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UK Getting Wilder, Wetter Weather? Data Says Not

February 15, 2020

By Paul Homewood


As we keep being reminded, global warming will bring wetter, wilder weather to the UK more often.

Except that the facts tell the opposite story:


Climate change?

Scientists are wary of saying climate change has caused a specific event such as Storm Ciara. And they are divided on the impact global warming could have on the jet stream, which whips up storms and drives them towards the UK.

But scientific modelling suggests stronger winds and heavier rainfall could be in store for the UK as a result of climate change. A warmer atmosphere holds more moisture, making heavy rain and flooding more likely in the years to come. In 2017 researchers concluded the heavy rainfall brought by Storm Desmond, which caused widespread flooding in December 2015, was made 60 per cent more likely by climate change.

Perhaps instead of playing with their silly little models, these so-called scientists might bother to check the actual data:


Analysis of the Met Office’s England & Wales Precipitation Series shows no such trends, either in terms of frequency or severity in winter months.

As can be seen, by far the wettest day was 3rd December 1960:




S Wales was particularly badly affected by floods, but the south and midlands of England were also hit.

Winds reached 68Kts (78mph) on the south coast during that storm, and gales were a common occurrence throughout the month.

December 1960 was not a one-off, four of the six heaviest rains occurred between 1960 and 1979.

In the last ten years, there have been eight days with >15mm of rainfall, below the series average of 1.03 a year.

As for wild weather, even the Met Office have had to admit that they can find no trends over the last five decades. Indeed, their graph clearly shows a decline in storminess since the 1990s:




But where climate science is concerned, models always trump facts!

For perspective, when the S Yorkshire floods hit last November, the average rainfall over England & Wales was 12.19mm on Nov 6th and 5.42mm on the 7th when Sheffield had its heavy rainfall.

The reason the national total was relatively low was because the really heavy rain got stock over the Midlands.

The rainfall during Storm Desmond in December 2015 was even more tightly focussed over a tiny area. Over England & Wales, the rainfall totalled just 4.66mm on the 5th, when most of the rain dropped on Cumbria. (Interestingly, over the NW England region alone, Desmond still only recorded 19.44mm)

These examples perhaps offer an insight into just how severe the rainfall was in December 1960.

  1. GeoffB permalink
    February 15, 2020 5:59 pm

    john curtin is the head of environment agency quoted in telegraph…

    The environment chief blamed the floods partly on climate change, adding: “This could be a step up. For me, this is climate change. Our thinking has to change on climate change.


    Maybe the environment agency screwed up flood defences and needs to offset blame,

    Incidentally…. I am pleased to say the guardian have blocked me from comment on climate change…fame at last

    • CheshireRed permalink
      February 16, 2020 12:03 pm

      Join the club! I had that pleasure 5 years ago as have too many to mention on sceptical blogs like this. ‘Comment is Free’ my eye.

  2. Mack permalink
    February 15, 2020 6:04 pm

    Hang on a minute, more windier and wetter weather to come to the UK because of climate change? That can’t be right. I’ve just stocked up on a new range of rather fetching mankinis to enjoy the drier, hotter (and stiller) weather that the Met Office recently promised bonnie Scotland going forwards. I want my money back. Having said that, since they promised that the Gorbals would soon have the weather of Granada, it’s been p***ing down with rain and a tad breezy and chilly. I hope that their forecasting supercomputer is still under warranty. They need to get it fixed pronto.

  3. Ian Cook permalink
    February 15, 2020 6:12 pm

    Interestingly, the models are a key to the Left way of operation. Their ideology is based on an ability to have ideas in their heads that are completely unsupported by the real world around them. So the models that don’t accord with actual data is a direct and fitting analogue.

  4. Broadlands permalink
    February 15, 2020 6:15 pm

    “And they are divided on the impact global warming could have on the jet stream, which whips up storms and drives them towards the UK.”

    I thought ‘scientists’ (97%) were certain that CO2 causes global warming and therefore must have an impact on the jet streams and other aspects of natural variability. Could they be mistaken?

