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April could be wettest on record in drought-hit Lincolnshire

Paul Hudson | 13:15 UK time, Monday, 23 April 2012

Low pressure will dominate the UK's weather for the rest of April, and possibly into early May, bringing further showers and longer spells of locally heavy rain.

In Lincolnshire, where the drought situation is amongst the worst in the country, some of the highest rainfall totals have been recorded so far this month.

In the 24 hours to 10am on Saturday morning nearly 40mm was recorded at Waddington in Lincolnshire, bringing their monthly total to 101mm, already more than double their monthly average of 47mm.

In records that date back to the end of the Second World War, April 2000 was the wettest with 124mm of rain.

Coningsby's records date back to 1968. Their wettest April on record was in 2000, with 101mm of rain. With a week of the month to go, 85mm has already been recorded at the station.

Latest estimates shown below suggest another 20mm across much of our region between now and the end of Thursday, with up to 50mm - around a month's worth - likely in some Southern parts of the UK.



With more expected after that for the remainder of the month, April could end up the wettest on record in Lincolnshire.

Follow me on twitter @Hudsonweather

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    the Holly bush knows all.

  • Comment number 2.

    Remember the 75-76 drought when it would take 10 years for the water table to recover and then it stared raining in late August and by the end of the year the water tables had recovered and the reservoirs were overflowing?

  • Comment number 3.

    Given the showery conditions, I am not sure how significant records for individual locations are, but no doubt this all points to above average regional and national rainfall figures.
    Of course, is only a matter of time before someone claims that the high rainfall figures are part of the "climate chaos", caused by "global warming".

  • Comment number 4.

    Cricket season?

  • Comment number 5.

    I wonder if Gaia is trying to tell us something, better ask James Lovelock what it all means!
    “The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books – mine included – because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn’t happened,” Lovelock said.

  • Comment number 6.

    My holly bush won't talk to me.

  • Comment number 7.

    #5. - ukpahonta wrote:
    "I wonder if Gaia is trying to tell us something, better ask James Lovelock what it all means!
    “The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books – mine included – because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn’t happened,” Lovelock said."
    What hasn't happened?
    I don't see what all of the mystery is about.
    The climate is doing what it has always done, just behaving chaotically.
    People are attempting to read significance into random events.
    Of course it is probably human nature to see patterns when there aren't any.

  • Comment number 8.

    ukpahonta,

    Good catch...some how I suspect the outraged Mann Made Global Warming Creationists (tm) will be getting all outrageously outragety any minute now! That guy is about to have a whole world of hatred unleashed upon him for having the temerity to question the religious dogma of Mann Made Global Warming (tm).

    Regards

    Mailman

  • Comment number 9.

    Mailman

    From previous post, no, I have to earn my money. ;-)

  • Comment number 10.

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

  • Comment number 11.

    I said when the mentioned drought, they better watch out for all the rain. For every action there is an equal an opposite reaction. When people get all alarmist about the country trends, a humans life span of 100 years, isn't much compared with 1000 years of weather. I am half way to 100 years and am not easily fooled by statistics, that spread false doom.

  • Comment number 12.

    A good time to remind you of the rules of the debate

    1) If it's hot and sunny it is caused my man-made carbon emissions, or
    2) If it's raining/snowing/cold it's climate change.

    As I have said many times, climate change has been occuring for millions and millions of years without any input from mankind. We weren't even here for most of it! To suggest that we can alter the forces of nature or climate is arrogant tosh and the biggest lie ever perpetrated on mankind as nothing more than a tax-fraud!
    Get the shale gas out NOW! and start building coal fired, nuclear and shale gas power stations. The hammer of the Green lobby, Christopher Booker pointed out that so called carbon capture, where the CO2 is (allegedly) piped underground,could potentially cause bigger problems than fracking! Have you noticed that after the last storms, when one turbine caught fire and another blew over, there has been no talk of a public enquiry as to their safety. What if someone had been killed? I demand that there should be one!

  • Comment number 13.

    I remember Gordon Brown crowing how he had broken the boom bust cycle, I don't need to remind you what happened next. I think the believers in Global warming by man will have the same rude shock. Has Gordon Brown said anything publicly since he left No 10. I am against fracking due to the environmental damage that it can cause in the water table and would be concerned that it could cause earth quakes. I wish people would get off the back of wind power, as along with the sun and waves, it is a good way of generating power.

