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Driest Start Since 1976? No, 2010 Was Drier

July 27, 2022
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By Paul Homewood



The period between January and June this year was the driest in England since 1976, the Met Office has said.

Graph showing rainfall in the first six months of the year from 1976 to 2022

I have already pointed out that both 1996 and 2010 had drier starts to the year than this year. The BBC, of course, produced the above chart for England & Wales, so I assumed the reference to England was a typo. It turns out, however, that 2010 had a drier start for England & Wales, as well as just England:

2022 : 319.1mm

2010 : 305.1mm

Of course, a headline that says “Driest Start Since 2010” does not really have the same ring to it!

  1. John189 permalink
    July 27, 2022 12:38 pm

    1976 seems very much in the news perhaps because of its iconic status and perhaps also to hype a link to a truly prolonged heatwave. However on the question of dry conditions I would like to mention 1995. Violent thunderstorms in the first week of August divided dry weeks on either side and by September water had to be taken by lorry tanker to header facilities at Chellow Heights to prevent Bradford (Yorks) running dry. The biggest haulage job ever undertaken in Britain.

  2. Aaron Halliwell permalink
    July 27, 2022 12:41 pm

    At least Yorkshire Water isn’t relying on tankers yet as it did in 1995, Paul!

  3. dearieme permalink
    July 27, 2022 1:43 pm

    “Why does the BBC lie so much?”

    “Dunno: ask them.”

    “But they’d just lie about that, wouldn’t they?”

    • Gerry, England permalink
      July 28, 2022 10:37 am

      They should pinch the tagline from the Co-op adverts:-

      ‘It’s what we do’

  4. July 27, 2022 1:51 pm

    La Nina could be playing a part…

    La Nina Climate Cycle Could Last Into 2023, According to UN
    10 Jun 2022 – AFP

    The weather phenomenon La Nina, which has affected global temperatures and worsened drought and flooding, will likely continue for months, and possibly even into 2023, the UN warned Friday.–according-to-un

  5. July 27, 2022 2:09 pm

    Paul, how many times must you be told:

  6. Eddie P permalink
    July 27, 2022 2:27 pm

    Paul – I think 2011 had the dry start.

  7. cookers52 permalink
    July 27, 2022 2:31 pm

    This CEH reports contains all the drought indices since 1890, rainfall is only one indicator, it may be 2022 exceeds 1976 in some of the indicators but reservoir levels appear OK at the moment.

  8. July 27, 2022 3:02 pm

    Is there a genuine problem with what is counted at the one official rain gauge for a region
    and what you experience whilst travelling that region ?
    and what falls into the catchment of that region ?

    Biking yesterday I experienced rain on my glasses for 20 mins
    OK that amount could evaporate the moment it hit the ground
    .. but when I arrived there were puddles on the tarpaulin that had been put up at 7am, 6 hours earlier.
    Yet when I check the stations observations
    via Met office WOW stations at Scampton and Scunthorpe they recorded zero rain yesterday
    (Scunthorpe had previously had rain on some days eg 10mm on 24th of July)

    When I go to the Met Office Observations page for last 24 hours at Scampton
    It shows zero main mentions
    Yet on that page click the map button link and you can see bouts of rain over Woodhall Spa

    • Gerry, England permalink
      July 28, 2022 10:43 am

      If you watch the rain radar, at this time of year bursts of rain can erupt out of nothing. They are not part of a weather front but just bubble up and often don’t move so can deposit large amounts of rain in a small area. A lot of my friends live 4 miles away and our rainfall experience varies quite a lot.

  9. Lorde Late permalink
    July 27, 2022 3:31 pm

    So basically these ‘EXTREME’ weather events are not that common.

  10. July 27, 2022 6:16 pm

    ITV local newsPR is doing drought porn now
    “Over to our reporter at X reservoir where the water level is DANGEROUSLY low”
    The Yorkshire Water woman said they are not worried
    the Yorkshire water grid is ready etc.

    Yes 5% would be dangerously low
    but if your petrol tank is at 40% that is NOT dangerous.

    Then they brought on the ecologist to say low water endangers fresh water crayfish.

    The weather guy teased us by saying he won’t tell us about rain until after.

    Next item
    “Climate Change could cause non native species get a grip onto the UK , now over to Kevin Ashford”
    with scientists putting trackers on hornets

    • July 27, 2022 6:43 pm

      The weather guy said , well it will rain at the weekend but it won’t be enough to fill the reservoirs to the brim like we need.
      FFS that’s ridiculous, we don’t need to fill reservoirs to the brim.

