“Unprecedented”- I don’t believe it.

Chris Fawkes was chatting to day on the 2.30 PM weather slot on the BBC News channel. This five minute chat can give you some insight to how each weathercaster thinks and occasionally it’s quite intersting to boot. Today Chris was going on about the “unprecedented” number of storms to hit France in the last week, he was also quizzed by the news presenter, about why this was and also why his list wasn’t alphabetical. And where is today’s storm Norberto in his list?

Courtesy of the BBC

I’ve had a quick look back at the 26th of February at all the SYNOPs from Corsica. It certainly was a very windy spell, but the strongest gust I can see was one of 78 knots (90 mph) from Capo Pertusato on the southern tip of the island. That’s not to say the island doesn’t have a few “Needles” like stations that Meteo France can access for an extreme gust. When low pressure forms in the Gulf Of Lion very strong northwesterly winds are not uncommon in Winter months and are known locally as the Tramontane.

Courtesy of Ogimet
Courtesy of the BBC

That’s a good question, but I don’t have the time to investigate his list of storms although Bianca does look a bit odd to me.

Courtesy of the BBC

At least he admitted it and he did get back to her an hour later, although his answer didn’t quite convince me.

Courtesy of the BBC

Are they unprecedented?

I for one don’t believe the recent “storms” across France have been unprecedented. Obviously the jet stream must have played it’s part as Chris Fawkes went on to mention, but the jet stream is nothing new and has been known about for some time. It seems to me that although global warming wasn’t directly mentioned, it almost goes without saying that extreme weather of any kind, be it a storm, heatwave, drought, flood, blizzard is immediately linked with global warming. So forecasters have been keeping tracks on storms for the last 40 years at Meteo France and that’s enough for them to conclude that the last week has been unprecedented? Bits of telly like this just reinforces the idea that extremes in weather and climate are always directly linked and attributable to global warming, I can’t help but see it as a form of subliminal brainwashing that just reinforces the idea that any extreme of weather is proof of AGW.

Another reason

Why it might look unprecedented might have something to do with the impact based warnings system that Met services such as Meteo France have adopted in recent years. The rules as far as I can see are if a national Met service such as Met Eireann, AEMet or Meteo France issue an amber warning then a storm is automatically named. I might add if the Met Office treated Scotland the same as it treats England, Wales and Northern Ireland then we might have seen a dozen named storms this season.

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