More on the wettest April in 100 years in the UK

Readers may recall how the Met Office botched yet another forecast, calling for drought but instead getting a month of deluge. Here’s the numbers.

By Paul Homewood

A rocking horse looks out from a flooded playground near Tewkesbury Abbey in Gloucestershire

The UK Met Office have just released their weather data for April, which confirms just how wet and cold the month has been. With an average of 126.5mm of rain, this has been the wettest April on records which go back to 1910. It was also the coldest since 1989, 0.65C colder than the 1971-2000 average.

Rainfall April UK

Mean temperature April UK

This, of course, is in stark contrast to the 3 month outlook the Met Office issued on 23rd March, which told us that :-

SUMMARY – PRECIPITATION: 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.

and

SUMMARY – TEMPERATURE: The UK-average temperature forecast for spring (April-May-June) shows a range of possible outcomes that are warmer than the range observed between 1971 and 2000 (our standard climatological reference period), but quite similar to the last decade. For April the forecast also favours temperatures being warmer than the 1971-2000 reference period.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/pdf/p/i/A3-layout-precip-AMJ.pdf

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/pdf/q/q/A3-layout-temp-AMJ.pdf

So far (unless I have blinked),the Met Office Chairman, Robert Napier (formerly Chief Exec of WWF-UK), has not been doing the round of TV studios to apologise for getting things so badly wrong. But what about the longer perspective, with parts of England still officially in drought?

Figure 1 shows annual rainfall trends up to the end of 2011. The last 2 years have been dry, but are similar to many earlier years in the record, while the long term trend is remarkably stable.

image

     Figure 1

Further analysis on the 2011 numbers by season and also by region is available here. (Again, this analysis shows that there is not much happening with long term rainfall trends and also that there was nothing particularly unusual about 2011).

Figure 2 shows the cumulative rainfall totals in England & Wales for January – April, both for this year and the 1971-2000 average. In most parts of the country, rainfall has been close to normal. Only the West and Wales have had significantly low levels, but these areas have not been in drought and generally receive much higher amounts of rain than the rest of the country anyway. Figure 3 gives the cumulative amounts for the last 16 months. (The 1971-2000 average is also for 16 months, i.e. January – December PLUS January – April). The areas mainly affected by drought (as the map below indicates) are the Midlands, East Anglia and South East, and rainfall levels since January 2011 are down by 19%, 18% and 15% respectively, but close to normal this year.

2012 UK RAIN_htm_2dfc361

Figure 2

 

2012 UK RAIN_htm_26a9c8d2

Figure 3

Annual 2011 Rainfall 1971 - 2000 anomaly

Forecast for May/June/July

The Met Office have also recently issued their 3 month outlook for May to July. For temperatures, they have this to say.

SUMMARY – TEMPERATURE: The balance of probability, both for May and the period May-June-July 2012, favours UK-averaged temperatures above the 1971-2000 climate mean, but in line with those observed over the last ten years. However, predictability for both periods tends to be low, with current forecasts indicating greater-than-average uncertainty in UK weather patterns as early as the beginning of May. May is also a month where there can still be large swings in temperature depending on the prevailing wind direction and so cold spells are still possible despite the most likely scenario being for above-normal temperatures. The probability that the UK-mean temperature for May-June-July will fall into the coldest of our five categories is less than 5%, whilst the probability that it will fall into the warmest of our five categories is around 45% (the 1971-2000 climatological probability for each of these categories is 20%).

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/pdf/3/d/A3-layout-temp-MMJ.pdf

And precipitation.

SUMMARY – PRECIPITATION: For UK-average rainfall, the predicted probabilities slightly favour above normal values during both May and May-June-July. However, confidence in this prediction is not high, and there is still a significant probability of below normal rainfall. Whilst the wet weather of recent weeks will have had a positive effect on soil moisture, with all that that implies for agriculture, it is unlikely to have had a significant impact on groundwater supplies. With the forecast for May and May-June-July not favouring a continuation of the current very wet spell, groundwater resources in southern, eastern and central England are very unlikely to recover during this period. The probability that UK-average rainfall for May-June-July will fall into the driest of our five categories is around 15%, whilst the probability that it will fall into the wettest of our five categories is around 30% (the 1971-2000 climatological probability for each of these categories is 20%).

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/pdf/2/l/A3-layout-precip-MJJ.pdf

In other words, it will probably be hot and wet, but they don’t really know. Maybe, Robert Napier should go back to saving polar bears.

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150 thoughts on “More on the wettest April in 100 years in the UK

  1. “and also slightly favours April being the driest of the 3 months.”

    Hold on you skeptics, we’ve just gotten into the forecast. April could still be the driest of the 3 months.

  2. Piers Corby warned them, he was pilloried and ridiculed.
    he WAS RIGHT! and others used his work and didnt have the decency to credit where due!
    intereted readers can see his forecast, his warning and the rest at weather action.com
    and there is a post here I remember seeing that linked to the UK papers that ran the items he released as a public service to try and help beforehand.

  3. It’s bloody cold now! Forecast for tonight has temperature dropping to -5C in some areas.

  4. Coldest April since ’89? Just wait until that CO2 kicks in! Then we’ll see it warm up! It’s just around the corner! You’ll see! Bawhahaha!

  5. For UK-average rainfall, the predicted probabilities slightly favour above normal values during both May and May-June-July. However, confidence in this prediction is not high, and there is still a significant probability of below normal rainfall” and “The balance of probability, both for May and the period May-June-July 2012, favours UK-averaged temperatures above the 1971-2000 climate mean, but in line with those observed over the last ten years. However, predictability for both periods tends to be low, with current forecasts indicating greater-than-average uncertainty in UK”
    In other words, this means it will be hot/cold and wet/dry with a good chance of above/below normal values in all/some regions.

  6. Piers Corbyn was correct!
    he copped flack for foregoing his fees for info and warning people as a public service to try and help limit harm.
    the papers and other weather outfits owe him apologies and credit where due!
    amazing how they can about face and use his info with no compunction…scum!
    weatheraction.com has a post on it worth a read:-)

  7. You know, I’m pretty impressed, and convinced that they are right : it will indeed be hot and dry – or cold and wet, or hot and wet, or middling and dry, or …

    All you doubters here must surely now see that they can really forecast weather (and doubtless climate too) with uncanny accuracy and near 100% reliability!

  8. The Met Office use the same software to predict the 100 year AGW forecast and the short term forecast, so no surprices there.

    And on the water shortage in SE UK you can pin this down to population growth not being matched with water storage facilities, some of them have been sold off for housing !!!!! so they are now flooded !!!!

  9. Met Office double speak:

    For UK-average rainfall, the predicted probabilities slightly favour above normal values during both May and May-June-July. However, confidence in this prediction is not high, and there is still a significant probability of below normal rainfall.

    These guys would put lawyers to shame.

    Remember the coldest winter in UK for over 100 years when the Met Office forecasted mild. When will the Met Office realise what most of us realise already: Their climate computer models have a warming bias / drying bias. That’s why they keep months ahead forecasting wrong.

    By the way in the UK people have learned over the years to prepare for the EXACT OPPOSITE of their forecasts. I lived their for many years.

  10. Gary Pearse says:
    May 5, 2012 at 8:04 am

    “and also slightly favours April being the driest of the 3 months.”

    Hold on you skeptics, we’ve just gotten into the forecast. April could still be the driest of the 3 months.

    LOL. Good one. ;-)

    If it does turn out to be the driest of the 3 months then guess what? Blame global warming. Heads they win tails they win. Even coin standing on the edge they win.

