Tag Archives: Somerset Levels

What is going on at the UK Meteorological Office?

JR Max Wheel

10 February 2014

The Met. Office used to be regarded as a bastion of UK establishment science; after all it was the UK that  invented weather forecasting, which explains our national obsession with weather. However all does not appear to be well at the top. Dame Julia Slingo, the Met Office  Head hinted strongly when interviewed by the media that the incidence of stormy weather could probably be attributed to global warming. This suits the narrative of the alarmist camp, after all who can doubt that this terrible run of storms that have nearly drowned my home county and are rapidly spreading elsewhere seem unprecedented. This myth is also daily perpetuated by the BBC, who has parroted the same message that this is the wettest winter since the 1760s. Well it isn’t and that is from the self-same Met. Office records. That belongs to the winter of 1929/30.

I am indebted to Paul Homewood’s Not Many People Know This website for the attached list:

According to Met Office data, there have been eight other 2-month periods in England, which have been wetter since 1910, than the last two months total of 274mm. (The different England & Wales dataset, which dates to 1766, also shows that there were five years, prior to 1910, that also had higher 2-month totals : 1771, 1811, 1822, 1852 and 1877).

Oct – Nov  
1929 286
1960 294
2000 322
Nov – Dec  
1914 281
1929 340
2000 277
Dec – Jan  
1914/15 276
1929/30 280


So was this predicted? No Here’s the forecast.



Confidence in the forecast for precipitation across the UK over the next three months is relatively low. For the December-January-February period as a whole there is a slight signal for below-average precipitation. 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, as can be seen in figure P2 where the forecast shows a shift towards below-average values.

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.

OK so that is alright then weaker westerly airstream and the prospect of a drier than normal winter.

The shambles at the Environment Agency and DEFRA carries on with everyone pointing the finger at each other. It now appears that the Somerset Rivers have not been dredged for years and in the process the rhynes or ditches that criss-cross its Levels have been celebrated for its wildlife heritage, in fact as the Daily Mail puts in an Environment Agency report from 2008 even suggested that it should be returned to nature  and that had we not done so we would have violated an EU directive.

I have no objection to a sensible balance of interest but this is folly of the highest order. This is vulnerable land, it floods most years but not to the extent of leaving 65 sq. miles underwater. Activist types with a deluded sense of priorities have become entangled in decision-making of some of the UK’s important agencies. This has got to stop. Wetland habitats are important as recognized by the Ramsar Agreement, but not wet lands which have ended up drowning and destroying the very species they are meant to protect, that is madness.