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Met Office Extreme Rainfall Scam

November 20, 2019

By Paul Homewood


h/t John Cooknell


 The Met Office continue to push their “heavy rainfall due to climate change” propaganda:






But every time they do so, they start their analysis in or around 1961. Note, in this example, they use 1961-90 as a base.

However, as I have reported previously, it is well established amongst experts in this field that this period, from the 1960s to 90s, was a “flood dry period” in the UK, a term which has come to be commonly used amongst scientists.

Prof Stuart Lane of Durham University is usually the source I refer to, and he was quoted by the University in 2008:

However, in looking at longer rainfall and river flow records, Prof. Lane shows that we have forgotten just how normal flooding in the UK is. He looked at seasonal rainfall and river flow patterns dating back to 1853 which suggest fluctuations between very wet and very dry periods, each lasting for a few years at a time, but also very long periods of a few decades that can be particularly wet or particularly dry.

In terms of river flooding, the period since the early 1960s and until the late 1990s appears to be relatively flood free, especially when compared with some periods in the late 19th century and early 20th Century. As a result of analysing rainfall and river flow patterns, Prof. Lane believes that the UK is entering a flood rich period that we haven’t seen for a number of decades.

He said: “We entered a generally flood-poor period in the 1960s, earlier in some parts of the country, later in others. This does not mean there was no flooding, just that there was much less than before the 1960s and what we are seeing now. This has lowered our own awareness of flood risk in the UK. This has made it easier to go on building on floodplains. It has also helped us to believe that we can manage flooding without too much cost, simply because there was not that much flooding to manage.”

He added: “We have also not been good at recognising just how flood-prone we can be. More than three-quarters of our flood records start in the flood-poor period that begins in the 1960s. This matters because we set our flood protection in terms of return periods – the average number of years between floods of a given size. We have probably under-estimated the frequency of flooding, which is now happening, as it did before the 1960s, much more often that we are used to.


But he is not the only one aware of this issue.

In 2013, Wilby & Quinn found that not only were there clearly identifiable flood rich periods, but that the major weather systems responsible floods showed no sustained trends:



Conventional techniques for quantifying and then managing flood risks are invalid under ‘non-stationary’ climate conditions. Trend detection and attribution are problematic given that the outcome depends on the start and end date of the record, choice of index and test statistic, assumed behaviour of the system, and many non-climatic confounding factors. Analyses are further hampered by short and non-homogeneous flow records. In this paper, we use an objective weather classification scheme to reconstruct the atmospheric drivers of fluvial flood occurrence and magnitude in England, Scotland and Wales since the 1870s. We demonstrate the index using long (>50 year) annual maximum (AMAX) and peak over threshold (POT) flood records for 114 stations. Synoptic indices show modest skill at hindcasting multi-decadal variations in flood frequency at national, regional and catchment scales, but not for flood magnitudes. Flood rich episodes are identified in the periods 1908–1934, 1977–1988 and from 1998 onwards. We find that five weather types account for 68% of flood occurrence, and just three types were linked to the most widespread winter floods. These flood-generating systems generally show no sustained changes in frequency, persistence, relative contribution, or rain-bearing properties since the 1930s. However, there are emergent patterns in the day-to-day persistence (declining) and mean precipitation yield (rising) of anticyclonic weather types that merit further investigation. Based on our evaluation, we recommend use of objective weather indices derived from observed atmospheric pressure patterns when interpreting fluvial flood risk linked to climate drivers.

In 2017, Macdonald and Sangster went one step further, with their analysis of flood chronologies since 1750.

The apparent increase in flooding witnessed over the last decade appears in consideration to the long-term flood record not to be unprecedented; whilst the period since 2000 has been considered as flood-rich, the period 1970–2000 is “flood poor”, which may partly explain why recent floods are often perceived as extreme events. The much publicised (popular media) apparent change in flood frequency since 2000 may reflect natural variability, as there appears to be no shift in long-term flood frequency

They also produced this chart, illustrating flood dry period during most of the 1960 to 1990 period, along with other notably flood rich periods:



Finally Jamal Munshi comes at it from a different angle, with an analysis of monthly rainfall since 1976. He too finds clusters of flood years, but finds them to be simply random events:



All of this raises serious questions about the Met Office. If they are aware of these cyclical fluctuations, and particularly the flood dry period in between 1961 and 1990, why are they misleading the public about the cause of heavy rainfall and floods in recent years?