  • Comment number 14.

    Hudsonfan@12

    I agree with your point about wind turbine safety. During the stormy weather last December we had 2 wind turbines blown over in the space of a week. The one nearest our house was ripped completely out of its foundations. It was interesting to see how the wreckage was removed within 24 hours and new foundations (only 20 yards away) were laid and an identical turbine errected within 2 weeks. No enquiry, no publicity and no involvement of the local authority. We live high in the Pennines and powerful gusts are a feature of the local weather, I'd put good money on the same thing happening again with similar conditions. It is only a matter of time before we have a serious accident.

  • Comment number 15.

    One must look at the longer term trends - ice cover, ocean pH, phenology and they are all pointing to changes that are too fast to be natural. This is consistent with a large percentage increase in some greenhouse gas concentrations and extra CO2 in the oceans.
    And this is not a healthy position to be in and will surely have a knock on effect - the unknown question is what and when. Lovelock is probably unduly pessimistic as what he also didn't take into account as well as the possible degree of buffering by the oceans are things he couldn't have expected. A good example I can think of is the man made perturbation of the nitrogen cycle which could prove to be quite significant.

    As an aside I would certainly put a bet on this being a significantly above average summer. Wet April/Mays usually give way to warm or hot conditions as the upper trough moves eastwards. This period reminds me of the set up in 1979 and more particularly 1983.

  • Comment number 16.

    Just breaking

    'Research by a Danish physicist suggests that the explosion of massive stars – supernovae – near the Solar System has strongly influenced the development of life. Prof. Henrik Svensmark of the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) sets out his novel work in a paper in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.'

    http://www.ras.org.uk/news-and-press/219-news-2012/2117-did-exploding-stars-help-life-on-earth-to-thrive

  • Comment number 17.

    @11 Tim said . . . "I am half way to 100 years and am not easily fooled by statistics . . "
    Think we're of similar age then Tim, but personally, I wouldn't dare tempt fate by suggesting I'm halfway to 100.

    Adrian - I'm sure I'm not alone in noticing how long term trends are only useful to AGW theory when the short term trends don't tell the right story. I've read recently that the longer term trend over 8000years or so, shows very little in the way of correlation between CO2 and temps. Presumably this is too long a period to expect any correlation.
    Ten years is, we are told, too short. Thirty years is apparently the gold standard - that is, until you look at thirty year periods (other than late 20thC) such as the early 20thC warming or the mid century cooling. Then magically, the century scale becomes a more important indicator.

    Changes too fast to be natural? No, I don't think so. Arctic Ice has 'previous' for sudden unexpected and unexplained changes. One only needs to read some historical texts or newspaper cuttings to see this. Remember, the satellite records only start in 1979, a time when it was widely thought that arctic ice was growing. Strangely, for some reason we don't see the 'gold standard' 30 year baseline applied to sea ice anomalies. Since we now have this 30 years data in hand - why not use it for the baseline?

  • Comment number 18.

    'Today the Royal Astronomical Society in London publishes (online) Henrik Svensmark’s latest paper entitled “Evidence of nearby supernovae affecting life on Earth”. After years of effort Svensmark shows how the variable frequency of stellar explosions not far from our planet has ruled over the changing fortunes of living things throughout the past half billion years. Appearing in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, It’s a giant of a paper, with 22 figures, 30 equations and about 15,000 words. '
    http://calderup.wordpress.com/

  • Comment number 19.

    Late in the day.

    I am not a statistician but bias should not be introduced in any way.
    Objectivity is a must in any scientific treatment. Yes you are right
    in thinking what is normal for a planet that has experienced such a large
    variety of climates in its history? Is the period 1961-90 normal? Only from our
    perspective.

    2 points though I haven't seen the plot for the last 8000 years you mention
    but generally the correlation between CO2 and temperature
    is plausible and is based on sound physics although when dealing with the effects on a complex system such as the earth's there are complexities.

    Secondly this Arctic ice retreat is noteworthy as we know that the North West Passage has not been navigable for a long time and yet it is tantalisingly close now.

