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Heatwave “Lucifer”

August 12, 2017

By Paul Homewood



I’m a bit late posting this, but I did want to wait until the heatwave, nicknamed Lucifer had actually died down.

The heat seems to have peaked on Aug 4th, with temperatures up to 44C in Italy and Spain. However, these are well below the all-time records set in the 2003 heatwave of 47.0C and 47.3C respectively.

What does seem to be clear, looking at the historical data, is just how exceptional the 2003 event was. Climate scientists regularly warn us that similar heatwaves will become common in future, but there has so far been no sign at all that it was not just a one-off weather event. (Just as for instance the US summers of 1934 and 1936 were).

Of course, heatwaves in the south of Europe are nothing unusual, as a quick trawl through the Trove newspaper archives shows:










Of particular interest is the heatwave in 1949. It was noted that temperatures in Seville reached 111.1F , which is 44C, the same as recorded in Spain last week:


And the heatwave was not only limited to southern Europe, even the Arctic had one! Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, New York was also experiencing its own prolonged heatwave and drought.


  1. Joe Public permalink
    August 12, 2017 12:35 pm

    To detract from the unseasonably cooler weather England/UK has recently experienced?

    • Annie permalink
      August 12, 2017 1:06 pm

      Undoubtably…mustn’t let anyone notice the cooler summer holiday weather in the UK.

  2. August 12, 2017 1:13 pm

    Imagine, high temperatures in August. Who knew?

    • Paddy permalink
      August 13, 2017 6:17 am

      The first thing one learns from History is that man never learns from History.

  3. August 12, 2017 1:18 pm

    This is what i call the KTCC (Katrina Theory of Climate Change). Skip the inconvenient events, grab any convenient event that comes along, and claim it as evidence that supports your theory. This problem in climate science implies a great weakness in statistics education. The people who like to use the word science to attack their distractors are themselves weak on the concept.

    • August 12, 2017 1:19 pm


      • Graeme No.3 permalink
        August 12, 2017 10:35 pm

        Well said. Climatology isn’t science. It may have been when H.H.Lamb was working, but in the last 30 years it as been going downhill quickly.

  4. Ben Vorlich permalink
    August 12, 2017 1:45 pm

    Not sure I didn’t hear that there had been snow in the Alps overnight on BFMTV. The news here (Limousin France) has moved on from Heatwaves and bush fires to summer holidays in winter conditions. Most oif France north of the Massif Central has had a very cool summer and probably the coldest late July early August for some time. On the plus side for “renewables” it has been unusually windy.

    Chamonix overnight is 8’C today and 6’C tomorrow and Limoges is 10’C today and 13’C tomorrow.

  5. August 12, 2017 4:02 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    Cold wet summer is weather, any heat is climate change…even if it’s happened before

  6. August 12, 2017 4:13 pm

    People get all excited because a high-pressure system sits over some location for a while and heats things up a bit. This happens all the time. It is pefectly normal. Al Gore wants us to believe the high-pressure system stalling over Europe was caused by humans putting CO2 in the atmosphere.

  7. manicbeancounter permalink
    August 12, 2017 5:28 pm

    At the time of the European heatwave of 2003 – which included Britain – it was proclaimed that climate scientists believed that similar events would become more common in the future. When it was announced the Southern Europe was experiencing the hottest temperatures for more than a decade, it reminded me of this event.
    A colleague from work went to Majorca on Tuesday last week. Being an island the peak temperatures in Palma were “only” around 37 degrees, but by Tuesday had dropped to a more usual 30 degrees.

  8. MrGrimNasty permalink
    August 12, 2017 7:17 pm

    What you often find when these latter-day heat records are claimed is that a higher record existed up until a few years or even just months ago, but some committee met to ‘examine’ it, decided it couldn’t possibly be accurate, and struck it out. Hey presto you quickly get a new record to declare!

  9. August 13, 2017 2:41 am

    The people who believe in AGW caused by CO2 are the people who are denying science. The science of thermalization and the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution of molecule energy explain why CO2 does not now, has never had and will never have a significant effect on climate.

    Failing to recognize that CO2 has no significant effect on climate is a distressing mistake but is dwarfed by the potential disasters of ignoring what is happening that actually does.

    The still-rising water vapor (WV) is rising more than twice as fast as expected from water temperature increase alone (feedback). The rising WV coincides with rising irrigation, especially spray irrigation on fields and lawns. The warming (WV is a ghg) is welcome (countering the average global cooling which would otherwise be occurring as a result of declining net effect of ocean cycles and a declining proxy which is the time-integral of SSN anomalies) but the added WV increases the risk of precipitation related flooding. How much of recent flooding (with incidences reported world wide) is simply bad luck in the randomness of weather and how much is because of the ‘thumb on the scale’ of added water vapor?

  10. Ben Vorlich permalink
    August 13, 2017 8:05 am

    BFMTV Weather report this morning pointed out the contrast between Northern France and the south. The north being cold, wet and tourist free whilst the south is warm/hot sunny and tourism is at its usual level. This contrast seems to be across the whole of Europe this summer. I don’t know about southern Europe but I have more memories of summers like 2017 in the UK than summers of 1976.

    On the subject of hot summers it appears that many of the fires in France were started by people either deliberately or accidentally. The Canadair aircraft used in the fire fighting aren’t “strong enough” to extinguish some of the blazes. Some large areas have been burnt, but I can’t help thinking the areas saved will burn even more fiercely in a few years time.

  11. dave permalink
    August 13, 2017 8:30 am

    We know that the real disaster which threatens Britain is a “cold wave,” like those of early 1947 or 1963, combined with an “unexpected” failure of energy supply. We also know – with 100% certainty – that when this happens “the right” and “climate change” will get the blame.

  12. Chris Lynch permalink
    August 13, 2017 11:04 am

    Heatwaves this summer have been sporadic and limited in geographical extent – mostly in the Mediterranean, which is the normal pattern. The summer in much of western and northern Europe has been marked by cool unsettled conditions. The inflation and hyperbole attached to the relatively short lived and far from unprecedented “Lucifer” heatwave by meteorological spokesmen indicates the compulsive dishonesty that underpins so many organisations whose integrity we should be able to rely on.

  13. August 14, 2017 6:04 am

    Snow in the Alps this week 😉

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