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Britain’s Weather Getting Wilder–BBC

December 11, 2020

By Paul Homewood



I previewed the BBC’s Panorama report on climate change earlier this week, concentrating on the Met Office’s meaningless projections. However, the programme fronted by Justin Rowlatt focussed largely on Britain’s so-called “wild weather” this year.

Naturally, this was accompanied by emotional footage of floods and so on, intended to give the impression that these were all the result of global warming.


The introduction gives a flavour of what was to follow, Here’s what Rowlatt said:

Britain’s weather is getting wilder. This year we have been soaked with record breaking rainfall and have sweltered in soaring temperatures. We’ve also seen some of our most extraordinary destructive weather yet…


But nothing which follows backs up his ludicrous assertions.

He goes on to state:

A year of weather extremes, which have shattered previous records. This year we have seen our wettest day on record, England’s driest May, a record breaking heatwave and more winter storms.

The main highlights were:

February Storms in England & Wales

Although rainfall that month broke the record for February, it was a long way from being the wettest month on record. In fact, it was only the 24th wettest month in England since 1862, and 14th wettest in Wales.

Moreover, the data shows there is no trend to monthly rainfall becoming more extreme – indeed the opposite is the case:




Rowlatt includes footage of Storm Ciara, mentioning wind speeds of 90mph. But these are measured at exposed cliff top sites, and are commonplace whenever a storm arrives on our shores. They bear no resemblance to windspeeds inland, despite Rowlatt’s clear intention to mislead the public that they did.

By the way, when Rowlatt went on to interview the Met Office’s Mark McCarthy and Lizzie Kendon, he might have asked them why the Met Office had failed to forecast February’s wet weather just a week or two before it hit! I would have thought that might be of some relevance, given that the pair of them claim that they know what our weather will be like in fifty years time!


Sunny Spring

Rowlatt then moves onto the sunniest spring on record (since 1920). Quite what this has to do with climate change, he does not explain. But more to the point, last spring was a long way from being the driest spring. Nor are dry springs becoming more common:

He also says that in England we had the driest May on record. Although technically true, May 1896 only received 1.6mm more rainfall, well within any margin of error. And there is absolutely no trend to May becoming drier:


August Heatwave

Rowlatt talks about sweltering in one of our most intense heatwaves yet, based upon a few hot days at Heathrow, when the thermometer peaked at 36.4C. He omits to tell viewers that temperature readings next to a tarmac runway are artificially raised.

In fact across England as a whole, there was nothing unusual about August’s temperatures at all:


According to the Central England Temperature series, which far more representative than Heathrow, we had three days over 30C this summer (marked in blue), which is not an uncommon event, and has occurred on six prior occasions since 1906.

It certainly was nowhere as extreme as the nine days recorded in 1976:


Meanwhile summer as a whole was pretty ordinary:


Coastal Erosion

There is also a segment on coastal erosion in Norfolk, which Rowlatt says is made worse by storms and rising sea levels.

He fails however to quantify how these storms are supposedly worse than before, or to explain that sea levels on the east coast have been rising at the same steady rate since the 19thC, and therefore have nothing to do with man made global warming.

He also fails to give any evidence that current erosion is any worse than it has been for centuries.


Stonehaven Derailment

Finally, Rowlatt quite shamefully covers the Stonehaven derailment, effectively blaming the deaths on global warming.

In fact, as the interim report from British Rail confirmed, the area received about 50mm of rain that day. But the data shows that there is nothing at all unusual about such amounts of rain there:


Daily Rainfall at Dyce – 1960 to 2018



All that Rowlatt has done is to report a small handful of weather events, none of which backs up his original claim that Britain’s weather is getting wilder.

In particular, he offers no evidence that similarly wild weather has not occurred regularly in the past.

He combines all of this with emotive footage, designed to make us all feel guilty, and then dresses it up with Met Office projections that our weather will become much worse.