And if they are not aware of flood histories, surely this points to gross incompetence?

Either way, it casts them in a very poor light.

  1. November 20, 2019 5:50 pm

    It has now been revealed that exactly the same problems have arisen in the north Yorkshire flood plain as happened ten years ago with the floods in Somerset. Despite farmers, locals and environmental organisations annually requesting flood prevention methods to be undertaken in north Yorkshire, all such requests have been ignored. But it is now very convenient for the result of this lack of action to be blamed on ‘climate change’.

    • roger permalink
      November 20, 2019 10:20 pm

      Not only ignored but willfully treated with contempt by inexperienced officials pursuing the EU directives conceived as pan European cures for continental application.

    • November 20, 2019 10:46 pm

      Fishlake is in SOUTH Yorkshire.

      • Duker permalink
        November 22, 2019 4:36 am

        In the big scheme of things for weather, North and South Yorkshire are the same. You may think its ‘big in England’, but compared to US states its just smaller than Connecticut ! . That only leaves little Delaware and Rhode Island smaller.

  2. John189 permalink
    November 20, 2019 6:03 pm

    Met Office:

    “Several indicators show that the UK’s climate is becoming wetter….the change depends on your location – for example, changes are largest for Scotland and not significant for most areas of southern and eastern England”

    Woolly narrative, perverse conclusion.

    • November 21, 2019 9:28 am

      But the last two months were drier than average in some parts of Scotland, and average in much of the rest. Doesn’t fit the MetO narrative/propaganda.

  3. Coeur de Lion permalink
    November 20, 2019 6:20 pm

    The problem is that the Met Office reputation has been hooked for years on AGW (see the Climate part of the website) and any ‘denial’ will be VERY EMBARRASSING!

  4. daveetchell permalink
    November 20, 2019 6:41 pm

    Hi Paul, I occasionally try to print your articles off for use elsewhere but all I can get is the first page with something about Openheimer. Is there anything I can do to get the full article. Dave

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10


    • HotScot permalink
      November 21, 2019 12:39 am


      You might try printing the page to *.pdf from within your browser if you haven’t already.

      Your browser should have a print menu from which you should be able to change from HTML to *.pdf.

      Hope it helps.

  5. MrGrimNasty permalink
    November 20, 2019 6:43 pm

    Not to worry, the flooding can be prevented by an army of Beavers and banning sheep farming (so the eco-fruits say).

    • Gerry, England permalink
      November 22, 2019 1:44 pm

      Beavers build dams which are usually closely associated with a build up of water…….

  6. john cooknell permalink
    November 20, 2019 6:43 pm

    Part of the problem is that only a few years ago the Met office, EA, et al were pushing permanent drought. Backed up by robust science!

    Billions were spent by government in 2010-2012 on emergency drought mitigation, only for it to rain and rain.

  7. Huw Thomas permalink
    November 20, 2019 6:54 pm

    The Met Office are one of the “reputable ” science drivers of climate change alarm. Yet time and again their science is dubious and weak. Congratulations to this site for confronting their nonsense.

  8. November 20, 2019 7:31 pm

    I seem to recall a few years ago that the Met Office had about 250 employees working in the field of “climate change”. They don’t seem to publicise information about the staff anymore, but it is obvious why they lie about climate change in order to keep the money rolling in.

  9. LeedsChris permalink
    November 20, 2019 7:43 pm

    The Met Office are custodians of a library that has amongst the longest and best weather records in the world. There is a fundamental dishonesty in their obsession with short-term trends and not putting these in a proper context.

    It has been known for many years that rainfall in England and Wales runs in cycles: periods of wet years and periods of dry. Thomas Barker, who kept detailed weather records in Rutland in the 18th Century noted that his records showed a significant increase in rainfall during his period of observing, particularly after 1760 – the 1740s were very dry, the 1760s, on average a quarter wetter. In the annals of British Rainfall, the 1870s were wet, whereas previous decades were dry. Plenty of more recent academic study has confirmed this.

