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Are Our Winters Getting Warmer?

March 2, 2022

By Paul Homewood


Now where have we heard that before??



Snowy winters could become a thing of the past as climate change affects the UK, Met Office analysis suggests.

It is one of a series of projections about how UK’s climate could change, shared with BBC Panorama.

It suggests by the 2040s most of southern England could no longer see sub-zero days. By the 2060s only high ground and northern Scotland are still likely to experience such cold days.

The projections are based on global emissions accelerating.

It could mean the end of sledging, snowmen and snowball fights, says Dr Lizzie Kendon, a senior Met Office scientist who worked on the climate projections.

"We’re saying by the end of the century much of the lying snow will have disappeared entirely except over the highest ground," she told Panorama.

If the world reduces emissions significantly the changes will be less dramatic, the Met Office says.

"The overarching picture is warmer, wetter winters; hotter, drier summers," Dr Kendon says.

The Met Office says we are already seeing dramatic changes in the UK climate.

The rate and nature of the climate change that we’re seeing is unprecedented," says Dr Mark McCarthy of the Met Office’s National Climate Information Centre.

Most of the country has already seen average temperatures rise by 1C since the Industrial Revolution and we should expect more of the same, he warns.

That may not sound like much, but even these small changes in our climate can have a huge impact on the weather and on many plants and animals.


McCarthy talks of climate having a huge effect on weather. However, the data shows he has it the wrong way round.

Some years we get mild winters, and some are very cold. This has nothing to do with global warming, it is simply down to the vagaries of weather. When the weather is dominated by Atlantic airflow, it tends to be wet and mild. When it is anti-cyclonic, it is usually cold.

As an example, this winter just ended was milder than average, but six winter prior to 1900 were actually warmer, with the warmest on record in 1868/69. In other words, we have simply experiencing the same weather seen in the past.




We can see the effect more clearly by looking at just the warmest winters:



It certainly appears that milder winters are more common now, which naturally pushes the average up. But the weather is no different to those earlier mild winters, just more frequent.

What is also apparent that extremely cold winters are now effectively a thing of the past. The most recent Top 50 entry was 1978/79.



Quite what explains these shifting weather patterns, I have no clue. But there is no evidence whatsoever that it has anything at all to do with emissions, or that winters will carry on getting warmer.

Indeed quite the opposite. Winter temperatures have been very stable since 1990.


A comparison with the winter of 1898/99, which was just 0.1C colder than this winter, illustrates my argument better than any graph. Indeed that winter closely mirrors what we have just experienced:






Just as this winter, December was dry and settled, followed by unsettled, mild and wet weather during January and February. Gales were frequent, arriving from a southwesterly direction.

In other words, a carbon copy of this winter’s weather, with almost exactly the same temperature.

It was weather back in 1899. And it is still weather now, not climate change.

  1. Broadlands permalink
    March 2, 2022 6:45 pm

    “If the world reduces emissions significantly the changes will be less dramatic, the Met Office says…”

    We tried that when we were forced to by pandemic travel lockdowns. It did nothing to the climate but it made drastic and dramatic changes to all economies. Why would the Met Office want the world to try it again? Maybe they can lead the way by staying home and relying on solar or wind for the winter?

  2. Aaron Halliwell permalink
    March 2, 2022 6:52 pm

    You seem to be using Dec 1889, Jan 1899 and Feb 1899, instead of Dec 1898!

  3. Colin permalink
    March 2, 2022 6:53 pm

    I’m old enough to observe that winters are milder than they were in my childhood, but nobody under the age of 40 can truly say that they’ve seen winters get colder. Here in Scottish the warmest winter, and by some margin, was 1989. 2010 and 2011 are up there with the coldest winters of 70s and 80s.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      March 2, 2022 7:09 pm

      …And I’m old enough to accept that the milder (at times) Winter is a weather event that may well be cancelled out by another. All in all, even if the overall 30-year climate has shown a fraction of a degree shift to the (undetectable by man) warmer, so what? I’d rather be warm than cold (although I do like my garden to get its fair share of frost – at the right times).