It is, I am afraid, just another in a long series of biased climate propaganda programmes by the BBC, which fail to present all of the facts or objectively analyse them.

  1. Derek W Wood permalink
    December 11, 2020 1:08 pm

    I am hugely grateful to Paul Homewood for Offering a more balanced picture of what is really happening to our weather. Nothing outside the ordinary, I see. Thanks, PH!

    • Ian Magness permalink
      December 11, 2020 1:22 pm

      I would like to second that sentiment. The BBC propaganda duly eviscerated.
      Well done yet again Paul.

      • December 11, 2020 1:52 pm

        I would like to third my thanks to Paul. Well done, sir!

      • George Lawson permalink
        December 12, 2020 10:51 am

        Mr Homewood’s logical analysis of all the lying that the BBC apply to their never ending attempts at falsifying the facts about global warming brings sanity to a subject currently dominated by many living off the public purse, or afraid to speak the truth against the GW bigots. It is doubtful that Mr Rowlett will ever bring himself round to reading any blogs on this site for fear of shaming himself, but I too am eternally grateful to Mr Homewood who has the unique ability to present the truth where lies prevail. How sad his factual analysis of a disgraceful BBC is not listened to by other news outlets to bring an element of sanity back to news reporting. Thank you Mr Homewood, we all learn so much from your excellent writing.

  2. GeoffB permalink
    December 11, 2020 1:17 pm

    Nudge Nudge!

  3. Sheri permalink
    December 11, 2020 1:21 pm

    Britains are becoming more gullible and uneducated. Nothing more. At least that is the hope of the BBC.

  4. Tom Livingston permalink
    December 11, 2020 1:46 pm

    They talk rubbish constantly but, trouble is, they’re winning hands down. Stupid de- carbonisation policies at vast expense from the govt., endless virtue signalling from most politicians in the western world, any voice of reason like Paul’s is disregarded or worse, while the idiot voices at the BBC and the rest of the media are accepted as fact and any body who contradicts their rubbish is a “holocaust denier”, or worse. I despair of the voices of reason ever getting even a proper hearing.

    • buxtond permalink
      December 11, 2020 2:07 pm

      We will never get a proper idea of it anyway, the Climate will please itself what it does and we can have little or no say in the matter.

    • Eddie P permalink
      December 11, 2020 4:32 pm

      This is an indication of what we are up against. I recently sent the Labour Shadow Minister for the Environment a couple of links to Paul’s pages. This was his reply –
      “I’ve looked at the links and think this is poor quality and, I believe, not helpful. I am concerned about the high levels of fake news about climate science and I worry that good people are falling for things that are false. There is over-whelming evidence for the climate emergency and I would encourage you to get your news from reputable and evidence-led sites.”

      • steve permalink
        December 11, 2020 6:24 pm

        I had very similar from my tory MP when telling him about the real cost of net zero. They are truly clueless and it is very worrying that these people are in charge.

      • December 12, 2020 6:57 am

        He obviously never looked and probably asked a civil servant who of course parroted the official line. If he had looked he might have noticed that most of the facts Paul uses are actually Met Office data!

      • 4 Eyes permalink
        December 13, 2020 2:48 am

        Did he say what the reputable evidence based sources were?

      • ThinkingScientist permalink
        December 13, 2020 3:32 pm

        Eddie P,

        Regarding your letter/email to the Shadow Environment Secretary, its potentially a gift. If you sent it to Jonathan Ashworth, his weakness is his self-importance and arrogance. He was appalling on Question Time with Sunetra Gupta (and was quite properly called out by one of the other panelists, John Caudwell of Phones 4u).

        I have been thinking of how we can use this type of attitude as an opportunity, to develop a strategy. The key point is that there are almost no MPs with any science qualifications. Ashworth has a degree in Politics & Philosophy. That means he has NO qualifications that would enable him to distinguish “fake news” from true science . If he claims he has that ability, we all have it. If he doesn’t have it, on what basis did he dismiss it?

