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Met Office “Unprecedented” Rainfall Nonsense

July 26, 2017

By Paul Homewood

The Met Office has just issued this news release:

image

New innovative research has found that for England and Wales there is a 1 in 3 chance of a new monthly rainfall record in at least one region each winter (Oct-Mar).

In the last few years several rainfall events have caused widespread flooding in the UK. In winter 2013/14 a succession of storms hit the UK leading to record rainfall and flooding in many regions including the south east. December 2015 was similar, and Storm Desmond hit the north-west causing widespread flooding and storm damage.

By their very nature extreme events are rare and a novel research method was needed to quantify the risk of extreme rainfall within the current climate.

Professor Adam Scaife, who leads this area of research at the Met Office said “The new Met Office supercomputer was used to simulate thousands of possible winters, some of them much more extreme than we’ve yet witnessed. This gave many more extreme events than have happened in the real world, helping us work out how severe things could get.”

Analysing these simulated events showed there is a 7% risk of record monthly rainfall in south east England in any given winter. When other regions of England and Wales are also considered this increases to a 34% chance.

Dr Vikki Thompson, lead author of the report, said “Our computer simulations provided one hundred times more data than is available from observed records. Our analysis showed that these events could happen at any time and it’s likely we will see record monthly rainfall in one of our UK regions in the next few years”

The authors have named this novel research method the UNSEEN* method to emphasize that this analysis anticipates possible events that have just not yet been seen.  It was also used as part of the recent UK Government National Flood Resilience Review (NFRR)+ when the Met Office was asked to estimate the potential likelihood and severity of record-breaking rainfall over the UK for the next 10 years.

The research has demonstrated that, even with the current climate, it is likely that there will be one or more monthly regional rainfall record events, in the coming decade. This new use for Met Office computer simulations could also be applied to assess other risks such as heatwaves, droughts, and cold spells and could help policy makers, contingency planners and insurers plan for future events.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/2017/high-risk-of-unprecedented-rainfall

 

Curiously they seem to be ignoring real observations, in favour of computer simulations. Possibly this is because the historical observations say that there is nothing unusual about recent precipitation events. But more on this in a bit.

First though, let’s look at the central claim:

Analysing these simulated events showed there is a 7% risk of record monthly rainfall in south east England in any given winter. When other regions of England and Wales are also considered this increases to a 34% chance.

Records for SE England only date back to 1910, so we have 108 years of data now. With six “winter” months, ie October to March, we would expect a record high month every 18 years. That is a probability of 5.6%, so the claim of 7% is barely greater.

There are six regions in England and Wales, so the chance of a record month somewhere there is 33.6%.

So the Met Office is hyping up the chance of record rainfall, when in fact their calculations show it to be little different to normal probability.

 

Concerns about record winter rainfall seem to arise from the belief that winter rainfall is increasing. But there is no evidence of that in England, and despite two wet winters in 2014 and 2016, little in Wales either.

England

Wales Rainfall - Winter

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/summaries/actualmonthly

 

Let’s take a closer look at SE England.

Below is a chart of the wettest “winter” months, the 35 months with over 150mm. The wettest was January 2014, with 205.2mm. Yet December 1914 was not far behind with 204.9mm.

Other than that, there is no evidence at all that these months are getting wetter, or that extreme wet months are becoming more common.

image

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/summaries/datasets

 

And what about summer months?

Despite the famously wet summer of 2012, the data strongly suggests that heavy rainfall months are much less common, and extreme, than they were in the past.

image

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/summaries/datasets

I find it astonishing that a supposedly objective, scientific report fails to even mention this fact.

Extending the analysis to England as a whole, we find many more extreme months between 1910 and 1960.

image

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/summaries/datasets

 

And the England & Wales Precipitation series, which goes back to 1766, also shows much more extreme rainfall in the past.

image

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadukp/data/monthly/HadEWP_monthly_qc.txt

 

 

If the Met Office had looked at the actual data, and not their computer simulations, they would have concluded that UK weather is not getting more extreme.

