Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Will WUWT's David Archibald be right and severe cold hit Central England?

Sou | 3:01 PM Go to the first of 7 comments. Add a comment

Anthony Watts of WUWT infamy favours David Archibald, who makes funny sunny predictions.  This time Archibald is asking if Central England will have a sudden drop in temperature for a bit.  He bases his surmise on "wiggle matching" with the temperature drop in 1740.  The Archibald post oddly enough comes straight after a post by a physicist denier, rbgatduke, who slammed Christy and Monckton for what he saw as their abuse of statistics and charting.

Anyway, I thought I'd do some pattern matching of my own to see how well that would have worked for David Archibald in the past.  I've superimposed the bit around 1740 onto what look like the closest matches later on.  Same as David Archibald did only he just did it for the current period.

Here's the result - you'll probably have to click on the animated gif chart to see the larger version.

Source: Adapted from UK Met - Hadley Centre

So there was a dip in the late 1879, but not as great as the 1740 drop, other than that nothing.  Like David Archibald says, we'll have to wait and see.  With the jet stream the way it is, climate change and the weather in the UK being a bit weird lately, I suppose anything could happen.

There is a paper on the 1740 event written by Dr Phil Jones but I can't find a full copy.  Here is another paper by Dr Jones (2008) that touches on the subject and is a good read in its own right; and a myth-buster.


Here's an animated chart for anonymous in the comments, to put the weather in the UK during March 2013 and December 2010 into context of the whole world.  Winter still happens, it's just that when taken over the whole world, the earth's land and sea surfaces are considerably warmer than they used to be early last century.  There are still "cold" records being set, but not nearly as many as "hot" records.

Data source: NASA


  1. There is no chance whatsoever for such a 1740-like value. Nil. Even given the exact same circulation patterns as that unique year you have to add 2-3.5° C for all air flow from sea in all seasons, and a degree or more for all continental air flows except midwinter (no change). What a cuckoo's nest there.

    In Holland, 1740 gave only 4 days over 20° C, max (in Haarlem) was 22° C. In Holland, yesterday went to 30-33° C and last night was a date record minimum temp - the second for this month of June :D

    1. Oh I don't know. Maybe we should ask an economics professor from the U Sussex to run the numbers, check for clusters and skew, and bootstrap just to make sure :D

    2. Ugh apparently I'm losing friends faster than the Arctic is losing ice these days... :)

  2. Hey, so it's going to be as cool as 1956 or even earlier!? Where have I heard that before?

  3. cRR Kampen, according to your thinking, there should have nil chance of December 2010 and March 2013 being so cold for the UK.

    1. In case cRR doesn't see your comment, I've added an update to the article for you. You appear to be confusing seasonal weather in a single location with global surface temperatures.

      Winter still happens, as does spring, summer and autumn. In some places it will still get very cold sometimes, in other places it will be extraordinarily hot. These days and on into the future, there will on balance over the globe continue to be more hotter than long term average than there will be colder than long term average. But there will probably still be some places that are colder than the twentieth century average for a while yet. Just not as many and not as often.

      David Archibald's "prediction" won't eventuate unless there is a phenomenal event, such as a massive nuclear war or perhaps a number of supervolcanic eruptions - before seven years is up.

    2. I had in mind Archibald's funny sunny prediction when I wrote that comment.

      In terms of UK weather, there could be more really cold winters the way the Arctic is changing and they way the jet stream has been behaving. I'm with cRR Kampen on this though. It's virtually certain that it won't get to anything like as cold as it was in 1740 though in my view.

      (I understand July is shaping up to be nice and summery in the UK, at least for the next few days. Good for the tennis :D)


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