In the UK, it was much wetter in 1929

By Paul Homewood

2014_16_Rainfall_Anomaly_1981-2010http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/summaries/anomacts

The Met Office have now issued the precipitation stats for last month, so what do they tell us about the winter as a whole in England, where the floods have caused such havoc? (I am concentrating on England for this reason, although there is a section on the UK as whole, which shows a similar picture)

(I will also be devoting a separate post to the situation in Somerset.)

After all of the hype and repeatedly proclaimed “possible links to climate change”, we find that December to February rainfall, although the highest since 1910, was just a measly 3mm more than recorded in 1914/15.  If this winter’s record rainfall really has been the result of global warming, as has been claimed, is that really the only difference it has made, 3mm?

And has this 3-month spell been unprecedented? Nope, not even remotely so, I am afraid. As I have been pointing out for the last few weeks, there was a much wetter period during the winter of 1929/30. But, not only that, it also turns out that there were wetter periods in 2001/01 and 1960/61.

Let’s run through the numbers.

Precipitation
mm
Nov 1929 to Jan 1930 455.1
Oct 1960 to Dec 1960 396.3
Oct 2000 to Dec 2000 442.1
Dec 2013 to Feb 2014 395.6

Of course, February is a short month, so this could account for about 6mm of the difference on a pro rata basis, but even then this winter’s precipitation is still much less than in 1929/30 and 2000.

Moreover, in 1929/30 particularly, but also in other earlier winters, the unusually wet weather extended for four months, and not just three. The November to February period was also much wetter in 1914/15.

Precipitation
mm
Nov 1914 to Feb 1915 495.6
Oct 1929 to Jan 1930 567.2
Oct 1960 to Jan 1961 500.8
Sep 2000 to Dec 2000 557.0
Nov 2013 to Feb 2014 463.0

The table below compares 1929/30 and 2013/14 on a month by month basis. As can be seen, both November and December 1929 were considerable wetter than any month this winter. It was only the exceptionally dry month of February 1930 that kept the “winter” total relatively low for that year. This dry month, of course, did not make the preceding four months any less wet.

1929/30
mm
2013/14
mm
October 112.1 139.1
November 174.5 67.4
December 165.5 116.7
January 115.1 158.2
February 24.7 120.7

Other Comparisons

The British Rainfall publication for 1930 makes the comment:

image

Although these figures refer to the entire British Isles, this would appear to indicate that October 1876 to January 1877 was also much wetter than the last four months.

Southern England

As it has been the southern half of the country which has been particularly badly affected by flooding, we need to take a separate look at rainfall totals there.

As it turns out, the data shows a similar picture to England as a whole, with 1929/30 again being much wetter, both for 3-month totals:

mm
Oct 1929 to Dec 1929 457.7
Oct 2000 to Dec 2000 431.6
Dec 2013 to Feb 2014 404.8

And for 4-month totals:

mm
Nov 1914 to Feb 1915 481.8
Oct  1929 to Jan 1930 562.9
Oct  1960 to Jan 1961 493.3
Oct  2000 to Jan 2001 509.5
Nov 2013 to Feb 2014 471.8

United Kingdom

As is the case in England, 1929/30 was much wetter over the UK as a whole, for 3-month and 4-month totals.

mm
Nov 1929 to Jan 1930 554.0
Dec 2013 to Feb 2014 531.7
mm
Oct 1929 to Jan 1930 706.0
Nov 2013 to Feb 2014 624.2

 

 

Summary

While this winter has been exceptionally wet, there have been other years, in the records since 1910, which have seen much wetter spells than we have endured this winter. Undoubtedly, the winter of 1929/30 stands out as the one truly exceptional  run of wet weather.

Finally, it’s worth looking at this comment in the British Rainfall publication for 1929.

image

image

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/archive/british-rainfall

It appears that the record rainfall, from October onwards, had been preceded by a record dry spell. In those days, they had the sense to realise that this was natural variation. If it were to happen again nowadays, there would no doubt be a conference to try to blame it all on global warming!