    But the point I make is the rate of change which disturbs me both in ice cover and in phenology. It this rate of change that looks likely to be sustained with a significant risk of destabilising

  • Comment number 20.

    16 & 18 ukpahonta wrote:

    "It’s a giant of a paper, with 22 figures, 30 equations and about 15,000 words."

    That is an awful lot of indigestion, going to be quite awhile before the "learned ones" get a handle on it!

    But in the meanwhile that will not stop the immediate championing and debunking by those that “know”!

    Long, long way to go with this one, I am going to sit back and enjoy the ride.

  • Comment number 21.

    Late in the day. You maybe interested to hear that by 2030, gents will have caught up with ladies and the average person will live to 87. I am a positive thinker and not one to worry about walking under ladders or other superstitious things, like touching wood.

  • Comment number 22.

    Tim wrote:

    " I think the believers in Global warming by man will have the same rude shock."
    So will the laws of physics if the world you live in ever comes to be true.

  • Comment number 23.

    it has to be global weirding right? I mean i've never seen so much rain in april....golly gosh. Thanks BBC. Without a dumbed down Horizon to tell us how would we ever understand the world around us?

  • Comment number 24.

    Perhaps someone could explain how Henrik Svensmark’s new paper on how supernovae may affect life on Earth over geological time-scales impacts on showery weather in the UK in April?

    In any case, surely all this high rainfall is part of the climate chaos, caused by global warming?

    (Tip of the hat to QV @3 who gave me the idea for this post.)

  • Comment number 25.

    @24. newdwr54 wrote:

    “Perhaps someone could explain how Henrik Svensmark’s new paper on how supernovae may affect life on Earth over geological time-scales impacts on showery weather in the UK in April?”

    It’s the rays dude! The rays! Don’t hit me with them negative waves!

    Feel the positive vibes! They have taken over 900 years to get here and they are only a year or so late!

    It’s the rays dude! The rays!

  • Comment number 26.

    #24. - newdwr54 wrote:
    "In any case, surely all this high rainfall is part of the climate chaos, caused by global warming?
    (Tip of the hat to QV @3 who gave me the idea for this post.)"
    Yes, but I was being sarcastic, but I can't tell if you are being serious or not.
    I sincerely hope that you are not.

  • Comment number 27.

    Lazarus." I think the believers in Global warming by man will have the same rude shock." So will the laws of physics if the world you live in ever comes to be true.

    Lazarus. I predicted the banking crash 10 years before it happening, while all the powers that be were saying the opposite. Ridicule doesn't bother me, when I am confident in my own abilities.

  • Comment number 28.

    In the last blog 87. newdwr54 wrote:

    oldgifford wrote:

    "... I had established a correlation between the drift of the magnetic poles and global temperatures. I wanted to know if any of them could shed light on a possible cause. I considered cosmic rays and the solar wind the most likely because the drifting poles influence the position of the magnetosphere."

    It's the motivation that I wonder about, oldgifford.

    Why are we staring into the abyss of space, trying to attribute earth's surface warming to something exotic, and poorly understood, when we already have to hand an explanation that's relatively straightforward?”

    I’m surprised that you are questioning my pursuit of knowledge. When I read the various papers I picked up on a suggestion that the pole reversals might have something to do with climate so I investigated, that’s what scientists do. I was neither trying to prove or disprove anything, just check on a theory.

    We may have an explanation that’s relatively straightforward but you miss the point, the explanation is just that, an explanation, with no demonstrable correlations.

    Going back to my motivation, if everyone accepted explanations or theories without challenging them we would still be back in the stone age worshipping the sun. No electricity, no cars, not even a decent agricultural system.

    Have you read my paper? The correlations are statistically significant, even if as yet I have not discovered the cause.

  • Comment number 29.

    If the rain carries on like this in S25, I expect to see an arc floating past my window

  • Comment number 30.

    "As I have said many times, climate change has been occuring for millions and millions of years without any input from mankind."

    So have forest fires. Does that mean man can't start forest fires?

    "To suggest that we can alter the forces of nature or climate is arrogant tosh"

    It might be arrogant, but it's true.