        So some questions for you:

        1. What PH links did you send?
        2. Do you have any formal relevant qualifications eg degree in Geoscience? If so, did you indicate this on the letter/email?
        3. Can you get me a copy of the letter/email you sent and the reply?

        I think the following strategy could be used. It is based on sequence of letters to every MP (or a lot of them) over time, from different individuals.

        (a) Pick only factual points like PH publishes here which use, for example, published Met Office data (or peer reviewed papers). Ie no wild and wacky unsubstantiated climate theories, just clear facts based on official data

        (b) Send the information to the MP. We know that for many the recipient is likely to (i) not read it, (ii) send the official/arm wavy line or, as in your case, (iii) send an unsubstantiated reply concerning “fake news”.

        The key point here is that Ashworth has a degree in Politics & Philosophy so he has no qualifications that would enable him to tell the difference between “fake news” and correct scientific facts where a technical subject is involved.
        Why does that matter? Because if he claims he can differentiate without specialist knowledge, anyone can. Conversely, if he thinks that, unqualified as he is in science, he knows better then he will have put in writing his own arrogance. If he does what he should do, he should defer to the opinion of someone who is qualified to address the specific point raised in the letter (not generalities like “climate change is real” which is just arm waving). That person also needs to have actually looked at the material referenced. If he doesn’t do that he is failing to respond to a genuine point from the public – on what grounds? Its a sequence that traps into a position which highlights their ignorance or there unwillingness to actually listen to the public. It requires patient, non-confrontational letter writing.

        (c) Following a dismissive response we then send a follow up letter from a different person, referencing the original (which has been “brought to their attention”) and the dismissive answer. But the second person has qualifications that ARE relevant. So they are not pushing the original technical position, instead they are pointing out to the MP that dismissal of the original letter as “fake news” is untrue because (a) this new person writing IS qualified to tell the difference and (b) the MP is not.

        (d) After the next response we could potentially up the ante to a letter from a further, more significant expert and so forth.

        Its basically a reverse of an appeal to authority. The only way is with appeals to authority which force them onto the back foot, whereby they can’t give stock or dismissive reply. The intent is to plant the seeds of doubt and/or force them to provide the opinion of another expert. At that point the expert who’s view they rely on can be challenged or an ad hominin attack on their lack of independence/qualifications/bias could also be made.

        Over time we collate lots of letters and replies from MP’s and in the end we publish them all online AND press release to newspaper (Daily Mail? Express?). The objective is to try and raise public awareness that MPs are saying people with genuine concerns are falling for “fake news” when in fact it is the MPs themselves who cannot tell the difference.

        I can provide suitably qualified experts. I would like a trial run using my own qualifications.

  5. December 11, 2020 1:52 pm

    If Britain’s weather is getting wilder, and if climate scientists have determined that the cause is AGW then who are we to argue? They are respected scientists and we just the hoi polloi.

  6. December 11, 2020 2:13 pm

    Only Climate self styled “scientists” can translate an episodic event, having one data point, into a trend.

    Rowlatt’s orgasmic presentation on the Antarctic complete with iced up beard, for effect, was showmanship and this is his style.

    Ofcom UK should be apprised of Beebs false news.

    • December 11, 2020 3:19 pm

      “Ofcom UK should be apprised of Beebs false news.”
      Bit of a waste of time as they can’t look at anything until you’ve gone to the BBC, the Beeb then sends a poor reply, therefore Ofcom won’t do anything because you’ve had a reply; Game, set & match to them, but I keep on doing it anyway just to annoy !

      • December 11, 2020 3:29 pm

        Recent Example –


        News at 10 talk about CO2 increase & show before & after pictures of places around the world with clear sky & smog, giving the impression that the smog is caused by CO2, but CO2 is an invisible gas so the pictures tell a lie.

