Are English Springs Getting Drier?

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By Paul Homewood

One or two dry springs, and the BBC goes into full hysterical climate alarm mode!

Scientists say the recent weather in the UK has been unprecedented and astounding.

Professor Liz Bentley, chief executive of the Royal Meteorological Society, told BBC News: “We’ve swung from a really unsettled spell with weather systems coming in off the Atlantic to a very, very settled spell.

“It’s unprecedented to see such a swing from one extreme to the other in such a short space of time. That’s what concerns me. We don’t see these things normally happening with our seasons.

“It’s part of a pattern where we’re experiencing increasingly extreme weather as the climate changes.”

Mark McCarthy, from the Met Office, said: “If we look at the difference in rainfall that’s fallen over the winter compared to spring it is the largest difference in rainfall amount in our national series from 1862.

“The sunshine statistics are really astounding.

“The stand out is by how much sunshine has broken the previous record – set in 1948. There’s been more sunshine than most of our past summer seasons. It’s quite remarkable.”

One of his colleagues described the figures as “absolutely staggering”.

Scientists suspect man-made climate change may be implicated, but it is too soon to tell.

Some of them believe the rapid man-made heating of the Arctic, which has led to record temperatures and wildfires in Siberia, may be influencing the jet stream, although that is not proven.

Professor Joe Smith, chief executive of the Royal Geographical Society, told BBC News: “For many people, the recent long sunny spell is simply ‘nice weather’.

“In a wider context it’s a signal of the increasing unpredictability of the UK’s climate. Planning for the growing season is starting to resemble a night at the gambling tables.

“The fact remains that bold early actions to slash emissions can still cut the larger risks associated with climate change in the UK and around the world”.

Two years later, we can see that the sunshine record of 2020 really was a one-off, and certainly was not caused by climate change, global; warming, melting Arctics or little green goblins!

Rainfall trends in Spring show no long term trends, and are at similar levels to most of the record up to 1960. There was a much wetter period in the 1980s, with a run of exceptionally wet springs; but these were the exception, not the norm. Sunshine hours have been pretty much stable since 1990, with the exception of course of 2020. The increase since the 1960s is almost certainly linked to reduced pollution following various Clean Air Acts.

Which brings us round to temperature trends in spring:

Average temperatures in England have risen by a degree since the 1940s, coinciding with about a 10% increase in sunshine hours.

A Met Office study in 2006 looked closely at climatic trends. They found a strong positive correlation between sunshine hours and temperature, particularly daily max:


The Met Office themselves believed that Clean Air Acts could be a factor in increased sunshine hours:


This study can no longer be found on the Met Office site, because it rather ruins their narrative.

Fortunately, it is still archived on Wayback.


JUNE 10, 2022