    The same is true of flooding. A study by N. Macdonald and H. Sangster in Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci, 21 (2017) has looks at high magnitude flooding in Britain since 1750 and concludes that “The current flood rich period is of particular interest with several extreme events documented in recent years, although it should be noted from an historical perspective that these are not unprecedented” with several periods with comparable flooding since 1750. The study adds that the period 1970-2000 is ‘flood poor, which may partly explain why recent floods are often perceived as extreme events. It also notes that these flood rich periods in England often coincided with flood rich periods across Europe. They spot a link with the Dalton Minimum for solar activity and the notable floods in the 8 years 1769-1779 and also wider links to the North Atlantic Oscillation.

    Neil Macdonald has also examined flood frequency on the River Trent since 1320. In a 2012 study he ranked the 20 largest floods by discharge and found the most recent major flood – in 2000 – ranked 7th in terms of discharge at Nottingham (1019 cubic metres per second). Out of the top 3 floods 2 were in the 18th Century and the flood in 1795 had a discharge fully 40% greater than 2000. Before 2000 only 1977 and 1960 in the second half of the 20th Century rank in the top 20.

    The Met Office should be ashamed that it does not apply all this wealth of knowledge and history.

    • November 20, 2019 8:08 pm

      Leeds Chris

      I live close to the met office and often use their library and archives. I sometimes sees notes in books that illustrate such as Hubert lamb came before me.

      Many of the books and journals are not digitised and to many desktop internet researchers that renders them invisible to their research projects. Also, those preceding the agw scare (roughly 1980) are often considered unreliable and anecdotal, so all in all the older records are often not available, forgotten or un-regarded and not so much fun as fiddling with computer graphics

      It could explain why the librarians used to lament that they rarely saw the climate scientists in their domain, which is on the ground floor and just a few yards from the restaurant and entrance. To be fair there is a programme of digitisation going on, but that tends to be those tomes currently ‘well regarded’ .

      . I was told by a very senior met office scientist that there is no money for primary historical research these days although some of the older scientists remain interested in historical climatology.


      • Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
        November 21, 2019 2:34 am

        I’m surprised they still allow you entry!

      • tonyb permalink
        November 21, 2019 8:59 am

        Nancy and John

        They are very friendly and very helpful. I have had several meetings with such as Richard Betts and David Parker and they introduce me to other scientists who have information I want.

        I would say the senior (older) staff are interested in the historical record but don’t forget that for a period they believed that our climate was stable until the last century.

      • November 21, 2019 1:22 pm

        Generally I think the computer age has generated a form of intellectual lazyness. If it is not in digital form then it either does not exist or it is too irksome to consider. In either case the information gets excluded. I suffer from this myself.
        Also, I was trained in the era of log tables, slide rules, pencil and paper and recall that one thought very carefully before you reached conclusions. Today I suspect much of this thinking gets assigned to a faith in what you see winking at you on a computer screen. I also suffer from this and have caught out on many occasions.

  10. Up2snuff permalink
    November 20, 2019 8:12 pm

    1961-1990 a ‘Flood Dry Period’?

    Not in my experience. The very wet summer of 1968.Then add other events at different times. Tonbridge flooded. Beckenham &/or Eltham flooded. Hereford flooded. Upper Thames flooded. And that is for just the southern half of England!

    What constitutes a ‘Flood Dry Period’?

    Seem to recall that you, Paul, referred to all these events and more, when debunking a Climate Alarmist scare earlier this year or at the end of 2018.

    • November 20, 2019 8:34 pm

      Yes, the floods of 1968 were some of the worst experienced in Surrey

      It does not mean that the whole 30yrs was flood free, simply that over the period as a whole floods were less frequent.

      That McDonald and Sangster graph shows it well. There was a noticaeble peak in flooding in the late 1960s, but overall the mid 60s were dry, along with the late 1970s and 80s.