Xmetman, Bruce, also has his take on the story here.

Footnote

This Met Office analysis was used as part of the UK Government National Flood Resilience Review.

This is pure speculation on my part, but is there an element of backside protection going on here?

The Met Office was badly burnt by its failure to anticipate the wet summer of 2012, and winter of 2013/14. By hyping up the claims of extreme rainfall now, they will able to tell the government “we told you so” next time a flood comes along.

Source

The full Met Office paper is here:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-00275-3

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62 Comments
  1. July 26, 2017 5:53 pm

    Yes, grade A backside protection is what it is.

  2. July 26, 2017 6:06 pm

    Good stuff Paul. The Met office really is an embarrassing farce.
    I blogged about this also

    https://cliscep.com/2017/07/24/met-office-bin-data-use-models-instead/

    • dennisambler permalink
      July 28, 2017 10:10 am

      Even the BBC gave up on them:

      “Met Office loses BBC weather forecasting contract”

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34031785

      • quaesoveritas permalink
        July 28, 2017 11:52 am

        Do you know if they have actually switched yet?
        According to this it was going to be in Spring 2017, but the BBC web forecast still says it’s in association with the Met Office. My local BBC forecast is currently identical to the MO one for today but differs thereafter, although that may be a timing issue.
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37109605

  3. July 26, 2017 6:37 pm

    “If the Met Office had looked at the actual data, and not their computer simulations, they would have concluded that UK weather is not getting more extreme.” Is not this the point, the real data does not show what the MO want it to show, so they make it up as a computer simulation. Result garbage in garbage out, but most of the public believe this. I hope that any statistician reading the article has not had a heart attack.

  4. quaesoveritas permalink
    July 26, 2017 6:46 pm

    I think that the “whiz kids” at the MO are so obsessed with their super computer that they would rather believe it’s model’s virtual data (i.e. made up data) than real data. It seems to me to be an exercise in confirmation bias.
    I still don’t entirely understand what they have done as few details are given (that is probably deliberate). What I have gleaned so far is:

    “The purpose of the project was to model the last 1750 years using 35 years of data. We used 35 years for no special reason other than a line has to be drawn somewhere. We also have to consider the computing power required for the models to crunch the numbers, while still leaving enough to continue our daily operations, this may also been a deciding factor.
    Regarding the statement: “These virtual observations increase available relevant data from 35 to 1750 years of winters.”
    This is simply saying that using ’35’ years of actual data, we have managed to virtually upscale the data to produce 1750 years by using a model and the UNSEEN method. ”

    On the other hand, the press release also says:
    “Our computer simulations provided one hundred times more data than is available from observed records. ”
    But 100 times 35 is 3500 years, not 1750.
    This seems to be a continuation of the statistical approach to forecasting by the MO, i.e we know records will be broken, but we can’t tell you where or when.
    Assuming the 35 years of real data they used is the most recent I would expect the probability of a record to be roughly equivalent to that experienced in that data, but I don’t think you need a computer simulation to tell you that.

    I am awaiting more information from the MO.

    • July 26, 2017 7:59 pm

      The output of computer models is NOT data. Calling itnso does not make it so. Data comes from observation, not computer games.

      • July 26, 2017 8:49 pm

        Precisely!

        How can anyone with the standard issue of brain cells say “Our computer simulations provided one hundred times more data than is available from observed records.” and expect to be takwn seriously?

        The very thought beggars belief!

      • Alex Emodi permalink
        July 26, 2017 10:56 pm

        How brazen of you to suppose that a hockey stick effect produced by a supercomputer could be BS!!! Honestly. The cheek of it.

  5. July 26, 2017 6:48 pm

    Virtual observations? GIGO and we know GI because the model is full of assumptions and has not been validated, hence GO.

