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Met Office’s stormy January was just average


THREE named storms, supposed record high temperatures, and headlines screaming about hurricane force winds, devastating flooding, weather destruction and chaos. You might be forgiven for wondering what happened to our weather last month!

But now the Met Office has published all the data, and it turns out January’s weather was actually boringly normal!

Mean temperatures for the month were bang on average, and the trend has been flat for the last two decades. Rainfall too was close to normal, with very little change in long term trends over the last hundred years.

But, I hear you say, what about all those storms? Surely they dumped lots of rain?

Not really – the wettest day was New Year’s Day, when 17.56mm fell across England and Wales during Storm Henk. And there have been 234 days since 1931 when at least 17mm has fallen. In other words, it’s the sort of event that takes place two or three times a year on average.

And that ‘record temperature’? It was set at one location in Scotland entirely because of a natural phenomenon called the Foehn effect, a localised occurrence that has no climatological significance whatsoever.

Across Central England, daily temperatures reached 13.3C in January, far from unusual for the month. There were many years in the 1910s and 20s which registered higher temperatures in January than this:

Meanwhile a new analysis of wind speeds at Bingley, near Bradford, shows that storms have been getting progessively weaker since the weather station was opened in 1972.

The chart below plots the highest wind speeds recorded each year. The strongest gust measured was 78 kts (90mph) in January 1984. By comparison, the highest so far this year was just 57 kts (65mph):

This backs up what the Met Office stated in their State of the UK Climate 2022 report last year:

Despite this, the Met Office still could not resist telling the lie that storms are getting stronger. One of their senior meteorologists, Clare Nasir, appeared on BBC Radio 5 following Storm Isha and claimed that the ‘more intense’ storms the UK is experiencing are caused by climate change. She went on to say that we could expect more extreme weather in future.

Maybe she should check the Met Office’s own archives. She would discover that extreme weather in winter is the norm, not the exception. For example, take a look at January weather in the early 1950s, as described by the Monthly Weather Reports:

1950 – Very mild, then very cold; heavy rain, considerable snow, and gales

1951 – Gales and floods

1952 – Snow and severe gales

1953 – Great North Sea Flood

1954 – Heavy rain, floods, severe gales, mild weather followed by very cold with thick snow

1955 – Weeks of severe wintry weather, which continued into March, described by the Met Office at the time as the worst since 1947.


Wind farm billionaire wants . . . more wind farms

MILLIONAIRE Labour donor Dale Vince is urging Sir Keir Starmer to borrow £50billion to boost Net Zero and banish fossil fuels from Britain’s energy infrastructure.

Vince has made his fortune out of building heavily subsidised wind and solar farms for the last 20 years so it’s not surprising that he wants more wind and solar farms to be built. However he does not explain why, if renewable energy is so cheap and profitable, the private sector cannot build them without government help.

It is estimated that Ecotricity, the company wholly owned by Vince, has received over £100million in subsidies over the years.

I have a suggestion. Since Vince is so desperate to save the planet, let him use that money to build some more wind farms, and give away the electricity.

Reality check for climate zealots

LABOUR have taken stick from the eco-zealots following their decision to scrap Ed Miliband’s pledge to waste £28billion a year of taxpayers’ money on green nonsense. Now they say they only want to waste £4billion!

The newish Climate Party, who claim to be pro-business, went as far as accusing Labour of betraying the public in this press release: ‘British people have been betrayed again by the Labour Party at the same time as the World heats up by 1.5C. Pathetic and spineless. Once again, a current political leader shows their party’s own self-interest comes above the country’s interests.’ 

Launched in 2022, the Climate Party seems to be based on two principles:

1)    The rest of the world is already moving ahead fast with decarbonisation;

2)    We should be at the forefront of the ‘new clean industrial revolution’.

The first assumption is plainly absurd. While UK emissions in 2022 were 226million tonnes pa lower than in 2008, when the Climate Change Act was passed, the rest of the world’s were 5,336million tonnes pa higher, and are still rising fast. 

Only six countries, including the UK, have laws mandating Net Zero. Most of the pledges and promises made elsewhere are worthless. For instance, will President Xi’s successor uphold his pledge to make China carbon neutral by 2060, even if that means destroying their economy and  standards of living? I think we all know the answer to that!

As for the idea that if we are the first lemmings over the cliff the whole world will be queueing up to buy our wonderful green technology and products, it is worth recalling that a certain G Brown promised 400,000 new green jobs by 2017 when he was PM.

The reality is somewhat different. The latest ONS figures say only 34,000 are employed in the renewable energy sector, just 10,000 more than in 2015. How many more jobs have been lost elsewhere in the UK economy as a direct result of Net Zero policies?

The only boom has come in posts, no doubt highly paid, with environmental charities, lobbyists, lawyers, consultants, quangos, civil servants and other parasites. The ONS say this sector now employs 67,000.

We are told we are the world’s leader in offshore wind, hardly surprising given that it is so expensive nobody else wants it. But where are the jobs it was supposed to bring? Most of the parts for wind turbines are made abroad, increasingly in China. It’s the same with solar panels and batteries. Our motor industry is under increasing threat from imports of cheap EVs from China, as I reported last week, while thousands of jobs are disappearing in the steel industry.

In Europe it’s just as bad, if not worse. Germany’s industrial output has been steadily declining since its peak in 2017, and is now 10 per cent below pre-pandemic levels, thanks to high energy prices and Net Zero regulations. The country’s chemical businesses are shutting down, while its motor industry too is also nervously looking over its shoulder at China.

The idea that the rest of the world would want to buy our products just because they are ‘green’, even though they would be much more expensive as a result, is a fantasy.

Above all, you cannot grow an economy by increasing costs and inefficiency, or by forcing people to buy goods they do not want and which are more expensive. Nor can you do it with hundreds of billions of government borrowing and subsidies.

It is the Climate Party which wants us to go down that route that is betraying the British people.

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Paul Homewood
Paul Homewood
Paul Homewood is a former accountant who blogs about climate change at Not a Lot of People Know That

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