      There is inevitably regional variation within this, but the dates are generally agreed on in all these studies.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        November 22, 2019 1:49 pm

        Remember it well. Touring around looking at the flooding of the Mole. Some of the destroyed bridges have never been replaced. The Eden also flooded and probably some of the others that feed into the Medway.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      November 21, 2019 9:43 am

      We still had some astonishing summer heatwaves in the little ice age. Same thing. Weather/climate!

  11. john cooknell permalink
    November 20, 2019 9:58 pm

    The experts on UK flooding are National Hydrological Monitoring Programme
    and this is a summary quote from the latest report (2017) that I can find on their website.

    Click to access N515303CR.pdf

    “The moderate increase in runoff in the 21st century
    relative to the previous 40 years, possibly linked
    to climate change, demonstrates the inherent
    variability of UK river flows. The fact that the earlier
    ‘flood poor’ period dominates the hydrometric
    time series for the majority of gauging stations
    calls into question the homogeneity of the data.
    Correspondingly, there is a particular need to
    establish whether the increased runoff in the
    21st century is part of a resilient long-term trend.
    This requires a more penetrating understanding
    of the mechanisms driving flood variability and a
    continuing need to devote sufficient resources to
    the accurate measurement of flood flows across
    the UK.”

    Says it all really, not sufficient information to decide, but off go the Green Blob and Ms Otto and Myles attributing things where the records don’t even know! I have no idea where the Met Office get their headline info from, but I would have thought a little more uncertainty would not be amiss.

  12. November 20, 2019 10:38 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate-

  13. ianprsy permalink
    November 20, 2019 11:01 pm

    Just caught the end of Look North and heard Paul-the-weatherman claim that the local flooding will get worse due to climate change. He doesn’t appear to be a follower of this Paul. Disappointed in him. Has he sold out?

    • john cooknell permalink
      November 21, 2019 12:05 am

      Not really sold out, he probably relies on the Met office to keep him informed, and the Met Office say the same.

      The question is “how do they know things will get worse?” when in reality there is no discernible trend, and insufficient information to decide whether the current flooding is more or less than historically.

      It is just as statistically probable that current flood conditions are actually not that bad, and even Ms Otto’s attribution study says that with the uncertainty she gives is so wide anything is equally probable.

      • john cooknell permalink
        November 21, 2019 12:27 am

        Also flooding is linked to rainfall but there is more to flooding than just rainfall amounts.

        Rain gauges measure rain, they don’t measure snow, groundwater amounts, run off from increasing urban areas, etc etc.etc

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        November 21, 2019 8:26 am

        The attribution study just assumes the conclusion. All it is saying is that if the assumptions about climate change are correct then the assumptions about climate change are correct.

      • Bertie permalink
        November 21, 2019 9:35 am

        I believe that philosophy describes this as “begging the question”. A phrase that is now, just like scientific data, utterly misused..

  14. bobn permalink
    November 21, 2019 12:47 am

    Flood dry? Not england. In 1989 I was tasked (as an RAF reconnaissance pilot) to fly over north Lincs and south Yorks to photo the flooding. Both counties were completely inundated as far as i could see travelling at 8 miles a minute. It appears records dont record reality. There were many floods that the RAF wasnt called upon to record but this one was so great they needed my expertise!

  15. November 21, 2019 2:06 am

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  16. Phoenix44 permalink
    November 21, 2019 8:23 am

    Just looking at the claims is enough to know they are bogus – a 4% increase (way within natural variability), weirdly chosen arbitrary comparisons (extremely wet days) and comparison of arbitrary time periods rather than trends.

    This is just junk science. Truly dreadful. Change the parameters in terms of howit is being measured and the claims disappear. It is difficult to see this as anything other than deliberate fraud.

    As for the “seven times more likely”…I despair. How can you calculate that without assuming what you are trying to prove?

  17. Max Stavros permalink
    November 21, 2019 8:50 am

    The Met Office have known for many years there are problems with their gridded Scottish rain datasets.

    The difference between the Scots SP (station) and gridded datasets can be as high at 13 % .

