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Planners ‘must prepare’ for weather extremes – Met Office

October 22, 2020

By Paul Homewood


h/t Philip Bratby


 Isn’t it time that Roger Harrabin actually did the job he is paid to do, and not just repeat Met Office and WWF scaremongering?


The Met Office is launching a tool to help planners prepare for further extremes of rainfall and high temperatures.

It warns that wild weather in the future is likely to place increasing challenges on health, infrastructure and services.

The projections follow a year of UK extremes.

The country experienced its wettest February, a record sunny May and the wettest ever day on 3 October.

This new analysis doesn’t speculate on possible record high temperatures.

Instead, it offers a projection of what researchers call “relatively high extremes” – the sort of weather you’d expect once every 50 years.

The UK Met Office says this is the timeframe that informs decision-making by planners. It says the government, organisations and engineers typically plan to safeguard against a one-in-50-year event – not to protect buildings and systems against more freakish weather.

For London, the high temperature numbers steadily creep up from 1950 – when 35C was a one-in-50-year event – to 2100, when a temperature high-point of 39C is projected to occur every 50 years.

Prof Jason Lowe from the Met Office said: “Some of the most severe consequences of climate change will come from an increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather events.

“We know that, on average, the UK is projected to become hotter and drier in summer, and warmer and wetter in winter.

“This tells us a lot, but for those assessing climate change risk it’s important to better understand how extreme weather events are likely to change too.”

His Met Office colleague Dr Simon Brown added: “If you’re designing a flood-relief scheme or building a railway, for example, you can’t assume that the climate will remain the same – because we know that it is already changing.

“The things you want to know will be ‘how much heat or rainfall will my project have to cope with’, and that is what our projections will do.”

The analysis is based on a middle-of-the-road climate scenario for greenhouse gas emissions, known as RCP4.5.

This scenario suggests steady rises in the global temperature drive the changes in local extremes. By the 2090s, the global shifts range from 1.4 to 3.3 degrees C, compared with the 1986-2005 period.

The computer tool allows users to examine local areas – down to 25km resolution – and look at the simulated rise for rare high temperature and high rainfall events which may happen on average only one in 20, 50 or 100 years.

Isabella O’Dowd from the green campaign group WWF, said: “These are not records we should be breaking. Weather the UK once classed as extreme is fast on its way to becoming the new normal. These predictions provide further evidence that the natural world is in freefall, and needs our urgent attention.

“Ahead of the climate summit in Glasgow next year the UK must show global leadership by setting out its own ambitious plans for climate action, as promised under the Paris Agreement. Inaction is not an option if we are to protect our planet for future generations.”

Hot days are not “wild weather”, Mr Harrabin. And what about the much reduced frequency of extreme cold days, which surely must have a much greater impact on infrastructure through snowfall and freeze ups?

Jason Lowe claims that summers are projected to be drier in future, but this simply is not borne out by the evidence to date. Similarly winters are not getting wetter, in England at least:

And despite a few cherry picked examples, rainfall is not becoming more extreme:





A proper journalist would raise these questions. But as we know, Harrabin is not a “proper journalist”.

  1. Harry Passfield permalink
    October 22, 2020 11:39 am

    “The Met Office is launching a tool to help planners …”
    Well, Harrabin certainly seems well qualified for that job…

    • Ian Magness permalink
      October 22, 2020 11:48 am

      Best laugh of the day Harry, thanks!

  2. Joe Public permalink
    October 22, 2020 11:43 am

    ” Isn’t it time that Roger Harrabin actually did the job he is paid to do, and not just repeat Met Office and WWF scaremongering?”

    He is doing the job he’s paid to do. Disseminate weather & energy propaganda.

  3. October 22, 2020 11:43 am

    The science says that anthropogenic global warming makes extreme weather events worse and more frequent.

    • jack broughton permalink
      October 22, 2020 12:50 pm

      How can computer models that cover only the known areas of climate science (which are not so many as they claim, excluding cloud-cover, ocean movement etc,) claim to predict probability of weather events. The mathematics for even the small perturbations of climate that we all call weather are very inaccurate, as is clear from forward weather predictions. They are just scaremongering and being listened to by the unthinking.

