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Posted
  • Location: Darlington
  • Weather Preferences: Warm dry summers
  • Location: Darlington

The UK has just experienced its "weirdest" weather on record, scientists have confirmed.

The driest spring for over a century gave way to the wettest recorded April to June in a dramatic turnaround never documented before.

The scientists said there was no evidence of a link to manmade climate change.

But they say we must now plan for periodic swings of drought conditions and flooding.

The warning came from the Environment Agency, Met Office and Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) at a joint briefing in London.

Terry Marsh from the CEH said there was no close modern precedent for the extraordinary switch in river flows. The nearest comparison was 1903 but this year was, he said, truly remarkable.

What was also remarkable - and also fortunate - was that more people did not suffer from flooding. Indeed, one major message of the briefing was that society has been steadily increasing its resilience to floods.

Paul Mustow, head of flood management at the Environment Agency, told BBC News that 4,500 properties were flooded this year. "But if you look back to 2007 when over 55,000 properties were flooded we were relatively lucky - if lucky is the right word - for the impacts we saw this summer," he said.

"The rainfall patterns affected different areas - and also there were periods of respite between the rain which lessened the impact."

Sarah Jackson from the Met Office confirmed that they did not discern any pattern that suggested manmade climate change was at play in UK rainfall - although if temperatures rise as projected in future, that would lead to warmer air being able to carry more moisture to fall as rain.

She said that this year's conditions were partly caused by a move to a negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation which would be likely to lead to more frequent cold drier winters - like the 1960s - and also wetter summers for 10-20 years.

"Longer term we will see a trend to drier summers but superimposed on that we will always see natural variability," she said.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19995084

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Posted
  • Location: Ireland, probably South Tipperary
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, Snow, Windstorms and Thunderstorms
  • Location: Ireland, probably South Tipperary

I find it odd that they say there is no evidence of a link to climate change, when there is plenty of evidence, just not quite conclusive yet. Still though, pretty interesting.

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Posted
  • Location: Mostly Watford but 3 months of the year at Capestang 34310, France
  • Weather Preferences: Continental type climate with lots of sunshine with occasional storm
  • Location: Mostly Watford but 3 months of the year at Capestang 34310, France

I don't know what is so weird about the weather we have been having lately - our climate/weather has always been rather changeable with some notable climaxes at times.

Off the top of my head and prior to our present era, there are the winters of 1947 and 1963 - it was also pretty bad circa 1940 - prior to the current year we had notable summers in 1959 and 1976 and a period of drought in the 70's.

We had the storm of October 1987 and quiet a few others prior to that - don't forget that it was stormy conditions which were the death knell of the Spanish Armada. Flooding has occcurred on numerous occasions, though nowadays it is more noticable because some silly idiots are building on flood plains - the presence of so many more hard surfaces such as increased road areas, car parks and the number of hard driveways built at peoples' houses make it that much more difficult for the water to soak into the ground and they all add up.

In short our weather can often be and has been out of the ordinary and it is not remarkable that we go through a certain number of years of warmth, then cold, then wet, then drought - having a maritime climate we are at the mercy of the weather gods and likely to be so for the foreseeable future.

I think that too much is being read into a relatively short period of stats.

Edited by mike Meehan
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Posted
  • Location: Ribble Valley
  • Location: Ribble Valley

I find it odd that they say there is no evidence of a link to climate change, when there is plenty of evidence, just not quite conclusive yet. Still though, pretty interesting.

Weather is weather and extremes in weather have been well documented throughout history, there is nothing exceptional regarding our weather, unusual yes.
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Posted
  • Location: Solihull, West Midlands. - 131 m asl
  • Weather Preferences: Sun, Snow and Storms
  • Location: Solihull, West Midlands. - 131 m asl

I don't know what is so weird about the weather we have been having lately - our climate/weather has always been rather changeable with some notable climaxes at times.

Off the top of my head and prior to our present era, there are the winters of 1947 and 1963 - it was also pretty bad circa 1940 - prior to the current year we had notable summers in 1959 and 1976 and a period of drought in the 70's.

