The rain has eased since the weekend with showers more isolated and much lighter* with the sun emerging for longer stretches. The video above was my attempt to record a particularly heavy squall which ended when the wind and rain made a mockery of my shelter under the trees and broke my umbrella.
Saturday. Image: KNMI
Lord Lawson takes direct aim at Slingo [my emphasis]
The unusual persistence of heavy rainfall over the UK during February, which led to considerable flooding, is believed by the scientists to have been caused by the wayward behaviour of the jetstream; and there is no credible scientific theory that links this behaviour to the fact that the earth’s surface is some 0.8ºC warmer than it was 150 years ago.
That has not stopped some climate scientists, such as the publicity-hungry chief scientist at the UK Met Office, Dame Julia Slingo, from telling the media that it is likely that “climate change” (by which they mean warming) is partly to blame. Usually, however, the climate scientists take refuge in the weasel words that any topical extreme weather event, whatever the extreme weather may be, whether the recent UK rainfall or last year’s typhoon in the Philippines, “is consistent with what we would expect from climate change”.
So what? It is also consistent with the theory that it is a punishment from the Almighty for our sins (the prevailing explanation of extreme weather events throughout most of human history). But that does not mean that there is the slightest truth in it. Indeed, it would be helpful if the climate scientists would tell us what weather pattern would not be consistent with the current climate orthodoxy. If they cannot do so, then we would do well to recall the important insight of Karl Popper — that any theory that is incapable of falsification cannot be considered scientific.
read the rest here.
climate change’ is the exact opposite of what the Met Office predict and whatever the weather we experience – especially the bits not within a Goldilocks definition of what it should be – we’re going to get more of it and YOU’RE TO BLAME.
Rinse and repeat the excuses whatever the weather.
also check out Paul Homewood’s inconvenient finding on 1929 – The Year The Met Office Tried To Cover Up
Then there’s the winter of 1976/7 in the UK (post on 76/7 in the works), which featured a displaced polar vortex over North America and followed a similar hot summer.
You could even look back further
The Met Office told us our recent colder winters were due to the jetstream and made out this was an amazing discovery. Rehashing old work is now cutting edge science.
The first week of December 1876 was marked by extreme weather conditions that affected the south-western sector of the Iberian Peninsula, leading to an all-time record flow in two large international rivers. As a direct consequence, several Portuguese and Spanish towns and villages located in the banks of both rivers suffered serious flood damage on 7 December 1876. These unusual floods were amplified by the preceding particularly autumn wet months, with October 1876 presenting extremely high precipitation anomalies for all western Iberia stations.
Paul Homewood has an interesting post on the wet and windy spell of winter 1876/77, part of a series highlighting previous precedented periods of ‘unusual’ rainfall and storminess . Whilst reading the British Rainfall Publication for 1877 that he highlighted, I was struck by the similarity in the storm patterns, from the relentless succession of storms, gales and heavy rainfall to the short lulls between. This Times report from December 3 1876 notes how at one point during one storm “the mercury has fallen below 29 inches [982 mb] in all of the Kingdom”
The following passage is by former Met Office supremo Hubert Lamb. Published at the height of the global warming scare – ironically just before the onset of ‘The pause [which] is a grand ‘whodunnit’ at the edge of our scientific understanding – Lamb made the polar opposite view of current Met Office Chief Scientist, Julia Slingo. Remember this when we are told the debate is over and you find your voice is censored.
In 1896 the Swedish scientist, Sv. Arrhenius, professor of physics first at Uppsala and later in Stockholm, published his suggestion that increasing the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as was already happening relentlessly, should be expected to warm world climates because of its absorption—i.e capture—of long-wave radiation that continually goes out from the Earth and so create a sort of ‘greenhouse effect’. And in 1938 in England G S Callendar seemed to show in a paper in the Royal Meteorological Society’s journal that the observed warming of surface temperatures over the Earth by about half a degree Celsius from around 1890 to the 1930s should be about right to be attributable to the radiation trapped in the atmosphere in this way. But there are some difficult points. Water vapour, which is abundant in the atmosphere except over the coldest regions of the Earth and in the stratosphere, also absorbs radiation and on almost al the same wave-lengths that the carbon dioxide absorbs.