All of this leaves one question. To the best of my knowledge, there has been no mention at all of 1929/30, or the other years, when this winter’s weather has been discussed by the Met Office. It may be that such a mention would not do their agenda any good, but surely the public, who fund the Met Office via their taxes, are entitled to all of the facts, presented in an impartial and transparent fashion.

References

All data is from the Met Office

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/summaries/datasets

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64 thoughts on “In the UK, it was much wetter in 1929

  1. They don’t like to use facts to explain their positions. They believe that it’s all in the way that they present their position, i.e. tell a story. Obama does it, Gore does it & they all learned this technique from Saul Alinsky in “Rules For Radiicals”. I’m sure that there are many people in the Met office that share those views.

  2. “After all of the hype and repeatedly proclaimed “possible links to climate change”, we find that December to February rainfall, although the highest since 1910, was just a measly 3mm more than recorded in 1914/15.”

    OK, if this was the highest since 1910, what was the rainfall in Dec to Feb 1910? Obviously, since data is quoted going back to 1869, there must be records of the relevant rainfall in 1910.

  3. AGW adherents hate it when anyone brings up historical data for comparison purposes. History is the AGWers worst enemy.

  4. Those that can DO, those that can’t PREACH.
    That’s OK by me, I can choose not to listen or simply smile.
    BUT when it is done by squandering the public purse, perverting young minds and destroying national economies, it is time to cut their budgets to ZERO.
    Last time I looked, there was plenty of green space for soapboxes in the Sydney Domain on a Sunday afternoon and Social Media is free for all to use…

  5. This is nice information, thank you. It is very useful to see the records themselves for comparison purposes. What is most striking about many of the claims about “catastrophic warming,” is that the catastrophes are of every single type, no doubt a consequence of the chameleon-like qualities of the CO2 molecule itself. Everything under the sun is viewed as a function of catastrophe. Rain, no rain; warmth, cold; reservoirs up, reservoirs down; fresh water, salt water; cloud, no clouds; ice, no ice; hurricanes, no hurricanes; etc. It is sometimes difficult to imagine how current generations are able to live through anything whatsoever.

  6. March has got off to a relatively dry start and I’m looking out at blue skies at the moment. As long as you weren’t one of the unlucky ones who got flooded out due to poor flood management, I’m guessing most Brits would put up with a wet winter, if they thought they’d get a good summer in return.

  7. once again weatheraction has invited Meto and the politicos to debate. If MetO had a strong case then surely they would blow any challengers out the water?

    “we challenge them to come up with actual evidence and to organize a public TV debate on the matter between WeatherAction and others on one side and the Met Office …. like Julia Slingo on the other.”

    the press love the co2 deathstar because when the climate scientists run their latest scenario it usually comes out with a ‘we all going to die’ prediction unless we de industrialised and adopt a chinese model of government. This gives the press an easy headline regardless of if they believe it or not. While those not locked into co2 drives climate hallucination have no £30m supercomputer and even if they did they wouldn’t be running co2 loaded scenarios out of them so no headline news. Which is why it seems the warmers always have the press headlines and those who do the boring forensic job of unpicking their assumptions might get a small note on page 18.

    so the press cynically like the co2 deathstar because its a ‘disaster movie ‘ story.

  8. “If hell were to freeze over it would still be due to global warming!”

    Hell, Michigan has frozen over, along with The Great Lakes…
    It’s all due to global warming, apparently.
    More likely the Polar Vortex, the Jet Stream and the persistent high off the coast of California.
    In the UK we just have lots of water, in the US it’s all ice. Global warming will melt it, eventually.

  9. Scientists live in a box bounded by their own rules but my mind is free to roam where it wants.

  10. NoFixedAddress says:
    March 7, 2014 at 7:35 am

    OT… but had to copy this…
    You want to frighten Putin?

    raise our gasoline tax, put in place a carbon tax and a national renewable energy portfolio standard — all of which would also help lower the global oil price (and make us stronger, with cleaner air, less oil dependence and more innovation).