\\

We had the storm of October 1987 and quiet a few others prior to that - don't forget that it was st

ormy conditions which were the death knell of the Spanish Armada. Flooding has occcurred on numerous occasions, though nowadays it is more noticable because some silly idiots are building on flood plains - the presence of so many more hard surfaces such as increased road areas, car parks and the number of hard driveways built at peoples' houses make it that much more difficult for the water to soak into the ground and they all add up.

In short our weather can often be and has been out of the ordinary and it is not remarkable that we go through a certain number of years of warmth, then cold, then wet, then drought - having a maritime climate we are at the mercy of the weather gods and likely to be so for the foreseeable future.

I think that too much is being read into a relatively short period of stats.

I agree with this post.

Also add in the drought of 1976 was broken by a month of rainfall and do not forget the East Coast floods of 1952. Weather has always fluctuated at times violently in the British Isleam. It always will.

People (mainly younger) will always look for the cause being accentuated by GW, but they should spend more time looking back at past weather. PS I am not a denier of some form of Global Warming, just that the hype is completely over the top.

MIA

Edited by Midlands Ice Age
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Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......

I find it odd that they say there is no evidence of a link to climate change, when there is plenty of evidence, just not quite conclusive yet. Still though, pretty interesting.

Hi BFTV!

Seeing as most of the Jet pattern 'weirdness' is being investigated for links with low snow/ice conditions in the Arctic maybe there are no 'human' drivers apparent?

Since the beggining of the noughties the largest of the current 'natural' positive feedbacks ,as a result of a smaller human forcing human forcing, has taken over the decline in snow/ice levels (IMHO) and lead to a large jump in the 'Albedo flip' we now see across the north (esp. the Greenland ice sheet this past summer?). This feedback has lead to the rapid volume loss in the remaining ice post the 07' 'perfect storm' and seems set to remove summer ice across the basin well before 2030.

The next large 'feedback loop' will be the carbon now entering the system from Permafrost melt (land and submerged) but again will be linked to a 'natural' feedback due to the first positive feedback loop strengthening (snow/ice loss) as summer temps across the Arctic continue to sky rocket. I'm sure that there were individual temp records set around the Arctic region in the past but the geographic scale of the high temp anoms around the basin show us that this is different to past 'weather' variations.

I've always maintained that man would provide the impetus for change but that , at some point if we were dumb enough to allow it , Nature would take over and rapidly establish a new balance point for the atmospheric concentrations of GHG's.

High CO2 has always seen high global temps. Low CO2 has seen low global temps (and ice ages). We now have high CO2 and Nature will have her 'balance'.

Natural variation will still occur but as we saw with the last La Nina, even cold drivers are now setting record high temps?

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Posted
  • Location: Croydon. South London. 161 ft asl
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms, snow, warm sunny days.
  • Location: Croydon. South London. 161 ft asl

I don't know what is so weird about the weather we have been having lately - our climate/weather has always been rather changeable with some notable climaxes at times.

Off the top of my head and prior to our present era, there are the winters of 1947 and 1963 - it was also pretty bad circa 1940 - prior to the current year we had notable summers in 1959 and 1976 and a period of drought in the 70's.

We had the storm of October 1987 and quiet a few others prior to that - don't forget that it was stormy conditions which were the death knell of the Spanish Armada. Flooding has occcurred on numerous occasions, though nowadays it is more noticable because some silly idiots are building on flood plains - the presence of so many more hard surfaces such as increased road areas, car parks and the number of hard driveways built at peoples' houses make it that much more difficult for the water to soak into the ground and they all add up.

In short our weather can often be and has been out of the ordinary and it is not remarkable that we go through a certain number of years of warmth, then cold, then wet, then drought - having a maritime climate we are at the mercy of the weather gods and likely to be so for the foreseeable future.

I think that too much is being read into a relatively short period of stats.

Excellent post...good.gif

Between three big organisations, I can't believe there's no one there with a bit of common sense to point out that fact.

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Posted
  • Location: Ireland, probably South Tipperary
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, Snow, Windstorms and Thunderstorms
  • Location: Ireland, probably South Tipperary

Weather is weather and extremes in weather have been well documented throughout history, there is nothing exceptional regarding our weather, unusual yes.

Not sure why your arguing with the word exceptional?

Anyway, it's all down to what is influencing our weather. For someone to say there is no evidence, is simply wrong. As I said, there is evidence that our recent weather patterns have been influenced by climate change, regardless of whether or not you believe it's man made.

