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“Storm Francis”?

August 25, 2020

By Paul Homewood


h/t MrGrimNasty


The Met Office has been bigging up Storm Francis!




Given that these “records” only cover a tiny part of the country, and are only for August, the whole thing is rather a storm in a tea cup!

Interestingly, if we look at the example of Pershore, we find wind speeds (instead of gusts) peaking at only 25 mph, which is categorised as a strong breeze on the Beaufort Scale:



On the exposed coast at Pembrey Sands, wind speeds got up to 51 mph, a Force 9 gale.



To confuse things, ITV are reporting that Vyrnwy and Aberdaron are only the highest gusts since 1994 and 1996 respectively. It is not clear whether this is when the stations opened, or if stronger winds were recorded then.

As we know, these are not representative sites. Aberdaron is at the top of a 300 ft cliff at the tip of the Llyn Peninsula, while Vyrnwy is a thousand foot up in Snowdonia. Just as with Honister Pass, the Met Office should not be using such sites as being in any way representative of the country as whole.





Of course, wet and windy Augusts are hardly anything new, as the Met Office knew back in 1917:








August 1917 was actually the second wettest August in England – only August 1912 was wetter.

Note the reference to Force 8 gales on 1st August, and Force 10 at Dungeness on the 24th.


It is nigh impossible for anybody to comprehend nowadays that back in August 1917 the Battle of Passchendaele had just begun, amidst such heavy rainfall that the whole battlefield became a deadly quagmire.

Instead they simply obsess about a slightly warmer climate.

  1. LeedsChris permalink
    August 25, 2020 10:11 pm

    The thing is here that many weather stations have short ‘lives’ – they open and close – and so a ‘record’ for one station may be a ‘record’ for only a short period of years. Many of the longer-term stations that monitored wind, in particular, were the RAF/Coastguard and Navy Stations that have closed since the 1980s and many of the present stations are ‘new’. The other issue is that of all variables the wind and gust measurements are highly variable and highly dependent on how they were measured – many historic records and recent records can’t be compared because not all wind gauges are of standard height or location (they should be) and also the actual means of measuring the wind has changed radically – first their were cup anemographs, then Dines pressure tubes, now there are ultrasonic means of wind speed detection.

    The other point is it takes only a few minutes research to challenge just how much of a record some of these ‘records’ are. Do journalists not even remember the famous ‘Fastnet Race’ Storm of 13-14 August 1979, which struck the Fastnet Race and sank 23 or the yachts that took part and led to the death of 15 lives. On that occasion there was a peak gust of 65 knots (75 mph) at Milford Haven, 58 mph at Elmdon and 56 mph at Watnall. In that month another gale struck a few days later on the 16th.

    Could I also randomly mention (!!!)…historically we also have the Spanish Armada gales of August and September 1588. Hubert Lamb thought that AVERAGE wind speeds (not gusts) probably reached 50-60 mph in the seas around England on 8-9th August!

  2. Harry Davidson permalink
    August 25, 2020 10:18 pm

    Storms with winds over 70 mph are nothing remarkable on the South Wales coast. We generally get over ten of them in a winter.

  3. Mad Mike permalink
    August 25, 2020 10:31 pm

    I’m in Snowdonia right now and the winds have been strong but nothing we haven’t seen many times before. I remember being here one Christmas about 25 years ago and we had such strong winds and rain. They recorded 110 mph gusts in one part of the Llyn peninsular one night and there certainly was disruption. We had no electricity from 18.00 Christmas Eve until midday on Boxing Day and many places up here, including ours, are all electric.. That sort of think sticks in your mind. This storm is absolutely not unusual and will be seen again many times in the future. We seem to be living in a hysterical society that is encouraged by MSM and social media. We can’t have news without linking it with some unusual or extreme slant on it. I truly believe that social media and possibly the whole of the internet will be looked upon in future generations as a crazy concept in it’s present form.

    • LeedsChris permalink
      August 25, 2020 11:19 pm

      That’s true… but in the interests of accuracy the Met Office is only reporting on the gusts being a ‘record’ for August and in the UK storms are generally much less frequent and strong in the summer, an gales do not happen every summer month (whereas they do in almost every winter month), so a summer gale is never going to be quite as bad as a winter one.

