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The 10th anniversary of the Autumn 2000 floods

Paul Hudson | 11:58 UK time, Monday, 1 November 2010

It's almost 10 years to the day since large parts of the UK experienced their worst floods on record. My house by the River Nidd in Knaresborough was one of literally thousands that got flooded during a 3 week period towards the end of October and into the first half of November which culminated in the evacuation of parts of York, as fears grew that the Foss barrier in York would overtop.

In fact the Autumn floods were a culmination of several very wet months, through Spring and Summer. April turned out to be the wettest since 1756 - quickly followed by May, the wettest since 1983.

By June the land was already on a knife edge and with further heavy rain through June, many rivers across Yorkshire were put on flood alert. The River Ouse rose to its highest ever June level, with Todmorden and Hebden Bridge suffering flooding from the River Calder.

The rest of Summer was average from a rainfall point of view, but crucially there were no decent dry spells and the land remained wet.

September and October were wet months, with a very mobile westerly pattern of weather becoming established. Atlantic depressions steamed in, with little more than 24 hours between weather fronts towards the end of October.

The North Atlantic was abnormally warm, adding moisture and energy to weather systems as they crossed the UK.

On the morning of Monday October 30th explosive development saw an area of low pressure deepen to 958mb, producing 2 inches of rain across the Pennines. As it departed through the Humber the coastguard recorded a gust of 99mph, with Hurricane force 12 winds in Sea area Humber.

Such was the rapid drop in pressure, snow and thunder were observed simultaneously over the Yorkshire Dales. An already sodden river catchment could take no more; and many of the regions rivers burst their banks.

Flooding was widespread across the UK, but Stockbridge in Keighley won the dubious accolade of having the highest concentration of flooded houses anywhere in Britain - 325. Houses along the River Don were ruined.

The River Ouse in York reached its highest levels since records began in 1642. And the towns of Malton and Norton, which had only just recovered from flooding in March 1999 were inundated once again.

In the end, September was the wettest since 1981; October the wettest since 1903 and November the wettest since 1970. Autumn was the wettest since 1872, and more rain fell in September, October and November than in any other 3 month period since rainfall records began in 1727.

Climatologically it was calculated that Autumn 2000 was a 1 in a 500 year event, assuming a static climate.


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  • 1. At 9:28pm on 01 Nov 2010, mailmannz wrote:

    "My house by the River Nidd"

    Well, I guess these are the words that give the game away...your house...by the river.

    BTW, friends live near Huntingdon which has one of, if not the, largest grass paddocks left in the UK and when the Ouse floods, it floods this grassland instead of over flowing in to resedential areas.

    The question is, how many of these natural spunges have been built over with houses and the like over the last hundred or so years?

    Climate change (more proof of Mann Made Global Warming (tm)) or land use change? Hmmm...perhaps we should get Phil Jones opinion. Anyone got his email address or doesnt he communicate this way anymore? :)



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  • 2. At 08:58am on 02 Nov 2010, QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    I agree with Mailmannz, that the comparison of floods over periods of time is virtually impossible, due to changes in land use. Certainly, factors such as the economic damage, number of houses flooded and numbers killed or injured should be ignored. Even the actual river levels are not comparable due to differences in drainage and river management factors. Unfortunately the gullible are often taken in by the biased reporting, which often attributes flooding to climate change, without taking into account all of the other factors.

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  • 3. At 3:36pm on 05 Nov 2010, ExposeTheTruth wrote:


    Quote mailmannz

    ( Climate change (more proof of Mann Made Global Warming) )

    That's a good one LOL !

    Mann as in Michael Mann who created the infamous Hockey Stick FAKE Global Warming chart !

    (Hmmm...perhaps we should get Phil Jones opinion )

    What for ? so he can also spread more lies about Global Warming etc !

    If people want REAL facts & PROOF about these matters, look here



    Check this out everyone.

    "New Republican House Promises Investigation Of Global Warming Fraud

    One of the first tasks of the new Republican-controlled House of Congress will be to launch a full investigation into the man-made global warming fraud, as the climate change con that threatens to tax and regulate the American middle class out of existence is exposed to what could prove terminal scrutiny."




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