  11. Thanks as always for the excellent topics posted at WUWT.

    You all noticed the little dig here, The balance of probability, both for May and the period May-June-July 2012, favours UK-averaged temperatures above the 1971-2000 climate mean, but in line with those observed over the last ten years.They are saying above average long-term temps, but only average considering the HOT last ten years. So which of you has the data for UK long term vs the past decade? Was the UK warmer in the past decade vs. 1971 to 2000? That’s what they are saying with this catty little note. Right? Wrong?

    Like Environment Canada, the UK Met Office does not have a clue with weather past about 3 days. Even EC’s storm warning predictions this winter were utterly incompetent..and they were issued just a few hours before storms that never happened. From November to April, southern Alberta was issued six or seven major (red banner) winter storm warnings, with each warning predicting 10 to 15 cm of snow. They predicted between about 60 and 100 cm of snow in these six or seven storms for Lethbridge. We got about 10 or 15 cm in total for all “storms”. As I recall, a couple of the storms were practically snowless. WUWT? Complete failure, to the point if being possibly a safety concern since their warnings will make people complacent. They have lost any credibility they ever had in predicting short-term weather.

  12. I wonder if the Met Office has acknowledged there faux pas of prediction of the drought? Or are heads buried in sand.

  13. The drought and water usage restrictions were announced by water companies early in March.
    Any chance you can show the the rainfall trend up to March, i.e. excluding the record high rainfall in April?

  14. Can a professional translator please translate the quotes above from the Met Office into English? Oh, don’t worry I’ll have a go.

    “There is an increased and decreased risk of dryflood with warmcold spells. There is an increasingly decreasing probability of dryerwetterwarmercolder.”

  15. Clive says:
    ‘the UK Met Office does not have a clue with weather past about 3 days.’

    I think that is being very generous. Yesterday morning I watched a forecast that said it would be just cloudy all day where I am. I looked out of the window to see it piddling down with rain.

  16. Clive says:
    May 5, 2012 at 8:20 am
    Two days ago, the forecast for Saturday in Calgary was mainly sunny, high range between 13 and 16 C, depending on info source. It is snowing so heavily this morning that I cannot do the work in my yard that I had planned. The moisture is more than welcome, as we are considered,”semi-arid desert”.

  17. Well, my friends in the UK, clean and press those coats and stow them away for the summer. The MET has spoken.

  18. Thanks, Paul – nice work.

    Paul suggests:
    Maybe, Robert Napier should go back to saving polar bears.

    Not a chance. Didn’t they all die already?
    Oh! Sorry, they and the penguins are doing fine.

    Maybe Robert could usefully include the remainder of the archipelago – that pale green blob over to the west – in their maps and forecasting and start an uprising for which he could be long remembered. Maybe they don’t have sufficient computational capacity.

    The BBC weather lady claims this weekend will be colder than Christmas!

  19. Look, don’t be so critical all you “sceptics”! They are going to get it right one of these times! We just can’t predict when!

    • Betting is legal in the UK, so a little wager on when the MET will tag a long term forcast sounds interesting. I suspect it’s already being done – I hear you folks bet on everything….

  20. It was also the coldest since 1989
    =================================
    Impossible, warmer air holds more moisture………………………………/snark

  21. Just another instance of why they deserve such large salaries and big bonuses – by this I mean the bosses of this shambles.

  22. As so often with otherwise baffling political decisions in the UK, the EU lurks in the shadows:

    “We’ve seen a perversity creep into UK policy where, instead of dealing with local water shortages by increasing storage capacity, government is preventing these shortages from being resolved, and is then seeking to reduce consumption. Now we see where this is coming from.
    “In order to come to grips with water scarcity and droughts”, says the commission, “the first priority is to move towards a water efficient and water-saving economy”. What the commission decided, the UK government has adopted.
    (…)
    Basically, price is to be used as the primary tool of water management. No longer is it the function of water companies to provide adequate supplies of clean water at minimum cost. The task is to reduce demand, thereby saving energy and reducing carbon footprints.
    Of course, if water becomes too plentiful and there is no need for rationing, extreme water-saving measures could not be implemented and consumer resistance to price rises would be difficult to overcome.
    Therefore, in implementing EU policy, it has become government strategy deliberately to maintain a climate of shortage, and an atmosphere of crisis. The consumer is being given the choice between standpipes and higher prices, which makes paying more seem a better option. But it is an artificial choice, engineered for doctrinal reasons rather than necessity.”
    More at:

    http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=82616

  23. I wonder if it will ever occur to them that if they take the pre-programmed allowance for AGW out of their computer program that they might get forecasts somewhat closer to reality ….

  24. I should have said in my above post that despite the heavy rain we are still going to be subjected to water restrictions for at least months to come because, despite massively increased need for water in the South East, not least because successive governments have refused water company proposals to create extra reservoirs since the 1970s.

    The reasoning behind the otherwise baffling refusals (of course hidden from the electorate) is EU policy.

  25. Jimbo says:

    May 5, 2012 at 8:18 am
    “If it does turn out to be the driest of the 3 months then guess what? Blame global warming. Heads they win tails they win. Even coin standing on the edge they win.”

    They might tell everyone it’s global warming but most people are laughing at them now!
    That’s why they are losing the battle.

  26. It appears to be the wettest drought on record. Oh that nasty CO2 did it again!!! :-))

  27. How long will Met Office asininities continue before someone of halfway decent integrity and more than half a brain finally knocks their stupid models on the head?

    Becoming a consistent laughing-stock to the tune of billions in wastrel public funds is just no longer funny.

  28. Farmers might be getting a little edgy.

    It could be the recent forecasts got switched in the computer model and was intended to be the 100 year forecast. Or maybe the locations got switched.

    Whatever happened, it was only the time and locations that were wrong. Or is it was wrong?

  29. Don’t worry. in a few years you will be able to review the MET website and will learn that they had hit the nail on the head. Just a bit of adjustment is needed.and it will be done quite carefully. A bit of retroanalysis by the MET will show that rain fall was quite as heavy as reported and the predictions will be moderated to fall in line. Then they will announce ‘the model’ was right again.

  30. “However, predictability for both periods tends to be low, with current forecasts indicating greater-than-average uncertainty in UK weather patterns as early as the beginning of May.”

    Well since capacity for prediction is near zero (possibly negative accuracy) they would do well to adopt “greater-than-average uncertainty” in their computer model’s forecasts.

    However, far from adopting a bit of humility , I rather get this impression they are trying to spin this as “weather weirding” .

    I can just see the Guardian’s Susan Goldberg reporting this: “Met Office says UK weather becoming less and less predictable. Unprecedented changes in weather patterns make reliable forecasting a thing of the past. Arctic ice cover is now at an all time low, 20% of normal.”

  31. October will mark the 25th anniversary of the Met Office becoming a national laughing stock.

    Thanks a lot, Michael Fish!

  32. “… with parts of England still officially in drought”. Is there an official definition of drought that I don’t know about? All the dictionaries I look at define drought along the lines of “a long period of time when there is little or no rain and crops die”. I don’t recognise that definition as a description of the weather over the past two years and the graphs in the article don’t suggest that either.

  33. Grant @ 9.18am
    Taking your notion a step further, the Met Office should demonstrate their forecasting confidence by ‘running a book’ themselves on the outcomes.
    That way, either they abandon politics and return to scientific method, or we get the opportunity to bankrupt them!

