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Blame the jet stream for return of heavy rain

Paul Hudson | 15:28 UK time, Wednesday, 20 June 2012

After a short spell of fine and warm weather in the last few days, Atlantic weather fronts are once again expected to spread wind and rain across the country tonight and tomorrow, leading us into a fourth successive weekend washout.

According to Philip Eden, writing in the Sunday Telegraph, the first half of June across the UK was the wettest for 150 years - and let's not forget April was the wettest on record too.

The weather pattern is so stuck in a rut that there's every chance that low pressure will dominate our weather for the rest of June and into the first half of July too - meaning more cool and at times wet weather - with a few fine warm days in-between.

And it's all down to the position of the jet stream.

The jet stream is a fast moving zone of winds high up in the atmosphere, caused by the temperature contrast between cold air to the north, and warmer air to the south.
It's along this boundary, where warm and cold air constantly battle each other, that most of our rain bearing weather systems form.

And the jet stream, for some time now, has been further south than normal - hence the inclement weather.

Looking back through the climate records for the last few years it's striking just how polarised our weather has become, with one particular type of weather lasting for weeks on-end.

So far this year March was one of the warmest and sunniest on record; April the wettest on record; now the first half of June is the wettest for 150 years.

This followed the driest 24 months since records began; and let's not forget April last year was the warmest on record which followed the coldest & snowiest December since 1890, during the coldest winter for over 30 years.

This pattern of extreme weather swings in the last few years seems to be getting more common.

Recent research published in Nature offers a possible explanation as to why this seems to be the case, suggesting that the unusual behaviour of the jet stream could be linked to warming that has been observed in the Arctic.

The research shows that because the jet stream is a function of the temperature contrast above the Atlantic, if that contrast is reduced because higher latitudes are warmer than normal, then the jet stream would weaken.

This would effectively slow its eastwards propagation. And one of the consequences would be that a particular type of weather may persist for longer.

Arctic warming may also be causing the jet stream to become more amplified at times, the research claims, causing warmer air to travel further north than normal, and colder air to travel further south than normal - leading to more extreme warmth and cold.

A more amplified jet stream doesn't just mean long periods of poor weather for the UK. At the moment we are stuck in a trough in the jet stream, but we could just as easily be under the influence of a warm ridge, meaning longer periods of dry weather (and in summer, warm weather too).

Recent research has also pointed the finger at weak solar activity as a possible explanation for the cold, dry winters that Europe and the UK has experienced in the last few years.

These were caused by the jet stream being unusually far south, and the research conducted by Reading University concluding that such winters could become more common in the next decade or so as a result of expected weaker solar activity.

Whichever theory is correct - and it's plausible that both are exerting an influence at the same time - experiencing long periods of the same type of weather may be something we should get used to.

Follow me on twitter @Hudsonweather

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Sounds a bit of a rearguard action by the warmists. The solarists were predicting this kind of Jet Stream configuration for quite some time. Thank goodness this pattern was not established in Dec-Jan.

  • Comment number 2.

    Jet stream forecast available as animation here: http://www.netweather.tv/index.cgi?action=jetstream;sess=

  • Comment number 3.

    Yes indeed another freakish month.

    Can't quite see the logic of comment #1 above. A) "warmists" are arguing it is the influence of a warming arctic. B) it DID establish in December - 2010, if you remember - one of the coldest ever!

    However, whatever the cause it is not going to make life any easier. Report last week from bee keepers of starving hives due to lack of decent weather for foraging - in June for pity's sake! I have never seen London Plane trees looking so sorry. Infection by disease in the prolonged cold wet of May caused much foliage to die. Continued chill in June has prevented recovery. Many trees have barely a third normal leaf canopy.

    Both the above are just a couple of ways in which prolonged abnormal weather is going to cause myriad subtle problems - let alone droughts and floods.My own pet theory (not supported by any evidence I hasten to add) is that a warming arctic ocean will encourage a stronger Greenland anticyclone pattern. Bad news for UK if so.

    Notice DROUGHT in Hebrides however plus abundant sunshine. Could be a good year for a hol in the western highlands?

  • Comment number 4.

    ""Yes indeed another freakish month.""

    I take it you are pushing the global weirding line now

    Dont you people ever stop - enough already - the scam has been rumbled

  • Comment number 5.

    jkiller - thanks for your observations. Just out of interest, how do you suppose this might look in the future from a tree ring proxy perspective? An accurate reflection of average temps?

    Newdwr54 . . . Just in case you had missed it, I notice that NOAA have revised their ENSO baseline period recently which has changed all of the numbers. I've no idea how that will effect your recent calcs but thought you should know. Bob Tisdale doesn't seem very impressed with the changes and thinks it puts them out of sync with other datasets.

  • Comment number 6.

    "According to Philip Eden, writing in the Sunday Telegraph, the first half of June across the UK was the wettest for 150 years - and let's not forget April was the wettest on record too. "

    I haven't read the article in question, but I don't really understand how Philip Eden can make this claim, since as far as I know, daily rainfall data produced by the MO (HadUKP series) only go back to 1931, i.e. about 81 years, and, as far as I know, the daily figures for June 2012 haven't yet been published.

    In my experience, Philip Eden isn't someone who generally makes outrageous claims regarding unusual weather patterns, so I would be surprised if he was in this case.

  • Comment number 7.

    The solarists were predicting this Jet Stream configuration irrespective of the Arctic temperatures and this is not part of their case. There is therefor no conflict of logic.

  • Comment number 8.

    "The solarists were predicting this Jet Stream configuration"

    Who are the "solarists"?

  • Comment number 9.

    #3. - jkiller56 wrote:
    "However, whatever the cause it is not going to make life any easier. Report last week from bee keepers of starving hives due to lack of decent weather for foraging - in June for pity's sake!"

    A quick google search on this topic has revealed that the problem of bees starving in June is not so unusual. There is even a term for it, the "june gap".
    http://www.honeyshop.co.uk/feeding.html
    I quote:
    "In June, after the spring flowers and before the summer yields, we have in the UK what is referred to as the June gap. This is a period when colonies can starve either because of the lack of nectar and/or because swarming has reduced the stores and the number of flying bees to critical levels."

    So once again, picking on some event and attempting to turn it into something "freakish", turns out to be completely wrong.

  • Comment number 10.

    #8 The 'solarists' is my term for various astrophysicists and professional/amateur climate scientists who believe that the greatest impact driving climate change is solar activity and not anthropogenic CO2.

  • Comment number 11.

    And where were they predicting this Jet Stream configuration?

  • Comment number 12.

    11---You could start at WeatherAction, Iceagenow, and ClimateRealists.com.

  • Comment number 13.

    @12 Boanta

    So Piers Corbyn then. ClimateRealist just reproduce his articles from Weather Action.

  • Comment number 14.

    I think there's a mix up here. Warmists propose that changes in global temperature are driven more by CO2 than the Sun (for the current period because of the rate CO2 is rising). WeatherAction, Iceagenow, and ClimateRealists.com propose the opposite.

    Both views are compatible with jet stream changes and blocking patterns caused by either the Sun or a warming Arctic making conditions in the UK more extreme. They are different subjects as far as I can tell.

