Britain’s Weather Getting Wilder–BBC

By Paul Homewood



I previewed the BBC’s Panorama report on climate change earlier this week, concentrating on the Met Office’s meaningless projections. However, the programme fronted by Justin Rowlatt focussed largely on Britain’s so-called “wild weather” this year.

Naturally, this was accompanied by emotional footage of floods and so on, intended to give the impression that these were all the result of global warming.


The introduction gives a flavour of what was to follow, Here’s what Rowlatt said:

Britain’s weather is getting wilder. This year we have been soaked with record breaking rainfall and have sweltered in soaring temperatures. We’ve also seen some of our most extraordinary destructive weather yet…


But nothing which follows backs up his ludicrous assertions.

He goes on to state:

A year of weather extremes, which have shattered previous records. This year we have seen our wettest day on record, England’s driest May, a record breaking heatwave and more winter storms.

The main highlights were:

February Storms in England & Wales

Although rainfall that month broke the record for February, it was a long way from being the wettest month on record. In fact, it was only the 24th wettest month in England since 1862, and 14th wettest in Wales.

Moreover, the data shows there is no trend to monthly rainfall becoming more extreme – indeed the opposite is the case:




Rowlatt includes footage of Storm Ciara, mentioning wind speeds of 90mph. But these are measured at exposed cliff top sites, and are commonplace whenever a storm arrives on our shores. They bear no resemblance to windspeeds inland, despite Rowlatt’s clear intention to mislead the public that they did.

By the way, when Rowlatt went on to interview the Met Office’s Mark McCarthy and Lizzie Kendon, he might have asked them why the Met Office had failed to forecast February’s wet weather just a week or two before it hit! I would have thought that might be of some relevance, given that the pair of them claim that they know what our weather will be like in fifty years time!


Sunny Spring

Rowlatt then moves onto the sunniest spring on record (since 1920). Quite what this has to do with climate change, he does not explain. But more to the point, last spring was a long way from being the driest spring. Nor are dry springs becoming more common:

He also says that in England we had the driest May on record. Although technically true, May 1896 only received 1.6mm more rainfall, well within any margin of error. And there is absolutely no trend to May becoming drier:


August Heatwave

Rowlatt talks about sweltering in one of our most intense heatwaves yet, based upon a few hot days at Heathrow, when the thermometer peaked at 36.4C. He omits to tell viewers that temperature readings next to a tarmac runway are artificially raised.

In fact across England as a whole, there was nothing unusual about August’s temperatures at all:


According to the Central England Temperature series, which far more representative than Heathrow, we had three days over 30C this summer (marked in blue), which is not an uncommon event, and has occurred on six prior occasions since 1906.

It certainly was nowhere as extreme as the nine days recorded in 1976:


Meanwhile summer as a whole was pretty ordinary:


Coastal Erosion

There is also a segment on coastal erosion in Norfolk, which Rowlatt says is made worse by storms and rising sea levels.

He fails however to quantify how these storms are supposedly worse than before, or to explain that sea levels on the east coast have been rising at the same steady rate since the 19thC, and therefore have nothing to do with man made global warming.

He also fails to give any evidence that current erosion is any worse than it has been for centuries.


Stonehaven Derailment

Finally, Rowlatt quite shamefully covers the Stonehaven derailment, effectively blaming the deaths on global warming.

In fact, as the interim report from British Rail confirmed, the area received about 50mm of rain that day. But the data shows that there is nothing at all unusual about such amounts of rain there:


Daily Rainfall at Dyce – 1960 to 2018



All that Rowlatt has done is to report a small handful of weather events, none of which backs up his original claim that Britain’s weather is getting wilder.

In particular, he offers no evidence that similarly wild weather has not occurred regularly in the past.

He combines all of this with emotive footage, designed to make us all feel guilty, and then dresses it up with Met Office projections that our weather will become much worse.

It is, I am afraid, just another in a long series of biased climate propaganda programmes by the BBC, which fail to present all of the facts or objectively analyse them.


December 11, 2020 at 06:42AM

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