On August 24th, the UK Met Office issued their 3-month outlook, which forecast
SUMMARY: TEMPERATURE: The balance of probabilities suggests that September will be slightly warmer than average.
It will therefore have come as no surprise that September in the UK turned out much colder than normal, in fact 0.7C colder than the 1981-2010 baseline, and the coolest since 1994. Incidentally, the CET numbers suggest the YTD figure is running close to the 30 year average for the year as a whole.
Still, maybe they fared better with their rainfall forecast.
SUMMARY: PRECIPITATION: For UK averaged rainfall the predicted probabilities weakly favour below normal values during September.
Woops! Rainfall was 17% above normal!
With this level of competence, do they seriously expect us to believe their predictions for the end of the century?
By the way, while we are looking at September’s weather, I really cannot allow the Huff Post to get away with the drivel that they print. They claimed that
Britain has been hit with the most extreme September weather for decades, with hundreds evacuated from their homes and fire and rescue teams battling against the floods to help residents of some of the worst-hit areas.
According to Philip Eden, one of the UK’s best known meteorologists, the heaviest rainfall recorded was 131mm over three days at Ravensworth, N Yorks. He points out that exactly the same amount of rain fell in a storm in September last year, although this was in the Scottish Highlands, where less damage was caused.
We can find a similar event in England in September 2008. As the Met Office map below shows, three day rainfall was greater and more extensive, with areas of Northumberland exceeding 150mm ( see table here).
And if you really want an example of extreme September weather, you need to go back to 1968, which Philip Eden describes as “probably the most severe inland flood to hit the Home Counties in the last 100 years”. According to Eden, “a sizeable area covering much of Surrey, west Kent, southeast London and south Essex was deluged with more than 150mm of rain, and two rainfall-recording sites in Essex - Tilbury and Stifford - received slightly more than 200mm, which is more than they had had during the whole of the summer quarter.”
Still, when did the Huff let facts get in the way of a bit of propaganda?