The Ups and Downs of Rainfall Trends

Rainfall UK 2016. Image courtesy Met Office

In his latest post Paul Homewood looks at rainfall trends in England and Wales and finds:

“On average, it is fair to say that it is a little bit wetter now than it used to be in the early 19thC. But above all it is the year to year variability which dominates the record, just as it always has.”

tom0mason writes in the comments:

Yep, UK not very drought prone. Makes one wonder how the population can get so upset by such minor variations.

Compared to much of the world the variations we see in Britain are minor in terms of droughts, floods, winds, rain, shows, heat etc. As Hubert Lamb wrote in 1958

We in Britain do not (most of us) live near the climactic margins of our type of civilisation.The changes of the figures in the climactic tables from one period to another do not look very impressive . Nevertheless, they are significant in various respects, affecting for instance the geographical limits of cod and herring and birds and the thriving of crop plants and trees. With some of these the response to climactic shifts is very quick. The winter climate in Finland in the 1930s was no severer than that of Denmark in the last century. The winter climate of London in 1780-1820 was about the same as that of the Rhineland in our times. The summer climate of southern England (as far north as the line from the Fens to Hereford) in the early Middle Ages was similar to that of the Paris-Touraine region of northern France nowadays : between 1930 and 1949 our summer climate again approached this level (and I believe peach trees and other southern varieties did well accordingly) but since 1950 the figures in summer, as in winter, are back to late nineteenth century standards. We do not know whether the latest turn in our climactic fortunes, since the optimum years of the 1930s, marks the beginning of a serious downward trend or whether it is merely another wobble – one more of the semi-regular oscillations on a time scale of 20 to 60 years. There have been other striking ‘ameliorations’ before – even during the Little Ice Age : the mild periods around the 1630s, 1730s, 1770s and 1840s must have been quite impressive.

So why does it concern us? Maybe it comes down to an ever increasingly populous mostly focussed in the drier South – where we are more likely to pick up a drier continental flow than the more Atlantic influenced North and West – and a lack of reservoirs to deal with these dry patches we often hit along the way. According to a 2013 BBC article only one resevoir was built in London in the past 100 years:

After a couple of dry years (particularly winters) by April 2012 there was much gnashing and wailing…just before the “wettest drough evah” hit us…but there was truth in the need for solutions to our ever changing climate:

Thames Water wanted to build a £1bn reservoir in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, but the plans were rejected by the government. Anglian Water has also toyed with it in the past.

“The water companies are keen, but Ofwat and the Environment Agency don’t seem to be,” …

What drought? UK Rainfall April 2012. Image courtesy Met Office

A shown by Paul a warmer Britain is a slightly wetter Britain, a sign of a changing climate and a thankfull retreat from the cold dry depths of the Little Ice Age, but it’s exactly as Hubert Lamb wrote of rather than due to the CO2 drivel spouted by activists and their ilk. Instead of sensible policies accepting we have dry/wet warm/cold periods (and everything in between), we get (and always have I might add) “this [insert current weather] is the new normal” just before the weather volt faces on them.
I wrote a few years back:

Probably the key message we should be taking, one that is well lost in the race to throw more money on ‘limiting’ carbon emissions, providing vast subsidies for unreliable renewable and preparation for a warmer, drier Mediterranean climate in Northern Europe that never came, is believing the ‘amelioration’ would continue and basing our lives on that assumption. In April it is often warm and sunny, so a visitor to these Isles may be fooled into leaving the jacket at home, whilst those of us with more experience rarely leave the home without it to hand. Lamb makes an interesting observation that lies at the heart of how we should base our future planning for our changing climate;

“I have always thought it a misfortune that the general introduction of plumbing into British homes coincided with the quite unusual run of mild winters between 1896 and 1936. And possibly some of the modern glass architecture and the hill-top sites with an open south-west aspect which became so desirable a few years ago seem less to be recommended in the 1950s.”

Piers Corbyn’s Look ahead for 2017

“[2017] will see even more wild weather fluctuations than 2016 as the Solar-Lunar driven Wild Jet Stream / Mini Ice Age circulation we warned of often since 2008 bites deeper. 

“All the current and recent weather extremes are the wrong type of extremes for the CO2 warmism story and directly disprove that delusion (see 24 Dec statement below). They are predictable consequences of Solar-Lunar effects and this year we will see more and more explicit evidence of our world-leading Solar-Lunar theory. 

“Currently the amazing growth in Greenland Ice – ignored by the #FakeNews and #FakeScience of Mainstream media demonstrates that point (Great graphs below). Continue reading

Watch “Changes in Cloud Cover Globally Caused by Increases in Galactic Cosmic Rays (278)”

David does mistake 0.4°C above the recent 30 year average for the approximate 1.5°C rise over the past ~130 years, but that’s forgivable compared to a cloud change in the past 30 years being attributed to CO2 – do they expect cloud patterns to stay at some hitherto Goldilocks level?

Gavin’s Eleventh And Final Winter 2016/17 Update+QBO Discussion

Another good round up by Gavin as we lead into winter (video below). One thing I would question is the discussion regarding the anomalous QBO.

The quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) is a tropical lower stratospheric, downward propagating zonal wind variation, with an average period of ~28 months. The QBO has been constantly documented since 1953. Here we describe the evolution of the QBO during the Northern Hemisphere winter of 2015–2016 using radiosonde observations and meteorological reanalyses. Normally, the QBO would show a steady downward propagation of the westerly phase. In 2015–2016, there was an anomalous upward displacement of this westerly phase from ~30 hPa to 15 hPa. These westerlies impinge on or “cutoff” the normal downward propagation of the easterly phase. In addition, easterly winds develop at 40 hPa. Comparisons to tropical wind statistics for the 1953 to present record demonstrate that this 2015–2016 QBO disruption is unprecedented.

The anomalous change in the QBO in 2015–2016, Newman 2016

Image: Sam Lillo/Twitter

Gavin does look back at some reanalysis at the turn of the last century but this misses out periods such as Solar Cycle 12 and 5, the latter during the Dalton Minimum. Do we know how the QBO behaved then?


Are these relevant? Who knows, but I would argue they are more relevant than a mention climate change or even to a degree the recent ENSO fluctuation – the latter begs the question of what caused it and there are other naturally forced candidates  that must be explored/ruled out long before we look to human causes;

long term Lunar atmospheric tides could be acting as a trigger to favor either El Niño (positive PDO) or La Niña (Negative PDO) conditions


We also have to factor in that the QBO was only discovered in the 1950’s. Drawing premature conclusions based on limited data is not wise, nor is mentioning climate change (which sadly is used to explain everything and thereby explains nothing).

Continue reading