  6. HotScot permalink
    July 26, 2017 6:57 pm

    I’ll repeat what I said on another thread, forgive me.

    On Sunday morning at the Brands Hatch British Superbike meeting, the forecast was for a 95% chance of rain during the final race 7 hours or so hence.

    The final race was run under beautiful conditions with light cloud cover and no rain whatsoever.

    A 7 hour forecast!

    • quaesoveritas permalink
      July 27, 2017 10:49 am

      But the response from the MO would probably be, well we said there was a 5% chance of no rain, so the forecast was correct!

    • bitchilly permalink
      August 4, 2017 11:01 pm

      unfortunately the flip side of that is my recent lure fishing trip to the aberdeenshire granite shoreline for pollack and cod that saw a forecast in the morning for odd showers throughout the day with light winds turned out to be constant rain, wind building to 15 mph and temperatures 3c lower than forecast.

      every silver lining has a cloud ,unfortunately it was over a friend and myself on that day . when i hear met office record claims for any uk or european weather event these days i automatically assume they record their own forecasts as opposed to the actual weather that occurred in the area on the day in question.

      • quaesoveritas permalink
        August 5, 2017 10:01 am

        Basically, forecasting rainfall for individual locations is virtually impossible, even with “supercomputers”, yet the MO continue to pretend that they can do it via their web forecasts.
        However, because they don’t actually monitor the accuracy of their forecasts at every location for which they provide a forecast, or even at every location for which they carry out observations, they have no idea how inaccurate their forecasts are.
        Until a nationwide monitoring system is set up, we will never know how accurate the MO forecasts really are or whether they are improving.

      • HotScot permalink
        August 5, 2017 10:34 am

        bitchilly

        A beautiful part of the country and one under consideration for retirement from the SE of England.

        However, the people to consult about the weather there is not the Met Office, it’s the local fishermen. Or even better, an auld fishwife. 🙂

  7. Nordisch-geo-climber permalink
    July 26, 2017 7:04 pm

    Paul,
    Thank you so much for attending to this release.
    One wonders which drugs they are taking.
    I have already emailed Rory Stewart my MP about this, and for the umpteenth time have recommended you for a Knighthood.
    Dave

  8. CheshireRed permalink
    July 26, 2017 7:10 pm

    What’s clear is historical observations completely destroy the propagated myth of likely ‘unprecedented’ future rainfall. There’s no indicator in the historical data that such events are more or less likely so simply put the MO do not know. That being the case – and it is, then they have NO business releasing hysterical cr*p like this report.

    • dave permalink
      July 27, 2017 7:10 am

      Merriam-Webster defines “data” as FACTUAL information.
      How even a “joke scientist” can be ignorant of the definition of the raw stuff of his pretended avocation beggars belief.

      It is possible that these immensely thick thickos do not know the difference between monte-carlo simulation (which is only as good as the real* data), ‘bootstrapping’ (which resamples real* data to understand it better) and model simulation which goes beyond real* data into speculation to find testable predictions.

      *The word “real” before the word “data” is redundant to anybody who has been instructed in the logic of induction.

  9. martinbrumby permalink
    July 26, 2017 7:26 pm

    Josh had better watch out.

    The Met Office graphic, with little pictures of them throwing real data in the bin, mass producing entirely bogus data (and printing it out! What about Gaia??) and some bespectacled young miss waving to a depiction of candles on a birthday cake, had me rolling on the floor until I realised that it was the MET’s own idea of something sciency enough to impress the plebs and confound those naughty deniers.

    Of course, the biggest laughs are that:-
    (a) we’re paying for it and
    (b) we’ll pay ten thousand times more for lovely extra whirligigs, sunbeam dream catchers and Musky electric chariots. None of which work.

  10. July 26, 2017 7:32 pm

    It must be really embarassing for Met Office employees to admit that they actually “work” for an organisation that is supposed to produce weather forecasts but is better at produceing cartoons. I suppose the high taxpayer funded salaries, pensions and holidays compensate to some extent.

