm industry know that comparative/historic data, after the event, is too late and realise that their apocalyptic propaganda has resonated sufficiently to the masses.

    The entire climate scare rides and thrives on this unfortunate and deceitful reality.

  2. January 12, 2016 3:55 am

    Thank you very much for this.

  3. January 12, 2016 4:37 am

    I will gladly applaud the UK Met Office and soundly back the science behind the models once they can forecast to 0.1C and 10mm of rainfall regionally….. a week in advance.

  4. The Old Bloke permalink
    January 12, 2016 8:53 am

    A tipping bucket rain gauge, eh, on an unprotected environment agency site? Yeah, that’ll do nicely for the narrative.

  5. john cooknell permalink
    January 12, 2016 11:32 am

    I have read very carefully what the Met Office say about Desmond and all of this years “record breaking” weather.

    Basically they say that the weather was record breaking but the “record from 1910” is incomplete, and if they chose to complete the record with earlier years data that they have, then 2015 etc wouldn’t likely be record breaking.

    Make of that what you will, I call it corporate rubbish mixed with confirmation bias.

    • catweazle666 permalink
      January 12, 2016 6:13 pm

      “I call it corporate rubbish mixed with confirmation bias.”

      AKA ‘Lies’.

  6. January 12, 2016 1:07 pm

    I’m getting more and more anxious. We have 1-3″ of snow falling in Morgantown, Not only that, but winds are predicted to have gusts of 25 mph. But the worst is that the temperatures will fall to 9 F. tomorrow morning. What will become of me? No one has named this killer storm. Oh, it is winter. Nevermind.

  7. January 12, 2016 1:51 pm

    “It is a sign of the mad times that we live in that the government can afford to throw money away like this,”

    It’s not their money. It’s our money. They don’t give a damn. We might as well just be ATMs for government use.

  8. dennisambler permalink
    January 13, 2016 10:45 am

    The Naming of Storms:

    The Met Office is a little late to the party on this one, as usual it started in the US….

    “As most readers will know, the Weather Channel began giving winter storms names in 2012.

    With the operating idea that the names would focus the public’s attention and, perhaps, give the Weather Channel a bit of the type of august authority possessed by the National Hurricane Center, which has been naming hurricanes since 1953, the Weather Channel risked the wrath of purists and gave people buying bread and milk one more thing to talk about in the checkout line.

    Most meteorologists not employed by the Weather Channel have continued some version of thinly veiled disdain for the winter storm naming process, although for the biggest storms the name has occasionally broken through. An example: Winter storm Nemo, which dumped as much as 40 inches of snow in Connecticut and a couple of feet over a wide swath of New England, is widely remembered by its Weather Channel name, even among meteorologists.

    All of this predates the winter from hell that 2014-15 has become in New England. The very idea that the Weather Channel’s final eight names from this year’s list will get used is enough to send most New Englanders looking for their next turbo-shot loaded Dunkin Donuts iced coffee.

    The concept that additional names might be needed, well, that’s just beyond the pale. Like, way beyond.

    So, as a public service for my fellow citizens of New England, I wanted to provide a list of the first six names, starting with the A storm, that the Weather Channel might want to consider employing, should the impossible happen. For those keeping track at home, the Weather Channel’s final eight storm names from its current list are: Sparta, Thor, Ultima, Venus, Wolf, Xander, Yuli, and Zelus.

    So here are some suggested names from just one humble New Englander, with affectionate hash tags, no less:

    Winter Storm #AreYouFreakinKiddinMe

    Wintier Storm #BetterNotBeSnowingAgainImSerious

    Winter Storm #CouldGodHateUsAnyMore?

    Winter Storm #DudeJustKillMeNow

    Winter Storm #EvenSnowLoversAreOverThisCrap

    Winter Storm #FrickinStopItWithTheSnowSeriously”

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