  5. buchanlad permalink
    February 15, 2020 6:28 pm

    Here in Buchan ( north of Aberdeen ) its a wee bittie breezy and unpleasant .
    Just normal for a mid february weekend . Time all these mad cultists and millenarian crazies
    took some calming pills or perhaps better still some fine speyside malt ? How long before they start joining the real world again ? Even the IPCC appears to be getting the message that the panic needs to stop before we all do ourselves irreparable harm .

  6. February 15, 2020 6:29 pm

    Paul, will you stop reading data
    & listen to the ex-burts at the BBC & The Garbage bin,
    … they know whats best for us plebs.

    Are there any good records of the storm conditions prior to the Dale Dyke Dam collapse 11th March, 1864 ?
    I’m planing a talk on the Sheffield Flood; lots of references to the storm, high winds & rain but can’t find wind speeds or precipitation for that date.

    • February 15, 2020 9:56 pm

      Unfortunately Sheffield weather records only start in the 1980s

      SORRY meant 1880s!

      • February 17, 2020 12:29 am

        Thanks Paul,
        that’s what I’d come up with,
        just hoping you had some obscure source.

  7. Tonyb permalink
    February 15, 2020 6:29 pm

    Having studied thousands of records covering CET back to the 11th century there is no doubt that the wildest wettest windiest weather occurred during the intermittent little ice age.

  8. Stephen Wilde permalink
    February 15, 2020 6:52 pm

    We were previously told to expect warmer drier Mediterranean type weather.

  9. MrGrimNasty permalink
    February 15, 2020 7:20 pm

    C4 News had the obligatory over-long interview with a loony activist in Calder Valley spouting climate change emergency every other sentence.

    When their crazy delusional ruinous demands have been met and it still floods – what will they say then?

  10. Adrian, East Anglia permalink
    February 15, 2020 8:38 pm

    In the context of all this climate nonsense, I would seriously question the juxtaposition of the words “scientific” and “modelling”. They are obviously modelling something, but probably not the climate!!

    • February 15, 2020 9:01 pm

      The modelers are using the wrong color Plasticine

      • Adrian, East Anglia permalink
        February 15, 2020 9:08 pm

        Ah, now that would explain it!!!

      • Tim Spence permalink
        February 16, 2020 10:48 am

        Models need to stick to the catwalks

  11. It doesn't add up... permalink
    February 15, 2020 9:01 pm

    Around me it’s certainly been a much wetter winter than average so far. We have had a couple of periods when the flooding has blocked roads nearby, though I note that the local rain totals forecast for Dennis are down from 65mm a couple of days ago to 40mm now.

    However, it’s plain that the weather has been nothing like the 1968 storms that swept away a bridge over the river, or the hugely extensive flooding that occurred in 1949 (discovered when looking at a local planning application!).

  12. El Toro permalink
    February 15, 2020 9:16 pm

    Perhaps we need to step back from the genuine science, engineering and economics of this argument and ask “Who benefits from the anthropogenic climate change deception?” The deception has gained most traction among the US Democrats, the EU, Australian Labour Party and the UK MSM and government.These claim to represent the major economic and military powers in the world with two notable exceptions: Russia and China. If those latter powers wished to impair the military power of the West then slowly strangling the West’s economies via zero carbon lunacy would be an attractive route. There have been many rumours of foreign influence in elections in the West via, at least, social media. I would be very surprised if cyber-agents in Russia and China were not engaged in state-sponsored climate activism in the West. Who, apart from someone like Nigel (or Dom behind the scenes), would dare suggest that our politicians and the MSM are willing treasonous pawns in this power game?

    • Up2snuff permalink
      February 16, 2020 7:08 pm

      El Toro, I suspected back in the early to mid-1990s that Communism had not gone away with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dismantling of the USSR but that Communists had instead faded into or infiltrated the ‘Green’ and Environmental movements.

      The last two years have really fully confirmed my suspicions.

      They have been very crafty. The more innocent free world has been caught napping.

      • El Toro permalink
        February 17, 2020 11:35 am

        Thanks. There’s a clue in that all the eco-lunes’ solutions involve centralised draconian control. Where have we heard that before?

  13. David P permalink
    February 15, 2020 10:05 pm

    “And they are divided on the impact global warming could have on the jet stream, which whips up storms and drives them towards the UK.”
    The powerful jet stream we are experiencing is created by the very cold air over North America meeting tropical air.