    Ie the Earth could still warm primarily due to rising CO2 and yet a quiet Sun, or arctic warmth, produces temperatures extremes in the UK.

    Of course one of those options - the warmer Arctic could be pointed to as an effect of the warming Earth.

  • Comment number 15.

    13 No it's not just Piers Corbyn. Sounds as if you might have a 'thing' there. You could quite easily go on to the Iceagenow site and then go to the 'Sun Drives Climate' section and find other names yourself. What I like about this debate is that one way or the other it will be settled by 2020-2030 and we'll likely get a good indication by 2015. The views are so diametrically opposed they both can't be right.

  • Comment number 16.

    14 Or the warming Arctic is just another feature of solar driven climate change

  • Comment number 17.

    @15 Boanta

    I'm happy to admit I do have a 'thing' about Mr Corbyn, aside from finding him hilarious at time, L like to see how well he is doing (or not). Always good fun to see how a prediction is validated or forgotten.

    So the big fightback is based on the Little Ice Age, should be fun to watch. Almost as good as the Artic Ice loss being all to do with the wind.

  • Comment number 18.

    17 Aye, nothing like a closed fixated mind to convince others of the validity of your arguments. Do you also have a 'thing' about Svalgaard or Abussamatov?

    When I pointed out in press posts that there had been record or near record ice levels in the Bering and Okhotsk seas, the warmist retort was that this was due to unusual wind conditions---funny that.

  • Comment number 19.

    "Recent research published in Nature offers a possible explanation as to why this seems to be the case, suggesting that the unusual behaviour of the jet stream could be linked to warming that has been observed in the Arctic."

    Perhaps coincidence but we have one of the fastest melts in the Arctic over the last few weeks down to a new record low;

    http://climatecrocks.com/2012/06/20/nsidc-arctic-ice-tracking-at-record-low-levels/

  • Comment number 20.

    Boanta wrote:

    "You could quite easily go on to the Iceagenow"

    I would never get my 'science' from unqualified blogs and cant believe any rational person would either.

    Check the science papers referenced here to see that 'solarists' theories have lacked credibility for a long time;
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming-advanced.htm

  • Comment number 21.

    I wouldn't put Svalgaard into the same group as the ABCDs (Abussamatov, Bastardi, Corbyn and D'Aleo). They are predicting a lot of cooling due to a quiet Sun, but I think Svalgaard's views on the Sun are a lot more mainstream.

  • Comment number 22.

    Is it really a closed mind to look at the claims then the evidence and then conclude it's rubbish? Piers and Joe have been pushing the cooling line for years and cling on to any hint, no matter how small. Pity Roy's satellites keeps on defying their genius.

  • Comment number 23.

    Weather Action Europe May contrasts superbly confirmed
    WeatherAction’s long range May forecast well captured the main very cold N/W and very warm/heatwave E/SE contrast which Piers Corbyn warned of mid-April and which a gaggle of churlish standard Meteorologists derided. They went eerily quiet for three weeks as their short-range forecasts failed again and again while Piers’ single long range forecast stunned thousands. Joe
    Bastardi one of the best known meteorologists in USA, who like Piers practices a proper evidence-based approach to climate and forecasting science, tweeted maps above 14 May with comment:
    “@Piers_Corbyn gotta be smiling at this, UKMET office gotta be dreading it! Should mean Piers is right on May in UK pic.twitter.com/pmyc6VEg ”
    In capturing this dramatic weather pattern which was so important for agriculture WeatherAction forecast also hit its target of at least 6/8 correct weather periods each month. The forecast went wrong on 22nd as NW parts of Europe switched to a surprise hotspell. Piers said “We got tremendous congrats for our ‘fantastically useful’ warning to farmers and we hit our targets”.
    Unsurprisingly standard meteorology camp-followers who cannot reliably forecast anything a week ahead and don’t apply their churlish ‘standards’ to themselves “cherry-missed” 85% of Piers’ forecast detail and declared his forecast ‘wrong’ because the warm-up which they also didn’t foresee raised the month
    average away from Piers’ estimate! Would they have passed Meteorology exams under that approach?! These same ‘experts’ expect the public to PAY £Millions for another super-computer to get wrong answers quicker! Unbelievable! ….then late May West Europe surprise heat shows forecast advance to SLAT8!
    Piers reports: “Unlike those who refuse to learn we have already got a better grip on dramatic weather shifts associated with the run-in to the new ‘Little Ice Age’, advanced our Technique to SLAT8 and updated our JUNE forecast with it. See
    Weather Action Europe May
    contrasts superbly confirmed
    WeatherAction’s long range May forecast well captured the main very cold N/W and very
    warm/heatwave E/SE contrast which Piers Corbyn warned of mid-April and which a gaggle of
    churlish standard Meteorologists derided. They went eerily quiet for three weeks as their short-range
    forecasts failed again and again while Piers’ single long range forecast stunned thousands. Joe
    Bastardi one of the best known meteorologists in USA, who like Piers practices a proper evidence-
    based approach to climate and forecasting science, tweeted maps above 14 May with comment:
    “@Piers_Corbyn gotta be smiling at this, UKMET office gotta be dreading
    it! Should mean Piers is right on May in UK pic.twitter.com/pmyc6VEg ”
    In capturing this dramatic weather pattern which was so important for agriculture WeatherAction forecast
    also hit its target of at least 6/8 correct weather periods each month. The forecast went wrong on 22nd
    as
    NW parts of Europe switched to a surprise hotspell. Piers said “We got tremendous congrats for our
    ‘fantastically useful’ warning to farmers and we hit our targets”.
    Unsurprisingly standard meteorology camp-followers who cannot reliably forecast anything a week ahead
    and don’t apply their churlish ‘standards’ to themselves “cherry-missed” 85% of Piers’ forecast detail and
    declared his forecast ‘wrong’ because the warm-up which they also didn’t foresee raised the month
    average away from Piers’ estimate!
    Would they have passed Meteorology exams under that approach?! These same ‘experts’ expect the
    public to PAY £Millions for another super-computer to get wrong answers quicker! Unbelievable!
    ….then late May West Europe surprise
    heat shows forecast advance to SLAT8!
    Piers reports: “Unlike those who refuse to learn we have already got a better grip on dramatic
    weather shifts associated with the run-in to the new ‘Little Ice Age’, advanced our Technique
    to SLAT8 and updated our JUNE forecast with it. See http://bit.ly/JU4rRH

  • Comment number 24.

    A more meridional and southerly jet stream naturally goes hand in hand with a -AO and -NAO and blocking, but mid summer time Arctic temperatures in recent years have tended to be below average: http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php
    so maybe the reduced temperature differential is down to cooler mid/upper latitudes rather than a warmer Arctic. It is also worth remembering that there was a +NAO in March 2012 with a very zonal and northerly jet stream, no doubt due to the faster solar wind events during the month: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/pna/norm.nao.monthly.b5001.current.ascii.table

  • Comment number 25.