    Similarly it might be considered arrogant to imagine man can dig up billions of tons of fossil fuels that have laid dormant for millions of years only to burn them all and release that carbon into the atmosphere in a matter of centuries. But it's true.

  • Comment number 31.

    At 14:00 24th Apr 2012, lateintheday wrote:
    "I'm sure I'm not alone in noticing how long term trends are only useful to AGW theory when the short term trends don't tell the right story. I've read recently that the longer term trend over 8000years or so, shows very little in the way of correlation between CO2 and temps. Presumably this is too long a period to expect any correlation."

    CO2 resembles a hockey stick over the past 8000 years:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/antarctic_cores_010kyr.jpg

    So the expected impact of CO2 would be almost entirely restricted to the 20th century, primarily in the second half.

    Does that mean temperature should be flat over the rest of the 8000 year period? No because natural forcings cause temperature changes too. The CO2 forcing is only thought to have started dominating over the natural ups and downs over the past 50 years.

    This is the whole thing climate scientists like Hansen were saying in the 80s that the human forcing was soon going to become strong enough to break through the natural variation and dominate the temperature trend.

    "Ten years is, we are told, too short."

    Because there are massive multi-year ENSO swings in the data. 10 years is usually fine, but in some 10 year periods you by chance can get El Ninos followed by running La Ninas, or vice-versa which biases the trend.

    "Thirty years is apparently the gold standard"

    Because ENSO swings average out to zero over such a period of time.
    "that is, until you look at thirty year periods (other than late 20thC) such as the early 20thC warming or the mid century cooling."

    Because at that point the human forcing hadn't increased enough and it was still competeing with natural variation, and if CO2 wasn't dominating the temperature trend then no correlation is expected.

  • Comment number 32.

    Tim wrote:
    "I am confident in my own abilities."

    It's called the Dunning–Kruger effect.

  • Comment number 33.

    Hudsonfan wrote:

    "To suggest that we can alter the forces of nature or climate is arrogant tosh"

    Pea soup fog, pollution, dust bowls, hole in the ozone, species extinction?

  • Comment number 34.

    Lazarus. One doesn't have to be a so called expert in a field to know what they are talking about. I and many others could probably run the country better than the current cabinet, who have more qualifications than I have had hot dinners, but little common sense.

  • Comment number 35.

    Update from Cern re CLOUD

    EUROPEAN ORGANIZATION FOR NUCLEAR RESEARCH

    2011 PROGRESS REPORT ON PS215/CLOUD

    "The nucleation observed in the chamber occurs at only one-tenth to one-thousandth of the rate observed in the lower atmosphere (Fig. 1).

    In view of the CLOUD results, the treatment of aerosol formation in climate models will need to be substantially revised since all models assume that nucleation is caused by these vapours and water alone.

    Secondly, CLOUD has found that cosmic ray ionisation can substantially enhance nucleation of sulphuric acid/ammonia particles—by up to a factor of 10."

    http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1435746/files/SPSC-SR-101.pdf?version=2

    I cannot claim to comprehend the ramifications of the above or fully understand the results, but I have no doubt that the great and the good will pass judgement shortly. With their own particular slant of course!:-)

    The above doc also lists their future plans.

    We live in interesting times.

  • Comment number 36.

    Lazarus @ 33. At least you agree that they are arrogant! I love visiting trade shows to see the people flogging solar panels,biomass,wind-power etc.especially when the claim they are playing a part in cutting global emissions. I always ask them "what is instance of CO2s in the atmosphere as a percentage, how much of the CO2s are man-made and how much occurs naturally, how much of the CO2s are needed for plant life etc..?" I have NEVER had a sensible answer in fact most of them don;t have a clue. Like when I asked one what is was now and what is the target,again...blank looks all round.
    It is nothing but a grubby tax grabbing exercise which hopefully will be exposed for the fraud it is before it's too late.
    I would love to know what you think would happen if say the whole world agreed to cut emissions by the agreed amount. Would be have a cold winter followed by a nice rainy spring, a lovely summer followed by a gentle autumn? The answer is, of course not! We would have the same erratic weather patterns that as I've said have been occuring for millions and millions of years. This plant is ruled by the forces of nature, always has been and always will be and I would stand by what I said when I said "arrogant tosh!"

