Mediterranean Summers? We’re Still Waiting!
By Paul Homewood
We are familiar with predictions of warmer and drier summers in Britain, particularly in southern England.
The UK Climate Projections 2009 thought that we could be seeing 30% less summer rainfall in southern parts even as early as the 2020s.
And much drier conditions by 2080.
The science of course is settled, which is why the Met Office’s Adam Scaife warned us in 2012:
"Some studies suggest that there is increased risk of wet, low pressure summers over the UK as the [Arctic] ice melts.”
Mother Nature though seems to know better.
According to the England & Wales Precipitation Series, very little is changing.
The driest summers were 1995, 1976, 1800, 1869 and 1818. No summer in the last decade has made it into the Top 30 dry summers.
There is, of course, no evidence that all of that “melting Arctic ice” has had any effect either. This summer finished with just 3mm less than the long term mean.
Ah, but what about southern England, I hear you ask!
We have a pretty similar position. The driest summer was in 1976, and no summer in the last decade makes the Top 10.
As with the national figures, rainfall this summer was just 3mm less than the mean.
It is apparent from both datasets that year to year variation (in other words, weather) is dominating whatever climatic trends there are.
All of the projections are, of course, based on computer models. But isn’t it time that the so-called experts at the Met Office admitted that they and their models really have not got a clue what will happen?
It is sometimes useful when considering extremes to filter out all the average stuff.
Below is a chart of summers that were at least 40% drier then the long term mean in South East England, which was 172mm.
The latest entry is that of 1995.
What is interesting is the clear clustering of exceptionally dry years.