  11. CheshireRed permalink
    July 26, 2017 7:45 pm

    Paul, look at that second image. ‘Our climate has also changed, so older observations may no longer be so relevant’.
    Can you actually believe the f*****g nerve of that? What they’re doing is trying to discredit older data so it can be replaced with their newer, preferred data. In short they’re priming the public so they can adjust the hell out of data to fit their theory, yet again.
    Where do actual observations support catastrophic AGW? They’re adjusting everything in sight to suit their agenda. I think you could do a brilliant expose summarising all their adjustments. There’s simply loads and the whole thing is a now a complete disgrace.

    • July 26, 2017 8:49 pm

      Newer computer model generated simulations are NOT data. No comparison. Data happened in the real world and was observed and measured.

    • Bitter&twisted permalink
      July 26, 2017 9:23 pm

      What the Met Orifice is doing is replacing 100 years of real data with the output of a model.
      GIGO springs to mind.
      These idiots are not scientists, but astrologist.

  12. Ross King permalink
    July 26, 2017 8:21 pm

    As I have said before, it is axiomatic that at any one time, SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE is likely having a RECORD SOMETHING ….. SO WHAT?
    A Record Hi here may well accompany a Record Low 20 km. away, let alone 200, 2000 or 12,000 km. away.
    This material is not worth the paper it is written upon, and is pure, unadulterated, statistic-manipulist, catastrophist garbage.

    • dave permalink
      July 27, 2017 7:13 am

      “…statistic-manipulist…”

      Change that to “STATIS-manipulist,” and you might be on to something.

      • dave permalink
        July 27, 2017 7:14 am

        Sorry, typo:

        STATIST – manipulation

    • Gerry, England permalink
      July 27, 2017 12:52 pm

      Especially true if you remember that some data series are very short giving much greater chance of setting a record.

  13. Jack Broughton permalink
    July 26, 2017 8:41 pm

    The statement of the “problem” in the Infografic states “Our climate has also changed…..”. This is the first error as our climate has not changed so far as any measurement of climate is concerned. Not only GIGO as noted by many others, but an unsubstantiated problem.

    Computer models are great tools, but need validation and testing before any credence is given to them. How does one validate the solution of a non-problem? This junk-science proves only that the computer should be taken away from these people.

    • July 26, 2017 8:52 pm

      JB, what you reasonably propose is not physically possible. See my guest post ‘The Trouble with Models’ sometime ago at WUWT for details.

  14. tom0mason permalink
    July 26, 2017 8:54 pm

    Here you go Met Office a highly technical document for you all to consider

    • M E Emberson. permalink
      July 26, 2017 9:41 pm

      We could get the local mayors in New Zealand to look at this model.
      They are petitioning the NZ Government to do more on Climate change.
      This is a country where the coastline can change drastically in a matter of seconds because of seismic activity… see Kaikoura coast.. and the mayors are worried about sea level rise and the effect on coastal communities caused by’ Carbon’ in the atmosphere which they claim causes the Antarctic ice to melt.

  15. MrGrimNasty permalink
    July 26, 2017 9:23 pm

    ‘Virtual observations’, LOL, you couldn’t make it up (but they did!).

  16. Green Sand permalink
    July 26, 2017 9:45 pm

    Basic physics! To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction! However since the US rejection/questioning of the Paris ‘Accord’ the laws of physics have been defied! Feed back has generated such a plethora of PR ‘studies’ that suggest we no longer need any physical means of power generation, from now on it would appear we have securred access to perpetual motion.

    PS Bollocks!

  17. July 26, 2017 10:09 pm

    Looking back through local records I don’t think we should disregard what has gone before. I cannot understand why Met Office resources cannot be directed toward digitising data back to the 18th century. Digitising these rainfall records would give valuable insight into the hydrology of any given area and improve understanding of why some regions are more liable to flood than others.

