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Met Office Double Down On Fake Rainfall Record

July 6, 2020

By Paul Homewood


You will recall the Met Office’s claim last week about a supposed new daily record rainfall for June, which I showed simply not to be true.

They have now officially declared it as a record in their Monthly Statistics bulletin:


I emailed last week to point out their error and ask for a retraction, but so far have had no response.

So, time to recap:

The Met Office’s own British Rainfall publication clearly shows that much more rainfall fell on June 28th, 1917, at Bruton in Somerset:


There is no question about the validity of the measurement of 9.56 inches (243mm), nor indeed the other one at Kings School of 8.48 inches (215mm). There is also a similar reading at Aisholt in Somerset of 8.39 inches (213mm).

We know this because the British Rainfall publication in 1917 ran a special report on the storm, because it was so very exceptional:




The report goes on to convey full confidence in the accuracy of the Somerset readings:


And explains how three official experts were sent to Bruton, who were perfectly satisfied with the measurements after conducting thorough analysis:



Of course, the idea that you can compare Honister Pass, halfway up a mountain, with Somerset, or any other lowland site, is absurd anyway. Whereas, Somerset typically sees annual rainfall of about 28 inches, Honister Pass, at 1100 feet up, gets around 170 inches.

The rain gauge at Honister has only been spasmodically operational for a few years. It is operated by the Environment Agency, and is designed to allow them to predict river flows. It was definitely never intended to be used for climatological purposes.

Rain Gauge at Honister Pass


As for the idea that the rain in and around the Lake District was in any way exceptional on that day, the data says the opposite.

According to the official Met Office data, a total of 13.35mm fell over NW England & N Wales that day. This is in reality a pretty insignificant amount. In data going back to 1931, this total has been exceeded 1058 times, equivalent to 12 times a year!

Days with more than 30mm are perfectly common in that part of the world.




This whole episode casts the Met Office in a very poor light. First with their zeal in declaring a “record” before the data had even been verified. Then the failure of their systems to warn them that it was not even a “record”. The unwillingness to double check, even though alarm bells should have been ringing. The failure, so far at least, to publish a retraction.

Above all, the use of a rain gauge half way up a mountain to claim a new record, something which is thoroughly unscientific and unprofessional.

As is so often the case, the Met Office have put obsession with promoting their climate change agenda ahead of scientific integrity. As they would have known, their original Twitter post was quickly picked up by the media, who reacted with absurd headlines like the Mail’s :

Britain suffers its wettest June day EVER as 10 weeks of rain falls in just 24 hours “


Whether the Met Office retract their fake claim, the genie is unfortunately already out of the bottle.

  1. July 6, 2020 2:19 pm

    I’d be interested to see what other rain gauges in Cumbria showed that day and if they were anywhere near a record

    • Mikep permalink
      July 6, 2020 5:16 pm

      I live in North Lancashire and for the whole month of June, I recorded about 100mm. On the day in question, we had around 35mm. Obviously these aren’t official figures but it does show that the ‘record’ was very localised! Honister is, of course, very close to Seathwaite which is known as the wettest place in England.

  2. tom0mason permalink
    July 6, 2020 2:34 pm

    Political propagandizing of weather events carries on.
    The meme is now out, and the populous is being manipulated and sensitized to watch for unusual (but not unprecedented) weather events, ensuring that many feel fearful of the future and what the weather will bring.
    This is Britain and rain, sometimes in deluges, is quite normal, even in summer.
    For a look at the history of unusual weather events delve into .

  3. doran435 permalink
    July 6, 2020 2:50 pm

    As the Met Office is in the ‘Agencies and other public bodies’ part of government I would guess that it is therefore covered by the ‘Principles of Public Life’ requirements: these include; Selflessness, Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability (to the public), Openness, Honesty and Leadership. It would seem that they have fallen foul of at least 4 of these.

    • Bertie permalink
      July 6, 2020 7:14 pm

      I know not of a single QUANGO that abides by this code.

  4. johnbillscott permalink
    July 6, 2020 3:23 pm

    Weather forecasts have entered the realm of “show business” and therefore compete for air time. Dull accurate reporting does not cut the mustard so they have adapted to showbiz methods to attract attention and keep names in the news. Maybe the Beeb is an influencer, as I recall, the Met was in danger of being dropped by it some time ago. The Beeb is good example of lies, false news and false claims and everything that is wrong with the media.

    • Neil Wilkinson permalink
      July 6, 2020 4:27 pm

      BBC dropped Met Office in favour of Meteo Group, I have heard a back pocket job rather on grounds of accuracy though

      • Gerry, England permalink
        July 6, 2020 6:53 pm

        It was contract re-tender, something that goes on all the time. The offer from Meteo Group was considered better than the Met O – cheaper probably. There was nothing secret about it.

  5. Coeur de Lion permalink
    July 6, 2020 3:55 pm

    Is it because the Met Office has hung a reputation on GlobalWarmongering and will look jolly silly if there isn’t any? Or do they have money in it? From the taxpayer, natch

    • Gerry, England permalink
      July 6, 2020 6:56 pm

      Of course there is money in it. The whole scam is about money now even if it wasn’t in the beginning. We have bought the Met 2 shiny new supercomputers not to mention how much in grant funding to research the settled science.

  6. Dodgy Geezer permalink
    July 6, 2020 4:02 pm

    Surely the correct approach here is to ask a PQ? That forces to Met Office to make justified statements?

  7. Harry Davidson permalink
    July 6, 2020 4:43 pm

    They will let it stand for a while. Then it will start to get in the way of fresh “New record rainfall” headlines headlines, so it will be removed.

    Anyone brought up with the British Communist party has no trouble understanding the thinking in Climate World.

  8. July 6, 2020 5:09 pm

    I have received this reply from an enquiry to the Met Office…and written back asking the questions below.

