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UK Daily Rainfall Extremes

February 4, 2021

By Paul Homewood




I looked at some of the rainfall graphs available from the European Climate Assessment & Dataset a month or two ago, and have now got the up to date data for 2019 and 2020. Also I have managed to fill in the gaps in the EAC&D dataset.

I have now replicated the above graph, which shows the highest day’s rainfall for each year:




The results appear to be pretty clear cut.The incidence of extreme rainfall at both Oxford and Durham has declined in recent decades, whilst at Buxton the reverse is true.

Nevertheless at the latter, the wettest day was back in 1973.

I do not claim any climatological significance in any of this. But what it does show though is that there is no evidence that a warmer atmosphere is driving more extreme rainfall.

  1. Ben Vorlich permalink
    February 4, 2021 3:31 pm

    Your graphs look right to my memory, I’d be interested in weekly data because I have memories of months of rain.

    I remember the late 1960s early 1970s being very wet in late summers in the part of Perthshire where we lived. From early August until October I worked as a Ponyman on the local estate. Normally you could expect a mix of weather from very warm to snow with a decent mount of rain. But there were a couple of years when it rained virtually every day. So much so that dry clothes and boots became an issue. Although flooding like that that happens further downstream wasn’t a problem, but there was one year of I’ve lived here 50 years and never seen that before.

  2. NeilC permalink
    February 4, 2021 3:35 pm

    “there is no evidence that a warmer atmosphere is driving more extreme rainfall” But it isnt getting warmer in the UK.

  3. MrGrimNasty permalink
    February 4, 2021 4:36 pm

    Mineral water supplies are safe for now then.

  4. ianprsy permalink
    February 4, 2021 4:52 pm

    This and similar subjects feature in a report referenced in GWPF newsletter today:

    • Mack permalink
      February 4, 2021 5:30 pm

      That’s a very informative link Ian, summarising many of the issues that Paul goes into bat on on a regular basis. I did like the note explaining that the Met Office declined the opportunity of ‘offering a counter view’ to the GWPF’s conclusions. They are probably still smarting from Tallbloke teasing them for getting their latest modelled warming predictions hopelessly wrong, again!

  5. Glyn Pryce permalink
    February 4, 2021 5:14 pm

    Wettest day in West Shropshire was May 20th 1924 Thunder rain for 24hrs produced a claimed 9ins of rain. I can vouch for the absolute veracity of the two separate witnesses who were my and my wife’s close farming relatives. There has been nothing to remotely compare ever since

  6. Stonyground permalink
    February 4, 2021 5:19 pm

    I recall there being several consecutive wet summers during the second half of the 1980s. I remember them because I was cycling to work at the time. It has been quite consistently wet over the past few months but that is what weather does, it varies from year to year. Every time it swings one way or the other the alarmists label it the new normal and extrapolate it into a long term trend. They keep doing it no matter how many times they are proven wrong.

  7. Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
    February 4, 2021 5:41 pm

    I recall that 20 years, or so, ago the “extremes” were well into the future. Maybe I misremember.
    The climate parties (billed as COPs) proposed solutions based on future dates by which time certain actions should be taken. One such thing came in 1992 from Rio de Janeiro as Agenda 21. Wiki says: “. . . achieve global sustainable development by 2000, with the “21” in Agenda 21 referring to the original target of the 21st century.”

    In other words, “doom” was not immediate. Over the years, activists have brought the foreseen issues closer in time, until now they are here**. One has to be near age 45 to remember those times. If they know of such things, that is ancient history to many of today’s writer/activists.
    Future doom never got the job done. With the time of doom brought nearer, every weather extreme is a sign of a climate catastrophe.

    **an axiom of MSM and many politicians

  8. Phoenix44 permalink
    February 4, 2021 7:02 pm

    I can see no reason why you would see any kind of pattern in such small areas? It’s got be to close enough to random basically.

  9. David permalink
    February 4, 2021 9:36 pm

    The UK has a very unstable and largely unpredictable weather pattern due to its placing with a large ocean on one side and a large continent on the other. Therefore I would suggest that its weather pattern is not relevant to any global trends and any deductions made from our weather are nonsense.

    • February 5, 2021 7:44 am

      David, that’s perhaps the most nonsensical comment I’ve ever seen.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        February 5, 2021 8:59 am

        Why? The point is that changes “due” to climate change are in any event very small compared with natural variation, and in places such as the UK where natural variation is extremely large, completely undetectable. Over the last six weeks max temperatures in London have swung between 12 and 2 degrees as Westerlies have fought weather from the East. The average has been perhaps 7 degrees but we have had very few days close to that.

    • February 5, 2021 9:03 am

      any deductions made from our weather are nonsense

      The Met Office will be so disappointed.

  10. John189 permalink
    February 5, 2021 1:18 pm

    Paul’s graphs are highly relevant as we are continually being told by Government bodies/media/pressure groups etc that “climate change” is happening now and is leading to more and more “extreme weather events”.

    Extreme weather happens all the time. It is only awareness of extreme weather that has increased.

  11. Robert Muir permalink
    February 5, 2021 2:04 pm

    Many decreasing trends in Canada too. This is a breakdown of rainfall intensity trends by duration and return period (probability) at over 200 climate stations from Environment Canada’s Engineering Climate Datasets:

    The 25-year, 50-year and 100-year storm intensities, those rare intensities that could be linked to flooding and are used in engineering design, have gone down overall since the last update.

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