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“This Is Still British Weather” – Ex BBC Weatherman John Kettley

February 27, 2020

By Paul Homewood



h/t Dave Ward



Dave sent me a copy of this snippet from The Mail today:




Indeed everything I have seen so far suggests that the rainfall this month is a long way from being unprecedented, even in the worst hot areas.

While the Met Office have been pointing this month to being one of the wettest Februaries on record, we need to bear in mind that February is typically the driest month of the autumn/winter period.

I await with interest the actual numbers, but strongly suspect that this month’s rainfall will be well down the list of all months.

Indeed the Met Office have been strangely reticent about actual numbers. They are usually keen to broadcast news of records, either broken or close to broken. Instead this month all we keep hearing is that a “month’s worth of rain has fallen in a day” somewhere. As we know this is a common event every year somewhere or another. Such a claim is no more than a PR stunt.

  1. February 27, 2020 8:01 pm

    John Kettley is right, of course. Attempts to associate bad weather with human activity are make-believe.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      February 27, 2020 9:20 pm

      Would like to be a spectator when if he ever gets to explain to Harrabin the difference between climate and weather. (I live in hope that he has – and will tell us).

  2. February 27, 2020 9:01 pm

  3. Mike Jackson permalink
    February 27, 2020 10:28 pm

    You’ve let the “Freudians” loose again, Paul! “… even in the worst hot (sic) areas”?!

  4. johnd2008 permalink
    February 27, 2020 11:18 pm

    There is a painting in Birmingham Art Gallery entitled “February Fill Dyke” I cannot remember the Artist, and it was painted in Victorian times. Heavy rain in February is nothing new.

  5. tom0mason permalink
    February 27, 2020 11:35 pm

    For Noah it rained for only forty days and nights. Britain however never got the doves’ message and so the rain has persisted there ever since.

    • Russ Wood permalink
      February 28, 2020 3:07 pm

      Apparently the doves turned into pigeons and stayed in the part of London that would eventually be Trafalgar Square!

  6. February 28, 2020 1:08 am

    Paul, here’s a story from Michigan showing the changing predictions for the Great Lakes, noting that predictions from 1998 haven’t come true and today’s predictions are 180 degrees opposite.

    Great blog you have!

  7. Stonyground permalink
    February 28, 2020 7:55 am

    Would I be right in saying that John Kettley is retired and doesn’t have to worry about being hounded out of his job for being off message?

    • Mike Ellwood permalink
      March 2, 2020 4:19 pm

      Also, as a good Yorkshireman, he’s not going to jump on no bloody soft-southerner band-wagons.

  8. Phoenix44 permalink
    February 28, 2020 8:57 am

    But who knows? This has just happened, so nobody has done any actual science to find out. We need to collect all the data, analyse it, test hypotheses, publish, be criticised and replicated, then we will have some.e idea.

    But apparently “the science ” we Deniers all have to accept is now just scientists saying g what they think without any evidence or science.

  9. dennisambler permalink
    February 28, 2020 10:19 am

    If it has happened before it is not unprecedented. If it is not unprecedented, the climate hasn’t changed, we simply have repeating weather cycles but on longer time scales than 30 years.

    Every generation has a “never seen anything like this before” moment. We should think ourselves lucky we have the means to deal with it these days, providing the money is spent. Imagine this before 4×4’s, outboard motors for rescue boats, helicopters, even mobile phones. Loss of life was considerable in earlier times. Imagine also if everything was electric, charging systems for vehicles and boats would be a revelation. Electric helicopter anyone?

    2,000 died around the Severn Estuary, Tuesday, 20 January 1607
    Lowlands on both sides of the Estuary suffered inundation, with the Somerset & Gwent levels suffering devastating effects. Severe gale from the west or southwest, coupled to an astronomically high tide: excess over prediction was some 2.3m.

    Monmouthshire Merlin
    26th September 1829 describing January 20th 1607
    “God’s warning to his people of England by the great overflowing of the waters or floods, lately happened in South Wales and many other places; wherein is described the great losses and wonderful damages that happened thereby by the drowning of many Towns and Villages to the utter undoing of many thousands of people…the like never in the memory of man hath ever been seen or heard of…”

    4th February 1809
    The floods in several places in Wales have been greater than were ever remembered,

    30th Jul 1846
    ‘One of the most dreadful floods that ever occurred in the principality took place on Thursday night in Cardiganshire.’