  34. Aww, come on folks, don’t be mean. I’m sure the reliability of the Met’s forecasts has improved in line with their spending on ever more powerful computerised crystal balls. Well – hasn’t it?

  35. Strange, the dust in those pictures looks almost like water. Must be a mirage. The East Anglia Desert is well known for mirages.

  36. At the moment I am living in the UK but usually live in Australia. The UK Met Office appear as pro AGW as does the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) in Australia. Both routinely predict global warming associated scenarios which don’t eventuate. Professor Tim Flannery, the Australian Climate Commissioner, famously stated in 2007 after aa prolonged that the East coast of Australia would never again have full reservoirs. Needless to say since then the reservoirs have been overflowing due to very heavy rain all along the East coast during the last 2-3years. The current Met Office forecast for May is “The Met Office predicts the first two weeks of May are likely to stay ‘unsettled’, with the prospect of chilly weather, more heavy rain and, in Scotland, snow”. How does this gel with their earlier forecasts? What really annoys is that these dodgy forecasts of drought and higher than average temperatures are seized on by politicians and the MSM to put the frighteners on the gullible. When these dire predictions don’t eventuate however, there is never an apology or better still a retraction, by the politicians, the Met Office, Tim Flannery, Australia’s BoM or the MSM.

  37. regarding the South east of England, the outlook looks bleak. rainfall has been a little lower than average but extraction levels have increased because of rising population.

    This is the timebomb that water companies and the regulators have to face up to, otherwise things will only get worse – or, as Tony Blair would say, better.

  38. My understanding of the generally accepted temperature trend over the last few decades is of a general rise up until 1998 followed by a leveling off. We are occasionally reminded by the MSM that the three hottest years on record occured since 2000, this is consistent with a general rise followed by a flattening out because the flat part of the graph wouldn’t be dead straight but slighty wavy, so the little humps would create those hottest years.

    Non of this coincides with my, admittedly anecdotal, real world experiences. I can remember the hot summers around the turn of the century, there has not been a hot summer since then. I can recall a trip to Scotland when I saw the first snow that I had seen in years. I can also recall 2010 when I spent hours, at home and at work, shovelling tons of the stuff. In my little bit of the world it has definately become colder since 1998. Is the UK some strange outlier, getting colder while the rest of the world stays warm?

  39. I and others have said many times before on WUWT, that the Met Office have factored in AGW into their computer models. Since GW (AGW or otherwise) has ceased for the last 14 years their forecasts for both weather and climate are usually wrong. April/May are notoriously unpredictable (my birthday is on 1st May and in my 57 years I have seen every kind of weather from snow to having sunstroke when I was ten), so if they insist on using models they need to be right.
    The fact that areas are now flooded that still have hosepipe bans in place due to our “drought”, just adds to our national embarrassment. Our alleged “leaders” definitely have the “Dad’s Army” syndrome about them, Corporal Jones running around shouting “Don’t panic, don’t panic!” while clearly panicking and Private Frazer sitting their with a look of resignation on his face saying “We’re all doomed”

  40. @Andy L

    The drought and water usage restrictions were announced by water companies early in March.
    Any chance you can show the the rainfall trend up to March, i.e. excluding the record high rainfall in April?

    When DEFRA announced the state of drought in Feb, the Met Office outlook for Feb – Apr said :-

    The probability that UK precipitation for February-March-April will fall into the driest of our five categories is about 20%, whilst the probability that it will fall into the wettest of our five categories is about 15% (the 1971-2000 climatological probability for each of these categories is 20%).

    Poor Caroline Spelman did not have much to go on!

    http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/did-caroline-ask-the-met-office/

  41. Forgive me please but I have to add this after thinking about what I just posted.. How can it be that this CAGW is still so prevalent in the circles that matter, the political circles? Doesn’t it make your blood boil that any argument that suggests CAGW may not be real (note I say “may not” not “isn’t real”) is derided by blogs such as Real Climate and Open Mind? It really is a gut churner for me but I feel so impotent as I can’t see how I can make any difference. I am a scientist (a biochemist/molecular biologist) and all my life I have tried to look at all sides of an argument. But the pro-AGW scientists don’t do that. What is even more galling is that when I put a paper forward for a peer reviewed journal I have to provide sufficient information of the methods I used to enable others to check that what I said was reproducible. Where is that requirement in today’s pro AGW papers? Nowhere that’s where. Why not? Why are they so sacrosanct?

  42. I accept that forecasting 2 or 3 months out can be problematic. I really do struggle to understand why they cannot make a reasonable stab at forecasting 2 or 3 weeks in advance.

  43. Ian E says: “You know, I’m pretty impressed, and convinced that they are right : it will indeed be hot and dry – or cold and wet, or hot and wet, or middling and dry, or …”

    Oh, noes! Global middling is coming! Run away! Run away!

  44. At an annual cost of approximately £170 million, I’d suggest we buy a crystal ball instead; it would be a heck of a lot cheaper and way more accurate! A national disgrace!!

  45. Will the Met Office now be pleading for a bigger, shinier, computer to improve ‘accuracy’ of their forecasts?

  46. guys – I would be more worried about whether the water companies and the regulator rely on these forecasts when drawing up their budgets and forecasts!

  47. The met office should be paid on a performance basis. Only pay them when they get it right.

  48. I live in East Anglia, one of the areas of the UK now officially ‘in drought’. We’ve just had the wettest April for 100 years here and according to the Met Office weather reporter on BBC ‘Look East’ (the local BBC News) it rained at least once on every single day of April to some degree. We’ve had entire caravan sites evacuated, flooding in many places, many sporting and other events are even now cancelled due to waterlogged land (it’s a holiday weekend here in the UK), yet the BBC doggedly maintains that the recent record downpours ‘do little to alleviate the ongoing drought’ due to something called ‘groundwater run-off’. The hosepipe ban remains in place.

    Oh, and by the way 2+2=5.

  49. I had over 120mm of rain in the last two weeks alone (in Bedfordshire, Midlands).

    Just as an illustration how clueless some people are: there’s a new town being planned North of Cambridge. The location along the river Cam is called “Water Meadow”. Locals will tell you that in wet times, that’s now, the place is soaked. It is. Yet the shire council happily gave the go-ahead, when it was not so wet, obviously. Clearly they think the future’s dry.

  50. DaveS says:
    May 5, 2012 at 10:54 am
    Will the Met Office now be pleading for a bigger, shinier, computer to improve ‘accuracy’ of their forecasts?

    Dave, they already have and the really, really stupid english Politicians have granted them double the last one £60m which I think is only 3 years in operation.
    If I was paying my taxes in england my MP would be hearing from me in no uncertain terms.

  51. diogenes says:

    May 5, 2012 at 11:02 am
    guys – I would be more worried about whether the water companies and the regulator rely on these forecasts when drawing up their budgets and forecasts

    Too late, they do. They had a big sommet in march to discuss the drought with the UK MO, Water agencies, environmental agencies, Greepeace, WWF, FoE etc and declared a drought for the foreseeable future and hosepipe ban. Et Voilà, within a week it was pouring of rain and did not stop until now.

  52. yet the BBC doggedly maintains that the recent record downpours ‘do little to alleviate the ongoing drought’ due to something called ‘groundwater run-off’. The hosepipe ban remains in place.

    This was “the ground is hard dry and therefore the water was running off into the rivers. They forgot that it had been raining for thte last month and the ground was saturated and that was why the water was running off. What was even more stupid of the BBC was them looking down a borehole and suggesting it was low and therefore there was still a drought. The half-wits do not understand that it takes a measurable amount of time for the ground water to reach the nap.

