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CCNet 05/01/13

Met Office Accused Of Misleading Public Over Rainfall Trends

Questions Over Met Office Rain & Drought Predictions

 
The forecast for average UK rainfall slightly favours drier-than-average conditions for April-May-June as a whole, and also slightly favours April being the driest of the 3 months. With this forecast, the water resources situation in southern, eastern and central England is likely to deteriorate further during the April-May-June periodThis forecast is based on information from observations, several numerical models and expert judgement. --Met Office 3-month Outlook, 23 March 2012
 

 
 
 
Seventeen counties in South West England and the Midlands have moved into official drought status, after two dry winters have left rivers and ground waters depleted. The news comes as the Environment Agency warned that the drought could last beyond Christmas. While rain over the spring and summer will help to water crops and gardens, it is unlikely to improve the underlying drought situation. --Environmental Agency, 16 April 2012
 
 
 
 
There's evidence to say we are getting slightly more rain in total, but more importantly it may be falling in more intense bursts” -- Julia Slingo, Met Office, 3 January 2013
 
 

The frequency of extreme rainfall in the UK may be increasing, according to analysis by the Met Office. Statistics show that days of particularly heavy rainfall have become more common since 1960. The analysis is still preliminary, but the apparent trend mirrors increases in extreme rain seen in other parts of the world. --Roger Harrabin, BBC News, 3 January 2013
 
 
 
In the wake of the "more rain and more intense rain" story, Doug Keenan sends this graph of England & Wales rainfall records for 1766-2012. Let's just say the trend towards more rainfall is not obvious. As indeed is any trend towards less rainfall, which is said to be more likely by the UK Climate Impacts Programme. --Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, 5 January 2013
 
 

Suddenly, after a wet year, which naturally the Met Office failed to forecast, they have reversed their customary fiery slogans to “Après nous le deluge”. Their antediluvian joy has given way to postdiluvian melancholy. They appear to have difficulty with the concept of random sequences of events, such as the precise positioning of the jet stream, and the fact that they produce apparent patterns and records. It was primitive man’s inability to envisage an effect without human cause that gave rise to much of religion. Of course it would have been most impressive if they had predicted all this a year ago, but they did not. Their predictions are as changeable as the weather and the only constant is the putative cause. --John Brignell, Number Watch, 3 January 2013
 
 

The Met Office continues to suffer from its recently acquired pretensions about climate. Careless remarks about BBQ summers and snowless winters and droughts in the UK have all been followed by Mother Nature failing to comply with their wishful thinking - the wishful bit being their hope that their faith in the power of CO2 in the system, or at least in computer models giving it a powerful effect, can be relied upon. –John Shade, Bishop Hill, 5 January 2013
 
 

During April 2012 the UK Environment Agency warned of an impending drought to hit 32 million people in the UK and it would last until 2013. Today in a report from Roger Harrabin at the BBC the Met Office have now made a startling analysis: "The frequency of extreme rainfall in the UK may be increasing, according to analysis by the Met Office. Statistics show that days of particularly heavy rainfall have become more common since 1960. You have to then ask what data was used in April last year with the Environment Agency/Met Office, did they not also have the same trend or data set from 1960? --Climate Realists, 3 January 2013
 
 
 
My take on all this is that the alarmists are just getting desperate, spinning any weather and data to suit the CO2 thesis. Remember that the record annual rainfall for England is still less than the average annual rainfall for Scotland, hence if the average track of the jet stream is a little further south than usual then England gets a fair bit more rain. It has nothing to do with the alleged warmer atmosphere having more potential to store H20; if it was why did north-west Scotland have a drought in the spring and early summer? More bollocks from the Met Office. The UK weather and climate is determined by the track of the jet stream (and moderated by the Gulf Stream), and CO2 has feck all to do with it. –Lapogus, Bishop Hill, 5 January 2013
 
 
 
1) Extreme Rainfall In UK ‘Increasing’ - BBC News, 3 January 2013

2) Reality Check: England And Wales Rainfall Trends - Bishop Hill, 5 January 2013