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Posted
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon

I don't know what is so weird about the weather we have been having lately - our climate/weather has always been rather changeable with some notable climaxes at times.

Off the top of my head and prior to our present era, there are the winters of 1947 and 1963 - it was also pretty bad circa 1940 - prior to the current year we had notable summers in 1959 and 1976 and a period of drought in the 70's.

We had the storm of October 1987 and quiet a few others prior to that - don't forget that it was stormy conditions which were the death knell of the Spanish Armada. Flooding has occcurred on numerous occasions, though nowadays it is more noticable because some silly idiots are building on flood plains - the presence of so many more hard surfaces such as increased road areas, car parks and the number of hard driveways built at peoples' houses make it that much more difficult for the water to soak into the ground and they all add up.

In short our weather can often be and has been out of the ordinary and it is not remarkable that we go through a certain number of years of warmth, then cold, then wet, then drought - having a maritime climate we are at the mercy of the weather gods and likely to be so for the foreseeable future.

I think that too much is being read into a relatively short period of stats.

Have you read the report from the CEH?

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Posted
  • Location: Ireland, probably South Tipperary
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, Snow, Windstorms and Thunderstorms
  • Location: Ireland, probably South Tipperary

I don't know what is so weird about the weather we have been having lately - our climate/weather has always been rather changeable with some notable climaxes at times.

Off the top of my head and prior to our present era, there are the winters of 1947 and 1963 - it was also pretty bad circa 1940 - prior to the current year we had notable summers in 1959 and 1976 and a period of drought in the 70's.

We had the storm of October 1987 and quiet a few others prior to that - don't forget that it was stormy conditions which were the death knell of the Spanish Armada. Flooding has occcurred on numerous occasions, though nowadays it is more noticable because some silly idiots are building on flood plains - the presence of so many more hard surfaces such as increased road areas, car parks and the number of hard driveways built at peoples' houses make it that much more difficult for the water to soak into the ground and they all add up.

In short our weather can often be and has been out of the ordinary and it is not remarkable that we go through a certain number of years of warmth, then cold, then wet, then drought - having a maritime climate we are at the mercy of the weather gods and likely to be so for the foreseeable future.

I think that too much is being read into a relatively short period of stats.

The thing that most people seem to get confused with here, is that much like climate, weather will react to whatever forces it. The loss of snow cover and sea ice and it's influences on mid-latitude weather is no longer simply a topic of discussion climate threads, but is being taken into account in long range forecasting now (even by the likes of GP and Steve Murr here), the links are also being borne out in the results of numerous scientific studies, which a piling up at the moment.

The Met-Office claim that the turn around from drought to prolonged above average precip seen this year has never been documented before. If you want to claim that this is actually nothing unusual, you need more than anecdotes and opinion to disprove that.

Yes, British weather has always been variable, there has always been mild/cold, drought/flood, calm/storms, but the current patterns, especially the upper level flows now are different to anything that's been documented before.

The planet is one huge interconnected system. Changing it's surface and the measures of so many aspects in the way we have is going to have large scale ramifications, which we are really beginning to see now for the first time.

Just a look at how reduced the meridional thickness gradient has become in recent Autumns and Winters due to heat release from the Arctic Ocean. How could such a massive and new change not affect our weather?

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Posted
  • Location: Paris suburbs
  • Location: Paris suburbs

I don't know what is so weird about the weather we have been having lately - our climate/weather has always been rather changeable with some notable climaxes at times.

Off the top of my head and prior to our present era, there are the winters of 1947 and 1963 - it was also pretty bad circa 1940 - prior to the current year we had notable summers in 1959 and 1976 and a period of drought in the 70's.

We had the storm of October 1987 and quiet a few others prior to that - don't forget that it was stormy conditions which were the death knell of the Spanish Armada. Flooding has occcurred on numerous occasions, though nowadays it is more noticable because some silly idiots are building on flood plains - the presence of so many more hard surfaces such as increased road areas, car parks and the number of hard driveways built at peoples' houses make it that much more difficult for the water to soak into the ground and they all add up.