  53. Paul coombes says:

    May 5, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Definition of drought in the UK used to be 3 weeks without rain when I lived there.

  54. There is an old saying in the UK, which, I am sure, predates the Met. office.

    Oak before ash, we’re in for a splash
    Ash before oak, we’re in for a soak.

    Anyone from the UK know which came into leaf first; ash or oak?

  55. A similar view to Phil Ford’s from here in the drought-stricken SE. It must be that the Met/ BBC, relying as ever on their favorite model data, haven’t thought to venture out with a flood guage. At least the hose-pipe ban is not proving very onerous…the garden is looking nice and soggy with no help from us.

  56. Huh?

    everyone who works with a weather forecast accepts that it is not deterministic.
    They issued a probabilistic forecast. That forecast included low probabilities for
    both wetter and cooler.

    I roll two dice: I predict the sum will be 7, but I note that the sum could be 2 or 12.
    you roll snake eyes. My prediction isnt wrong.

    One cannot both believe that the weather is chaotic on short time scales AND criticize probablistic estimates that recognize this fact.

  57. I wonder what they use as a basis for forecasting at the Met office? Hasnt anyone noticed that in the last three years in spring high pressure over the North Atlantic and Asia has blocked low pressures or changed their route over the UK? Thus also dumping arctic air (=cold) over NW Europe/ North Sea for extended periods? In which case of course its (very) cold and wet….
    But the real question is, why has the North Atlantic high pressure situation changed? Whats up with that?

  58. Problem is, Thames water have sold off about 20 reservoir sites and were also refused permission to build a new one in the Didcot area, being told to fix all their leaks first as they are under-performing in that area. Caroline Spelman is I believe one of those who opposed the new reservoir which will be required anyway because of immigration in the South East.
    As I recall, Essex and Suffolk are classified as semi-arid with rainfall less than many deserts.

    DaveE.

  59. Hang on, a new prediction from the MET has arrived – apparently Saturday and Sunday will fall on the weekend next week. Just leave the money under the front doormat.

  60. Carrie says:
    May 5, 2012 at 10:45 am

    At an annual cost of approximately £170 million, I’d suggest we buy a crystal ball instead; it would be a heck of a lot cheaper and way more accurate! A national disgrace!!

    Carrie, you are not updated. You have no idea about how much a crystal balls costs these days! I am convinced that MetOffice made a vice choice to take the next best technique to but a fraction of the cost.

  61. Steven Mosher says:
    May 5, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    “One cannot both believe that the weather is chaotic on short time scales AND criticize probablistic estimates that recognize this fact.”

    ==========================================

    Probabilistic estimates deserve criticism because they are essentially worthless.

    The truth is that short-term weather can be forecast with reasonable accuracy 4-5 days in advance, beyond that it is guesswork.

    All meteorological organisations should simply acknowledge that inconvenient truth instead of spinning a whole load of gobblededook designed to give the impression that they know a lot more than they actually do……

  62. I’m sure they(Met Office) will provide themselves a big bonus on their ‘accurate’ forecasts…

  63. @Mosh

    everyone who works with a weather forecast accepts that it is not deterministic.
    They issued a probabilistic forecast. That forecast included low probabilities for
    both wetter and cooler.

    In other words, it’s all a bit of a waste of time>

  64. Steven Mosher says:
    May 5, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Huh?

    everyone who works with a weather forecast accepts that it is not deterministic.
    They issued a probabilistic forecast. That forecast included low probabilities for
    both wetter and cooler.

    Compared to other weather forecasters the Met Office has low skill. Its record is appalling, so much so they had to abandon long range seasonal forecasts.

  65. One of our local radio stations has a fun feature called “five word weather” after the news bulletins.
    One day last week it was “Drought ? shower in the garden”

  66. It has intrigued me for years how climate scientist can be convinced that history is wrong, have 20/20 vision of the future. but remain at a total loss about the present.

  67. Yes, the easy headline is coldest since 1989, which was also the last year in CET max that April was colder than March. But here’s the real kicker in the figures.

    If you omit April 30th – OK that’s cherry picking but it is the last day of the month and would have been May 1st if this were not a leap year – well, that day was over 4degC higher than the rest of April. So, these other days, max 12.7degC, were a colder max than any April in the whole CET record, stretching back to 1878.

    So there!

    Rich.

  68. Anything is possible says:

    The truth is that short-term weather can be forecast with reasonable accuracy 4-5 days in advance, beyond that it is guesswork.

    ========================================

    I probably agree but with reservations, there is one area of weather reporting/prediction where the MO excels. In the UK it is known as the “Shipping Forecast” and for a very good reasons it is updated 4 times a day.

    When “those in peril on the sea” are happy to rely on a UKMO 4 or 5 day punt, then maybe I will start paying attention.

    I suggest that if you were to ask the MO why 6 hourly updates are needed you would get an insight into their true confidence levels.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/marine/shipping_forecast.html#All~All

  69. Their prediction reminds me of Danny Gallivan in the old days of hockey commentary. “A scintillating blast – that went ten feet wide.”

    In an ideal world the head of the Met Office would be giving an interview in the pouring rain on why this technically is a drought. And then the bus with the famous advertisement rolls by splashing water all over his Hunters.

  70. So it is actually too much water abstraction rather than replenishment that is causing the so called drought. Thanks for the stats.

  71. Dr Richard North on his website http://www.eureferendum.com has been looking closely at the politics surrounding the so called drought in the UK and found a a “massive failure in strategic planning, on a par with the failure to ensure adequate energy supplies”.

    Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, recently decided that there was “no immediate need for (a new reservoir) largely based on the idea that people would respond to her nagging and reduce per capita water consumption”.

    http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=82614

    Dr North further found that: “To overcome the perennial problem of water shortages, five major new reservoir projects had been thought necessary, plus three large extensions to existing reservoirs. This was not an academic project. Outline plans had been set out in the water companies’ 25-year water resources plans prepared in 2004.”

    However as a result of political opposition, “none of the five reservoirs deemed essential in 2004 – all in the south of England – have seen the light of day”. Dr North concludes, “the climate nannies are pursuing instead a policy of reduced water consumption, in line with its more general climate change mitigation strategy”.

    http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=82615

    Next, in a very interesting article Dr North revealed that the water shortage in the UK, “involves the EU (European Union) and climate change, with the (European) Commission asserting that water scarcity and droughts have now emerged “as a major challenge” – and “climate change is expected to make matters worse”. Using that as its base, the EU has effectively taken over water management policy”.

    As a result of European Union meddling “via the Framework Water Directive”, and with the complicity of the UK government Dr North revealed that “price is to be used as the primary tool of water management. No longer is it the function of water companies to provide adequate supplies of clean water at minimum cost. The task is to reduce demand, thereby saving energy and reducing carbon footprints”. The article is well worth reading in full:

    http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=82616

    Your excellent post when combined with Dr North’s painstaking research show that water shortage and the threat of standpipes together with higher water prices are the result of collusion and political chicanery.

  72. Having given this a bit further thought. It is clear that the politicians and water companies are trying to pin the blame of lack of potable water in the SE of England on the global warming bogey man.

    The truth is that the law says a water company must provide water for a development, so when planning is put in then the water company always says yes so as to not fall foul of the law. Result too many houses and not enough water.

    But why are we using potable water to flush the bog anyway?