  14. Gamecock permalink
    February 15, 2020 10:17 pm

    ‘UK Getting Wilder, Wetter Weather? Data Says Not’

    Climate Change is a political movement. Data has nought to do with it. You have to fight it POLITICALLY!

  15. tom0mason permalink
    February 15, 2020 11:42 pm

    Dear Ms M. Cuff,
    go back to school and understand this is just WEATHER not climate! Your partisan sophistry is just littered with factless junk opinion.


    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      February 16, 2020 8:34 am

      You believe journalists went to school? That would be engineers, future jounos know nothing because they were always behind the bike sheds….

  16. Colin MacDonald permalink
    February 16, 2020 9:45 am

    You’ll find anecdotal evidence all over the place to support the thesis that our weather is becoming more extreme, problem is that there is short climate variation all the time, and the Green blob is always finding something that’s getting worse within our short attention spans. We don’t remember unusually clement weather, although I do. Here’s a couple of examples. I used to work on offshore oil rigs and took a bit of an interest in sea states, howling gales would halt drilling, and incidentally enrich the guys waiting on weather offshore and being paid a day rate. Much to my displeasure, through the 1990’s this didn’t happen so often, and I can assure you this was referred to in trade journals; that in recent years weather in the North Sea had generally been calmer, resulting in less rig down time. And staying in a converted mill in North Wales 2003, after conversion it had retained a working wheel, but had been disconnected because there wasn’t enough flow in the stream supplying it, this normally very wet region becoming drier, most would say more moderate.
    If the North Sea has become more stormy and North Wales wetter, it’s likely only in relation to an anomolously calm or dry weather 20years ago, but don’t expect people to look at the data properly.

  17. Tim Spence permalink
    February 16, 2020 10:51 am

    Climate Science getting wilder and wetter (behind the ears)

  18. Gamecock permalink
    February 16, 2020 12:58 pm

    “God will bring wetter, wilder weather to the UK more often”

    Climate change has replaced God.

  19. Dibnah permalink
    February 17, 2020 6:38 am

    Most of the localised flooding near me has been due to blocked ditches, which must surely be the result of climate change.

  20. dennisambler permalink
    February 17, 2020 11:15 am

    Met Office to get another new supercomputer after the one they got in 2016 is not predicting enough scary weather:
    This hugely complex Government IT project was successfully completed in December 2016, delivered early and on budget. Some fifteen times larger than its predecessor, this major science infrastructure investment has enabled the UK to continue to lead the world in weather, climate and environmental science high-performance computing.

    By the end of its life, the supercomputing system will have enabled an additional £2bn of socio-economic benefits across the UK through enhanced prediction of severe weather and related hazards.

    This includes benefits to aviation from better forecasting at airports, more sophisticated modelling of flooding, more detailed information for the energy sector and new research on climate impacts to inform long-term planning and action.

    Our supercomputing system has helped to unlock new science and to introduce even more detailed forecasts and advice. This information is critical to protecting and saving lives, improving UK resilience to high-impact weather and supporting UK economic growth,
    A new supercomputer designed to improve severe weather and climate forecasting is to receive £1.2 billion from the Government towards its development. The technology will be managed by the Met Office, with the aim of offering more sophisticated rainfall predictions and better forecasting at airports.

    Data collected by the powerful device will also be used to help more accurately predict storms, select the most suitable locations for flood defences and predict changes to the global climate. According to the Government, the supercomputer is expected to be the world’s most advanced of its kind dedicated to weather and climate.

    The Met Office’s current supercomputer – which is due to reach its end of life in late 2022 – is in the top 50 of the world’s most powerful computers, and contains enough storage to hold over 100 years’ worth of HD films. (So that’s why they need a new computer, they took out subscriptions to Amazon Prime and Netflix).

    ‘This investment will ultimately provide earlier, more accurate warning of severe weather, the information needed to build a more resilient world in a changing climate and help support the transition to a low-carbon economy across the UK,’ said Professor Penny Endersby, Met Office chief executive.

    • Gamecock permalink
      February 17, 2020 2:14 pm

      Or they could just get better software.

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