      • October 22, 2020 1:08 pm

        Yes sir. In my study I found that to be true and also that extreme weather attribution to agw involves circular reasoning and confirmation bias. I should have flagged my comment with “sarc”. Apologies. Pls see

      • pardonmeforbreathing permalink
        October 22, 2020 3:53 pm

        I still see little evidence to uphold the claim that there is such a field as “Climate Science”. Indeed currently the conjoining of those two words I see as an oxymoron. This industry draws on a very wide range of input by a disparate group of disiplins with very little if any overlap critical for the prosecution of sound science. Assumptions abound and numbers pulled out of the air by one group and treated as hard data. by another

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      October 23, 2020 8:36 am

      No it doesn’t. A climate model that assumes changes caused by CO2 cause more extreme events shows more extreme events when run.

      There is zero proof in doing that. Set the CO2 assumptions to no change and the model will show CO2 doesn’t cause extreme events.

  4. HotScot permalink
    October 22, 2020 11:44 am

    Harrabin: The climate change solution, that fails every time.

  5. Harry Passfield permalink
    October 22, 2020 11:45 am

    “The country experienced its wettest February, a record sunny May and the wettest ever day on 3 October.” – Strange that they don’t mention the May severe frost, which was quite damaging. Maybe cold is inconvenient.

    • Nordisch geo-climber permalink
      October 22, 2020 11:54 am

      And one of the coldest Julys for 30 years.

    • Ian Magness permalink
      October 22, 2020 11:56 am

      Also, Paul, do you have data to challenge the widely-trumpeted scare that October 3 was “the wettest EVAH day in October” (or was it simply the wettest day “EVAH!”?). Of course, unless we know exactly how our wondrous climate leaders calculated this, it’s hard to argue with sensibly. You suspect that the selection of data was, you know, selective. Certainly where I live in the south east, there was nothing particularly special about it.

      • October 22, 2020 4:55 pm

        Yes, I need to wait till the E&W data is out at the end of the month though

      • David V permalink
        October 22, 2020 5:59 pm

        It occurred to me we may have recorded the wettest day EVAH because of the recent proliferation of automatic stations on moors and mountains where no one would have gone before (for that purpose) – pure speculation, of course.

    • bobn permalink
      October 22, 2020 1:30 pm

      Yes we experienced -4C on May 12th here in Oxfordshire. Coldest May night in 20yrs in my limited records.

    • Steve permalink
      October 22, 2020 9:07 pm

      Has anyone noticed that these so called scientists are increasingly aged around 40 and have been educated in greencrap universities. My own younger relatives have also been indoctrinated. Any attempt to put the facts before them are ignored. Boris is now claiming to be an evangelist for greencrap. It reminds me of the time when friends suddenly became evangelists for born again stuff. Most had attractive born again girlfriends. Boris has gone a bit that way methinks.

  6. Phillip Bratby permalink
    October 22, 2020 11:53 am

    Harrabin (introduced as the BBC’s energy and environment correspondent) has been spreading his climate change alarmism and propaganda on Radio 4’s pm programme all week. He really is an ignoramus when it comes to energy and the climate, but he is in good company at the BBC, where it now seems every programme must mention climate change at least once.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      October 22, 2020 12:43 pm

      Phillip, I’m really coming to the conclusion that they’ve been warned a massive cold period is on the way (SC25) so they’re getting all the CC propaganda in now, hoping the public won’t notice.

      • Up2snuff permalink
        October 22, 2020 4:53 pm

        Brent Geese are already on the Swale in north Kent in large numbers. Sparrows seem to be feeding like there’s no tomorrow, getting through a kilo of wild bird feed in ten to eleven days.

        Possible signs of a cold winter to come?


      • NeilC permalink
        October 22, 2020 5:03 pm

        Yes and a La Nina, PDO in cool phase and AMO on the way to cool phase. Maunder Minimum anyone?

