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Mediterranean Summers? We’re Still Waiting!

September 8, 2016

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. 

  1. tom0mason permalink
    September 8, 2016 8:01 pm

    A few pictures of warmer, different times …

    The Great British Heatwave In 32 Photos: 1911-1976

  2. September 8, 2016 8:32 pm

    Don’t tell me that those Met Office “experts” who rely on computer models don’t realise realise that “In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible”. (IPCC AR4 WG1)

  3. September 8, 2016 10:00 pm

    The more Met Office climate predictions tank hopelessly, the further their credibility sinks.
    Keep going folks – a zero rating will be in sight before too long.

  4. tom0mason permalink
    September 9, 2016 1:30 am

    Contrast and compare with recent weather to what happened in 1976.

    Roads melted, rivers dried up, crops withered, most of the nation was subjected to water rationing. In 1976 air conditioning was rare and soon office working conditions became impossible, industry nearly ground to a halt with heat exhaustion. And then there were many reports of plagues of ladybirds! The UK went without rain for 42 days, many parts for 45 days.

    After more than six weeks without significant rain the government appointed Denis Howell as Minister for Drought.
    It was as if the weather gods were not amused enough and consequently ensured fierce thunderstorms with massive deluges of rain within days of his appointment.
    Soon Howell was being nicknamed “Minister for Floods”.

    • John F. Hultquist permalink
      September 9, 2016 2:25 am

      “… the weather gods were not amused …”

      This seems to happen quite a bit and amuses me.

  5. Stosh permalink
    September 9, 2016 4:20 am

    Have their models been able to determine which year the temperatures will return to the much warmer levels that civilization lived through in the Medieval Warm Period?

  6. nabbiz permalink
    September 9, 2016 5:01 am

    With the exception of Greenland, virtually all the Arctic ice is afloat. Ref.: “Principles of Naval Architecture. page 1”: “A floating body displaces its weight in water.” Doesn’t matter if it’s solid ice, with or w/o snow cover, or melted into liquid. The sea level is unchanged!

  7. September 9, 2016 8:08 am

    “Some studies suggest that there is increased risk of wet, low pressure summers over the UK as the [Arctic] ice melts.”

    ‘Studies suggest’ and ‘increased risk’ don’t tell us anything really. And ‘wet, low pressure summers’ are not unusual in the UK anyway. Making assumptions like ‘as the [Arctic] ice melts’ is not scientific either.

    So this kind of statement is worse than useless.

  8. September 9, 2016 9:39 am

    Unexplained,unpredicted, unexpected…. but it’s due to the climate warming…..

    Prof Adam Scaife, Head of Long-range Forecasting at the Met Office and Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of Exeter, said: “This unexpected disruption to the climate system switches the cycling of the quasi-biennial oscillation forever. And this is important as it is one of the factors that will influence the coming winter.” A return to more typical behaviour within the next year is forecast, though scientists believe that the quasi-biennial oscillation could become more susceptible to similar disruptions as the climate warms.

  9. September 9, 2016 11:36 am

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    After the winters of 09-10 and becoming disillusioned with the shrill Monty Pythonesque “it’s just a computer model flesh wound” I began changing my planting to hardy (frost resistant) non Mediterranean plants. The drought they said was the new norm ended in a deluge in 2012 a bit like their forecasts. The garden was a bog that year. The garden continues to do well – the forecasts have changed to floods but no doubt when the AMO flips and we become cyclically drier that’ll be back in fashion again… unlike Mediterranean gardens.

  10. Gerry, England permalink
    September 9, 2016 12:54 pm

    A recent study of data (that unknown variable to climate scientists) showed that our rainfall is cyclic and that we have been going through a dry phase recently but have now moved into a wetter one. Add to that the changed pattern of the Jetstream due to the mini ice age and falling solar activity.

  11. wert permalink
    September 9, 2016 4:52 pm

    The UK Climate Projections 2009 thought that we could be seeing 30% less summer rainfall in southern parts even as early as the 2020s.

    It would be interesting to monetarize that belief, Would you bet on that? 2 to 1? It would be fairly obvious how bad the credibility of metoffice is in fact.

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