      • Mack permalink
        August 25, 2020 11:57 pm

        Shame that the Met Office wasn’t around in August 1588 when ‘unprecedented man made climate change inspired gales’, or something like that, decimated the Spanish Armada as they did a round robin around the British Isles. Oh, I forgot, that was just weather but if it gets a tad breezy now in August there’s a sneaky fossil fuel involved somewhere. Zzzzzzzz.

  4. wirralexile permalink
    August 26, 2020 12:17 am

    All part and parcel of the switch to the meridional stage of the natural 60-year climate cycle.
    Anyone noticed how the Sahara is getting on weatherwise?
    More dust activity this month and afternoon thunderstorms on the southern slopes of the Atlas mountains.

  5. John189 permalink
    August 26, 2020 12:45 am

    LeedsChris has mentioned the Fastnet Storm in 1980 and I will add ex Hurricane Charley which struck the Birtish Isles on 25 August 1986. Torrential rains especially in eastern Ireland (a lot of flooding in County Dublin after record rainfall in the Wicklow Mountains), Wales (135mm/5.3ins at Abergwyngregyn) and the Midlands plus high winds. 13 dead in ireland, 6 in the UK. But of course climate change models mean that August should be hot and dry – although for many of us this has been the dullest August since 2008.

    • LeedsChris permalink
      August 26, 2020 8:38 am

      John 189 – you are correct. The whole of August was very windy. There were gusts up to 70 mph on the 1st of that month, on the 12th and also on the 26th a gust of 75 mph from ex Hurricane Charley…. puts this month in the shade! Maybe the Met office need to look at back copies of their own Monthly Weather Report in their library..

    • Nordisch geo-climber permalink
      August 26, 2020 9:21 am

      The Lake District floods of December 2015 (minor on a global scale and par for this area) caused millions to be spent at Thirlmere restoring the culverts, road etc. Just after the work finished, yes, you guessed – August 2016, the road flooded again, the culverts were blocked. August can be a problematic month, esp for sailors as was pointed out.

  6. August 26, 2020 1:18 am

    “Given that these “records” only cover a tiny part of the country, and are only for August, the whole thing is rather a storm in a tea cup!”

    Yes sir. And a tea cup where the weather, however great the horror, must be understood in terms of nature’s internal climate variability.

  7. Ben Vorlich permalink
    August 26, 2020 8:29 am

    “Interestingly, if we look at the example of Pershore, we find wind speeds (instead of gusts) peaking at only 25 mph, which is categorised as a strong breeze on the Beaufort Scale:”

    Don’t most onshore wind turbines reach optimum output at about 30mph and need it continuously blowing at that speed for a stable output.

  8. Phoenix44 permalink
    August 26, 2020 8:55 am

    Exactly – somebody better at stats than me can run the numbers but there has to be a pretty high probability that at least one location in the UK will have a record of some sort every month. There’s no reason why every location in the UK should have experienced the maximum wind speed it could experience over the short time we have been recording such things.

  9. C Lynch permalink
    August 26, 2020 10:52 am

    Much huffing and puffing (excuse the pun) about this in Ireland too. Met Eireann stating that storms in August are extremely rare! I think that Warmist propagandists like the Met Office in the UK and Ireland rely increasingly on people having the memory and attention span of goldfish and with the under 40s generation their assumption is correct.
    There are however many of us over 40 who have excellent memories. I spent my childhood holidays in a mobile home in Spanish Point on the West Coast of Ireland in the 1970s and early 1980s. There were ALWAYS storms (or gales as they were called then) in mid to late August and these usually coincided with the very high Spring tides around that time of year.

  10. August 26, 2020 2:58 pm

    Interesting to see that the Met Office was reporting metric wind speeds all the way back in 1917, but today if they tried it a lot of older people would complain about the “foreign measurements”.

    • wirralexile permalink
      August 26, 2020 4:02 pm


      Nothing to do with age, I have always complained about “foreign measurements”, by first foot and by rule of thumb they are not intuitive. You have to hand it to our ancestors 😉

  11. Colin MacDonald permalink
    August 26, 2020 4:09 pm

    I’m guessing these youngsters don’t remember ’79 Fastnet Race.

  12. August 28, 2020 11:50 am

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:

    Of course, wet and windy Augusts are hardly anything new, as the Met Office knew back in 1917


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