  • Comment number 37.

    'The CLOUD4 and CLOUD5 runs in 2011 have revealed a number of important new findings which are currently being analysed. Several high profile (Nature/Science) manuscripts are in preparation.
    At least two of these will be submitted for publication before 31 July 2012. This date marks the submission deadline for papers to be eligible for inclusion in the 5th Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is due to be completed by the end of 2013.
    For the first time, a chapter in AR5 will be devoted to “Clouds and Aerosols”, and it will contain a section on the influence of galactic cosmic rays.'

    Interesting times indeed.

  • Comment number 38.

    Quake @ 31
    Your link seems to support what I had read elsewhere. That is, atmospheric CO2 rose slowly but steadily from around 8000 yrs BP whilst temperatures went slowly but steadily down.
    www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Holocene_Temperature_Variations.png

    I therefore fail to see how your own link supports your view.

    You then say "Because at that point the human forcing hadn't increased enough and it was still competeing with natural variation"

    But the warming period at the start of the 20thC is of a very similar nature to that of the late 20thC both in terms of trend and extent thus far.

    If the late 20thC warming is attributed to greenhouse gas forcing, that implies that the CO2 tipping point which overwhelms the natural variation had already been surpassed. And yet here we are, with very little change in temps for around 10 - 14 years despite the continued rise in CO2.

  • Comment number 39.

    Lazarus @ 33. "Species extinction?" Listen my friend. New species are being discovered year after year and probably at the same time loads will have died out without us even knowing about them! Can you give some examples of this which was caused by climate change and has it happened before or just when this whole nonsense started? As for dust bowls, I'll just assume you stuck that one in to pad out your response!

  • Comment number 40.

    To Adrian Buckland#15

    Yes, I wonder if you will be right about wet spring leading to hot summer.I certainly remember 1983, that you mention. As I remember it rained every single day (except the 31st) in May that year. July turnedout to be the warmest ever recorded (CET about 19c I think).

    This April is certainly a remarkable, extreme and erratic contrast with March - whatever you may or not believe is the "cause". Interesting.

    To others # various
    Personally, looking at it coldly, I tend to think it would be rather amazing if man had NOT had any influence on the climate - given our colosal impact on everything else. Why ever should the climate be immune?

    Even simple things like cultivated fields from cut forests. Notice in snowy weather how fields are brilliant white, while woods are dark - on a continental scale this must have a significant effect on surface albido. By comparison it seems almost foolish to imagine that pumping tons of CO2 into the atmosphere for centuries would have no impact.

    On a small scale, human impact is called altered microclimate (eg."urban heat island") On a large scale, its called altered climate!

  • Comment number 41.

    "I tend to think it would be rather amazing if man had NOT had any influence on the climate"

    Of course we do, so does every living creature!

    If a beaver builds a dam for its own benefit is it natural? If homo sapiens builds a dam for its own benefit is it any less natural?

    Stop hating yourself, there is good in homo sapiens and a lot more to come, if allowed to develop, but there is also an awful lot to fear in homo superbus!

  • Comment number 42.

    @40, jkiller56 wrote:

    “ … Personally, looking at it coldly, I tend to think it would be rather amazing if man had NOT had any influence on the climate - given our colosal impact on everything else. Why ever should the climate be immune?
    Even simple things like cultivated fields from cut forests. … “

    Very few people claim that man has had no effect on the climate. The complaint is that the effect of CO2 has been overstated and natural variation understated.

    You mention converting forests into fields. Far from claiming that this has no effect on climate many sceptics believe that changed land use has had a measurable effect with some believing it has had a greater effect than CO2.

    This is not new knowledge. More than 150 years ago Ascension Island was deliberately converted from a barren peak to a lush cloud forest by changing land use yet until very recently receding glaciers on Kilimanjaro were blamed on CO2 rather than deforestation.

    It is not sceptics who make these mistakes but rather those who are determined to blame everything on CO2.

  • Comment number 43.