In short our weather can often be and has been out of the ordinary and it is not remarkable that we go through a certain number of years of warmth, then cold, then wet, then drought - having a maritime climate we are at the mercy of the weather gods and likely to be so for the foreseeable future.

I think that too much is being read into a relatively short period of stats.

Your post seems to almost be suggesting someone's claimed that extreme weather never happened until now... You're simply using anecdotes to deny the original article.

I think the first line is perhaps a bit misleading: it's simply that the change from moderate drought to extreme wetness has, statistically, never been so rapid.

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Posted
  • Location: Mostly Watford but 3 months of the year at Capestang 34310, France
  • Weather Preferences: Continental type climate with lots of sunshine with occasional storm
  • Location: Mostly Watford but 3 months of the year at Capestang 34310, France

Your post seems to almost be suggesting someone's claimed that extreme weather never happened until now... You're simply using anecdotes to deny the original article.

I think the first line is perhaps a bit misleading: it's simply that the change from moderate drought to extreme wetness has, statistically, never been so rapid.

I believe that the summer/autumn of 1976 showed quite some contrast between very dry and very wet conditions. In fact the rains came just as the government appointed a minister for drought. There's nothing new in having a relatively dry winter followed by a wet summer and statistically more rain falls in summer than winter anyway with February being on average one of the driest months of the year.

I can't be 100% certain about this but as far as I am aware detailed observations and stats have been kept in this country on a centrally organised basis since 1854 since the formation of the Meteorological Office. Prior to this details of weather happenings were ad hoc entries in various diaries, ship's logs, newspaper reports etc. and other historical records. Whilst all these were well meaning we cannot vouch absolutely for the absolute accuracy of such reports, which although they can give a fair idea of the weather conditions at the time cannot be regarded as having the same accuracy as current observations and statistics.

So in short, those basing their opinions on accurate stats can really only go back just short of 160 years at the most, which isn't that long in the big scheme of things, especially when you consider that from the start of the medieval warming period to the end of the Little Ice Age was measured in hundreds of years and prior to that there was a warm period during the time of the Roman occupation. Even then the stories of the ice fairs on the Thames would not occur the same nowadays because changes in the river embankments mean that now it is faster flowing.

Going further back we can get rough estimates of the types of seasons we were having from such things as core samples a tree rings but these are rarely going to record individual events unless there is some catastrophic evidence still laying around,say in the form of fallen trees, so since the end of the last ice age, the best we can do is to draw a broad view of former conditions.

Edited by mike Meehan
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Posted
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon

I believe that the summer/autumn of 1976 showed quite some contrast between very dry and very wet conditions. In fact the rains came just as the government appointed a minister for drought. There's nothing new in having a relatively dry winter followed by a wet summer and statistically more rain falls in summer than winter anyway with February being on average one of the driest months of the year.

I remember 1975/6 but the dryness of last winter early spring was somewhat masked by it being in the winter. For example, April aquafer levels were below those of 1976. I'd also guess that only in some places is February a dry month compared to summer.

The CEH report really is worth reading!

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Posted
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and lots of it or warm and sunny, no mediocre dross
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl

Hi BFTV!

Seeing as most of the Jet pattern 'weirdness' is being investigated for links with low snow/ice conditions in the Arctic maybe there are no 'human' drivers apparent?

Since the beggining of the noughties the largest of the current 'natural' positive feedbacks ,as a result of a smaller human forcing human forcing, has taken over the decline in snow/ice levels (IMHO) and lead to a large jump in the 'Albedo flip' we now see across the north (esp. the Greenland ice sheet this past summer?). This feedback has lead to the rapid volume loss in the remaining ice post the 07' 'perfect storm' and seems set to remove summer ice across the basin well before 2030.

The next large 'feedback loop' will be the carbon now entering the system from Permafrost melt (land and submerged) but again will be linked to a 'natural' feedback due to the first positive feedback loop strengthening (snow/ice loss) as summer temps across the Arctic continue to sky rocket. I'm sure that there were individual temp records set around the Arctic region in the past but the geographic scale of the high temp anoms around the basin show us that this is different to past 'weather' variations.

I've always maintained that man would provide the impetus for change but that , at some point if we were dumb enough to allow it , Nature would take over and rapidly establish a new balance point for the atmospheric concentrations of GHG's.