Difficulties, too, beset attempts to show how variations in the amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in the past fit the theory that warm periods in world climate can be attributed to a greater CO2 content and cold periods to a lower CO2 amount. The CO2 content at various past times is presumably indicated by the gas trapped in bubbles in ice-sheets and glaciers. This does show less CO2 in glacial times, and during warmer interglacial periods the CO2 amount were greater. But, since carbon dioxide is more soluble in water—in the oceans for example—when temperatures are lower, the smaller amounts of CO2 in the bubbles in the ice sheets in ice age times could be just a result of the colder climates then prevailing. And, even within our own times, the suggestion that the increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere should be presumed to be the cause of the warming does not fit at all well with the sequence of observed values.
The great period of warming, at least in the northern hemisphere, was during the first 40 years of the 20th century (especially the first and fourth decades), but in the 1950s and 1960s when the CO2 was increasing more rapidly than ever before the prevailing temperatures were falling. Callendar himself was worried by this discrepancy and contacted both me and Professor Gordon Manley about it. There seem, in fact, to have been a number of shorter runs of sometimes up to 50 years with either rising or falling temperatures often setting in suddenly, and with no clear correspondence to changes in the atmospheric CO2 content.We also see that account must be taken of psychological reactions—even in the influential research community—to the variations towards greater or less warmth as and when they occur.
In the 1880s and 1890s, as a recent American meteorological investigator was the first to be able to show, world temperatures were lower than they had been since around 1850. That was just when Arrhenius came out with his suggestion that the man-made increase of carbon dioxide should be warming the Earth. And at that time the suggestion made little impact. When Callendar promoted the same idea 40 years later, however, it was in a warmer world, though very soon the bitter war winters came and implanted themselves in folk’s memories. And when G N Plass again put forward the CO2warming theory in papers published in 1954 and 1956, world climate was once more entering a colder phase, particularly in the northern hemisphere. Interest in the theory soon waned. It only revived after a run of up to 8 mild winters in a row affected much of Europe and parts of North America in the 1970s and 1980s. There then came a tremendous preponderance of publications on global warming, dominating the research literature, although over-all temperature averages in some regions, particularly in the Arctic, were still moving downward.
So, in spite of the sharp turn towards warming after 1987-8, and the undeniably very warm years 1989-91 and 1995, one must feel uneasy about the confidence with which global warming has been publicised as the verdict of science in official pronouncements from many quarters. The erratic course of the changes experienced through the 20thcentury surely suggests that there are processes at work which are still not adequately understood and possibly even some influences that have not yet been identified.[1997, p217-19]
Met Office winter forecast December-January-February issued 21st November 2013
The probability that UK precipitation for December-January-February will fall into the driest of our five categories is around 25% and the probability that it will fall into the wettest category is around 15% (the 1981-2010 probability for each of these categories is 20%).
Met Office 3-month Outlook
Period: December 2013 – February 2014
Issue date: 21.11.13
As discussed in the temperature section, forecast models favour a negative NAO pattern this winter, with high pressure areas more likely to be centred over or close to the UK. As in all seasons, this pre-dominance of anticyclones is likely to lead to drier-than-normal conditions across the country.
The weakening of the prevailing westerly flow means that the normally wetter western or northwestern parts of the country may see a significant reduction in precipitation compared to average, while the east or southeast may be closer to average. However uncertainty in this regional pattern of precipitation is large.
With colder-than-normal conditions being favoured, as indicated in the temperature section, the probabilities for precipitation falling as snow and for occurrence of ice this winter will be higher than the climatological values.
The forecast is now put into context.
[UPDATE: I have slightly rearranged this post so the Met Office winter 2013/14 is at the head. The rest of the post is quite lengthy detailing several previous years of forecasts but is an easy read. It has several images also so may take time to load on slower devices.]