    Svalgaard is hardly flavour of the month with some 'solarists' since he is trying to 'correct' the historical solar activity record. He seems to think there has been considerably less variation than is currently accepted. Having said that, I saw a pic of him (Christmas?) having dinner with a bunch of WUWT regulars. That won't do his 'mainstream' image much good.

    On topic for a moment, Paul Hudson states "And the jet stream, for some time now, has been further south than normal - hence the inclement weather."

    Is there a 'normal' for the jet stream position or strength? A graph would be nice.

  • Comment number 26.

    #24. - Ulric Lyons wrote:
    "A more meridional and southerly jet stream naturally goes hand in hand with a -AO and -NAO and blocking, but mid summer time Arctic temperatures in recent years have tended to be below average"
    Ulric, do you know if there is a reason why the temperature deviation from the climat values is much smaller in the summer than in the other times of the year?

  • Comment number 27.

  • Comment number 28.

  • Comment number 29.

    #27. - mjmwhite wrote:
    "The warming arctic"
    That's the same link as posted by Ulric Lyons in post #24.
    But while you put it forward as evidence of the warming Arctic, most of the warming is in the winter and early spring, when absolute temperatures are still below freezing.
    As Ulric points out, in the summer the temperatures appear to be below normal.
    I personally find this odd, and I wonder why the range of temperatures appears to be reduced in summer.

  • Comment number 30.

    @QuaesoVeritas wrote: "do you know if there is a reason why the temperature deviation from the climat values is much smaller in the summer than in the other times of the year?"

    I would think it is largely due to the 24hr sunshine that far exceeds the atmospheric warming spikes that occur in the dark of winter, and I guess the weak vortex in summer would not transport higher up air to the surface so readily.

    @oldgifford

    Week two of May was above normals for the UK and many other regions. My May forecast gave a warmer week from the 7th, a cool and wet week from the 18th, and warm/hot from the 25th, and around normal for the whole month. The cool wet week commenced on the 14th, and warming started again from the 22nd, so I had a 3-4 day timing error, which is not bad going considering the forecast is solely based on predicting the solar signal from heliocentric planetary angular calculations.

  • Comment number 31.

    I notice we get from meteorologists both statements that
    - The Jet stream moves because of weather (eg warmth or cold somewhere); AND
    - The weather is like it is because of the Jet stream.
    Both may be true to an extent but let us be clear: The jet stream IS weather so really we have here a debate on description rather than cause.
    The question is WHY is it (and associated weather) behaving rather differently now from a decade ago.

    The usual we-can-predict-nothing-but-know-everything-and-don't-believe-solar-based-forecasts-of-proven-skill delusional CO2 warmists sect will blame CO2.
    However it is the sun, in particular solar particle magnetic links, which move the jet stream and changes associated weather (or changes them together but it is clear the Jet Stream is largely THE driver of weather rather than the converse).

    Our WeatherAction solar-lunar based Solar Lunar Action Technique predicts major changes on the sun and consequential changes in the jet stream and related weather types down to detail of a few days in long range forecasts (for UK+Ire, Europe and USA). Our conclusion from our related CLIMATE forecasts is that we are now in the approaches to a new Little Ice Age (LIA) and the Jet stream and associated weather is already showing that.

    See: "The approach to LIA circulation we are now in (see also http://www.weatheraction.com/displayarticle.asp?a=451&c=5 ) is Solar Climate Change here and now and is characterized by:

    1. On the Sun a generally quieter and magnetically more confused state and slower solar wind.
    2. Very large amplitude swings in the Jet stream (NH and SH) with the Jet stream average position shifted equator-wards.
    3. General Cooling especially of temperate zones and simultaneous warm and cold (larger) regions marking different ‘ends’ of jet stream large amplitude wave effects.
    4. Very rapid changes in weather particularly in temperate zones
    5. Rapid changes in standard parameters – NAO, AO etc
    6. Stark extremes including more giant hail and tornadic developments.
    7. An increase in major earthquakes and volcanism
    8. Serious limitations of the powers of standard meteorology even 1 or 2 days ahead at times. This was in evidence through most of April and May - and continuing! These problems will largely continue for at least 25 years and no amount of tweeking standard models or increasing computer power even a thousand fold will overcome it. Standard Meteorology is past it's peak.

    This means the Met Office - 'weather drives weather' - moves to get another super computer which will get wrong answers quicker is theft of public money and must be opposed.

    Thanks,
    Piers Corbyn

  • Comment number 32.

    31. Piers_Corbyn:

    Weather Action's winter 2011/2012 forecast for the UK was wrong. According to your own website, you stated in Madrid in October 2011 that "Britain and West Europe will be generally exceptionally cold from around Nov 27th to Dec 28th (80% confidence)": http://www.weatheraction.com/displayarticle.asp?a=392&c=5

    I note that the video link to your incorrect forecast has now been made 'Private': [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    Temperatures in the UK for December 2011 were +0.5C above the 1971-2000 average: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2011/december-and-annual-statistics

    In mid April 2012, Weather Action claimed that May 2012 would be: "The coldest or near coldest May for 100 years in Central and East parts with a record run of bitter Northerly winds. Snow at times especially on high ground in NE / East. Spring put in reverse. *Confidence of E / SE England mean temps: Coldest in 100yrs 80%; In 5 coldest in 100yrs 90%" http://www.weatheraction.com/displayarticle.asp?a=450&c=5

    May 2012 temperatures in E/SE England were fractionally below average in E/NE England, and slightly above average in S/Cent England according to the UK Met Office official data.

    None of them were anywhere near the coldest in 100 years.

    So for all your talk of "solar particle magnetic links" and the mysterious and non-peer reviewed "solar-lunar based Solar Lunar Action Technique" you're not really any better at forecasting 1-2 month ahead weather than the Met Office, are you?

  • Comment number 33.

    "Our conclusion from our related CLIMATE forecasts is that we are now in the approaches to a new Little Ice Age (LIA) and the Jet stream and associated weather is already showing that."

    Surely a new little ice age would require temperatures much cooler than today. CET last year was the 2nd warmest on record and global temperatures are high for an ENSO neutral period.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah

    I don't see this changing. Even the no-feedback sensitivity from a doubling of CO2 will prevent any potential solar cooling. The little ice age was less cold by an amount LESS than a doubling of CO2 will warm.

  • Comment number 34.

    @33, quake wrote:

    “ The little ice age was less cold by an amount LESS than a doubling of CO2 will warm. “

    Whose hockey-stick told you that and which projection suggests that CO2 will double in the next 25 years?

  • Comment number 35.

    QV. . . according to Dr Walt Meier, ice melt consumes most of the 'extra heat' in the summer. So instead of seeing higher temperatures, we see more ice loss. He guest posted at WUWT recently under Sea Ice news, about half a dozen posts down.
    Make of that what you will.

  • Comment number 36.

    Quite a nice wee ding dong on the go, but patience guys, we are not doing nowcasts are we? The opposing views are so different that a result is going to be obvious. We'll probably get a good indication in the next 5 years and by 2025 it'll be game set and match one way or the other. Unless both sides are wrong!

  • Comment number 37.