    Thank you for your interest and for pointing out the storm event of June 1917. For consistency the Met Office monthly records are taken from our digitised climate records which contain data from stations with standard instruments and exposure, with the earliest data back to 1853. It is indeed the case that other extremes may exist in wider archival material or from non-standard sites that do not form part of that collection. There is a fuller account of the 1917 storm in the British Rainfall publication of that year:”

    If you have any further queries or need additional information, please contact our Weather Desk on +44 (0)1392 88 5680 where one of our advisors will be happy to help. The number is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year and it will help us if you can quote the reference number given above.

    Kind regards,


    Please answer the following…

    1. Are you saying that the record in the link you refer to (Bruton) is from a non standard site?

    2. Why do you compare a site halfway up a mountain (1100 feet) to those at sea level?

    3. Do you accept data from the EA, is this not ‘non-standard’?

    4. How long has your organisation been referring to rainfall records from this station?

    5. Why was this duration not mentioned in your press releases?

    • LeedsChris permalink
      July 6, 2020 11:26 pm

      And if you read the British Rainfall article it is clear that the gauges in the locality were checked by British Rainfall staff after this event – they carried out a detailed investigation and also the observers were questioned. British Rainfall was convinced that the 9.56″ (242.8mm) total was correct for 18th June at one station at Bruton. It is absolutely beyond belief that the Met Office now disowns this figure. Is this part of a continued process to erase our meteorological history…

  9. July 6, 2020 6:03 pm

    Same as quoting “record” temperatures from Heathrow, our very own – artificial – Death Valley.

  10. July 6, 2020 6:42 pm

    Would-be records should really also be quoted relative to the LOCAL average of the quantity, such as the average daily rainfall for the month in question, at the location in question. That should deal with the sudden introduction of very wet/dry/hot/cold stations.

    There is also the issue of distortion caused by chance. 24 hours of rain is a fairly typical duration in the UK, if it happens to fall entirely within one day it will give a higher daily figure than the much more common case of straddling a day boundary.

  11. July 6, 2020 7:40 pm

    The Met Office likes nothing more than to pander to climate alarmism, however feeble or imaginary the excuse.

  12. The Old Bloke permalink
    July 6, 2020 8:22 pm

    Yet again a so called rainfall record from a tipping bucket gauge if the photo is still representative of the actual gauge. Funny how all these records up there happen when it is windy.

  13. BLACK PEARL permalink
    July 6, 2020 9:16 pm

    So there’s swamp conditions at the Met Office that also requires draining

  14. MrGrimNasty permalink
    July 6, 2020 9:49 pm

    We know how it works by now, the alarmists have their headline creation strategy well worked out. All they have to do is play around with selection criteria for the record and decide which subset of data they will use. It’s impossible not to find an endless stream of ‘alarming’ records.

    In the initial press release they might say the warmest mean of 3 consecutive nights in any Welsh town with a ‘ll’ in the name for a period spanning December and January since records began in 1968. Then next week it will somehow be that records began in 1910, and then another time 1852……. As they are referring to different datasets they hold with different amounts of information, they are not technically lying.

    By the time the press is finished you have ‘Brits boiled in bed by hottest UK Winter nights ever”.

    • CheshireRed permalink
      July 7, 2020 12:40 pm

      Exactly. Using that criteria you can invent new ‘records’ for any part of the country for any time period you want. It’s a cheats charter.

  15. john cooknell permalink
    July 6, 2020 10:32 pm

    The level of the River Derwent in Cockermouth was less than 2014 and much less than 2016.

  16. StephenP permalink
    July 6, 2020 10:38 pm

    In Dudley Stamp’s report on the Land Utilisation Survey of Britain published in 1938 he shows two incidents of heavy rainfall in Somerset, with detailed maps provided by the Air Ministry:
    28th June 1917` 228.6mm
    18th August 1924 238.7mm

    I can remember the heavy rainfall on 10/11 July 1968 where they had 175mm in 18 hours, measured at Chew Stoke. Chew Stoke is in a valley, so it could well have been higher on top of the Mendip Hills but as far as I know there were no rain gauges there.

  17. paul weldon permalink
    July 6, 2020 10:49 pm

    Anyone who has studied environmental science, which I resume is most at the met office, one will learn the following:
    The reason why hilly areas receive more rainfall is due to the ‘seeder-feeder’ effect. The first necessary ingredient is orographic enhancement of rainfall which requires a pre-existent layer of precipitating cloud. As this crosses the UK it is very often accompanied by a lower-level moist airstream that crosses the coast and ascends hills. This ascending moist airstream produces persistent and water-rich orographic cloud that caps the hills. If the low-level flow is strong enough to keep replenishing with new water from up-wind, the rain from the higher cloud washes through it and washes out significant amounts of extra rainfall from the lower (feeder) one. This does not vanish, but persists as long as supplies are forthcoming.
    So to use a reading from a hilly position which is prone to orographic effects and to compare it with those from areas where it does not occur is like comparing the proverbial apples and oranges. Perhaps the staff at the met office need retraining?

  18. MrGrimNasty permalink
    July 7, 2020 8:29 am

    Here we go, cowboys and inflated quotes, insulation manufacturers/suppliers up prices again. ‘Bin brain remains clueless with his valuable jobs “tradespeople crawling in attics and fiddling with draught proofing” juvenile brain-less ‘analysis’.

  19. Mack permalink
    July 7, 2020 9:39 am

    Excellent demolition job Paul. You, having pointed out the error of their record claims, and given them ample opportunity and information with which to revise and retract, have clearly demonstrated that they are merely cynical activist liars. Great scalp for you and the rest of us skeptics, tragic for the country as a whole that it’s premier meteorological organisation has been so corrupted.

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