Met Office Caught Cheating Over Wind Speed “Records”

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By Paul Homewood

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You will recall my astonishment regarding Met Office claims that Storm Francis brought the highest ever gusts for August to parts of Britain this week. The claim was, of course, widely reported in the media, such as this grossly false claim by ITV:

https://www.itv.com/news/2020-08-25/highest-ever-gusts-of-wind-recorded-in-august-as-storm-francis-lashes-uk

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As several readers pointed out, what about the infamous Fastnet storm in 1979, or Hurricane Charley in 1986?

So I asked the Met Office how far back their records went for Aberdaron, Vyrnwy and Pembrey Sands. Given their reputation for deceiving the public, I can’t say I was surprised by their answer!

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In other words, none of these three stations had data for those earlier storms, and claims of “record” anything are utterly meaningless therefore.

So I also asked for Shobden and Pershore, and got more or less the same answer:

Pershore, by the way, only has gust data for 1973-77 prior to 1991, according to the Met Office’s MIDAS system.

So the best the Met Office could claim was that Francis was the strongest storm in parts of Wales since the 1980s.

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Let’s not beat about the bush. Claims of “record winds”, deliberately broadcast by the Met Office, are utterly dishonest and irresponsible. If a company made such claims in its advertising, it would hauled before the ASA.

Whether they knew the claims were fake is largely irrelevant. To release the news without proper checks shows that the Met Office are more interested in propaganda than the truth.

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What about Fastnet and Charley then?

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https://digital.nmla.metoffice.gov.uk/SO_672294fb-176b-4de6-b393-4ee3a1cacbad

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The Fastnet storm brought gusts of 75 mph to Milford Haven, and 59 mph and 56 mph to Elmdon and Watnall.

Bearing in mind that Aberdaron and Vyrnwy are cliff top and mountain sites respectively, they cannot be compared. (Indeed, it is noticeable when looking through the archives that sites like these never seem to be mentioned).

Milford Haven is broadly comparable to Pembrey, which recorded a much lower gust of 68 mph during Francis. Similarly Elmdon and Watnall suffered much stronger winds than Shobdon and Pershore.

The Met Office monthly report also gives the highest wind gusts for the month (marked with red cross and in knots):

https://digital.nmla.metoffice.gov.uk/SO_188c3ea1-cb33-4f98-80f6-45defa7944f5

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We can see that wind gusts of well over 40 kts were present across virtually the whole of England and Wales. The max gust at Pershore this week was 42 kts, yet nearby sites at Shawbury and Birmingham were hit with winds of 51 kts back in 1979. It seems extremely unlikely that Pershore escaped with much less then.

What we do know, in any event, is that gusts of 42 kts are not uncommon inland in August.

Clearly there can be no comparison between Fastnet and Francis, with the former being a much more powerful and widespread storm.

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Which brings us to Charley, which ruined Bank Holiday Monday in 1986!

https://digital.nmla.metoffice.gov.uk/SO_672294fb-176b-4de6-b393-4ee3a1cacbad

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Not that Charley was not the only storm to hit that month. As for Charley itself, a gust of 65 kts was recorded at Brixham, compared to 59 kts at Pembrey this month. Both are coastal sites.

Again, the detailed monthly report from the Met Office shows that gusts of 40 kts and more were widespread across Wales and the South West, suggesting there was nothing unprecedented about Francis:

https://digital.nmla.metoffice.gov.uk/IO_8330f12b-ecc0-43f7-ba6d-766e0251cfe4

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September 2, 2020 at 12:12PM

Author: uwe.roland.gross

Don`t worry there is no significant man- made global warming. The global warming scare is not driven by science but driven by politics. Al Gore and the UN are dead wrong on climate fears. The IPCC process is a perversion of science. View all posts by uwe.roland.gross