    • Lez permalink
      October 22, 2020 2:52 pm

      Surprised the BBC haven’t found a place for him on that sinking ship called Countryfile.

    • mardington permalink
      October 22, 2020 3:14 pm

      Yep. Thats “The Science” alright.

      Can you tell me, what is The Science, and who are “The Scientists” who practice it?

      I’d like to know if I am a Scientist, or just a scientist.

      • David V permalink
        October 22, 2020 6:06 pm

        Some years ago the company I used to work for published a memo starting “This is a company of scientists run by scientits…” – now why did I think of that?

    • pardonmeforbreathing permalink
      October 22, 2020 3:48 pm

      I also notice after the appearance of a new DG that the cowardly lefty weasels all went very quiet and are now once again lifting their heads above the parapet. Left wingism is only about enforcing a minority ideology on the majority. That is why it keeps coming back and back because only ridged ideology and not common sense and certainly not empiricism have a place in their marxist anti Western Civilization destructive world.

  7. Pancho Plail permalink
    October 22, 2020 12:22 pm

    Which year is he referring to? I thought the last year was notable for its lack of extremes. We had a couple of days when the wind blew a quick blast of Sahara weather at us, but those two days were offset by a pretty average summer and a bit more rain later on (my onions rotted after a good start in the spring). If anything the weather is notable for its lack of extremes. Where have all the good, old-fashioned droughts gone? You know, the ones we were going to get every year, that I invested in a battery of water butts to counter. I have not seen a news report of cracking, dried out reservoirs for a few years.

    • pardonmeforbreathing permalink
      October 22, 2020 3:49 pm

      Since when did you ever think that empiricism not assertion was the basis for these ideologs and their mantra?

  8. Pancho Plail permalink
    October 22, 2020 12:25 pm

    Just checked. The last drought according to Wiki was 2011.

  9. October 22, 2020 12:27 pm

    Programme yesterday morning on Radio 4 entitled “Does impartiality impede good journalism?” A certain Roger Mosey, who I’d never heard of before but apparently was once Head of TV news which explains a lot, did the usual praise of Harrabin and rubbished people like Lawson over climate change – so impartial !

  10. ThinkingScientist permalink
    October 22, 2020 2:07 pm

    The rhetoric from the usual climate catastrophe suspects is now so shrill I am reminded of the Spitting Image sketch of David Coleman, the Sports Commentator. “I’ve gone too early”. Sadly unable to find a video clip on line.

    • Ian Magness permalink
      October 22, 2020 3:37 pm

      TS, I believe the quote was: “aaaand, I’ve gone far far too early! I’ll never be able to keep up this level of excitement!!”
      Those were the days eh? For sport as well as Spitting Image.

  11. mardington permalink
    October 22, 2020 2:16 pm

    Here in western WA and OR States in the U.S. , some climate modelers have devised a “tool” that will help users decide what new seed zones to grow their coniferous seedlings from to deal with the new climate that is coming.

    (i find the notion that climate was EVER static interesting)
    So, if their projections turn out to be inaccurate, and if large scale forest operations buy in, we will have hundreds of thousands of acres of off-site genetics out there.

    Ive been a field forester in WA since 1974… sorry, haven’t noticed anything yet. I suppose Im like the frog in the pot that doesn’t realize its getting hot until my blood is literally boiling.

    I attended a seminar where the seed zone modeler was attempting to explain how & why his model “worked”. Im a forest mensurationist predominantly – i work with subsampling and probability every day & have honed some of it into an effective gauge over the years – but my eyes glazed over about five minutes into this academicians attempt to get us troglodytes informed enough to understand his model’s prestidigitations!

    • pardonmeforbreathing permalink
      October 22, 2020 3:57 pm

      Lies, damned lies statistics (and) models!

  12. pardonmeforbreathing permalink
    October 22, 2020 3:55 pm

    Got to keep the fearmongering going. invented tax payer funded jobs and perverse personal fortunes rely on it.