        I’m appalled the BBC is now doing more of this kind of subliminal falsification on a weekly basis…with my license fee. 

        Finally a reply…

        Thank you for contacting us regarding the BBC News at Ten which was broadcast on 23 November.

        Please accept our apologies for the delay in replying. We know our correspondents appreciate a quick response and we are sorry you have had to wait on this occasion.

        We note your concerns about “misinformation” in a news report.

        Whilst we appreciate your unhappiness, this was a very brief report which aimed to highlight the lack of a real impact that Covid-19 has had on CO2 emissions. The images of clearing air pollution were merely intended to illustrate this.

        Nevertheless, we would like to assure you that your complaint has been forwarded to senior management as well as the team at the BBC News at Ten and your points were included on our overnight reports.

        Thank you once again for getting in touch.

        Kind regards

        Terry Hughes

        BBC Complaints Team

        Because I’ve had that reply, Ofcom don’t want to know.

      • ThinkingScientist permalink
        December 11, 2020 5:47 pm

        No, you have to raise it to the BBC Trust. So the sequence is generally:

        1. Complain
        2. Get flannel reply
        3. Complain again, including the original reference, and point out that CO2 and air pollution are unrelated and therefore their answer does not address your point
        4. Get similar flannel answer again
        5. Now complain to the BBC Trust, referencing previous complaints, saying they have not addressed your point.
        6. Get flannel and usual BS from BBC Trust not addressing your point
        7. Now complain to Ofcom referencing the chain of failure to respond to the actual point

        Given they are always showing water vapour or dirty emissions for CO2 they will have a hard time refuting the point.

        You have to be patient, persistent and it for the long haul.

  7. Devoncamel permalink
    December 11, 2020 2:37 pm

    Many years ago Panorama was a reliable source of investigative journalism, apparently.
    I’ve asked this before; what were the viewing figures?

  8. ThinkingScientist permalink
    December 11, 2020 3:04 pm

    I have a clipping from the Daily Telegraph 13 October 2004. The headline reads:

    “Suffolk fort in front line as sea levels rise”

    It contains the following statement “Mr Fell-Clark…awoke after a storm in 1997 to find the shingle beach had disappeared”

    I used the clipping in a presentation I made in 2005. Back then everything was climate change. Now its just the same.

    Perhaps the BBC can explain how the same story about erosion on the East coast can have been running so long and is attributable to climate change when we didn’t even exceed the (natural) 1940s peak until at least 1980 and didn’t exceed the 1878 spike in Hadcrut4 until 1990.

    A quick glance at both sea level (Jevrejeva, 2014) and Glaciers (LeClercq & Oerlemans 2010) show melting and sea level on a fundamental linear trend since about 1840 – 1850.

    Strange that HadCrut4 only shows warming since about 1910, and IPCC forcings only go net positive around 1905. How were glaciers melting and sea level rising back in 1850 if thermometers and IPCC forcings say global temps didn’t shift until the 1900s? Locals having bonfires?

    The great thing about Alpine Glaciers is that people actually went there and even took photos – there is a famous photo of the Mer de Glace actually advanced into Chamonix Valley floor, taken in 1854 (see Nussbaumer, 2007). People actually wrote about and painted where the glaciers were. And artefacts from Roman and Bronze Ages found on passes that have been permanently ice covered until this century.

    And people are dating trees being revealed from under glaciers – Scapozza et al (2009) estimating medieval temps 1.2 degC above mid C20th average.

  9. December 11, 2020 3:23 pm

    Rowlatt then moves onto the sunniest spring on record (since 1920). Quite what this has to do with climate change, he does not explain.

    Cherry picking is not science, but the likes of Rowlatt are unaware of, or don’t care about, that. As long as it bamboozles most of the audience – job done.