  73. It felt cold here in Nottingham when I walked the dog tonight and looked as if it would rain again.
    Evidently the asparagus crop has been devastated so far http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinknews/9245041/British-Asparagus-Festival-cancelled-due-to-lack-of-asparagus.html I was going to give a link to Thames Water (one of the driest areas) reservoir levels but I can’t find the link anymore but they are about 98% full. The water companies say the problem is with groundwater but we shall see.

  74. Phil Ford, the reason is that the rain falls in the wrong places. In the past rain would fall on flood plains or into smaller reservoirs. They built more centrally based large reservoirs, when most of the rainfall isn’t, and filled in the small local reservoirs; then build homes on the flood plains and ex-reservoirs. So now, the UK has drought or flood.

  75. - “the Met Office Chairman, Robert Napier (formerly Chief Exec of WWF-UK),”
    excuse me where the hell did that come from ? Have activists infiltrated anything else ?
    So if the Met O came out against CAGW would that possibly affect WWF’s £300m/yr donation base ?
    – From WikiP : “The Green Fiscal Commission set up to examine the best way of implementing ECO-TAXES .. is chaired by Robert Napier, chairman of the Met Office and former chief executive of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).”
    OMG ! what an upside down world we live in

  76. Steven Mosher says:
    May 5, 2012 at 12:05 pm
    One cannot both believe that the weather is chaotic on short time scales AND criticize probablistic estimates that recognize this fact.
    =====================================
    I give it a 10% chance that it won’t……and a 90% chance that it will
    ….if it does either one, I’m right

    probablistic estimates my arse

  77. Plus ca change as they say in gay Paree. Some 45 years ago I phoned the Met Office after the forecast was said to be “in the north overcast with some rain and in the south some rain and overcast”. My request to know the difference was met with embarrassed laughter. Presumably now with a big computer the same information is produced much faster.

  78. awww come on you lot, can’t you see this is a subliminal plea for more funding for more staff to run bigger and better computer models which will tell us – bigger and better lies and fabricated weather stories. In the interim they probably want snorkles and flippers supplied as part of their salary pagkages, and an annual holiday to ayres rock – oops sorry Uluru…….

  79. question to the mosher….what constites abnormal variation in the daily temperature record of the UK? For the month of May, I think I have come close today. It feels like we are goingm to nhave another snowfall. But Mosher with all his tools will enlighten me.

  80. Jim Cripwell says:
    May 5, 2012 at 11:57 am

    There is an old saying in the UK, which, I am sure, predates the Met. office.

    Oak before ash, we’re in for a splash
    Ash before oak, we’re in for a soak.

    Anyone from the UK know which came into leaf first; ash or oak?

    Here in Somerset the Oak has been slightly ahead of the ash. I’m certainly hoping for a warm dry summer, fed up with being cold and wet.

  81. Stop calling it a drought, it is a water shortage A drought is a substantive natural shortfall of water and this is not what your summary shows..

    The UK is suffering a supplier water shortage because EU/UK political influences have prevented them building additional storage capacity to match increases in the customer base. As the rainfall figures above show there is an adequate supply of raw material (ie rainwater) to supply increases in the finished product (ie cleaned tap water) should they wish to capture it..

  82. Phil Ford (May 5, 2012 at 11:13 am) wrote:
    “Oh, and by the way 2+2=5.”

    …and doesn’t matter whether harassment-enforced ‘logic’s via ignorance &/or deception — viscerally creepy, ugly leadership underminer either way.


    For those who’ve written Piers Corbyn off, take a sober look here:

    Solar-Terrestrial-Climate Weave = http://i49.tinypic.com/219q848.png

    Sensible climate conception IS NOT POSSIBLE without sound conceptual understanding of this core pattern.

    Sincerely.

  83. Where I live in Wiltshire, Wessex Water take a lot of ground water. They do have reservoirs, but prefer groundwater as it is purer and therefore requires less treatment. In Wessex Water-speak, they talk about less carbon emissions, which just says to me that they use less power taking groundwater than treating reservoir water, but it makes them look good in the eyes of government climate change act reasoning. They reckon reservoirs are pretty much normal hereabouts, but the groundwater levels are low as we have had less than usual rainfall and the aquifer hasn’t been replenished. Having seen the flooded water meadows near Salisbury, it does make you wonder why there hasn’t been adequate planning to siphon off excess river water in times of heavy rainfall, but perhaps the climate change prophesies didn’t take this sort of event into account, a bit like the salinity plant in Oz, built at vast expense because there was never going to be any rain, or allowing their reservoirs to become so full they had to release water when it was already flooding downstream. I’d hate to be a water planner in this day and age, bombarded with climate change projections on the one hand and having to appease the government, while the weather/climate does everything it can to disprove the forecasts, long or short range. The local psychiatric unit close to Wessex Water’s Bath HQ is probably full of jibbering water engineers.

    My garden is squelching with mud, my veg are looking very sad. The asparagus, which was all beginning to show after the warm spell during the last week of March, has virtually stopped growing it’s so flipping cold and all the more tender stuff is still in the greenhouse snugly wrapped in fleece. Cloud cover has been 100% today so temperatures have been cold and now that there are clear patches outside tonight, I expect the temperature will drop even further.

    There is a Giles cartoon for 1st June with the Giles family on board a sailing boat, in their storm gear, the sky is dark and the rain is lashing down and they are celebrating ‘the 1st of flaming June’. Situation fairly normal, then!

  84. After considerable research (sarc) I have discovered the computational error in respect of the MO’s super computer climate | weather models and offer this gratis advice to the MO, wherever the word “CO2″ appears change it to “Solar Energy” and vice versa … there you go models fixed and predictive ability improved by 100%, No? Oh well, 100% x zero = zero!

  85. Judging by the way that most weather forecasts online in the UK don’t show numbers directly anymore but, instead, rely on coloured lookup charts that were once the sole province of paint companies I’m strongly reminded of the script by the late Douglas Adams when he discusses the ‘Wheel Commitee’
    After months of wrangling, this group of ‘worthies’ (comprised of a mix of telephone hygienists and PR specialists) had failed to come up with this most basic of machines.
    When challenged as to their lack of effectiveness their defence comprised entirely of ‘Easy for you to say but what colour should it be’
    Forget those tricky numbers that follow well-understood patterns. Weather is complicated. Climate is very much harder to predict but it proves a much more solid foundation for a long and lucrative career. Climatology is to meteorology as Sport League results are to their respective Fantasy outcomes!
    Never mind that the Met Office weather models and climate models share the same algorithms or so they tell us. What matters is that they both follow the True Faith and therefore must be exempted from criticism.
    Hint for the IPPC; forget about those silly numbers, so beloved of old-school scientists. They just provide ammunition for those pesky sceptics when they diverge from predictions. Go for colours instead. Who could provide numerical/statistical counter-arguments to a peer-reviewed paper in Nature that utilised colour charts? Even Steve McIntyre would have problems analysing upside down sediments with an R2 of green with a hit of red +/- a bluish tinge!

  86. Steven Mosher says:
    May 5, 2012 at 12:05 pm
    Huh?

    One cannot both believe that the weather is chaotic on short time scales AND criticize probablistic estimates that recognize this fact.

    Actually – you can. You are trying to introduce a false dichotomy, arguing that “if weather / climate is chaotic then there is no possibility and no point in making weather forecasts; and conversely, if we find that in fact weather forecasting is possible with some skill, then we can claim that weather / climate are chaos-free”.