    11th August 1846
    THUNDER STORMS, RAIN, AND FLOODS. So trying a season or one more remarkable for weather vicissitudes than the present, few can remember. With thunder and lightning the public mind has become familiar, so constant and continuous are these phenomena and there are losses of life and property, whether by direct and instantaneous action of the electric matter, or the scarcely less overwhelming; agency of the torrents of rain, in fluid and frozen state, to perpetuate the memory of Autumn 1846

    30th/31st Oct,1870
    ‘Such a flood has not been witnessed in this town during the memory of that often quoted individual “the oldest inhabitant”.’ The weather daily presents a scene of storm and tempest.’

  10. Harry Davidson permalink
    February 28, 2020 11:13 am

    The jet stream has spent most of the winter coming straight from mid-Atlantic and over the southern tip of Ireland to the UK. Hence we get a series of storms, low pressure areas stacked up waiting to come in an bomb. If the jet stream shifts the weather will get better.

    I have seen several winters like this over the years and this one is nothing special.

  11. Vernon E permalink
    February 28, 2020 11:14 am

    dennis ambler; The former head of the IPCC and the founding father of all this nonsense (and former head of the met office) is Sir John Houghton who is a lifelong fervent Methodist and Plymouth Brethren and is on record as claiming that climate change is a punishment from God and a warning to mend our ways. Enough?

    • February 28, 2020 11:44 am

      Does that mean the dinosaurs did not mend their ways??

      • Adrian, East Anglia permalink
        February 28, 2020 1:45 pm

        If only St Greta had been there to preach to them they would still be with us!!!

      • Russ Wood permalink
        February 28, 2020 3:10 pm

        Joan – you must have seen the cartoon with a pair of dinosaurs standing on a rock in a sea of water. The Ark is sailing away over the horizon, and one dinosaur is saying ;”Oh cr*p! Was that TODAY?”

    • dennisambler permalink
      February 28, 2020 6:14 pm

      Read his homily on Joseph in Egypt and his comparison with our climate crisis. In 2009, he said we had 7 years to avoid disaster, 4 yours ago and counting.

      Click to access Briefing_18_Joseph_JTH.pdf

  12. Stephen Wilde permalink
    February 28, 2020 2:00 pm

    There is an old phrase ‘February fill-dyke’ because February was usually wet.

  13. Steve permalink
    February 28, 2020 3:05 pm

    And tomorrow the March wind doth blow.

  14. Stephen Lord permalink
    February 28, 2020 4:13 pm

    Claims of unprecedented weather are excuses for government failure to properlh plan fo floods

  15. Teaef permalink
    February 28, 2020 4:26 pm

    I’ll put it on this thread as well cause it’s worth it!

  16. John189 permalink
    February 28, 2020 4:34 pm

    A few observations…

    On the subject of “unprecedented”, I think this is a case of a word being used either without reference to its real meaning or more likely with a new and altered meaning. Languages change quite rapidly – hence “existential” replacing “current” in the argot of the clueless. To me “unprecedented” means “never happened/experienced before”; maybe in future it is just going to mean “big”.

    Secondly, on heavy rain, in the first week of February 2004 Snowdonia was deluged with 16.4 inches of rain in seven days (Capel Curig) and I think a similar total or perhaps more was received at Seathwaite in Cumberland in mid November 2009. Terrible flooding followed.

    Finally, a jetstream is delivering this weather to us, and I am interested in its workings. My general view is that it is a driver of weather, not a product of climate change, although its behaviour might be influenced by a change in our ever-changing climate.

    • Teaef permalink
      February 28, 2020 10:42 pm

      Unprecedented use of the word unprecedented!

  17. Bertie permalink
    February 29, 2020 9:14 am

    I am sure that we have all noticed that all the alarmist science uses conditionals like may, could, perhaps etc.
    In a similar way, another piece of alarmism that is currently energising the media today’s headline in the Telegraph is ‘Outbreak [corona virus] could leave one in ten in hospital’.

  18. Teaef permalink
    March 1, 2020 10:06 pm

    That’s a lot of beds!

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