Around 19 April Piers Corbyn of WeatherAction.com made a prediction eastern and northern parts of Britain would have coldest or near coldest May for 100 years with 80% certainty of being coldest and 90% certainty of being in the 5 coldest years over the last 100 years.
Now it’s nearly the end of June we should be able to answer whether Piers was right.
And the answer, as far as I can tell, is it’s difficult to say. However I’m not going to be a tease so I’ll say I believe he was largely right but he missed the spike in temperatures at the end of May.
For people like Bob Meyrick the answer is easy Piers is wrong but the reason Bob thinks Piers is wrong is because he doesn’t like “right wing” papers like Telegraph and Mail supporting Piers.
Why do I bother? Because I dislike Piers Corbyn’s arrogance, I dislike the way the right-wing press (Telegraph, Mail and Express) use his pronouncements as a stick with which to beat the Met Office (it’s a government-funded organisation therefore it must be bad). I’m amused by his Dave Spart-like language (“Whacking the McWarmist deluded zealots”), though, probably a relic of his Marxist days. I suppose he doesn’t see his own zealotry.
Bob doesn’t seem any different to NAZIs who dismissed relativity as Jewish physics.
Piers didn’t explicitly state the region of UK he was saying would be cold, specifically which weather stations should be used to test his prediction.
As off 25 June these showed
Both CET and NetWeather.tv version show May as warmer than average but April and June as colder.
NetWeather.tv has a map showing the area it uses for it’s version of CET, clearly quite a bit of the west of England is included and a lot of the east of England is excluded especially the north and all of Scotland.
Although CET May average is 11.2°C Met Office regional averages for May show for UK as whole it is 10.0°C and for north and east Scotland it is only 8.1°C and 8.3°C.
Moreoever, while the monthly average for CET and UK was 0.5°C above average for north and east Scotland it was 0.1°C below average. All of which suggests monthly May average for east and north Britain (wherever that is) would be below the UK average of 10.0°C and long way below CET.
Here is a graph of average CET for month to date
There were a couple of above average days at the start of the month, then temperature dropped to over 1°C below average and stayed there until around 22. Then month ended with 5 or so hot days which lifted the monthly average above the long term average.
Apparently 1996 had the coldest UK May for the last hundred years when average temperature was 9.1°C.
We have seen that average CET for May is 1.2°C above UK average. So it is at least possible UK for part of the month was below 9°C, with the north and east of Britain being even colder.
Obviously this sort of argument is fairly hokey, the proper thing to do would be to get data from weather stations and work out the average. When I have time I may do it, or perhaps someone else will in the meantime.
It seems pretty silly to use monthly averages, why should the weather care what our calendar months are. Piers pointed out, in advance, for a time temperatures would be unusually cold and for 15 to 20 days they were. Roughly a month. This sort of prediction would be useful to growers and people in tourist industry.
Finally Piers’ prediction was part of a more general statement, the period of warming is over and we are now in a period of cooling. From the CET table it can be seen April was below average, June to date is below average and about 3/4 of May was below average. Looks like cooler to me.