    • Stuart Hamish permalink
      March 3, 2022 2:19 am

      Do you remember 1976 as warm and mild Colin ?

      • Colin permalink
        March 3, 2022 8:59 am

        No. I was 8 in 1976 and have no recollection of that summer being warm, though for some reason I remember the news reporting 100 degrees on Wimbledon centre court. I remember being told that the Winters in Scotland during the mid 70’s were mild, but I’ve bo recollection of this either.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      March 3, 2022 11:27 am

      “I’m old enough t0…..” and then “I was 8 in 1976” Come on mate your only 53/54 that’s a bit young for your memory to be failing you so badly. .

  4. catweazle666 permalink
    March 2, 2022 6:54 pm

    “The Met Office says we are already seeing dramatic changes in the UK climate.”
    I call BS.
    There’s this, from 2000, 22 years ago :
    Or this, from 2004:
    They never give up…

    • Coeur de Lion permalink
      March 3, 2022 9:09 am

      As a sometime naval diver I still have the pain of 1962 in my finger joints

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        March 3, 2022 11:31 am

        An uncle of mine used to work for the GPO (BT) as a linesman. He bolted up a tensioner on renewing a fallen overhead cable in late 1962 only to realise he had also bolted part of his thumb. He said he never felt it through the cold but later lost the top of his thumb due to the damage.

  5. Martin Brumby permalink
    March 2, 2022 7:11 pm

    No doubt Dizzy Lizzie is using “bordeline impossible” RCP 8.5 when playing on her X-Box.

    I think she (and all the other MET Office shroud wavers) should have some skin in the game, rather that just playing globalist GangGreen politics.

    Let Lizzie give us her best guess at what the weather will be like in December of the year in which she will retire (assuming age 67).

    If the average December temperature is within half a degree celsius. then she collects her pension.
    If between -0.5ºC and -0.75ºC of her prediction – she gets 75% of her pension.
    If between +0.5ºC and +0.75ºC, she gets 125%

    Lower than that – 0.75ºC, she gets nothing except a few rotten cabbages.

    Seems fair to me!

    I am absolutely sick to death of these Psynentific ‘projections’, endlessly regurgitated and their fabricators NEVER being held to account.

  6. MrGrimNasty permalink
    March 2, 2022 7:26 pm

    It’s just chance/weather. Winter just gone could have been exceptionally cold if pressure patterns had had centres just a few miles different. The global temperature would have been the same throughout whichever way the cookie crumbled. UK winter temperatures vary remarkably regardless of the global temperature. History shows one winter may be in the top few warmest and then the very next year may be in the top few coldest. But UK weather always tends to provide more mild winters than cold, but then when they are cold, the negative deviation tends to be large. We can go for decades without a cold winter, it’s no more significant than rolling a dice and the same number coming up 10 times in a row.

    After the exceptionally mild February it looks like March could now have a cool/cold spell cold thanks to SSW/Polar vortex wobble, nothing too dramatic on the horizon yet, but remember March 2013!

  7. March 2, 2022 8:02 pm

    Maybe she and the rest of the CC nutters at the MET should go on strike for the next few years. QED

  8. March 2, 2022 8:10 pm

    Warming doesn’t prove human-caused warming. All sorts of assumptions can be made, but can be wrong too.

  9. Broadlands permalink
    March 2, 2022 8:10 pm

    According to NOAA (1895-2022) the coldest winter (DEC-FEB) in the US 48 states was in 1978-79. 16.5°F. (-8.6°C). The warmest winter was in 1999-2000. 47.5°F. (+8.6°C) A difference of 31°F (17°C) in 21 years. The coldest year was in 1917 with the warmest just four years later…1921.

  10. March 2, 2022 9:43 pm

    Are Our Winters Getting Warmer?

    Maybe, heating degree days show a reducing trend. Unfortunately the reduction in gas consumption doesn’t follow this trend and it should!