    #41. - greensand wrote:
    "If a beaver builds a dam for its own benefit is it natural? If homo sapiens builds a dam for its own benefit is it any less natural?"
    The problem is that the Beaver is behaving instinctively and is unaware of the overall impact it is having on the environment.
    Humans may also be behaving instinctively, but we are aware of the damage we maybe doing and therefore have duty to take that into consideration.
    Also, the Beaver is subject to natural restrictions on it's population growth, whereas humans have increasingly found ways of avoiding these natural restrictions.

  • Comment number 44.

    @43 QuaesoVeritas

    Good points QV but it seill does not take away the fact that homo sapiens is acting just as naturally as the beaver. Homo sapiens will develop resources just the same as the beaver and will move on when the resources are depleated.

    Homo sapiens is just doing what comes naturally to homo sapiens. The only difference is that we have the understanding and the ability to conserve our resources, Whether we will do it and face our responsibilities is the crux, but for sure we will not do it by restricting our development.

    We will find ways to conserve our planet, it is inbuilt into our survival instincts, we hoard, we grow, we husband resources that is how we have developed. It will not stop! Our duty now is continue developing our technology and that will be attained by the minority elite restricting the development of the majority.

  • Comment number 45.

    #40. - jkiller56 wrote:
    "This April is certainly a remarkable, extreme and erratic contrast with March - whatever you may or not believe is the "cause". Interesting."
    I am not sure what is meant by "remarkable", but if it means "unusual" or even "unprecedented", that will be easy to measure.
    Last months rainfall for England & Wales, according to the HadUKP data series, which goes back to 1766, was 30.7mm. We don't know the final rainfall figure for April yet, but from my own rainfall readings in my own location, which may be above the national average, seems that a figure of well over 100mm is likely. That would mean April's rainfall would possibly be 300-400% of the March figure.
    The monthly HadUKP figures show 10 years since 1766 in which the April rainfall was more than 400% of the March figure. However, some of the high percentages are due as much to low figures in March as to high figures in April, and the years which have monthly rainfall figures for April of over 100mm and percentages of 300% and above are as follows:
    YEAR MAR APR %
    1829 25.7 123.4 480
    2000 32.7 142.6 436
    1935 25.4 101.6 400
    1966 34.7 111.5 321
    1828 34.3 102.8 300
    Of course, we won't know exactly where this year fits into this list until the official figures for April are published.

  • Comment number 46.

    Correction to my 44 above!

    The last sentence should read:-

    ..."and that will NOT be attained by the minority elite restricting the development of the majority."

    Original typed in a rush, should know better!

  • Comment number 47.

    OH NO!

    This must be global weirding!!

    They should increase taxes immediately

  • Comment number 48.

    #46. - greensand wrote:
    "Correction to my 44 above!
    The last sentence should read:-
    ..."and that will NOT be attained by the minority elite restricting the development of the majority.""
    Phew!
    I was worried about that sentence!

  • Comment number 49.

    Greensand - leaving ethics to one side for a moment, why do think that it will 'NOT be attained by restricting the development' etc.

  • Comment number 50.

    @49 lateintheday

    “why do think that it will 'NOT be attained by restricting the development' etc.”

    I don’t think we can put the genie back in the bottle; man will always strive to improve his lot, he might have to revise what his lot will be, but any revision will always be an improvement on what he already has.

    I suppose it is partly down to the definition of "development" but I don’t think it is possible to override man's inbuilt inherent ingenuity.

    My fear is that restricting development will result in conflict, sadly an area where man’s ingenuity has been all too evident in the past.

  • Comment number 51.

    greensand - thanks for that.

    "I suppose it is partly down to the definition of "development" but I don’t think it is possible to override man's inbuilt inherent ingenuity"

    You've not been to Hull then.

  • Comment number 52.

    Dear Paul. the Met Office 3month outlook, put together by your brand-new £60,000,000 computer, stated,"Summary. Precipitation. The forecast for average UK rainfall slightly favours drier-than-average conditions for April-May-June as a whole, and also favours April being the driest of the 3 months.
    With this forecast, the water resources situation in southern, central and eastern England is likely to deteriorate further during the period."
    The final sentence is a spectacular piece of bet-hedging.
    "The probability that UK precipitation for April-May- June will fall into the driest category is 20-25%, whilst the probability that it will fall into the wettest of our 5 categories is 10-15% (the climatological probability for each of these categories is 20%)
    What went wrong with the 3-month outlook?