    It is commendable that the Met Office are trying to work on these probabilities but it is obvious that sooner or later another weather catastrophe will happen somewhere in the UK. I am sure that greater study of historic local rainfall would reveal areas where cloudbursts are more likely. After all even if the lower atmosphere / climate has changed local topography, which greatly influences local rainfall events, has changed only very slowly through glaciation etc over millions of years.

    The Met Office would do well to look back at historic events and combine them into their algorithm.

    https://wansteadmeteo.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/when-the-river-lea-was-a-mile-wide/

    https://wansteadmeteo.wordpress.com/2014/06/18/june-deluge-that-created-redbridge-on-sea/

    • Gerry, England permalink
      July 27, 2017 12:54 pm

      They would find out some inconvenient truths probably. The great record south-east rain of a few years back would disappear for a start.

  18. Green Sand permalink
    July 26, 2017 10:53 pm

    It truly fascinates me to wonder how many sacrifices these snowflakes will demand when we again meet a proper storm, 1703.

    • CheshireRed permalink
      July 27, 2017 9:37 am

      North sea storm surge, 1953. Killed 300+ Brits plus over 1,800 in the Netherlands. If it happened today there’d be hysterics about ‘this is climate change, here, now’. The Guardian would be apoplectic. We live in insane times.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Sea_flood_of_1953

      • John Ellyssen permalink
        July 27, 2017 4:53 pm

        Indeed.

  19. Paddy permalink
    July 27, 2017 6:35 am

    My advice to the Met Office would be to take a look at History, and look out of the flippin’ window. Then, if the presently useless Environment Agency would get off their @sses and dredge the flippin’ rivers, we could all sleep easy. Problem solved.

  20. Europeanonion permalink
    July 27, 2017 8:05 am

    It is not weather per se that is the problem as much as the coercion of weather to comply with…weather ‘models’. When we had the inundation of the Somerset levels a review of the circumstances arrived at the unpalatable finding that matters associated with green issues had exacerbated what was a good drenching. In an effort to create a wild place draining and water controls had been neglected resulting in a natural outcome, the swell of water to find its own level.

    The stresses between green comprehension had made a situation whereby there was determination to turn what was already a wild life refuge into a simulation of what some believed that area had been like before it was settled and drained; it was not surprising how the intervention of weather jeopardised human settlement and killed off innumerable creatures that had adapted to that environment over centuries.

    This is an era of enormous devastation of the wild environment and it is essential that more wilderness is encouraged, and not that sort that the RSPB favours where access is revenue and wild is but the conditions of the zoo. The right to roam, the opening of private land to anyone who has the yen to challenge and insinuate is the enemy of nature, that nature which, in every departure, is being curtailed.

    The hypocrisy associated with preservation is stunning. Today we see the unfettered, piecemeal destruction of not only ancient natural food pathways through our countryside but the even more casual destruction of human communities in an effort to house a population size which, for such a relatively small land space, is unsuitable. When this week it was announced that building firms were employing unsavoury tactics in their sales methods and over-charging customers at an exorbitant rate, were we surprised? And yet these are the very same people that government has blessed, sanctified, as being the saviours for a housing requirement that the State’s various conflicting ‘seat of the pants’ methodology encouraged in the first place.

    Where once the British countryside was a delight to the eye from which sprang iconic architecture and pleasant habitation of diverse characteristics, we now have the evolution of the one size fits all housing box that Pete Seeger sang about way back when. The State has managed to pull a trick that has not only divested us of cultural singularity but also bludgeoned our wild population too.

    A site for building left fallow will produce wild plants and natural diversity which will attract all manner of creatures and the foundations of an ecology. Yet, when the site is finally developed the site will wipe out a concentration of flora an fauna that attributed the name refuge to that place, a devastating act of destruction. We are completely at odds with the place in which we live and for an impoverished nation all too ready to take up piecemeal resolutions to issues that are fundamental to our well being.