3) Left Hand: UK Faces Drought Until 2013 – Right Hand: Extreme Rainfall Increasing - Climate Realists, 3 January 2013

4) Environmental Agency Warns Long Term 2012 Drought May Last Beyond Christmas - Environmental Agency, 16 April 2012

5) John Brignell: And Now For The Weather Aftcast - Number Watch, 3 January 2013

6) Reminder: Met Office Computer Models Are Completely Rubbish - The Global Warming Policy Foundation, 25 June 2012
 
 
1) Extreme Rainfall In UK ‘Increasing’
BBC News, 3 January 2013

Roger Harrabin

The frequency of extreme rainfall in the UK may be increasing, according to analysis by the Met Office.

Statistics show that days of particularly heavy rainfall have become more common since 1960.
The analysis is still preliminary, but the apparent trend mirrors increases in extreme rain seen in other parts of the world.

It comes as the Met Office prepares to reveal whether 2012 was the wettest year on record in the UK.

The study into extreme rain is based on statistics from the National Climate Information Centre, the UK's official climate record.

Upwards trend

Extreme rain is defined as the sort of downpour you would expect once in 100 days.
There are big swings in rainfall from year to year, but the overall trend is upwards since 1960. Last year, for instance, extreme rain fell around once every 70 days.

The phenomenon of more frequent downpours has already been noted elsewhere, particularly in China and India.

Scientists say that as the world has warmed by 0.7C, the atmosphere is able to hold 4% more moisture, which means more potential rain.

The change in the UK trend is slight, but if the trend is confirmed it will clearly increase the risk of flooding.

This year is already the wettest in England's recorded history. And a series of downpours in late November brought one of the wettest weeks in the last 50 years, causing major disruption.

Professor Julia Slingo, chief scientist at the Met Office, said the preliminary analysis needed further research but was potentially significant.

"We have always seen a great deal of variability in UK extreme rainfall because our weather patterns are constantly changing, but this analysis suggests we are seeing a shift in our rainfall behaviour," she said.

"There's evidence to say we are getting slightly more rain in total, but more importantly it may be falling in more intense bursts - which can increase the risk of flooding.

"It's essential we look at how this may impact our rainfall patterns going forward over the next decade and beyond, so we can advise on the frequency of extreme weather in the future and the potential for more surface and river flooding.

"This will help inform decision-making about the need for future resilience both here in the UK and globally."

The Met Office no longer publishes a seasonal forecast and will not speculate on whether 2013 will produce frequent extreme rain. The immediate forecast, however, is for more stable weather.
 

Full story
 


2) Reality Check: England And Wales Rainfall Trends
Bishop Hill, 5 January 2013

In the wake of the "more rain and more intense rain" story, Doug Keenan sends this graph of England & Wales rainfall records for 1766-2012 (click for larger; data here).


 

Let's just say the trend towards more rainfall is not obvious. (As indeed is any trend towards less rainfall, which is said to be more likely by the UK Climate Impacts Programme).
 
 
3) Left Hand: UK Faces Drought Until 2013 – Right Hand: Extreme Rainfall Increasing
Climate Realists, 3 January 2013

During April 2012 the UK Environment Agency warned of an impending drought to hit 32 million people in the UK and it would last until 2013.


Today in a report from Roger Harrabin at the BBC the Met Office have now made a startling analysis:

"The frequency of extreme rainfall in the UK may be increasing, according to analysis by the Met Office. Statistics show that days of particularly heavy rainfall have become more common since 1960

You have to then ask what data was used in April last year with the Environment Agency/Met Office, did they not also have the same trend or data set from 1960?

Full story
 


4) Environmental Agency Warns Long Term 2012 Drought May Last Beyond Christmas
Environmental Agency, 16 April 2012

People and businesses urged to use water wisely as Environment Agency warns drought could last beyond Christmas.


Seventeen counties in South West England and the Midlands have moved into official drought status, after two dry winters have left rivers and ground waters depleted. While public water supplies in these areas are unlikely to be affected, the lack of rain is taking its toll on the environment and farmers – causing problems for wildlife, wetlands and crop production. The Environment Agency is urging businesses, water companies and consumers to all play their part by using water wisely, to help conserve precious water supplies.