  13. C Lynch permalink
    October 22, 2020 4:05 pm

    “Record sunny weather in May.”?!!!?
    Oooh how scary.
    Just about the only thing they could hang their hat on – it was nowhere near the hottest which should be the only record of interest to them given the narrative they push.
    Beyond pathetic.

  14. richardw permalink
    October 22, 2020 4:19 pm

    They should replace him with a Harrabot. Less expensive and lower CO2 emissions.

  15. October 22, 2020 4:52 pm

    The analysis is based on a middle-of-the-road climate scenario for greenhouse gas emissions, known as RCP4.5.

    Which is a dud. Next!

  16. NeilC permalink
    October 22, 2020 5:13 pm

    I’ve been collecting daily (48×1/2 hourly obs) raw weather data from metar data for 27 locations spread across the UK for the last 22 years. From my records you only have to go back to 2000 to find the UK average rainfall 9th Oct 20.1mm and then again of the 30th Oct 21.6mm.

    The UK average on 3rd Oct this year was 17.8mm. Aberdeen being the highest rainfall from the 27 locations with 53.8mm

  17. October 22, 2020 6:01 pm

    Emergency planning for emergencies? Now who’d have thought THAT would ever be a thing?!

    Would help though, if they didn’t plan for fake emergencies while ignoring the real ones.

  18. G Stuart permalink
    October 22, 2020 6:08 pm

    Aberdeen v wet today . Not much panic . There so much stuff debunking these damn models why does that not feature anywhere on BBC or much of the cringing media ?

    • October 23, 2020 4:07 pm

      Better ask the new bloke in charge & see what he’s made of !

  19. Malcolm Chapman permalink
    October 22, 2020 9:20 pm

    It is beyond grotesque, that the BBC so regularly inspects itself for impartiality, and finds that it is impartial. Perhaps, looking out from the palace, Harrabin and his mates know that the hordes outside really are – really, really are – getting restless.

  20. James Neill permalink
    October 22, 2020 10:12 pm

    I have just skimmed through these comments and surprisingly at first glance no-one has mentioned the Guardian. The Guardian had this to say about Arctic sea ice not starting to freeze due to………….
    Here is the link:-

    • October 23, 2020 9:25 am


      • James Neill permalink
        October 23, 2020 12:19 pm

        Good Afternoon Paul.

        I was trying to point something out to you that might be interesting and did not know how. My apologies.

        To me the article is yet more hyperbolic scaremongering and I suspect will not bear very close examination!

  21. Dave Gardner permalink
    October 22, 2020 10:31 pm

    As far as I am aware, the Met Office doesn’t provide maximum temperature data that engineers want to use. They tend to provide ‘in the shade’ air temperature data, whereas engineers prefer to know the temperature of a material in direct sunlight, the ‘in the sun’ temperature.

    Back in the 1990s I remember discussing this issue with some civil engineers. They were only interested in Met Office minimum temperature data. For the maximum temperature they preferred to use the ‘code value’. For steelwork they used a design standard called BS 5950 at that time, and that specified a maximum temperature of 50 deg C for steelwork, which would be well above the 35 to 39 deg C change the Met Office are talking about. The 50 deg C figure corresponds to an estimate of the highest UK ‘in the sun’ temperature I would guess.

    This idea of recognising ‘in the sun’ as well as ‘in the shade’ temperatures seems to have been more well established many decades ago. I’ve got a popular science book from 1940 called “The Marvels and Mysteries of Science”, Odhams Press Ltd, which quotes maximum temperatures recorded up to about 1940. The quoted temperatures are 136 deg F at Tripoli in 1925 for the highest shade temperature, and 194 deg F recorded at Nun Kun peak in the Himalayas for the highest ‘in the sun’ temperature.

  22. Phoenix44 permalink
    October 23, 2020 8:29 am

    Anybody who plans for something that might happen once every fifty years is wasting their time and my money.

  23. cajwbroomhill permalink
    October 26, 2020 9:16 pm

    Thinking about the Eire President’s rebarbative remarks, in the UK we are so much more fortunate to have HM !

    (The “luck of the Irish” has failed them this time! )

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