    This is oversimplistic and deceptive. Ever heard of the Hopf bifurcation? Systems which tend to chaotic non-equilibrium pattern diverge gradually into a series of bifurcations until eventually an avalanche of bifurcations leads to the transition to chaos. But in the short term there is a “window” within which linear type analysis and prediction are possible.

    Climate / weather does include chaotic / non-equilibrium pattern phenomena. However this does not meant that, armed with data on winds, temperatures and pressures in the atmosphere, we cannot make forecasts for several days ahead.

  87. I don’t see what the big deal is. The Met Office forecast was very equivocal, They said it was about twice as likely that it would be dry as at was that it would be wet, but both extremes were low probabilities. Their forecast summary said:

    “The forecast for average UK rainfall slightly favours drier than average
    conditions for AprilMayJune as a whole, and also slightly favours April being the
    driest of the 3 months.
    ….
    The probability that UK precipitation for April-May-June will fall into the driest of our five categories is 20-25% whilst the probability that it will fall into the wettest of our five categories is 10-15%”

    It seems that a change in blocking patterns due to a shift in the jet stream is an important factor in the change from the dry March to the wet April.

    http://metofficenews.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/sunny-march-wet-april-how-the-jet-stream-is-partly-to-blame/

    “In both March and April we have seen what we term a ‘blocking pattern’ in the jet stream, where it meanders north and south instead of making its more usual eastward progress. Despite this, March was the 3rd warmest and 5th driest March in the all-UK record going back to 1910, while April has so far been relatively cool with rainfall already 30% above the average for the whole month across England and Wales. So what is causing the difference?

    It comes down to the position of the blocking feature. In March, the meandering of the jet stream caused it to pass to the north of the UK – anchoring high surface pressure over the UK. This suppressed cloud, increased sunshine and temperatures, and prevented the usual rain-bearing Atlantic weather systems coming in from the west from reaching us.

    Soon after the start of April, however, the whole pattern moved westwards, so the peak of the northerly meander moved over the North Atlantic Ocean. The UK, in contrast, found itself under the adjacent southerly meander, with the jet stream passing to the south of the UK over France and Spain. This atmospheric set-up brings low surface pressure, cloud and rain. Because the pattern is still blocked, without a west-to-east jet stream to blow the weather system through, the low gets stuck over the UK, resulting in high rainfall totals overall.

    Like the weather, we can predict the path of the jet stream with a good deal of accuracy up to about five days ahead but it is more difficult to give detail on longer timescales. Therefore it’s not possible to say exactly what the jet stream will be doing in a month’s time, for example, or exactly how it will impact our weather. ”

    It is interesting that due to the warming of the Arctic, the jet stream is becoming weaker, and
    meandering more, which sets up these blocking patterns that create more frequent extreme drought and extreme wet conditions.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/article.html?entrynum=2065

  88. the forcast for sydney Aust 5/6/12 is for rain at hhe moment not one cloud to be seen ?

  89. Lance May 5, 2012 at 12:28 pm — “I’m sure they(Met Office) will provide themselves a big bonus on their ‘accurate’ forecasts…”

    Why not? They pay their own way as a Trading Fund and make enough profit for their owner, the Ministry of Defence, to buy some tanks.

  90. Betting is legal in the UK, so a little wager on when the MET will tag a long term forcast sounds interesting. I suspect it’s already being done – I hear you folks bet on everything….

    As it is in Australia. In practice, most betting on the weather occurs on cricket matches where whether and how long it rains significantly affects the outcome.

    I don’t mind admitting (because gambling winnings in Australia aren’t taxed) I make significant sums of money from betting on cricket matches. The key is knowing how to interpret weather forecasts, and I give the forecasts rather more scrutiny than most.

    The UK’s Met Office is in a class of its own in the vague, evasive language they use in forecasts. I can make a better assessment of the likely weather by using the model outputs, which are available online if you know where to look.

  91. I love the title of the AP article in today’s paper.
    British droughts look different.
    It was written by Jill Lawless of AP. I bet Seth Borenson is livid with an AP article poking fun at this.

  92. Eric Adler says:
    May 5, 2012 at 5:47 pm
    It is interesting that due to the warming of the Arctic, the jet stream is becoming weaker, and
    meandering more, which sets up these blocking patterns that create more frequent extreme drought and extreme wet conditions.
    =========================
    Eric, you might check Arctic temps this year…and ice extent while you’re at it

    …..Materbedwetter counts on useful idiots

  93. Having looked at some of the pictures, I was astonished to see that the average rainfall for April was 126.5 mm (4.98 in). In Tulsa Oklahoma in September 1971 we had 18.18 in (461.8 mm) of rain. On May 26-27 1984 we had 9.27 in (235.4 mm) within 24 hours. My recollection of that storm is that most of the rain fell within 8 or 9 hours. It was a magnificent rain storm.

    Noting that the above post shows an average for NW and N Wales of about 1700 mm/year (67 in/year), but our maximum has been 69.88 in (1774.95 mm) in year 1973. I would suggest that the infrastructure in England is in even worse shape than here is Tulsa.
    Donald K. Mitchell

  94. I had three builders on site every day the last week filthy from working in the mud and the rain. At then end of the day they couldnt use the hose to clean of though because there is a hosepipe ban due to the drought.

    This is after a solid month of rain though.

  95. There is no incentive to get it right, because if they get it wrong, they can get bigger computers.

  96. Just eye balling the two charts of temperature and rainfall you can see that autocorrelation is quite high in temperature but very poor in rainfall. As long as uncertainties are properly communicated I wouldn’t have much problem with the ‘failed’ prediction’. Uncertainty in rainfall though looks so high they may as well not bother.

  97. Latitude says:
    May 5, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    “Eric Adler says:
    May 5, 2012 at 5:47 pm
    It is interesting that due to the warming of the Arctic, the jet stream is becoming weaker, and
    meandering more, which sets up these blocking patterns that create more frequent extreme drought and extreme wet conditions.
    =========================
    Eric, you might check Arctic temps this year…and ice extent while you’re at it

    …..Materbedwetter counts on useful idiots”

    Instead of using invective, you might try to understand what is happening. The weakening of the jet stream does not depend solely on the Arctic temperature. It depends on the difference between Arctic temperatures and the temperatures of the lower latitudes. For 2011, the Arctic Temperature Anomaly (64 – 90 degrees) over the past year has been 2.32C. The temperatures for Equator to 24, 24 to 44, and 44 to 46 respectively were 0.3, 0.46 and 0.92 respectively.
    These anomalies represent a weakening of the temperature gradient between the Arctic and the lower latitudes. That has been a general trend.

    If you look at the global anomaly map for March, you can see the Arctic temperatures are very high over the Europe and Eastern Siberia, surrounded by a cooler region. The result of the blocking system over North America is clearly visible as a heat wave, just to the south of the cool band around the Arctic.

    Useful idiots are better than useless idiots.

  98. Well this Sunday morning we have had a bit more drought and it looks like we will have more as the day goes on. Our cat is not impressed and looks at me as if it is all my fault, so maybe the animals know mankind are to blame :)
    James Bull

  99. @Adam Gallon
    “It’s bloody cold now! Forecast for tonight has temperature dropping to -5C in some areas.”

    There is a term for that: Blackberry Winter

    And on the continent, in German speakig countries it is known as Eisheilige.

    There is nothing special about it being -5C in the UK or on the continent around this time of the year.
    I had my b-day just very recently, and on that, my father keeps telling me for the past 40 years: ‘you know, a week after your birth, the puddles were frozen – which is about now-ish.