    This is a big gap and maybe due the fact that the Areal series is not “real” data but based on interpolating and normalising station data across a 5 km grid. The Scots mountainous terrain and station distribution does not favour this technique for rainfall, so the Scots Areal series should be taken with a pinch of salt.

  18. john cooknell permalink
    November 21, 2019 8:59 am

    The modelling periods the Met Office have chosen 2008 – 2017 excludes exceptional 2007 summer flooding (which is not a favoured scenario in their climate models) and includes record breaking Dec 2015 Storm Desmond (which is exactly what their climate model predicts).

    The model predicts the model by careful selection of dates.

    Even then after carefully picking the time periods, natural variability is so great that the uncertainty range for the attribution model studies (Otto 2018) includes no change at all up to 250 times more likely. Basically just a poor guess, maybe, or something.

    Then they expect us to take it seriously!

    So there is little point complaining to the BBC about alarmist inaccurate coverage because the Met Office are doing the same!

  19. Steve permalink
    November 21, 2019 9:05 am

    The 1750-present chart does show an overall increased, but this is what would be expected given the small temperature increase that has occurred before the CO2 rise over past 50 years. The more persistent group of floods since 2000 coincides with the sudden increase in population and building over land surface. The increased number of green mollusc lovers and EU worshipping clones employed by the Environment Agency also coincides with the charted increase.

  20. europeanonion permalink
    November 21, 2019 9:12 am

    It makes me wonder which statistics planners prefer. Flooding was once associated with inundation on farm land but increasingly the occurrences are associated with human habitation and therefore human tragedy. The stock photo seems to be one of a church on a promontory surrounded by water; the ancients obviously understood the land and its moods, coercion obviously does not work

  21. November 21, 2019 9:13 am

    Perhaps I should update my analysis based on Control Charts

    It seems that our weather is pretty much normal.

  22. November 21, 2019 9:19 am

    They just had that climate change extreme rainfall and flood event in the USA and it was HUGE! What on earth will it take to convince the deniers that we have a real problem here and that it needs a solution!

    • Bertie permalink
      November 21, 2019 9:42 am

      It’s called weather, dear.

      • john cooknell permalink
        November 21, 2019 10:48 am


        Chaamjamal is being ironic, he wants you to think for yourself so gives you a kick to read his website.

        i learnt quite a bit!

      • November 21, 2019 12:58 pm

        Yes! So hard to remember when you’re knee deep in climate fears

      • Bertie permalink
        November 21, 2019 7:22 pm


    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      November 21, 2019 11:37 am

      Munshi had an earlier paper on the US

      Similar conclusions: rain events are random.

  23. tom0mason permalink
    November 21, 2019 9:51 am

    So you look at the 1961-1990 period (29 years) and 2008-2017 period (9 years), then attempt to say they can be compared.
    It’s called BS.

    Time to sell-off the Met-Office, they offer NO NET WORTH TO THE COUNTRY (but some fool would buy them I’m sure).

  24. Dave Cowdell permalink
    November 21, 2019 9:56 am

    Some years ago my office and the Met Office were in Bracknell and at the hotel I met a chap from Belfast who had come over for a stint to do the entire UK forecasting. He and I used to have beers at night after work. One brilliant summer’s evening he was very disgruntled and when asked why he replied ” look at the weather, if I had known it was going to be like this I would have had the day off”

  25. Matthew Stockford permalink
    November 21, 2019 11:41 am

    What’s happening to temperatures during the rainy periods. CAGW suggests temperatures will increase, but heavier rainfall is surely a sign of cooling as the atmosphere can’t hold the same amount of moisture. That will debunk the global warming theory .

  26. November 23, 2019 1:59 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    In Climate: Present, Past and Future: Volume 2, Hubert Lamb made some astute observations when carrying a gaze backwards through our climate history, particularly Thomas Barker’s observations in 1775;

    These changes affected clothing ;

    And many other practices;

    So by focusing in on just one small period of this history and ignoring what happened before is folly. If we wish to understand and prepare we ignore our history at our peril, yet the Met Office which has all this history available, places it in a memory hole so they can push a political narrative. 🤔

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