A couple of weeks is a long time in the British climate. In late May we were being told to expect a 3 month heatwave, possibly even the ‘hottest summer ever’. The Sun, on May 22nd said:
The Weather Outlook today released its forecast for the next three months, predicting “above average” temperatures and “below average rainfall” across June, July and August.
It warned: “At this stage a summer with above average temperatures is thought probable.
“The signal for rainfall is weak, but it is slightly in favour of drier than average conditions over the three month period.“
Speaking to the Sun Online, the Met Office said early predictions had suggested “drier, warmer weather” than normal for the season.
Meteorologist Martin Bowles said: “There are broad suggestions that there is a slightly greater chance of dry and warm weather than average.
Well here we are, 10 days into the glorious, dry sunny summer heatwave and the outlook has changed ever so slightly.
With British temperatures recently rivalling the Mediterranean, it may have seemed that summer had firmly arrived.
But June is now odds on to be the wettest on record, with yellow weather warnings issued for the coming week and the country set to be deluged by heavy rain.
England is expected to see four days of rain, as forecasters at the Met Office warn of potential floods across the south east.
Meteorologists claimed that 20 hours of continual downpours could be seen on Monday.
But I am willing to bet my house, my car and my entire wardrobe that a couple of weeks is no time at all in Climate Change Cloud Cuckoo Land and that, if we do get a record wet June, this will be evidence of the ongoing climate emergency just as surely as a very hot June would have been irrefutable proof of ‘climate breakdown’.
So, just for the record, in anticipation of the coming storm of climate crisis attributions to the British weather, here are the facts on wet Junes. In the UK series, going back to 1910, June 2007 and June 2012 were the wettest on record, by some measure (we were told then that washout summers were the ‘new normal’ due to climate change). The third wettest was way back in 1912. Then 2018 happened and hot, dry, wildfire-ravaged summers were the new ‘new normal’. So I guess we’ll see a welcome return for the old ‘new normal’ now if June goes completely pear-shaped.
The longer running England and wales Precipitation (EWP) record – going back to 1766 – reveals a more interesting picture. June 2012 is still the wettest month on record, but very close behind is June 1860. June 1768 comes in third, 2007 in fourth place, then most of the other really wet Junes occur during the 19th century. So the pattern in England and Wales appears to be (if we get a record wet June this year), very wet Junes in the early 21st century and very wet Junes in the mid 19th century – when the CO2 induced climate crisis was supposedly only just beginning. I doubt that will stop the converts proclaiming that the UK June 2019 floods (if they happen) were due to climate change, further strengthening the case for net zero carbon by 2050, naturally (or should I say, anthropogenically).
The graph of precipitation for June in England and Wales since 1766 is reproduced below. It’s immediately obvious that the mid 19th century Junes were very wet, the 1920-70s were on average much drier and June has become very wet again in the 21st century. Looks suspiciously cyclical to me.