    • bitchilly permalink
      August 4, 2017 11:28 pm

      one of my biggest bugbears relating to the green blob is the current trend for “nature reserves” to spring up where quarrying has taken place or reservoirs become surplus to requirements.

      things are great at the outset. big announcements from some local politicians that get some corporates to bung a few quid into fencing , a few paths round the lake or pond and some cut price saplings ,(most of the money goes on the signs dotted around the “nature reserve” loudly proclaiming the indentity of the virtue signallers ,sorry politicians and executives from said corporates) usually local school kids plant the saplings for free and a spot on a plaque.

      all well and good so far. in the case of the ex reservoir fish, aquatic plant life and associated birds will already exist. disused quarries take time to mature ,the aquatic plants take hold first and then slowly they mature as nature takes hold. fish appear either from local burns or transfer of eggs by birds.

      unfortunately now these places are in the hands of clueless trustees of the “nature reserve” ie badly managed for the sole preserve of the looky but no touchy brigade. no fishing, kids not allowed to poke around with little nets in the water,no straying off designated paths etc. so they see limited use and no proper management.

      over time silt begins to take hold ,aided by plant detritus build ups. over several years the water disappears ,along with the aquatic based biomass and we end up with a field. that might well be nature taking its intended course, but it is far away from the original aim. these projects should be designed for maximum use. kids thrive on physical interaction with nature , they get bored just looking at things.

      these places have the potential to generate the next generation of responsible anglers , naturalists and genuine environmentalists. instead , like many arenas of life today they are all about short term virtue signalling headlines with no long term substance , a bit like the met office.

  21. Tim Hammond permalink
    July 27, 2017 9:11 am

    I assume what they are saying is that they run lots and lots of different scenarios, and a third of them show lots of rain.

    They are not modeling one future, but lots and lots of possible futures. That’s not wholly dumb perhaps. I suspect their accuracy is spurious however, and assumes a knowledge of the climate and an ability to model it that is far lower than necessary.

  22. dennisambler permalink
    July 27, 2017 9:18 am

    2005
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4091068.stm 14 June, 2005

    “Huge swathes of England could take on a Mediterranean look within 50 years as native woodlands are threatened by warmer, drier summers, say scientists.

    Olive groves, vines and sunflower fields could become hallmarks of the landscape in South-East England as global warming changes conditions.

    Experts also say the English country garden is unlikely to survive in the South East in its present form.

    Rolling lawns and herbaceous borders may be ousted by palms and eucalyptus”.

    2009
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2009/jun/18/uk-weather-climate-impact-report

    “Scientists today produced a detailed map of how climate change is expected to affect every part of the UK over the next century. Experts from the Met Office used sophisticated computer models to build up a picture of how temperature and rainfall are likely to change across 600 different locations.

    To produce the new predictions, the scientists ran 300 versions of their sophisticated climate computer model, and pooled the results to see which outcomes were most likely. The results cannot be used to predict specific weather on future dates, but they indicate broad trends.”

    • bea permalink
      July 27, 2017 12:40 pm

      “…a Mediterranean look within 50 years…”

      I was promised, fifty years ago, that, instead of living on the South Coast of England, I would – by now – be living on the French Riviera, without having to use my passport. I asked if the food would be as good. That was facetious, but in fact that bit is closer to the truth than the climate bull-shit. After the Schengen debacle, I am back to having to use my passport, too.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      July 27, 2017 12:57 pm

      Well the vines were damaged with up to 75% affected and my medlar fruit killed off by 2 nights of frost in April – so much for the Mediterranean climate.

  23. quaesoveritas permalink
    July 27, 2017 10:19 am

    Look how “The Metro” reported this:
    http://metro.co.uk/2017/07/24/forecasters-make-grim-prediction-for-uk-winters-as-climate-change-bites-6803081/
    More ammunition for the alarmists.