High CO2 has always seen high global temps. Low CO2 has seen low global temps (and ice ages). We now have high CO2 and Nature will have her 'balance'.

Natural variation will still occur but as we saw with the last La Nina, even cold drivers are now setting record high temps?

No it's not:

http://jisao.washington.edu/pdo/PDO.latest

As for the article and the recent weather, the history books tell the story of this not being unique to our times.

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Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

I find it odd that they say there is no evidence of a link to climate change, when there is plenty of evidence, just not quite conclusive yet. Still though, pretty interesting.

I don't find it odd at all, BFTV...But I'm sure that it's part of 'natural' climate change...Surely the state of the NAO isn't dictated by anthropogenic CO2...

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Posted
  • Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Location: Bratislava, Slovakia

I don't deny that the climate is changing, but I always get annoyed whenever certain weather events are used as evidence for it. I remember in 2000 people were blaming the record-wet autumn on climate change, but we haven't had an autumn anything like it since.

We had a very dry spring last year and a very wet summer this year - what about the four seasons in-between?

Edited by AderynCoch
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Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

The UK has just experienced its "weirdest" weather on record, scientists have confirmed.

The driest spring for over a century gave way to the wettest recorded April to June in a dramatic turnaround never

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19995084

As I said in another thread, how it can be described the driest spring for over a century when April and May are spring months? It doesn't make sense. And we only have to go back to 2007 to see something similar happened as with this year.

And has it been that weird? Temperature wise it hasn't really. March was tending to the extreme and February was a contrasting two half but the other months were not exceptional at least for the CET. Rainfall was a bit topsy turvy but so have previous years such as 2007.

If you want to see a really strange year just look at 1817.

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Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2011/9

C'mon J'! Last Sept was still PDO-ve with an attendant La Nina yet we see the 4th warmest sept of it's kind? What kind of climate sense does that make?

The last two , back to back Nina's have been the 'warmest ever recorded' and that is within it's favoured PDO-ve.

As has been said no matter what extreme we see something drives it and these extremes do not seem to be following the 'old' style drivers any more?

What is offsetting the cold drivers to the point that we are seeing warm driver type records being broken?

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Posted
  • Location: North York Moors
  • Location: North York Moors

In Western Europe, the United Kingdom marked its warmest September since 2006 and sixth warmest in the last 100 years, at 1.5°C (2.7°F) above the 1971–2000 average, according to the UK Met Office.

Is this right, it was below normal here.

As has been said no matter what extreme we see something drives it and these extremes do not seem to be following the 'old' style drivers any more?

I've no idea how you can assert this, various examples have been given of previous unusual and extreme events and periods with more extremes than 'normal' it's usually referred to as 'weather' with no need to invoke some dark forces at work.

Every now and then a particular point on the globe is just a bit unlucky.

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Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

There have always been extremes of weather across the globe, but when the frequency of extremes above a certain threshold increases (to a degree that reaches at least the 95% confidence level, as defined by various statistical analysis methods) then there is a strong implication that the climate is changing.

I don't think the evidence for human impacts on rainfall patterns and extremes is as compelling as it is re. temperature, but then again, there's the issue that a significant change in the mean global temperature is likely to impact on atmospheric circulation and therefore rainfall.

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Posted
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon

In Western Europe, the United Kingdom marked its warmest September since 2006 and sixth warmest in the last 100 years, at 1.5°C (2.7°F) above the 1971–2000 average, according to the UK Met Office.

Is this right, it was below normal here.

You are linking to the 2011 summary. The figures given for 2011 are correct.

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Posted
  • Location: South Yorkshire
  • Location: South Yorkshire

There have always been extremes of weather across the globe, but when the frequency of extremes above a certain threshold increases......

Ah the perils of the Communication Age - how many 'events' would have gone unreported,say 30 years ago? And what's the threshold between normal/noteworthy/extreme?

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Posted
  • Location: Solihull, West Midlands. - 131 m asl
  • Weather Preferences: Sun, Snow and Storms
  • Location: Solihull, West Midlands. - 131 m asl

You are linking to the 2011 summary. The figures given for 2011 are correct.

Sorry I was about to quote the 2012 CET for September being -0.6C below the 1971 - average. I now realise the data was cherry picked for September 2011.

MIA

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