    Lateintheday~5

    I would imagine that the Plane disease would affect their growth rings. As far as I know no one ever uses London Plane for climate research, but I guess for recent periods - since widespread planting in the 19th/ 20th cents. it could be very interesting - as it shows fairly dramatically improved growth in warm regions of the UK compared to cold. However, I suppose as with all tree ring data - growth rate may not always be linked directly to warmth - drought, disease or other stress also being a factor. With plane - the particular disease I mentioned is linked with cold wet conditions however. Actually, I saw a tree in Hull yesterday that was nearly leafless!

    QV#9 -

    OK guv. its a fair cop! I read your link about June starvation in bees being a regular risk. All I can say is that the report I heard (on radio 4 from, I think, the pres. of the Beekeepers Assoc.) - did blame the bad weather. And I am sure it doesn't help if bees have to spend days at a time in their hives using up their meagre supplies of early honey - which is the point he was making. And having to do so in May and June in succession to boot. So, don't blame me!

    With regard to the superiority of P. Corbyn meteorology. I suggest PC be put in charge of the shipping forecast if his methods are so much more accurate. I am sure it would save many lives currently lost due to the incompetence of the MO. It seems an obvious move to me. In fact, I wonder why it has not already happened?
    Yes, ... I wonder why?

    Oh dear, not another conspiracy!

  • Comment number 38.

    #31. - Piers_Corbyn wrote:
    "Our WeatherAction solar-lunar based Solar Lunar Action Technique predicts major changes on the sun and consequential changes in the jet stream and related weather types down to detail of a few days in long range forecasts (for UK+Ire, Europe and USA). "
    Is it not the case that some of your recent weather forecasts have been invalidated by "unexpected" events on the sun?
    "6. Stark extremes including more giant hail and tornadic developments."
    "7. An increase in major earthquakes and volcanism"
    Where is the statistical evidence for these claims?
    What is the mechanism by which solar activity causes an increase in major earthquakes and volcanism.
    I should add that I am a "climate change sceptic", whatever the cause, that is, I don't agree that the climate is changing, but that it is subject to short-term natural variability.

  • Comment number 39.

    #37. - jkiller56 wrote:
    "All I can say is that the report I heard (on radio 4 from, I think, the pres. of the Beekeepers Assoc.) - did blame the bad weather. "
    Yes, I think I heard the same report on R4, so you can be forgiven.
    However, the BBC loves to put out stories about how "climate change" is affecting this or that, and I am attuned to them, so I tend to take them with a "pinch of salt". Most of the time, when I look into such stories in more detail, the connection with "climate change" is tenuous. I have no doubt that the recent "bad" weather is not ideal for bees, but my point is that this is not unusual.

    Regarding the shipping forecast, while I am personally critical about the UKMO web forecasts, I think that might be as much to do with presentation as anything else.
    Essentially, they try to give more precise forecasts, from a spatial and temporal point of view than they are capable of, and since nobody checks their accuracy, they get away with it. Quite often they get the weather correct, but not for the correct place and/or time.
    I am not sure if there is any evidence of any dissatisfaction with the shipping forecast by those who use it, and I suspect it is fairly accurate. If it wasn't, I think we would have heard about it by now. I am afraid that I doubt very much if Weather Action could put together a more reliable shipping forecast.

  • Comment number 40.

    Shipping forecast is just one day ahead isn't it? Or something like that. Surely just a matter of spotting what storm is or isn't coming from satellite. Dunno maybe it's more complicated than that, I am guessing.

  • Comment number 41.

    #35. - lateintheday wrote:
    "QV. . . according to Dr Walt Meier, ice melt consumes most of the 'extra heat' in the summer. So instead of seeing higher temperatures, we see more ice loss. He guest posted at WUWT recently under Sea Ice news, about half a dozen posts down.
    Make of that what you will."
    Thanks, that does appear to address my question, although I am not entirely convinced. It seems to imply that the more ice melt there is, the lower temperatures will be and also, as the amount of ice available to melt is reduced, the temperature should increase, but there seems to be little evidence in the figures to support that, although possibly the amount of melting is currently overriding the effect of reduced ice.

  • Comment number 42.

    #40. - quake wrote:
    "Shipping forecast is just one day ahead isn't it? Or something like that. Surely just a matter of spotting what storm is or isn't coming from satellite. Dunno maybe it's more complicated than that, I am guessing."
    I am not sure, it's a while since I listened to it, not being a sailor!
    However, I am fairly certain it covers wide areas, i.e. the regions, and they don't attempt to forecast the weather for individual ships!

  • Comment number 43.

    #39 I too take BBC climate claims with a large pinch of salt. Earlier this week there was a BBC news item on vegetation changes in the Highlands that completely ignored that fact that the headage grant support mechanism that favoures upland sheep farming and associated muir burning, during the time of the original surveys,had been replaced by an area system payment which had changed the grazing pressure from sheep, an animal with a highly selective feeding pattern. There was also no mention of possible changes in Red Deer numbers, rabbit and hare numbers. Only climate changes induced by CO2 increases were mooted as the cause. Warmist bias again.

  • Comment number 44.

    Boanta,
    The funny thing is, the BBC aren't consistent.
    They are forever telling us about the dire effects, real or otherwise, of "climate change".
    However a couple of weeks ago, there was an item on BBC news about the "good news" that petrol prices had fallen.
    Surely if "climate change" was such a threat, a reduction in petrol prices must be "bad news", not "good news".
    There was a florist who was complaining that the price of petrol made it expensive for him to make free local deliveries.
    Nobody suggested to him that he might switch to using electric vehicles, which seem ideal for local deliveries and would presumably be cheaper to run and more environmentally friendly.

  • Comment number 45.

    17 Was the cause of the high levels of ice in the Bering and Okhotsk seas this year caused by wind after all?

  • Comment number 46.

    @45 Boanta

    You mean the year when the ice extent nearly hit the average line? Before collapsing? Are you really saying high ice levels in 2 areas of the arctic are signs of the LIA? Really???

  • Comment number 47.

    No, I am just asking if the record ice levels in the Bering Sea this winter was due to winds and nothing to do with the cold. A straight answer would suffice.

  • Comment number 48.

    You claim, correctly, that the jet streams are formed at the boundary of cold arctic air and warmer ait to the south. This does not equate with the warmist claim that the Arctic is getting warmer. If it were to be then the area of cold air would get smaller not remain the same for months as it has done.

    Since the sun is the only source of heat to this planet we must look there and the solar scientists, using observation not models, predicted this cooling of the climate in Europe. Remember the Little Ice Age experienced very bad weather which remained in situ for prolonged periods so perhaps bad weather is a sign of cooling not warming.

  • Comment number 49.

    I was phoned by the Environment Agency a couple of days ago, reference rainfall and rising water tables following my email to them, and they stated that it was very difficult to get the media, including the BBC, to correctly report environmental items because the media has its own agenda in this area.

  • Comment number 50.

    @47 Boanta

    "The higher than normal extent and late spring break up of the ice cover in the Bering Sea are mainly due to unusually low air temperatures and persistent winds from the north, related to a region of low atmospheric pressure centered over Kodiak, Alaska. As these cold winds slowed ice melt, they also pushed the ice edge to the south. The heavy ice in the region may delay the start of Shell Alaska’s Arctic drilling this summer, which will be the first exploratory drilling in the Arctic Ocean in 20 years."