  100. The UK definition of “drought” means not enough drinking water to supply the population. Partly caused by rainfall not matching demand and reservoirs getting depleted. Partly caused by leaky Victorian plumbing. Partly caused by green policies set by the EU and gold plated by the UK which means that companies are given grants to hand out equipment that reduces water use but no money to fix the leaks and no money to increase the supply of water to the increasing population.

  101. The Met Office will simply state that this is the wrong kind of wet. I really is dry and inline with pridcitions about climate change. Move along nothing to see here.

  102. May 5, 2012 at 6:59 pm DavidA says
    ——————–
    There must come a point where the lack of certainty of one forecast flips to confidence in another. The MO forecasts are disingenuous … such wide ranges in uncertainty are of no value to anybody other than to support the meme.

  103. It is quite clear that the Met Office serves no purpose in life whatsoever, unless of course we wish to no the weather forcast for the next 10 minutes. It is a department that the Government could close down completely and save a massive amount of money without it having the sligtest effect on any of us..

  104. Saw this at Tim Blair’s blog – climate poetry rools OK.

    Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote
    The droght of Marche hath perced to the roote
    Than meterologists, doon on their lucke
    Crye ‘forsooth! zounds!’, eek also – ‘what the —-k?!???!’

    With apologies to Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales

  105. It must have been a poor time for the heat and drought tolerant Mediterranean plants we were advised to substitute for grass and rose beds.

  106. On a serious note, DEFRA (the UK Dept of Environment) issued a Climate Change Risk Assessment Report a few months ago. Presumably on the advice of the Met Office, it forecast increased winter rainfall and reduced summer rain. To the extent that there has been any trend at all in recent years, the opposite has occurred, with less winter and more summer rain.

    Question – how much money will be wasted and how many wrong planning decisions will be made if the Met Office models prove to be wrong?

    The full assessment report is linked here.

    http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/are-english-droughts-getting-worse/

  107. Dark tonight, light tomorrow!

    Warning: Language.

    George Carlin as Al Sleet, the Hippy Dippy Weatherman (1966)

    George Carlin – The Planet is Fine !

  108. Some claims on the Met Office website (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/about-us) about themselves:
    “A world leader in providing weather and climate services …”
    “… recognised as one of the world’s most accurate forecasters …”
    “… provides forecasts for the public to help them make informed decisions about their day-to-day activities”
    ” Our research continues to create an ever clearer picture of how it (climate change) will affect the planet and our lives”
    “(Climate change research) .. plays a vital role in providing evidence to support climate predictions which show the planet is now locked into at least 2 °C of warming”

    Would be funny if it wasn’t so serious.

  109. J Bowers says:
    May 5, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Why not? They pay their own way as a Trading Fund and make enough profit for their owner, the Ministry of Defence, to buy some tanks.

    I had to correct this canard a couple of days ago, so once more with feeling.

    THE MET OFFICE IS NOT “OWNED” BY THE MINISTRY OF DEFENCE!

    From their own website:- “We are a Trading Fund within the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, operating on a commercial basis under set targets.” I hesitate to cite Wikipedia as an authoritative source, but it says the same thing.

    I accept however that wherever it sits within the government, it’s still totally useless,

  110. Another perspctive on Chaucer’s Prologue:

    ‘Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote
    The droghte of March hath perced to the root,
    And bathed each vegne in swich licour
    Of which vertu engendred is the flour: :-)
    Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
    And climate scientists to seken strange strondes,
    To distant climate bacchanales in sondry landes;
    And specially from every shires ende
    Of Engelonde, to Rio’s carbon gig they wende.’

  111. “Eric Adler says:
    May 5, 2012 at 5:47 pm
    For 2011,
    ================================
    That was last year……….you post was about right now………this is 2012

  112. @Eric Adler

    It is interesting that due to the warming of the Arctic, the jet stream is becoming weaker, and
    meandering more, which sets up these blocking patterns that create more frequent extreme drought and extreme wet conditions..

    Funny that. In the 1970’s Hubert Lamb was talking of the same blocking patterns being caused by a cooling Arctic.

  113. “So far (unless I have blinked),the Met Office Chairman, Robert Napier (formerly Chief Exec of WWF-UK), has not been doing… “, and
    “In other words, it will probably be hot and wet, but they don’t really know. Maybe, Robert Napier should go back to saving polar bears.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++
    Well, judging from the increasing polar bear population numbers we read from time toi time, no-one can deny the man has enjoyed spectacular success with his polar bear campaign. But you really can’t expect to win them all. That is too much to expect! Tough if the Met Office appointment is not working out so well.

    Need I say /sarc?

  114. Latitude says:
    May 6, 2012 at 5:16 am

    ““Eric Adler says:
    May 5, 2012 at 5:47 pm
    For 2011,
    ================================
    That was last year……….you post was about right now………this is 2012″

    My post reference last years average data for the latitude bands. The map I referred to was for March of this year which showed the same phenomen – a region in the Arctic that had warmed greatly surrounded by a region at lower latitudes that had warmed less or had not warmed at all relative to the base period.

    The idea that the weakening jet stream is causing blocking patterns is accepted by all meteorologists. There are 3 different studies that pinned this on the warming of the Arctic relative to the lower latitudes. The fact that the increase in temperature in the Arctic is faster than lower latitudes is a very solid trend. This does not get reversed in a few months.

    Your post is an example of cognitive dissonance – a failure to accept reality because it conflicts with your opinion.

  115. Eric Adler says:
    May 6, 2012 at 6:21 am

    There are 3 different studies that pinned this on the warming of the Arctic relative to the lower latitudes. The fact that the increase in temperature in the Arctic is faster than lower latitudes is a very solid trend. This does not get reversed in a few months.

    Your post is an example of cognitive dissonance – a failure to accept reality because it conflicts with your opinion.
    ==============================================
    ROTFL……
    So last year it was caused by less ice and warmer temperatures…
    ….and this year it’s caused by more ice and colder temperatures

  116. One of the most amusing things about the Met Office is them importing Australian terminology to talk about the UK. In Australia, they can go years of drought and then have serious flooding, particularly in the mountains of SE Australia which feed the Murray Darling. There ‘runoff’ is a real issue because they can easily have 10 inches of rain in a major storm and the slopes of the mountains around the riverheads is significant. They really do have bone dry ground which takes a few inches to even penetrate beyond the topsoil, they have far more heat than we have and their droughts last decades not two years.

    For those of you not from the UK, East Anglia (basically NE of London) is in drought but it is unlikely to experience ‘runoff’ issues for one simple reason.

    THE WHOLE BLOODY AREA IS TOTALLY FLAT!!!!!

    We have had 5 major rainfall events (for the UK, anything more than 15mm or just over half an inch) since the end of March and our soil is what might be called ‘nice and wet’. After the last three, we have had standing water both on the soil and on gravel front gardens and there has been no heat to magically evaporate it all away quick. We have had some wind which has evaporated some, but there IS NO ROCK HARD GROUND!!!!

    In other words, it’s about time people saw the Met Office as part of the EU Social Engineering Programme rather than as serious long-term weather forecasters.

    Please keep reporting scientific truth about the UK drought. It’s a shame we have to ask American friends to do it, but the attitudes over here is: ‘if they complain, tell the truth for a few days. Then go back to spouting nonsense.’

    And we wonder why we’re going bankrupt as a nation????

  117. We now have the wettest drought on record. Must be global warming ;)
    1975 was a drought year lasting into the spring of 1976. The Wilson government appointed a minister of drought (David Hume) and then it started raining buckets.
    At that time we had had more than two decades of global cooling with the environmental gurus warning of a new ice age.