  • Comment number 53.

    @52 Sorry, should have included the reference:
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/pdf/p/i/A3-layout-precip-AMJ.pdf

  • Comment number 54.

    @ grumpyoldman58

    Many thanks for the link, tough, tough job forecasting even when armed with "hints from some computer model forecasts"!

    "Predicting month to month variations in rainfall at longlead times
    remains very difficult. However there are hints from some computer model forecasts that as we move through May and on into June the jet stream over the North Atlantic may tend to edge southwards, which, if it happened, would probably lead to an increase in rainfall across the UK. Such a sequence would bear some resemblance to the evolution seen last year note on the right of Figure P3 how May and June in 2011 (grey symbols) were markedly wetter than April (pink symbol). It is mainly for this reason that April could well be the driest of the 3 months this year."

    Well I do sincerely hope that the MO has really got this wrong, because if April turns out to be the driest of the 3 months this year's growing season ain't going to be very good.

  • Comment number 55.

    #52. - grumpyoldman58 wrote:
    "What went wrong with the 3-month outlook?"
    Paul doesn't work for the MO any more, so it isn't for him to explain this, (although it would be interesting to see his input), but someone at there needs to explain it however.
    Of course, if this is based partially on computer forecasts, then it will probably be seen as a reason for spending even more money, on larger computers.
    It is interesting that as recently as March 23rd., the MO seemed to have no idea that April was going to be as wet as it has been.
    Are such forecasts generally available to the public? I was under the impression that they were restricted.

  • Comment number 56.

    Of course, following the logic of "Global Weirding", the very fact that the MO computer models *didn't* forecast this amount of rain, is further proof of "climate chaos".
    It isn't the models which are wrong, it's the weather!

  • Comment number 57.

    @55. Thanks QV, I must keep up. The forecasts are restricted, but they have a way of dribbling out into the public domain. Keep an eye on the Bish.

  • Comment number 58.

    #57. - grumpyoldman58 wrote:
    "@55. Thanks QV, I must keep up. The forecasts are restricted, but they have a way of dribbling out into the public domain. Keep an eye on the Bish."
    Thanks, it will be interesting to see if this is taken up by the mainstream press.

  • Comment number 59.

    grumpyoldman58,

    You should post it here:http://www.bishop-hill.net/discussion/post/1727950

    Richard Betts has recently indicated that as soon as he covers his deadline that he will call back there to catch up on questions.

  • Comment number 60.

    #57. - grumpyoldman58 wrote:
    "@55. Thanks QV, I must keep up. The forecasts are restricted, but they have a way of dribbling out into the public domain. Keep an eye on the Bish."
    Has this cropped up on B.H.?
    I had a quick look and couldn't find anything.

  • Comment number 61.

    @60 QV

    "Unthreaded"

    Apr 26, 2012 at 3:17 PM - Roger Longstaff

    http://www.bishop-hill.net/unthreaded/

  • Comment number 62.

    greensand,
    Thanks, I hadn't spotted that.

  • Comment number 63.

    53. grumpyoldman58:

    Thanks for the link. It looks like the Met Office based their prediction basically on previous April stats. If so, then they haven't learned anything from their disastrous 'barbecue summer' forecast of a few years ago.

    It's true that April has been a traditionally dry month in the UK over the past 30 years (driest of all according to my local weather station, and reducing by 4.3mm/decade - not including 2012). But if the MO based its long term weather 'outlook' on past stats alone, then it should make this clear to the public.

    When the MO start talking about computer modelling and 'expert opinion', and it all turns out to be wrong, then it is undermining its own public credibility. It is also undermining the public credibility of more careful, and less outspoken climate scientists.

    Put yourself in the MO's shoes though. Policy makers need to know what is *likely* to occur. So the MO's stats boffins come up with forecasts based on past performance. If they'd asked me then I would have said, in my simplistic way, that April is likely to be the driest month of the year - based entirely on the past 30 year's data. But I would have added a couple of caveats:

    i) This is solely based on probability; not modelling.
    ii) Every so often you get an outlier in statistics.

    The MO's long term weather forecast is every bit as reliable as Piers Corbyn's, based on this evidence.

 

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