17th November - Today's News: No, It Is NOT Forecast to be the Wettest Winter Since 1981


Another rant as the media run another load of complete twaddle, falsely claiming that heavy rain and strong gales expected in 'wettest winter since 1981'.    The Met Office have made no such claim and in any case, since last winter was the wettest on record, this winter can only either beat that, to be the wettest ever, or be the wettest since, er, last year ....  The Mail and most other newspapers - national and local - have made similar claims, which appear to have originated, in of all places,  The Sunday Times.  The full article is behind a paywall and I have not therefore read it all, but from the opening paragraphs this seems to be based on nothing more than the fact that the latest MetO contingency planner's forecast, issued last month, suggested a 25% probability that the period Nov-Jan will be wetter than average, and only 15% that it will be drier than average.    Expect a Met Office rebuttal of the claims later today.  

The Telegraph more accurately says only that 2014 on track to be one of the wettest years on record.

In the real world, landslide kills two as stormdeath toll hits 11 in Italy with 70 coffins "washed away" as floods and landslides hit Europe and six dead as floods hit south of France.  More pictures here of Italy's torrents of destruction

Queensland swelters in spring heat wave.   But was the 1896 heatwave deleted from the record? - as some climate change deniers claim?  No ...  A good article pointing out why some early data is not considered accurate and therefore excluded from the records.

And 6.5 magnitude earthquake shakes North Island's east coast

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