    Is the NSIDA view on things. Wind pushed/spreaded out the ice.

    Oh I see, you are trying to say because wind does have some effect (which it does, no one has ever said it doesn't) my statement that - "Almost as good as the Artic Ice loss being all to do with the wind.", is wrong?

  • Comment number 51.

    I think it's both. Cold winds pushing south mean not only is ice pushed south but colder air is too meaning ice can better survive further south than it usually would. That's not not necessarily good for the arctic ice in summer though. If in some absurd version of reality I was tasked with defending arctic summer sea ice I wouldn't want any of the northerly ice to be pushed south in spring. I would want as much thick ice to be amassed as possible in the north so it had a better chance of surviving the summer.

    My impression is that the sea ice in the arctic is getting thinner each year and is rapidly approaching a point where it will just collapse to zero in summer. The summer minimum seems to be a N +- Weather thing, where weather is a random plus or minus thing, but the N seems to be dropping over time. In 2007 N was higher, but the weather was perfect for compaction melt so it caused a large drop down. In years after that the weather hasn't been as perfect, but with a lower N we've been getting closer to 2007.

    Signs of this include that 2010, 2011 and 2012 have all followed a June "breakaway" path that hasn't been seen in previous years (2006 came close)
    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent_prev.htm

    There is also a mid/late July "breakaway" to watch out for. 2007 and 2011 took that route and I think so long as weather conditions from now until late july are as good for compaction/melt as 2011 then we'll see 2012 follow that path too.

    In fact at some point we'll probably get a new "surprise", a sharp drop down at some point in the summer similar to the 2007 "surprise".

    I don't know whether the arctic will just continue till we reach a summer of zero extent, but I don't think there's long left for it to slow down and turn around.

  • Comment number 52.

    Yup 2007 was a combination of the perfect storm of bad (for the ice) weather and the downward trend in ice volume/extent/area. The downward trend has carried on since (not recovered as some claim) and is likely to beat 2007 even without the weather going bad.

  • Comment number 53.

    well Quake, it has turned around in the past so it's very much a case of wait and see. The reality is, even if AGW theory is correct, there is nothing that can be done about the CO2 levels over the short term. We are where we are with them at around 400ppm and if we stopped all global anthropogenic CO2 emissions tomorrow, according to the the theory we wouldn't see a reduction from that 400ppm in our lifetime. Therefore, the arctic sea ice must continue its summer shrinking minimum trend.
    If on the other hand, the 'naturalists' or 'coolists' are right and it's mostly about cycles and solar activity then we have the perfect experiment coming up. The cool PDO is already in, and the solar experts are expecting continued low activity for this and the next cycle. The AMO (if it exists) should be due for a cool cycle within the next few years too. If arctic sea ice cycles are dependent on the above, then that's an additional albedo effect which should add to the cooling. The question is, how long before the cooling kicks in? What would be a reasonable response time for planet Earth, bearing in mind the lags in the system and the warmth that has already accumulated?
    I would have a hard time sticking to my AGW scepticism if we don't see some minor cooling before 2020 and a very strong cooling beyond that. Is that a reasonable period in the light of Santer's 'we need seventeen years' claim?

  • Comment number 54.

    To QV#39/44

    Regarding the bee report - I don't think that "climate change" was mentioned at all - only the very prolonged "bad" weather. Are you becoming paranoid?

    Actually, thinking about it later, I found the idea of a "june gap" or whatever for bees rather puzzling. Overall June must be the most floriferous of months. - including for clover that very common and deliciously famous honey source. I wonder if the state of non crop flowers in our industrialised countryside is now so parlous that bee keepers are overly dependent on rape seed which is everywhere in April and May? Bean fields (also delicious honey) are in full bloom now and lime (superb) will follow by the end of the month, though admittedly all the above are far less common than the ubiquitous rape.

    As you say, I am sure we would have heard - very loudly- from the vast and multifarious shipping industries, sports and leisure of serious faults in the MO shipping forecasts - plus a clamour for the likes of Corbyn to come to the rescue (deafening silence).

    And yes Quake# 40
    I suspect there is a bit more to it than "spotting what storm is or isn't coming from a satelite" - why don't you have a go from your computer screen?

  • Comment number 55.

    QV

    PS
    If, as you observe, the BBC are not consistent on environmental issues, doesn't it suggests that they do not in fact have an "agenda"?

  • Comment number 56.

    if the jet stream is affecting our weather so much why cant we see a daily weather map of it on the national tv!!

  • Comment number 57.

    Oh dear Libel from the warmists: Comment No 32 Newdwr54. The 'supercold Dec' forecast we issued in Madrid for the (east)UK + west Europe was withdrawn in November and replaced by something which was pretty well conformed in detail. Our overall score for the 6 special 3 month ahead public forecasts I announced in Madrid In Oct 2011 was 5/5 and one non-runner: http://www.weatheraction.com/docs/WANews12No5.pdf .

    Did you are anyone forecast any of these events around the world that far ahead? NO of course not! These alone are a pretty good demonstration of the power of our Solar-Lunar Action Technique.
    You cowards who libel behind anonymity would not tolerate people quoting MetO wrong forecasts without at least saying whether they did an update. All you do with our forecasts is look for the 15% of the time when they are wrong (as we warn) and quote that. Pathetic!
    Your mention of a 'removed' video is also standard deceitful malevolence from your lot. FACT ALL our WeatherAction vids stay up and are not removed even if (rarely) superseded (UNLIKE MET O who remove forecasts all the time !!!) by a vid alongside them. The vid you refer to was by a private Newscaster guy on his own site who took extracts from one of our vids and is unknown to us. He later removed it presumably because it wasnt news anymore and had been superseded. However your sneaky 'cover up' spin is out there - more Libel. What is your problem?

    ROb No 33. We are in the APPROACHES to a new LIA and the rapid cooling the world is now in over recent years is evidence of that - just read some of the stuff on ClimateRealists or WUWT:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/19/crus-new-hadcrut4-hiding-the-decline-yet-again-2/#comment-928992 - Re data fraud
    http://policlimate.com/climate/gfs_t2m_bias.html - re decline see eg 2009-20012

    38. QuaesoVeritas. We dont predict all events on the sun! There are surprises but we have had a lot of success (probably at least 85%) at predicting major solar events and subsequent earth weather events - look through News on http://www.weatheraction.com/

    We apply knowledge from errors to advance forecasting skill and scope.

    Thanks Piers Corbyn

  • Comment number 58.

    @57 Piers_Corbyn

    Not sure it's libel to point out where your forecasts have gone wrong?

    Rapid cooling? Really? You best tell Dr Spencer that his satellite is broken. Is the UAH temperature record wrong?

  • Comment number 59.

    57. Piers_Corbyn wrote:

    "Oh dear Libel from the warmists: Comment No 32 Newdwr54. The 'supercold Dec' forecast we issued in Madrid for the (east)UK + west Europe was withdrawn in November and replaced by something which was pretty well conformed in detail."