  11. July 27, 2022 6:40 pm

    6:29pm BBC NewsPR, the anchor opened the weather part by doing a big spiel about “driest July since 1911”
    then into the actual weather forecast which included bouts of substantial rainfall in certain parts of UK
    eg the Northwest

    Now BBC local NewsPR has started with a drought porn item turned up to 11

    started with Andrew Brampton .. bet he is connected to activists solar farm projects etc
    The on the scene reporter is the normal cultish enviro reporter

    Now Prof Ian Holman “fairly extreme time”
    Studio presenter is asking leading questions

    • July 28, 2022 10:47 pm

      woke up at 6:30am everywhere was wet, puddles
      4mm of rain was recorded

      Reality contradicts all the drought porn media items

  12. July 27, 2022 7:27 pm

    No surprise…

    July 2022: a dry run for UK’s future climate?
    Posted on 27 July, 2022 by Met Office Press Office

    Sound the alarm 🙄

  13. July 27, 2022 10:12 pm

    On a slightly different course, I watched a bit of a Channel 5 or More 5 show earlier tonight, on the summer of 1976. Is there a definitive book, written back then, on this topic?

  14. Gerry, England permalink
    July 28, 2022 10:55 am

    The water supply problem is a failure by the water companies to do their jobs properly and deliver to their customers the product and service they are paying for. When the companies were privatised it was not envisaged that like much of our infrastructure they would be bought up by foreigners who then milk them at our expense. While there is an issue with lack of new reservoirs to cope with a government policy of letting all and sundry come here, the amount of new storage proposed by Thames Water is just a fraction of the amount of water that leaks from their pipes. And yet for presiding over this atrocious waste the CEO gets a fat salary and a bonus!!! As ever in this incompetent country, there is a shining example of how to fix things to be had elsewhere. In Japan, rather than patching up a leaky system they renewed and replaced the poor sections and got their leakage down to around 2%.

  15. ThinkingScientist permalink
    July 28, 2022 1:12 pm

    I just downloaded the table from the Met Office and ran the Jan-June sums for rainfall and then ranked them.

    2022 ranks at…..28 since records began! So by trying to use only the last part of the data the BBC are trying to sensationalise something entirely banal. Its barely in the top 15% of all time driest

    Rank year H1
    1 1929 217.5
    2 1887 249.4
    3 1976 254.8
    4 1896 263.8
    5 1855 266.6
    6 1921 270.1
    7 1893 271.0
    8 1870 273.2
    9 1858 277.4
    10 1949 280.1
    11 1844 284.8
    12 1895 289.6
    13 1854 290.5
    14 1944 295.7
    15 1938 301.9
    16 1891 303.8
    17 1956 304.0
    18 1874 304.5
    19 2010 305.1
    20 1953 306.3
    21 1892 307.9
    22 1888 312.5
    23 1864 313.5
    24 1840 316.6
    25 1901 316.7
    26 1850 318.6
    27 1973 319.0
    28 2022 319.1
    29 1934 322.0
    30 1902 322.8

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      July 28, 2022 1:52 pm

      Using the link Paul has posted for England and Wales, using the Winter and Spring data as it doesn’t go beyond that. In a spreadsheet it’s a simple task to compare years. The total for 2022 is 373.8mm.
      Lower years between 1976 and 2022 inclusive are 2017, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2005, 1997, 1992, and 1976 itself.

      • ThinkingScientist permalink
        July 28, 2022 6:03 pm

        Here’s an interesting – sorry my comment is out of sequence below.

        So the January – June 2022 total is 319.1
        The Winter 2021 + Spring 2022 is 373.8 (as Ben Vorlich notes).

        So how does the BBC get 331mm?

        The only way I can get 331mm is the sum of February – June 2021 which gives 330.5.

        Error in the file?
        Finger trouble adding up at the BBC or the Met Office?
        My error?

        January to June shown:
        2021 139.9 86.7 56.9 11.9 127.7 47.3

  16. ThinkingScientist permalink
    July 28, 2022 4:44 pm

    Winter and Spring added are not January to June but December (2021) to May (2022), which is the 373.8mm value you give

    BBC state Jan – June

    The linked dataset does include June data but the total Jan-June is 319.1 not 331 as the BBC have it.

  17. EPC1948 Rh permalink
    July 28, 2022 8:14 pm

    2022 has experienced the greatest number of computer failures due to global warming since 1800.

    • ThinkingScientist permalink
      July 28, 2022 10:32 pm


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