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/05/opinion/friedman-why-putin-doesnt-respect-us.html?ref=thomaslfriedman

    It would be far more effective to:
    * Authorize the XL Pipeline
    * Approve oil and gas exploration on ‘federal land’
    * Remove restraints on fracking
    * All oil and gas exploration and drilling licenses to be processed within 60 days of request with approve the default
    * All EPA regulation on coal fired generation in the last 5 years to be put on indefinite (at least 10 year) suspension
    * Expedite research into Thorium and fast breeder reactors.
    * Cease all subsidies to any energy sources

    The USA would be exporting oil and gas within 2 years and not have any concerns over foreign oil and energy prices would fall, industry would have lowered costs and raised profits and employment would increase.

  11. NoFixedAddress says:
    March 7, 2014 at 7:35 am
    ===========================================
    For intelligent political commentary see Jonah Greenberg or Charles Krauthammer. For utterly moronic commentary see Thomas L. Friedman. –AGF

  12. Paul

    Nice article. Amidst all the hysteria and hype it should be borne in mind that in the UK only 5000 homes were flooded. Obviously that is a personal tragedy for each household but reading the media anyone would think the entire country was under water.

    We do need to keep some sort of perspective on flooding and storms.

    tonyb

  13. Ah Paul, your error is using real data when the Met Office only uses reanalysis data in its models. That ensures that it adheres to the IPCC CAGW meme and out pops the extreme weather statistics as ordered by the Government and IPCC!

  14. Upon us all…a little rain must fall. Well, maybe more than a little.
    Why is there a constant strem of mis-information coming out and why doesn’t the mainstream cover it? I know that it doesn’t fit the whole narrative but there has to be someone out there in the mainstream that would cover things like this. Seems to me that if a major cover up was uncovered then that would lead to prais and glory. Just a thought.

  15. British authorities with its attendant supporting bureaucracy and financially dependent groups as well as the main stream media do not deal in facts unless they fit in with preconceived agenda’s. The fact that the national dialogue continues to be framed by the arts and deceits of this grouping is the reason Britain fails to deal with anything much until it becomes a crisis. This disease has existed for a least a century and looks likely to continue to afflict the future. The only amelioration that can be offered is that Briton’s in general remain reluctant to grasp the realities and demand something be done until is nearly too late.

  16. The critical part is if it was down to global warming the jet stream would have been further north and these storms would have moved towards Iceland instead. England would have been drier than the recent winter, if it was anything do with global warming. That’s because the storms bring the persistent rain & wind and to the south of them much drier showery conditions occur instead. The jet stream controls seasonally how wet England becomes, not hardly unnoticeable temperature change over there.

    To be fair it was the wettest winter period when including only December. January and February. Any 3 month period around that time of year have been wetter and 3 month periods in different seasons have been much wetter. The English people have the very cold air moving south towards the North Atlantic ocean for that. If it wasn’t for the central heating of the North Atlantic ocean it would have been blizzard after blizzard.

  17. Thank you Paul Homewood. Yet another one of your first-rate posts. Hope Christopher Booker picks this up for his Sunday column.

  18. “For utterly moronic commentary see Thomas L. Friedman”
    I’m an Australian and I picked this up from the Steyn and Hewitt and I have tried to post this to as many places as possible because it is the greatest ‘recommendation’ for a carbon tax and justification for an ‘EPA’ to destroy an entire economy that I have ever seen…. Putin will be sorry!

  19. Dudley Horscroft

    OK, if this was the highest since 1910, what was the rainfall in Dec to Feb 1910? Obviously, since data is quoted going back to 1869, there must be records of the relevant rainfall in 1910.

    The Met Office data which I have used only dates back to 1910. There is a separate England & Wales Series back to 1766, but this had not been updated at the time of writing. (But it has now!)

    I will be posting on this and the Somerset situation shortly.