    So, by your own admission, the forecast you issued in October 2011 with "80% confidence" was wrong. Which is what I said. So not libel.

  • Comment number 60.

    57. Piers_Corbyn wrote:

    "... your sneaky 'cover up' spin is out there - more Libel. What is your problem?"

    If you're going to accuse me of 'libel' and 'spin', then have the courtesy to quote me exactly. From my M32:

    "I note that the video link to your incorrect forecast has now been made 'Private'"

    That is a statement of fact.

    If you would care to issue a transcript of the forecast you made in Madrid in October 2011, then I'm sure people on this blog would be interested in seeing it. It might clear the whole business up, in fact.

    Thank you.

  • Comment number 61.

    ALSO on May 2012 We at WeatherAction, against all others, warned of a very cold May which we said could be in coldest, or 5 coldest, for 100 years and gave details of how it would develop. THAT WAS RIGHT FOR 3 weeks, then it turned suddenly warm (an error which led us to, now, SLAT8a).
    See news in http://www.weatheraction.com/docs/WANews12No26.pdf

    For growers our forecast was fantastically useful - the frosts and hold-back of growth was very important to know - including the detailed forecast in 8 weather periods through the month which also showed, mostly, the coldest bits. The inability of ALL other methods to get May right in any detail still stands, despite our error for the 4th week (The tail of May came back on track). For a farmer or grower A forecast of 'May temps about average' would actually be useless because it does not reveal the vital very cold parts.

    It is bizarre how a number of anonymous 'monitors' of our forecasts (and of this one I don't know) admit that they REFUSE to read the detail and just judge by headline summaries - sometimes simply media hype.

    WeatherAction forecasts are designed to be useful to users rather than the other approaches which appear more written to sound right rather than be useful.

    Thanks Piers

  • Comment number 62.

    @61 Piers_Corbyn

    "THAT WAS RIGHT FOR 3 weeks, then it turned suddenly warm (an error which led us to, now, SLAT8a)."

    Hasn't SLAT8a gone wrong already? Leading to 2 forecasts for June?

    Was it right? Not by the CET is wasn't, but in fairness you only said eastern areas nearest to Europe I think?

  • Comment number 63.

    This would appear to be the covert political plan the Co2 scam is being used to promote, crimes against humanity !



    http://nollyprott.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/green-holocaust-2/

  • Comment number 64.

    Piers,

    Good to hear from you even in slightly confrontational circumstances.

    Did that study organised by Harrabin on forecasts from independents and the MET office ever get off the ground or was it all bluster and blowing in the wind?

    You should call in more frequently and perhaps register in our annual forecast. I'm sure that Neil Hamp could update us on the figures, it's only for fun but it might inspire those of us that don't depend upon forecasting for our living.

  • Comment number 65.

    Re 59 & 60 Newdwr54. (and 58. John Cogger)
    Ignorance of the nature of libel does not excuse you. Things can be true (in a narrow sense) and still libelous. You wrote things which were 'gratuitously damaging and unfair' (=libel) by
    (i) referring to our withdrawn forecast as if it had not been drastically replaced.
    (ii) You wrote: "I note that the video link to your incorrect forecast has now been made 'Private'" and added later "That is a statement of fact."
    Actually NO; The pdf link above:
    http://www.weatheraction.com/docs/WANews12No5.pdf
    contains TWO links to videos of what I said. (and you must have known about both) The first one now says '..removed etc...' (but it doesn't say what it had been, and I explain above what happened, that was not our link but it was well produced) and next to it THE link to our original video WHICH IS STILL THERE.
    So let's get technical:-
    a) "THE" link to OUR vid was NOT removed.
    b) "A" link to someone's opportunist but welcome report was removed by them but as far as I am concerned it was not THE link. Our link to our Vid is THE LINK so go and see it.
    I repeat, UNLIKE the Met Office, ALL our past forecasts (certainly for the last few years) are accessible to users and public material is never removed.

    Your remarks mentioned in (i) and (ii) are libelous and you are REQUIRED to apologize for them and retract them forthwith.
    We are not joking around here. If you had made statements like that about a certain fast food chain it would not surprise me if you were in the High Court or banged up already. I fail to see why because we advance long range forecasts ahead of all others (and yes we have been referred to as 'the world's best' by a number of independent commentators) we should accept these libels from people who have some sort of axe to grind and bizarrely never notice the howlers committed by all manner of other 'forecasters'.

    On what I said the second link via the pdf above shows the Vid of 26 Oct in The Palace Of Westminster where I repeat what I said in Spain 7 days before. The Vid of the event in Spain of which I was one contributor is not available to my knowledge (maybe due to copyright arguments) and probably in Spanish anyway. I start at about 18mins and do the forecast statements at about 22min.

    62 John Cogger.
    No. First there were not 2 forecasts for June (more misrepresentation) but 2 of the 8 sections of June in the '45day' mid May issue were changed by SLAT8 in the 30day forecast issued end May. Note the MetO routinely have 5 forecasts for any DAY.
    Slat 8a is working excellently - close to perfect around 18-21st (or 17-22nd) for when again we advised farmers ahead of others they would probably after all get 3 dry days before more deluges. SLAT8 changed things too far and so was amended after only 12 days.
    Btw; AND....? Ie what point are you making? Another go with the pea shooter? 'Assessing' forecasts/updates you have never read?

    Our forecasts like all forecasts have a certain % of failure which is reducing (&/or detail is going up). Note mostly procedures last about 2 months before any changes but we might get a, b, c in rapid succession as we get onto a newer approach (eg SLAT7 to SLAT8). ONLY WeatherAction carries discussion with users and public on forecast errors; the MO NEVER do to my knowledge.

    54. jkiller56
    Shipping forecasts. These ARE short range activities and NOT our prime concern. However in our R5 and R4 periods it is clear the MetOffice usually underestimates top wind strengths by one or two notches ie if in R5 periods MO say gale 8 tops it will probably be Sev gale 9 or storm 10 tops. These solar factors forecasts are already used to improve short range TV forecasts by WeatherAction forecast users involved in surfing, sailing, coastal protection and farming (double rain levels in R5 or R4).
    The MO and BBC do not want to improve forecasts by the very easy use of these factors. Their political duty to propagate CO2 warmist spin exceeds their duty to better warn the public, reduce suffering or save lives. TRUE or FALSE?

    Thanks, Piers Corbyn

  • Comment number 66.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 67.

    @65 Piers_Corbyn

    "No. First there were not 2 forecasts for June (more misrepresentation) but 2 of the 8 sections of June in the '45day' mid May issue were changed by SLAT8 in the 30day forecast issued end May. "

    So when you issued SLAT7a for June you didn't replace it with SLAT8a? Then tell people to go back to SLAT7a? That implies you had 2 forecasts or how could you change 2 of the 8 sections? From your website -

    http://www.weatheraction.com/displayarticle.asp?a=464&c=5





    http://www.weatheraction.com/displayarticle.asp?a=464&c=5

  • Comment number 68.

    @Piers_Corbyn

    Is the UAH temperature record wrong?

  • Comment number 69.