  10. Vernon E permalink
    December 11, 2020 4:01 pm

    I watched it and have been looking forward to Paul’s rersponse which certainly doesn’t disappoint. The householder from the erosion segment was especially touching. Instead of making a huge hoohah about job creation by making windmills (which are made in China anyway) why don’t we create jobs by maling concrete tetrapods which are the best means to combat erosion. The poor guy who was losing his home was struggling with a couple of random lumps of concrete. Joined up government?

  11. CheshireRed permalink
    December 11, 2020 5:13 pm

    None of this is a surprise, as ‘propaganda’ is exactly the right word to describe almost all BBC ‘climate change’ coverage.

    This programme was a series of WEATHER EVENTS, knitted together to create and promote an entirely fake narrative.

    At some point someone needs to sue the BBC for this type of relentless propaganda.

  12. David permalink
    December 11, 2020 5:59 pm

    Presumably aware of the mass of information on blogs like this which accuse them of disinformation on climate change, you’d think the BBC would jump at the chance to make a program pulling all our arguments apart. Obviously they are too scared. Come on if you think you’re so hard!

  13. Peter S permalink
    December 11, 2020 6:19 pm

    I didn’t watch Panorama because I knew it would just be yet more propaganda from the BBC. At one time I thought the BBC was marvelous but that time has long gone. Today, I avoid almost all BBC output because I know it will be biased, woke or a campaign, The BBC has a number of campaigns, climate change is probably the most long running and relenless. Others include pro-illegal migrants and of course anti-Brexit.

    It was probably anger that made me give up the BBC or perhaps self-preservation because my blood pressure was always soaring. Then, after a while I realised that I felt much better and didn’t miss any of it. Then I realised that the quality of programmes had plummetted with the Corporation more interested in diversity and woke themes than in entertainment.

    I still pay the licence fee to avoid a criminal record but when that ceases to be compulsory I shall ditch the BBC immediately. I used to feel sad about that but despite endless messages from the public, the BBC is determined to self-destruct and my message now is, “Hurry up..”

  14. Micky R permalink
    December 11, 2020 6:21 pm

    The BBC has produced some excellent television in the past, but it now needs to be dismantled for continually broadcasting misleading information.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      December 11, 2020 8:08 pm

      The BBC motto: Nation Shall Speak Peace Unto Nation – is actually a German anagram for: Goebbels Would Be Proud.

  15. M E permalink
    December 11, 2020 7:16 pm

    About erosion of gravel beaches. Many of these beaches were created by the movement of gravel to the present position. Beaches and cliffs eroding are the normal way coastlines change. Building on gravel and sand spits is not a good idea , it never was. It is the same as building on floodplains where the land they are building on was created by repeated floods .
    see text books of Geomorphology.

  16. stevejay permalink
    December 11, 2020 7:58 pm

    I stopped watching the news on BBC some time ago. How can you believe ANY of it? Don’t suppose the coolest July for 8 years got a mention or the many record snowfalls across the globe? Also, SDA’s polar bear fiasco, saying that bears were starving because of melting summer sea ice. Turns out, the bears feed very little in the summer anyway, they build up body fat in the spring. Surely he should have known that!

  17. HuwT permalink
    December 11, 2020 9:33 pm

    The green zealots are winning. The BBC have been a mouthpiece for the green movement for years. All major political parties are now deeply inside the tentacles of the green monster. I wrote to my Labour MP to complain about Boriis’s green plan. His reply showed no concern for the issues I had put forward.. Instead I got the statement that the Tories did not go far enough and that Labour would go much further with their green zealotry. My reply to that was simple, I will never vote for you again. All of us who fear the coming green tyranny need to consider very seriously what can be done to effectively oppose the nightmare that is very nearly with us . Any suggestions on this????

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      December 12, 2020 8:34 am

      Nor the simple truth that the August temperatures were due entirely to a weather phenomenon, not climate change. Or that rain records in a single area are meaningless given the UK’s geography. Same with wind and temperatures – there’s no reason to believe every place in the UK has previously had the most/highest that it could naturally see.