  20. So the NYT apartchik response to Putin invading/squeezing Ukrain and the west is to preach about global warming, and to of course raise taxes.
    Someone made a satirical joke that perhaps the US response to Russia would be to lecture about ‘climate’. and now we see that the climate obsessed are thinking this is a serious policy option.
    Truth is straneger than fiction, lol.
    Imagine the scence in the Kremilin:
    (Putin looking shocked and weary): We must leave the Ukraine! Now!
    (white-faced shaken advier): Yes, we cannot believe they would commit to even *more* windmills!
    (Putin, resigned and bitter): Yes, on top of their carbon tax and shutting down of fracking, we haven’t a chance to hold the Crimea. Tell our long suffering people we cannot stand against those fiendish Americans and their global warming strategy. It’s over, over!

  21. NoFixedAddress says: @ March 7, 2014 at 7:35 am

    OT… but had to copy this…

    You want to frighten Putin?

    raise our gasoline tax, put in place a carbon tax and a national renewable energy portfolio standard — all of which would also help lower the global oil price (and make us stronger, with cleaner air, less oil dependence and more innovation).

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/05/opinion/friedman-why-putin-doesnt-respect-us.html?ref=thomaslfriedman

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    China and Russia would fall over busting a gut laughing if the USA were to do as the NYT wants.

    New York Times has Vested Interest in Climate Alarmism

  22. Ian your comments are totally correct but add to that Europe could virtually become energy secure.

    Shale gas is relatively expensive but the cost is imbedded in the community where it is consumed and additionally the market has a short supply chain.
    I am skeptical of the LNG story for Shale Gas.

  23. Kenny says: @ March 7, 2014 at 9:14 am

    Upon us all…a little rain must fall. Well, maybe more than a little.
    Why is there a constant strem of mis-information coming out and why doesn’t the mainstream cover it? ….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Read my comment http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/03/07/in-the-uk-it-was-much-wetter-in-1929/#comment-1584983 and go to the first comment to that article. (It is in moderation so you may have to wait) It explains why we are fed propaganda.

    MORE INFO:

    WHAT IS IN IT FOR THE BANKS?

    World Bank Carbon Finance Report for 2007
    The carbon economy is the fastest growing industry globally with US$84 billion of carbon trading conducted in 2007, doubling to $116 billion in 2008, and expected to reach over $200 billion by 2012 and over $2,000 billion by 2020
    (wwwDOT)carbonplanet.com/navigating_the_carbon_economy

    This is money stripped from the poor and middle class with NOTHING but misery given in return.

    Copenhagen climate summit in disarray after ‘Danish text’ leak: Developing countries react furiously to leaked draft agreement…

    The draft hands effective control of climate change finance to the World Bank; would abandon the Kyoto protocol – the only legally binding treaty that the world has on emissions reductions; and would make any money to help poor countries adapt to climate change dependent on them taking a range of actions.

    The document was described last night by one senior diplomat as “a very dangerous document for developing countries. It is a fundamental reworking of the UN balance of obligations. It is to be superimposed without discussion on the talks”….

  24. Oh but the concept of a ‘Free Press’ also required it to tell the truth……

    Then all this nonsense would have been ended through criminal trials of the UK and US media years ago.

  25. Paul,

    You seemed determined to downplay this year’s rainfall, so here are some more facts which have passed their quality control checks at the Met Office.

    The England & Wales rainfall figures go back to 1766. Before this year, the 3 wettest winters were
    1914-15 423 mm
    1989-90 421 mm
    1876-77 418 mm

    This year’s figure was 453 mm, and that was after the first 10 days of December were almost dry.

    The individual months were ranked as follows (out of 248 or 249)

    December 32nd with 134 mm (the wettest December since 2012)
    January 1st with 186 mm (only 3 other Januaries within 25mm)
    February 7th with 135 mm
    January + February wettest with 320 mm (next wettest 277 mm in 1995)

    So – the winter was wettest by 30mm, and Jan + Feb wettest by 43 mm.

    I call that “unprecedented” and worthy of whatever headlines it generated ( except the Climate Change ones, of course). Another factor in all the hype was that the largest percentage anomalies occurred in the south, where the rivers are slower to drain, and more of the population, including newspaper reporters and TV crews live.