    #54. - jkiller56 wrote:
    "Regarding the bee report - I don't think that "climate change" was mentioned at all - only the very prolonged "bad" weather. Are you becoming paranoid?"
    Possibly, I am certainly very sensitive to false claims of evidence of "climate change", but you did raise it as an example of a "freakish month". Normally such allegedly unusual weather has been blamed on "climate change".

    #55.PS
    "If, as you observe, the BBC are not consistent on environmental issues, doesn't it suggests that they do not in fact have an "agenda"?"
    I think it is just that they have several agendas which are not always compatable.

  • Comment number 70.

    In view of the heavy rainfall so far in April & June, the UKMO forecast of March 23rd is looking increasingly ludicrous:

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/pdf/p/i/A3-layout-precip-AMJ.pdf

    Also, in view of the amount of flooding yesterday, one wonders why the MO didn't issue a red warning, rather than only an amber one.

  • Comment number 71.

    Piers,
    Just to clarify ukpahonta's comment #64
    Here are our forecasts for 2012 hadCRUT3 (assuming it is not replaced by hadCRUT4 before year end)
    Figures in brackets are last year’s forecast
    I will be happy to include your forcast for on the list

    “Warmists”
    +0.48 Met Office (+0.44)
    +0.45 Newdwr54 (N/A)
    +0.43 John Cogger (N/A)

    “Neutralists”
    +0.42 Mr Bluesky
    +0.42 Lazarus
    +0.41 quake (+0.36)
    +0.40 Paul Briscoe
    +0.40 Gagetfriend (+0.30)
    +0.40 NeilHamp ( +0.27)

    “Coolists”
    +0.37 Lateintheday’s Holly Bush
    +0.34 QuaesoVeritas (+0.31)
    +0.29 millinia (+0.24)
    +0.29 LabMunkey (+0.25)
    +0.28 ukpahonta (+0.35) (2011 winning entry)

    If ukpahonta is right again for 2012 it will certainly put the polar bear amongst the penguins

    2012 forecasts have not yet been found for:-

    SmokingDeepThroat (+0.39)
    Ken Sharples( +0.18)
    nibor25( +0.15)
    jkiller56

  • Comment number 72.

    QV,
    I have not yet seen hadCRUT's global temperature for May
    The site I check is http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/hadcrut3vgl.txt
    This has only been up dated to March. Do you know why?

  • Comment number 73.

    Piers,
    I too would like to know if Roger Harrabin's "long range forcast survey" is still progressing.

  • Comment number 74.

    #72. - NeilHamp wrote:
    "I have not yet seen hadCRUT's global temperature for May
    The site I check is http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/hadcrut3vgl.txt
    This has only been up dated to March. Do you know why?"
    I have no idea why the CRU site hasn't been updated with the April figure yet, although they do tend to be later than the MO website.
    Unfortunately a lot of people, including for example David Whitehouse of GWPF, don't seem to be aware that the figures are available on the MO website, possibly because they are well hidden.
    Having said that, even the MO website seems to be getting later and later with figures.
    Not that long ago, the HadCRUT3 figures used to be available by about the 21st and HadSST2 by about the 14th, but it's now the 23rd and neither are published.
    It often seems that they only publish the figures now after I chase them, but that's probably just a coincidence!

  • Comment number 75.

    71. Could you please explain, for a relative newcomer to this site, what you were implying with your metaphor about the polar bears and penguins? Thanks in advance.

  • Comment number 76.

    74---I think you may be under estimating yourself!

  • Comment number 77.

    65 and 67 Neither of the two of you need worry about climate change, whichever direction it may go, because both of you are likely to die of sleep deprivation first!

  • Comment number 78.

    @Piers Corbyn

    What a shame that you didn't 'forecast' a record breakingly cold and wet June instead of the rather embarassing Coldest May for 100 years!

    What happened to your forecast of 2 (solar driven) "very warm/heatwave" spells for June? You've gone "eerily quiet" on that.

  • Comment number 79.

    65. Piers_Corbyn:

    At no time did I suggest that the forecast you issued in Madrid re winter 2011/12 had *not* been had "drastically replaced". Indeed I was not aware that your forecast had been "drastically replaced". I said that the forecast you issued in Madrid re winter 2011/12 was "wrong". I'm left wondering what the usefulness of any long range forecast is if it can subsequently be "drastically replaced" at short notice?

  • Comment number 80.

    According to the current NCEP/CFSR GFS temperature anomaly forecast on the Ryan Maue website, tbe below average temperatures in the UK seem like continuing for a few days at least.
    http://policlimate.com/weather/current/ext_raw_temp_c.html
    While there are no numbers for the UK specifically and it is only possible to judge approximately by the colour coding, my rough guess at the forecast for the next couple of weeks looks like the following:
    June 23rd to 26th, below average
    June 27th to July 3rd, above average
    July 4th to July 8th, below average
    The period around July 6/7 looks particularly cold, with some green colouration, indicating -5c or below.
    There seem to be some links on the site to forecasts for more detailed extended forecasts but I can't seem to get them to work.

  • Comment number 81.

    Flood warnings are difficult to quantify. Flashy catchments flood easily and quickly given sufficient rainfall. But area forecasts are not that accurate either for rainfall total or coverage. Flashy catchments are, by definition, small steep sided valleys and the rainfall can either be within the catchment area or partially covering it. Either will produce a different result for the same level of rain. It is better to produce some warning than none and better not to over egg the warning because this could be taken as a cry of wolf.

  • Comment number 82.

    65. Piers_Corbyn:

    From the link I posted to the Weather Action site: http://www.weatheraction.com/displayarticle.asp?a=392&c=5

    Under the heading: "Exceptional Cold period forecast by Weather Action" there is a link (provided by your site) to a video of your October 2011 forecast. This link leads to a video that has now been made 'private'. This is the link to which I was referring. I incorrectly stated that the "link" was made private: I should have said that the 'video' to which the link led to was made private. I apologise for this terminology, which was not intended to suggest that you had made the "link" itself private.

    I called it "your link" because the link to the video was provided by 'your' site, where it is clearly marked "See video". The video is unattributed. I did not suggest that the video had been produced by you, or that it had been intentionally been made private by you; only that it was no longer available for use as a means of accessing your comments at the time (which you now advise were later withdrawn in any case).

    If you wish to infer anything other than that into my comments then that's a matter for you.

  • Comment number 83.

    You say that recent research has also pointed the finger at weak solar activity as a possible explanation, but I though that as the northern lights were visible in as far down as Yorkshire this winter, that the sun was very active at present, and I therefore, was therefore expecting a "barbeque summer".

  • Comment number 84.

    #81. - John Marshall wrote:
    "It is better to produce some warning than none and better not to over egg the warning because this could be taken as a cry of wolf."
    I tend to agree and I don't expect them to forecast heavy rain and/or flooding for a specific location, but if there is a risk of severe flooding within an area, then I think the warning should be given.
    The warnings themselves cover wide areas and are not specific to a particular location. I have noticed that rain warnings have been issued which cover my particular location, when there is no actual rain forecasted for the period concerned.

  • Comment number 85.