  24. David Cowdell permalink
    July 27, 2017 11:19 am

    Some years ago I was in a hotel in Bracknell and chatting to a chap from Belfast who had come over to do a 6 week stint to forecast the UK weather at the Met Office. He seemed to be upset and when asked why he answered “Look at the weather, if I had known it would be as nice as this, I would have had the day off”
    So they do have a sense of reality.

  25. July 27, 2017 11:33 am

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    Great post by Paul Homewood. When I investigate the past I’m often left feeling how lucky we are in our current climate. World War One was full of extremes that would blow MSM heads today.

    Bruce at Xmetman makes a valid point about using the information we do have (and that is sadly left out on favour of computer models). Hopefully one day we will follow the work of Lamb in using these wonderful records to understand our climate.
    http://www.xmetman.com/wp/2017/07/24/high-risk-of-unprecedented-rainfall/

    Climate Scepticism also has a good post
    https://cliscep.com/2017/07/24/met-office-bin-data-use-models-instead/

    • July 27, 2017 12:02 pm

      I cannot believe that with the amount of statisticians that the MetO could have access to the they cannot work something into their algorithm when modelling future climate.
      Even if the lower to mid-level atmosphere has changed the topography that influences flooding and rainfall behaviour has changed only very slowly over thousands of years. The physics of where heavy rainfall occurs (orographic rainfall etc) is surely the same?

  26. July 27, 2017 12:31 pm

    The reason why these Met Office scientists rejected earlier rainfall data is that pre 1981 was deemed to be “irrelevant” because the study was all about the risk of extreme UK winter rainfall in the “current climate”, which they arbitrarily defined as 1981-2015. So, they assume:

    1. The climate before 1981 was so significantly different from the post 1981 climate that it invalidated using actual observations of extreme rainfall events from the met office’s regional rainfall database, which goes all the way back to 1766.

    2. The ‘current climate’ is stable – even though the period covers the very rapid rise in temperature from 1981-98 – only stabilising thereafter, but even this fact is disputed by climate scientists.

    To make up for the lack of real data stretching back over just 35 years (when climate began), they generated 3500 extra years of ‘data’ using climate models. This gave 100 times more ‘winters’ (which the study also re-defined to be Oct-Mar inclusive) and thus the Met Office were astounded to discover that some really, really extreme winters were ‘observed’ in that 3500 year long cyberspace within their God-like supercomputer.

    Hey Presto! The Met Office weather priests were able to tell the country that the risk of ‘unprecedented’ (well, since 1981, when climate began) extreme rainfall in the ‘current climate’ was now a lot greater than we had assumed and the extreme rainfall was a lot more extreme than we could ever have imagined! SCIENCE!

  27. July 27, 2017 3:25 pm

    1. Conflation of simulations with “data”.
    2. Approx 150 years of data.
    3. Thompson: “100 times” data from simulations” means fake 15,000 years data”.

    We’re supposed to believe warnings about weather in coming near days because someone has an “idea” of what 15,000 years of most recent UK weather looks like?

    • quaesoveritas permalink
      July 27, 2017 3:29 pm

      I think she meant 100 x 35 years (of real data).
      But that would be 3500 years, not the 1750 quoted in the press release.

  28. quaesoveritas permalink
    July 27, 2017 3:48 pm

    The Met Office forecast 3 hours of heavy rain (not heavy showers) in my location today (13:00 to 15:00) they later changed that to 4 hours, by extending it to 16:00, with a 90% probability at 15:00.

    We eventually got a short heavy shower just before 16:00.

    From a sample I did in April 2015 forecasts of “Heavy Rain” were only correct about 33% of the time for the first 24 hours.

    I suspect that the MO forecasts tend to over-estimate the amount if rain. Most of the time there was no rain at all. (MO own observations at Albemarle)

    If they can’t get the forecasts right for the first 24 hours, why should we trust their long range forecasts?