    Sure – you can find some wetter 3-month periods by dragging in some months from Autumn, but these are potentially much wetter. The wettest October on record in 1903 had 60mm more than the wettest February, and there are 27 Octobers and Novembers which were wetter than the wettest ever February.

    And sticking to meteorological seasons, the wettest of all was Autumn 2000 with 503 mm, followed by Autumn 1852 with 456 mm, followed by this year’s winter

  26. The ‘British Rainfall’ publication data matches what happens in California. I have seen the parallel from different angles and now this. The year 1907 is the 3rd highest California rainfall in a 114 year chart. The heavy rains then continue for 10 more years after that till 1917, with only 2 of the 10 years being to the low side. In total those 10 years represent the wettest grouping for California in the 114 year chart. Nothing comes close to that time period, afterwards. Then after that similarity, ever high rainfall in England, listed in the above article, corresponds to a mild to strong drought cycle in California right up to the present drought.

  27. Bob Ryan says:
    March 7, 2014 at 7:34 am

    If hell were to freeze over it would still be due to global warming!
    ————————————————————————————–
    Hell will surely freeze over when Hansen arrives!!!

  28. Richard Barraclough says:
    March 7, 2014 at 12:09 pm
    —————————————
    You can add 1989/90 and 1976/77 to the above list of California drought years coinciding with the UK wet years.

  29. It was wet this winter. Very wet. Today I cycled over the hill to the pub for the first time all year! It’s just been too rainy to get the exercise.

    Yet, the thought occurs: Would no parameter reaching an extreme be a sign of no climate change?

    There are lots of parameters; rainfall, wind speed, heat (remember that), etc. For all to be constrained near the historical “meh” – that actually would be climate change.

    But a wet winter like we just had in the SW of England? That just happens.

  30. English weather is highly variable, and unpredictable, due to its location. It is sometimes influenced by the continent of Europe, which like Northern USA can have high temperatures in Summer, and sub-zero temperatures in Winter. It is also influenced by the gulf stream, which makes average temperatures much higher than Newfoundland, despite being no further north, In the dry of summer, I have had sand from the Sahara on my car, whilst in the winter we sometimes feel the blasts of the Arctic. All this makes the weather extremely variable and complex. Like the national game of cricket, every year new records are set, despite nothing much unusual happening. For instance, for England the wettest year since 1910 was 2012. For Britain as a whole it was not, as in Scotland it was about average. In the South of England the last 3 months had very high rainfall.
    But in the North West of England rainfall was not much above average. I live on a river flood plane, with considerable flood defences. At no point this winter has the river got half way up its banks. Within 3 miles there are 3 golf courses, along with many acres of parkland and football fields than can be used to contain flood waters. There was no risk at any point of that happening.
    In the Thames Valley flood levels were the highest since 1947. It was tragic for many thousands of homes that got flooded. But the number of homes flooded was less than in 2007 or in 2000. Just in different areas.

  31. A large part of the reason the press has been so timid and mainstream is that if they step out of line they get hit with indignant feedback from their propagandized readers. Rebutting readers’ rebuttals takes expertise the press doesn’t have, plus lots of space. They’re riding a tiger and dare not dismount.

    This is what they’ll plead in mitigation in the aftermath.

  32. Richard Barraclough

    You seemed determined to downplay this year’s rainfall,

    The simple fact is that Oct 1929 to Jan 1930 were much, much wetter than the same months this year.

    1929/30 567.2mm
    2013/14 481.4mm

    In 1930, they had a very dry February, whereas we had wetter than average one. Consequently the “winter” figures appear to be higher this year.

    Even so, the Oct to Feb rainfall was still higher in 1929/30.

    I am not “downplaying” this year, simply making the point that it was far worse in 1929/30.

  33. Thank you for all the great research data! Most people look at everything just in terms of their own, geologically short life span, sometimes not even as long as a generation, and start making assumptions.

