Are winters becoming milder and wetter?

Figure 1

Q: Are winters becoming milder and wetter?

A: The short answer is yes they are. The Central England temperature series [CET] reveals that winters [DJF] are now on average 1°C warmer that they were 140 years ago back in 1878 (fig 1), and the England Wales Precipitation [EWP] series indicate that they’re also 18.6% wetter (fig 2).

Figure 2

Author: xmetman

An ex-metman passionate about all things to do with weather, climate and clouds

5 thoughts on “Are winters becoming milder and wetter?”

  1. Forecasters on the BBC were definitely backing off on how cold it was going to be over Easter.
    The trouble is, they were giving so many alternative scenarios, it was difficult to say what the forecast actually was.
    Even so, the maximum temperature over Easter for Whitley Bay is 5c, not ideal for a visit to the N E coast, but Easter is relatively early this year.

  2. I can’t see what event they’re talking about for Easter, it certainly will be on the cold rather than the mild side, but nothing exceptionally cold like at the start of March.

  3. Try rolling some dice to simulate random temperature/rainfall.

    That will produce short term trends which sometimes will show an increase and sometimes a decrease.

    Measure the trend starting from a low point and ending at a high point (which is effectively what we are doing with actual data),

    and that will produce an upward trend, but you wouldn’t look for an external cause or explanation.

  4. No I don’t think in fairness you can say that.
    It would need more than taking out a few outliers in a 140 year series to tilt that linear trend downward for either rain or temperature.

  5. But is it possible to say that this is due to anything more than random variation?
    Take out a few outliers and the trend would be reversed or non-existent.
    Clearly it was drier and cooler in the 19th century but in the absence of earlier data, how do we know whether
    that was “normal” or the exception?
    Temperatures and rainfall now are approximately the same as they were 100 year ago.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.