In the Midlands the Environment Agency has rescued fish from the River Lathkill in Derbyshire after it dried up, and the Rivers Tern, Sow, Soar and Leadon reached their lowest ever recorded levels in March. In the South West rivers are also suffering and nationally important chalk streams, such as the Hampshire Avon and the Dorset Stour, which support rare trout and salmon species, are exceptionally low.

Last beyond Christmas?

The news comes as the Environment Agency warned that the drought could last beyond Christmas. While rain over the spring and summer will help to water crops and gardens, it is unlikely to improve the underlying drought situation. It was hoped that a prolonged period of rainfall between October and March – known as the winter recharge period – would prevent widespread drought, but parts of England received less than 60 per cent of the average winter rainfall, and water supplies have not been replenished.

Experts are now hoping for a steady rainy winter in 2012/13 to restore rivers and groundwaters, but the Environment Agency is working with the water industry to put plans in place now to deal with the prospect of a third dry winter

Full story
 


5) John Brignell: And Now For The Weather Aftcast
Number Watch, 3 January 2013

Time present and time past

Are both perhaps present in time future
And time future contained in time past.
     -–Burnt Norton


Yes, it is rude to laugh, but sometimes it is irresistible. The new green Telegraph regales us with the headline –

After deluge, expect more ‘extreme rain’

With due deference to the First Law of Journalism, it is all down to the famous Met Office. Suddenly, after a wet year, which naturally they failed to forecast, they have reversed their customary fiery slogans to “Après nous le deluge”. Their antediluvian joy has given way to postdiluvian melancholy. As we noted just a year ago, they had been obliged to withdraw from issuing long term weather forecasts after their warming predictions became a national joke, with their “barbecue summers” and “milder than average winters”. These were all going to be the inevitable results of global warming, but now:

One likely cause is that a 1.26F (0.7C) increase in global air temperatures since pre-industrial times has led to a four per cent increase in moisture in the atmosphere, bringing with it a greater potential for heavy rain.

Another possibility is that a change in sea surface temperatures caused by decreasing Arctic sea ice has brought about changes in weather patterns.

There is no mention of that irrelevancy, the jet stream. As we noted last August the jet stream is the main factor that makes our long term forecasts so useless. But worry not; as we said back in 2009 (and, as it happens, mentioning the jet stream) one day they will be right. They appear to have difficulty with the concept of random sequences of events, such as the precise positioning of the jet stream, and the fact that they produce apparent patterns and records. It was primitive man’s inability to envisage an effect without human cause that gave rise to much of religion.

Of course it would have been most impressive if they had predicted all this a year ago, but they did not. Their predictions are as changeable as the weather and the only constant is the putative cause.
 

6) Reminder: Met Office Computer Models Are Completely Rubbish
The Global Warming Policy Foundation, 25 June 2012

Met Office 3-month Outlook, 23 March 2012: “The forecast for average UK rainfall slightly favours drier-than-average conditions for April-May-June as a whole, and also slightly favours April being the driest of the 3 months. With this forecast, the water resources situation in southern, eastern and central England is likely to deteriorate further during the April-May-June period… This forecast is based on information from observations, several numerical models and expert judgement.”

Reality

April: 2012 had wettest April for 100 years, Met Office says “It has been the wettest April in the UK for over 100 years, with some areas seeing three times their usual average, figures from the Met Office show. Some 121.8mm of rain has fallen, beating the previous record of 120.3mm which was set in 2000.”

June: June on course to be wettest in a century: Flooding, storms and persistent showers have blighted the country in recent weeks putting this June in line to become one of the soggiest in 100 years.

25 June: Spring is wettest in Britain for 250 years - England and Wales are on course for the wettest late spring and early summer for 250 years, experts said yesterday. June has just seen its fourth washout weekend and yet more downpours are forecast. Now it is feared combined rainfall for April, May and June will break the record of 13.2in (336mm) set in 1782 and be the highest since records began in 1766.
 
 

 
 
 

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