  34. Paul, excellent article as always. The Met Office cherry pick the data, wanting the public to hear their propaganda. As always the BBC follow suit, they have both kept very quiet during the last four very cold winters. Predictably this year we have had the usual crap trotted out, “unprecedented” “wettest ever” etc etc! The BBC this morning, had a report stating that due to climate change, cases of malaria would increase significantly in higher altitudes in Africa! To put this in perspective, 20 years ago they also said the same about cases of Chardonnay, here in NE England, sadly this has not happened. They only seem to make these predictions when the temperature is above average for an extended period, and do not seem to comprehend the meaning of the term “average”.

  35. When compiling the results of the rainfall data was the wetness of the rain taken into account? Wetter water may contain more dihydrogenmonoxide. The polar southern ocean is wetter than it used to be. Has the northern ocean now become saturated with dihydrogenmonoxide and now showing up in the atmosphere?

    “….. says Jaime Palter, a professor in McGill’s Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and co-author of the study. “True to form, the polar Southern Ocean – as a wet place – has indeed become wetter. …..” http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/03/02/claim-large-antarctic-polynyas-to-disappear-yet-some-are-still-found-in-satellite-imagery/

    Sorry, just couldn’t let that one pass.

  36. ”Judging from your map, Ireland seems to have a very dry year?”

    Charles, I only wish this was the case. Unfortunately we got plenty of flooding and storms here to kick off the year, but nothing we haven’t seen before. The UK met. weather maps always leave us out in the cold, even when it’s warm.

  37. When I was growing up in Southern England, it rained, did it rain. My mother used to say ‘The summers were much warmer when I was a gal..’ and added “It’s those atom bombs”. It wasn’t unusual to have an Indian summer, in Autumn, just after we returned to school. We hardly ever got a sun tan. Unless you holidayed on the continent.

  38. David, UK says: March 7, 2014 at 8:32 am

    UK supermarket Tesco rebrands halogen lightbulbs “denier” bulbs. No, I’m not kidding.

    Not sure whether you’re really kidding but no /sarc tag so I assume not. These are Dichroic bulbs. 40 Denier is the linear mass density of the interference filter.

    The Denier (or Den) is a physical unit of measurement based on a single filament of silk (as in silk stockings of course).

    Amazed Tesco are still selling them. We’re all supposed to fit LED replacements with freeze your butt off colour temperatures these days so kids keep turning up the heating thermostat.

  39. I remember years ago, a journalist wrote in the International Express, that the first low voltage light globes were useless. If they would have as much chance of lowering carbon to change the climate, as throwing a sugar cube into Loch Ness, hoping it would make the water sweeter. I tend to agree. Lighting unless you use spot lights etc., is the lowest usage of electricity in a domestic environment. They do last longer though.

  40. We don’t have much choice in Australia all we can buy is LED or low voltage globes. They are more expensive, but actually they do last longer.

  41. Wow! This Carbon Dioxide is wicked stuff. Paul H has just demonstrated it is temporally retro-active. I wonder if Dr Whos’ tardis is CO2 powered? Maybe if the warmists held their collective breaths long enough they could go back in time and adjust their computers models so as to get their predictions right! The they could claim CO2 causes both global warming and global cooling and be suspected of credibility at the same time! The possibilities are endless…

  42. AJB says:
    March 7, 2014 at 9:37 pm
    “These are Dichroic bulbs. 40 Denier is the linear mass density of the interference filter”

    Say what?! Linear mass density of an interference filter? What on earth could that be?!

    No, very simple explanation. Someone has tried to be too clever and misread 40D in the part code as 40 denier as though they were describing a pair of tights.

    The 40D of course refers to the beam angle, 40 degrees.
    This is, after all, a spotlight.

  43. I clicked the links up top and did not find the data. The first link goes back only as far as 1960. The second link leads me to a blank page. I am very interested in the records. If someone could post links that work, I would very much appreciate it. Thanks.

  44. The “British rainfall” page on the Met website seems to down. Is that a climategate thing, or did someone not pay the electric bill? I tried it in two different browsers just to make sure.

  45. The amount of rain looks like an average winter here. Of course the land is different, but it doesn’t seem to be the amount that is the cause of the problems.

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