    83---Alan---If you google Spaceweather, you'll get the choice of several options giving solar activity info. The last solar minimum was in 2008. The next solar maximum will likely be in 2013 and it looks like a low maximum by comparison to many other maxima.

  • Comment number 86.

    Alan, I believe the northern lights displays were as a result of a few coronal mass ejections which just happened to be aiming in our general direction. As Boanta says, we are supposed to be approaching the maximum for this solar cycle but this one is difficult to predict. I've heard different observers suggesting a maximum anywhere between 2012 and 2017.

    There's even some suggesting that there might be no solar polar reversal this time because the sun is behaving so strangely. Perhaps Piers Corbyn might give his view?

  • Comment number 87.

    Seems a bit to me a bit like everyone loves a bit of doomsday/conspiracy, there's always some theory of how the world is ending ice age in britain is now a latest addition because it adds excitement and i sense of 'one-up-manship' of having a special knowledge that no one knows!
    Having looked at the records going back 100 years looks to me like rainfall and temps in britain have always varied MASSIVELY! Sunlight hours temperatures have varied massively rainful amounts if you look at a graph are spiking and falling almost every couple of years but temperatures are generally increasing very gradually! My conclusion is that all this is being exaggerated massively and that the weather in britian has always been massively variable! sorry for the pink elephant in the room but it's true guys. Calm down a bit

  • Comment number 88.

    #87. - mrkittykat wrote:
    "My conclusion is that all this is being exaggerated massively and that the weather in britian has always been massively variable! sorry for the pink elephant in the room but it's true guys. Calm down a bit"
    I agree with you almost totally.
    The important thing is to separate the facts from the hyperbole.
    A lot has been made of the fact that some locations have seen 1 month's rainfall
    in a single day, but how unusual is that?
    Rainfall is never evenly distributed over a month and the smaller the region involved, the more likely it is that relatively large amounts of rain fall in a shorter period.
    We won't know how unusual this month's rainfall has been on a wider scale, until the official figures are published.

  • Comment number 89.

    pink elephant! How very dare you!

  • Comment number 90.

    Below is a rather good rendering of the bleak picture in scientific circles of late.

    In an article we published in the professional journal "Science" in October 2004, we were able to demonstrate that the underlying methodology that led to this hockey stick curve is flawed. Our intention was to turn back the spiral of exaggerations somewhat, but without calling the core statement into question, which is that human-induced climate change does exist. Prominent members of the climate research community did not respond to the article by engaging use in a dispute over the facts. Instead, they were concerned that the worthy cause of climate protection had been harmed.

    Other scientists are succumbing to a form of fanaticism almost reminiscent of the McCarthy era. In their minds, criticism of methodology is nothing but the monstrous product of "conservative think-tanks and misinformation campaigns by the oil and coal lobby," which they believe is their duty to expose. In contrast, dramatization of climate shift is defended as being useful from the standpoint of educating the public.

    The principle that drives other branches of science should be equally applicable to climate research: dissent drives continued development, and differences of opinion are not unfortunate matters to be kept within the community. Silencing dissent and uncertainty for the benefit of a politically worthy cause reduces credibility, because the public is more well-informed than generally assumed. In the long term, the supposedly useful dramatizations achieve exactly the opposite of what they are intended to achieve. If this happens, both science and society will have missed an opportunity.

    Hans von Storch, 55, is the director of the GKSS Institute for Coastal Research (IfK) in Geesthacht, Germany, which researches water and climate in coastal areas. Together with Nico Stehr, 62, a sociologist at Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen, Germany,


    http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,342376,00.html

  • Comment number 91.

    Mr. Corbyn,

    FYI, there is an individual who identifies themselve as "dwrice" who routinely posts on the blogs of JD Delingpole (Daily Telegraph). He seems to have an axe to grind with you, very similar in tone and speech to the individual who identifies himself here as "Newdwr54".

    In fact VERY similar in tone and speech as Newdwr54.

    Not sure why these people want to shut the debate down, but have a guess as to why they do, :)

  • Comment number 92.

    @Tylertoo
    Welcome to your first comment with this BBC ID
    I'm not sure why people engaging in debate constitutes 'shutting a debate down'?
    It's OK to holding contrary views, it's how we learn.
    Mr Corbyn unfortunately only allows sycophants to post comments on his website, now that is shutting a debate down!

  • Comment number 93.

    #91. - Tylertoo wrote:
    "Not sure why these people want to shut the debate down, but have a guess as to why they do, :)"
    Surely discussing the accuracy or otherwise of any forecasts or statements FACTUALLY, is actually indulging in the debate, not "shutting it down".

  • Comment number 94.

    @ Athena2.

    In the spirit of ‘calming things down’ thanks for pointing out the one thing that Weather Action apparently has in common with Real Climate and Sceptical Science.

    For those with ‘honest doubts’ in this debate, then Dr Robert Brown’s response (to Bain et al) over at WUWT makes interesting reading...

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/22/a-response-to-dr-paul-bains-use-of-denier-in-scientific-literature/

  • Comment number 95.

    #83

    It is a weak solar magnetic field that is responsible. It is thought that the sun is due a pole switch. (Unless the ideas have changed again).

  • Comment number 96.

    This is a good page for all things Solar

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/solar/

  • Comment number 97.

    North-South South Solar Polar Fields

    http://www.leif.org/research/Solar-Polar-Fields-1966-now.png

    Remember the suns magnetic poles switch every solar cycle at the solar maximum

    http://www.solen.info/solar/cyclcomp.html

    The last solar maximum was in March 2000

  • Comment number 98.

    I know weather is hard to predict, but why do the bbc forecasts spend more time telling you what the weather has been than what it is going to be? You're lucky to get a proper 24 hr forecast, let alone a 3-5 day look ahead!

    Plus they can can change radically during the day. Monday sunny in hull, +5hrs Monday rainy in hull!

    A long range this is when the wet weather will turn would be nice! I'm looking at booking another holiday for July/August just to see the sun :(

    Ps:weather != climate! Plus 30 billion tonnes of anything into the environment has an effect. But even if you think we have no significant part to play with climate change, what exactly are we doing to change how and where we live to cope with the changes? Note some studies show the climate can change dramatically in a short a period as 20 years.

  • Comment number 99.

    mark - they have a higher success rate at predicting the weather that's just happened.

  • Comment number 100.

    Mark@98

    I wouldn’t book that holiday quite yet Mark – in 6 weeks time we could all be moaning about the record breaking heat wave conditions. That, of course, is my guess which may, or may not, turn out to be accurate. If anyone wanted something more accurate then they could analyze the finer details, bring in the HPC heavy guns and come up with the probability of it happening – but that would still be little more than an educated guess at this range. It is unbelievably difficult to be precise about a chaotic system, be it weather or climate, even if you could have all the initial conditions covered. In the immortal words of Neil Young – numbers add up to nothing.

    What’s required here is frankness and humility on behalf of forecasters – as is usually displayed by Paul and his colleague Richard Betts at the MO – and less hyperbole from other quarters.

    I could also add less gullibility on behalf of the MSM and the ‘general public’ – but that’s another story…

    PS - don’t bank on abrupt changes taking as long as 20 years – some estimates for Bond events are less than a decade…

 

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