  118. Eric Adler,

    “For 2011, the Arctic Temperature Anomaly (64 – 90 degrees) over the past year has been 2.32C. The temperatures for Equator to 24, 24 to 44, and 44 to 46 respectively were 0.3, 0.46 and 0.92 respectively.
    These anomalies represent a weakening of the temperature gradient between the Arctic and the lower latitudes. That has been a general trend.”

    If the Arctic temperatures have increased by more than lower latitudes, how is that a weakening of the temperature gradient between the Arctic and the lower latitudes?

  119. Have a read at Richard North’s Eureferendum, http://www.eureferendum.com to know how the EU is using the artificial drought alarmism in combination of “man made water shortages” to hike water prices and punish the UK population for living.

    Met Ofice of course is a willing partner in this conspiracy.

    Yes, CONSPIRACY!

    Screw them all.

  120. Eric Adler

    Any reduction in the temperature gradients between the Arctic and mid latitudes would reduce storm energy. That is why there is evidence of large storms becoming more frequent in the LIA.

  121. Eric Adler;
    The idea that the weakening jet stream is causing blocking patterns is accepted by all meteorologists.>>>>

    All of them? Really? ALL? Do you have their signatures on a very long piece of paper to prove this?

    BTW, the article you linked to correlated sea ice patterns and extents to changes in the jet stream. You linked to it, but babbled on about temperature as if it is the same thing, it isn’t. And sea ice extent is darn near normal this year. And the article babbled on about unusual weather these last few years. There’s nothing unusual about it, similar events have happened for centuries.

  122. Yeah, if April ends up actually being the driest month, you guys need to build an Ark….

  123. This is a test. My last couple of comments to the site have disappeared into a black hole. In each case, I subsequently received an E-nail from “WordPress” inviting me to subscribe. Is a WordPress subscription now required in order to get comments through to WUWT?

  124. I swear both sides of this debate are in a contest looking for the ultimate tiniest little quark-sized anomaly in some supposed “driver” to explain it all. TSI, CO2, UV, electro-magnetism, an ice-cube sized reduction in ice extent, or it could all be the fault of CP3O.

    And never mind the big ponds to the right and left. They have nothing to do with anything, no affect whatsoever, keep moving along, nothing to see there.

  125. Eric Adler

    Commented

    “If you look at the global anomaly map for March, you can see the Arctic temperatures are very high over the Europe and Eastern Siberia, surrounded by a cooler region. The result of the blocking system over North America is clearly visible as a heat wave, just to the south of the cool band around the Arctic.”

    It is good to see you agreeing that todays climate bears many similarities to the past. In my study that examined the temperature reconstructions of Dr Mann and Hubert Lamb- whereby I recostructed my own temperature record back to 1538 from the CET instrunental record commencing 1659- I commented, after reading many thousands of contemporary British records;:

    “Due to its geographical location British weather is often quite mobile and periods of hot, cold, dry or wet weather tend to be relatively short lived. If such events are longer lasting than normal, or interrupted and resumed, that can easily shape the character of a month or a season. Reading the numerous references there is clear evidence of ‘blocking patterns,’ perhaps as the jet stream shifts, or a high pressure takes up residence, feeding in winds from a certain direction which generally shape British weather.

    http://judithcurry.com/2011/12/01/the-long-slow-thaw/

    tonyb

  126. Now that I see my “test message” successfully posted, I’ll try copying in one of those that previously disappeared:

    [SNIP: Oh, that one. Claude, if you cut out the ethnic reference, which some may consider offensive, I'll pass it. -REP]

  127. I propose an “austerity” deal for the Brits. I know a woman who reads “chicken entrails”. She’s a lot cheaper than the Met Office staff. The initial cost of a flock of chickens is a pittance compared with the Met’s super-computer and electric power for a dozen, hundred-watt light bulbs is all Chicken Momma needs to keep that flock hatched out in perpetuity. Other than a stud-rooster and one government employee to fuzz up Chicken Momma’s characteristically concise predictions prior to public release, I can’t think what else would be required to replace the entire Met Office function and save the U.K. taxpayers a ton of money.

  128. Within the UK in April there were large variations. In Scotland rainfall was not particularly high while in west Scotland (where I live) we had quite a dry April. The data is all recorded at

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/datasets/index.html

    No evidence here of climate change, just the usual highly variable unpredictable British weather which we all love so much.

  129. @sadbutmadlad

    “the UK definition of drought means not enough drinking water to supply the population . . .”

    We’ve been in a drought for over a month. People dying of thirst are nowhere to be seen. Hmmmm

    Sustainable development as defined in Agenda 21 requires the use of water to be managed from a demand perspective not a supply perspective, i.e. no new reservoirs, no improvements to infrastructure but much enforced reduction in use through hosepipe bans, charging, meters and other legal instruments.

  130. I’m just waiting for the MetOffice to say it was the ‘wrong kind of rain’….. the brits will understand the joke…

  131. I wonder if we ought to create an “Epic FAIL!” award, to be given for the most spectacular individual FAIL in prediction and with a special award for “The most consistent FAIL!”…

    I think I know who would “win” it…

  132. To Myk Taylor, Minister for Drought in 1976 was not David Hume (Edinburgh Enlightenment philosopher) but Denis Howell. Highly successful in post; couple of days after appointment it started raining and forgot to stop leading to much jocularity at appointment. Old enough to remember it all.

  133. @Myk Taylor: The Minister for Drought in 1976 was Dennis Howell, not Hume. And the drought lasted right through the summer of 76. I remember it well as it was my first summer at infant school, and we were all given stickers about how to save water, and share our bathwater with a friend! The drought didn’t break until late August ’76.

  134. Vince Causey says:
    May 6, 2012 at 8:04 am

    “Eric Adler,

    “For 2011, the Arctic Temperature Anomaly (64 – 90 degrees) over the past year has been 2.32C. The temperatures for Equator to 24, 24 to 44, and 44 to 46 respectively were 0.3, 0.46 and 0.92 respectively.
    These anomalies represent a weakening of the temperature gradient between the Arctic and the lower latitudes. That has been a general trend.”

    If the Arctic temperatures have increased by more than lower latitudes, how is that a weakening of the temperature gradient between the Arctic and the lower latitudes?”

    The difference between Arctic and Equator temps is given by TE-TA.
    The Arctic is colder than the equator. If the TA increases faster than TE, the temperature difference between the 2 regions reduces.

  135. JimH says:
    May 7, 2012 at 9:01 am

    @Myk Taylor: The Minister for Drought in 1976 was Dennis Howell, not Hume. And the drought lasted right through the summer of 76.
    ________________________________
    I remember that summer too. I visited Britian to go caving and we walked into bone dry caves that were normally “A bit damp” (British for you have to dive underwater to enter the cave.) I also managed to get a sunburn!

  136. Several have posted about the two year drought of 75-76 in the UK. I remember it very well, there are some interesting parallels to this year. On the second of June I was working at our lab in Buxton, it was a cold morning as May had been a cold month (like this April), I was thinking if it fined up by lunchtime I’d go and watch the cricket match between Derby and Lancs which was shaping up to be an interesting match. When I came out at lunchtime I was amazed to see 3″ of snow on the ground! The sports pages the next day had the headline ‘snow stopped play’. By the end of the week a heat wave started which was the beginning of the drought which didn’t end until September of the next year! So the UK weather hasn’t got any more predictable.

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