  11. Ben Vorlich permalink
    March 2, 2022 9:57 pm

    Off topic but interesting headline on pay walled site

    Offshore wind is fundamentally sick… no one’s making money’: ex-Orsted technology chief
    EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW| Relentless pressure on power cost at time of unparalleled expansion makes for ‘dysfunctional’ sector, warns Danish giant’s long-time R&D head Christina Aabo

  12. Gamecock permalink
    March 2, 2022 10:05 pm

    By 2060, I expect to be fully, completely, irrevocably . . . dead.

  13. Steve Budd permalink
    March 2, 2022 10:09 pm

    A warming trend should be a good thing because the colder weather means the death rates in the UK increase to a much higher level than the death rates during the summer months. I agree cookers52 about the unfortunate trend in gas reduction has not followed the weather trends

  14. Mack permalink
    March 2, 2022 10:15 pm

    I call the excessive use of the word ‘unprecedented’ by climate alarmists, completely unprecedented. Now, in Biblical times, at the dawn of recorded history, an old bloke called Noah may have had some justification for grumbling about ‘unprecedented flooding’ but a modern scientist has no excuse for making such similar claims. I dare any Met Office scientist to show me the evidence of ‘unprecedented flooding caused by climate change’ and I’ll happily donate to a charity of their choice. Any takers?

  15. March 3, 2022 12:48 am

    What happened to 2010/11 in these statistics?
    The whole northern hemisphere was coated in snow for weeks.
    Temperatures below minus 20 degrees recorded in Gtr Manchester.
    The snow lasted for weeks, recall the piles of snow in carparks.
    There was no road salt available.
    Yet it seems to be erased from climate history?

  16. March 3, 2022 4:22 am

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  17. Richard Greene permalink
    March 3, 2022 6:13 am

    I believe “Central England” (CET) is just three weather stations.
    They represent a local area — not all of England, not all of the UK and certainly not the entire planet. The use of a mean temperature smooths the effects of global warming, which mainly affect TMIN at night.
    More important:
    These local data can not be used to make any valid points about climate change outside of their vicinity. This is meaningless data mining unless you
    live in the vicinity of these weather stations.

    • AC Osborn permalink
      March 3, 2022 9:12 am

      It is used because it is the longest record of temperatures.
      Are you suggesting that “Global Warming” will not show up in local temperatures.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      March 3, 2022 9:13 am

      It’s the most scientifically rigorous longest consistent UHI and maritime influence free record that we have. Yes it isn’t perfect in all those respects, but it’s the best there is.

  18. SUAN EWENS permalink
    March 3, 2022 9:07 am

    “These local data can not be used to make any valid points about climate change outside of their vicinity. This is meaningless data mining unless you live in the vicinity of these weather stations.”

    The importance of the CET series is not that it is a proxy for UK Temperature anymore than Honister pass rainfall is a proxy for UK rainfall.

    The value of CET is its longevity. it is the longest temperature series in the world and gives an excellent insight into weather variability and long term trends in the area it covers. This is invaluable. The disregard of history is the Achilles heel of climate alarmism.

  19. AC Osborn permalink
    March 3, 2022 9:17 am

    Of course there is “man made warming”, it is called UHI.

  20. Coeur de Lion permalink
    March 3, 2022 9:37 am

    Taking a look at the UAH reading for February we see it at zero above the current 30 year mean and to my uninformed eye the same temperature as 1988. That’s climate not weather. I have a bet of £100 running in my rather warmist sphere that we will not see a spike higher than the 2016 El Niño for five years thus a twelve year ‘pause’. No takers

  21. Brian Richards permalink
    March 3, 2022 11:03 am

    He should try living on the East Coast of Canada between November and April.

  22. Gerry, England permalink
    March 3, 2022 1:25 pm

    And yet my gas and electricity record shows notes for last April of ‘frosts’ and ‘snow’. and a couple of years back we had white frosts in the second week of May.

  23. C Lynch permalink
    March 3, 2022 4:31 pm

    I remember my grandparents in the 1970s and early 1980s opining about how winters were much milder in their youth ie in the 1920s and 1930s.
    It’s cyclical.

  24. March 3, 2022 4:54 pm

    If our winters are getting warmer as measured from cities then it is because so many more houses have central heating than in the 50s 60s etc. HIE comes to mind.


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