  18. Gordon permalink
    December 12, 2020 7:01 am

    Paul, you are a star for your tireless work. But, what is to be done? Can a small band of truth-tellers stand up and be heard amongst the madness? Like the Covid situation, the world is being fed an ever incredible diet of misinformation and debate is silenced.

    Can we ever get the BBC to publish corrections?

  19. Phoenix44 permalink
    December 12, 2020 8:30 am

    I love the “shattered”, as if these “records” were much higher than previous figures when in fact they are probably due only to more precise measurements. As for a month being “sunniest” how is that wild weather?

    But of course it is simply fradulent to make claims about trends from one data point. If an investment firm made such claims about returns the FCA would be on them in a flash for mis-selling. These are relentless lies.

  20. December 12, 2020 8:28 pm

    The old Bon Mot remains as relevant as ever: “Is that true, or did you hear it from the BBC”. I first remember the BBC telling outright lies in the mid-1960s. Ever since that time I have found it best to take the opposite point of view of the BBC’s to arrive at a nearer truth. I suppose their lies can only be expected from a socialist government-financed organ. Prior to the 1960’s the BBC was world-renowned for the truth. Sad.

  21. dennisambler permalink
    December 13, 2020 11:50 am

    All part of the ongoing theme in preparation for Glasgow COPS and Robbers next November.
    If these so-called journalists were ever to do any research, they would realise just how benign the last few decades have been. Of course, no video clips from previous century disasters. Media Studies degrees rule, OK.

    The University of Wales has a feature on the cataclysmic flood of 1607 which inundated South Wales, Devon, Somerset and Gloucestershire: The BBC did a programme about it in 2004, Rowlatt could have featured it!

    “20th January 1607- 2,000 died around the Severn Estuary
    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. As well as the cost in human life, much damage / loss of housing etc., and also cattle, sheep & horses perished.”

    The British Hydrochronology Association has this site,
    There are records for every river catchment in the country and it is searchable, covering flood years and drought years going back to

    Newspaper archives in abundance, sample:
    5th December 1876
    “FLOODS IN THE WYE VALLEY. The district round Monmouth resembles a sea, there being thousands of acres of land submerged by the over-flowing of the rivers Wye, Monnow, and Trothy. The church of Dixton is surrounded; several of the roads to Monmouth are impassable, and some houses in the lower part of the town are flooded. Round Wonastow scarcely any land can be seen, while all down the Usk the land is flooded.”

    11th August 1846 –

    “The water came down in torrents, tearing up everything that came in its progress. The corn and hay on the fields were swept off into the rivulets, until they becoming full, it carried away 11 bridges, 18 houses, 1 chapel and schoolhouse.

    On Sunday, Llanon and Llansantfraid were again visited by a flood, which broke down the temporary bridges that were erected, undermined the churchyard wall and threw it down, tore open the graves, carrying the coffins along with it into the sea (5 of which were afterwards recovered), destroyed 5 houses and 1 chapel; pieces of furniture were seen floating in all directions. People who were in their dwellings were immersed up to their necks in water. ”

    No 4×4’s, no mobile phones, no outboard motors for rescue boats, no helicopters, no petrol or diesel powered pumps, etc and no reporters in brand new green wellies.

    There are thousands upon thousands of real reports in archives that instantly destroy the current weather narratives of “worst ever”, “record this or that”. The constantly recurring threat of removing the licence fee serves to keep the BBC in line for government purposes, like AGW and now Covid.

    Defund the BBC? It won’t happen, the establishment needs it.

  22. December 15, 2020 1:59 pm

    BBC Reporting Gone Wobbly

    Some actual facts to contrast with their demented fantasies.
    Thanks to Chris Booker

    AGW, aka Climate Change is bubkas.

    Ever get the feeling that we are being informed and ruled by fools who have to invent problems to “solve,” in order to distract us from the fact that they have no interest in, nor do they have a clue how to deal with any of the real ones?

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