  29. quaesoveritas permalink
    July 27, 2017 4:03 pm

    Further information from the Met Office:

    “I hope you find the following information obtained from the Met Office Hadley Centre useful:

    We use latest high- resolution climate model data to explore what is physically possible in the current climate but simply has yet to be seen in observations.

    We only compare directly in this study to the last 35 years of observations as this is the period over which we were running our model simulations, so allowing direct comparison.

    The observed England and Wales precipitation dataset that we use only starts in 1960 when a higher density and coverage of rain gauge data is available.

    The climate is changing and so the most relevant observed data to the current climate is that over the last decades, as we cannot generate more observed data, we turn to new high- resolution climate model simulations that can prove ~100 times more data.

    From observations alone, we do not know (for a given region, in a given month) whether the real-world has been ‘lucky’ or ‘unlucky’ with respect to experiencing extreme rainfall. That is why it is valuable to turn to our latest climate model simulations to attempt to assess what the underlying risk is in the current climate, so that such extreme events can be anticipated.”

  30. July 27, 2017 6:01 pm

    There is a glaring inconsistency here in calculating the probability of extreme weather by running climate models thousands of times. They’ve generated 100×35 years of virtual ‘observations’. I am sure that, if the ‘current climate’ were to be maintained for a period of 3500 years, we would indeed eventually see all these weird and wonderful extremely wet winters, simply because, over such a long period, natural variability would play itself out to the maximum extent possible given the prevailing atmospheric conditions. But that’s not going to happen. We have possibly two decades more of the ‘current climate’ before it shifts (i.e. gets warmer or cooler) and general circulation patterns shift with it probably. I don’t think that’s enough time for their extreme rainfall scenarios to play out with anything like the 34% probability which they calculate.

  31. tom0mason permalink
    July 30, 2017 12:54 pm

    For the latest look at what 12 weather models are saying about the likely Autumn weather for the UK, have a look at gavsweathervids.com latest video at https://www.youtube.com/embed/BKSkmhEJnc8?ecver=1. These models are from weather outlets across the world from Australia, Brazil to Russia, Germany to Korea and Japan, and many others!
    The vast majority of these models incorporate climate model information, thus they are indicating warmer than usual temperatures (but that is what they usually say — and often correct themselves in the shorter term as they’ll have it wrong) but overall there is no reliable pattern to pick from all these models’ predictions.
    By the way ALL of them will update before any of the events they predict to happen, and so NONE of them should be taken as any more accurate than a guess.

    IMO, as a piece of entertainment these weather models are as interesting as and TV soap opera.
    So what is your guess for the Autumn weather. (I’m going for average temperatures but more rain.)

  32. quaesoveritas permalink
    July 31, 2017 8:00 am

    I managed to get a hold of a link to the paper on which this News Release was based.
    I haven’t had a chance to read this in detail yet but others may find it interesting.
    It’s a pity they didn’t include a link to this in the news release.
    http://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-00275-3

  33. July 31, 2017 9:45 pm

    It rained for weeks in Belgium in 1917,but many did not survive to tell the tale.R.I.P.

  34. quaesoveritas permalink
    August 3, 2017 1:18 pm

    A critique of the MO paper from the GWPF:
    https://www.thegwpf.org/the-uk-met-offices-model-muddle/

  35. August 4, 2017 7:11 pm

    Yet another show that the Wet Orifice is totally divorced from science in a agenda-lead drive with its head firmly up a model’s backside. You are doing sterling work Paul..

  36. Jack Broughton permalink
    August 5, 2017 11:52 am

    A story for the Clown Prince of Wallies next book:
    Henny-Penny, Cocky-Locky, Ducky-Lucky and Turkey-Lurkey rushed to the met office and said “AGW is going to kill us all” . The met office immediately employed them all and the BBC praised them and put it on the news. Sadly, Trumpy-Lumpy would not play. so they all cried.

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