Extreme weather events in Britain, organized by month


In my memory of my childhood in Southampton in the 60s and early 70s, the weather of each month goes as follows.

January was always very cold and snowy. Jack frost would decorate the windows every morning. February was much the same, but the days were getting longer. March would start with snow on the ground, but those March winds would kick in just as the daffodils were starting to come up. April would be showery. May would very dry and sunny. June would see the fields full of cornflowers, shimmering in the heat. July would be dry, hot, and perpetually sunny. August would be hot, but with the odd cumulus cloud bubbling up in the day, and massive thunderstorms at night. September would see a glorious Indian summer. October would be full of vividly golden trees. November would be cold and very foggy. December would start off wet and windy, but the snow would start to full each year on Boxing Day.

How does this measure up against reality? Check it out here. This page is organized by month, but you can also find things by year. These pages can be read in conjunction with the Central England Temperature record series. The CET, as it is abbreviated to, is an average of temperatures from a number of sites across central England and Wales.

These pages are compiled from a number of sources. I've found Philip Eden's column in The Sunday Telegraph (and, to a lesser extent, the Daily Telegraph on Saturdays) and Bob Prichard's Wednesday Weatherwatch column in the Guardian particularly helpful. BBC Ceefax (remember that?) was another useful source. Stirling's (1997) The weather of Britain is superb,as is Eden's Weatherwise. The COL Bulletin, Journal of Meteorology and Weather provide some useful information; the Weatherlog section of the latter provides wonderful monthly summaries. Kenneth Gannon, Bill Hindmarsh, Kevin Phillips, Michael Wylie, and Ian Rippey have also some supplied some data. Philip Eden has also kindly answered many questions, and prevented numerous errors; these pages would not be possible in this form without his help. I am particularly grateful to him for the bases of the recent monthly summaries. I am also most grateful to my many weather chums on the newsgroup for those interested in the British weather, uk.sci.weather, from which I've gleaned many useful pieces of information. The Met Office is a wonderful source of information, including a monthly update. I would like to thank all these people. I have tried to reference all my sources here, but if you feel I missed something, or should make a credit more prominent, please just email me. I do this as a hobby: I am a psychologist, not a meteorologist. Given I am just an amateur, I obviously can't vouch for the accuracy of the information here, but I've done my best. I'd be interested to know of any errors and omissions; my email address is trevor.harley@mac.com. Note though that I know nothing that isn't here, so if you want to know what the weather was like on a certain date, and the information isn't here, I won't know. There's even less point asking what the weather's going to be like in three months time, or asking me in March if June is going to be good for weddings, or in October if it will be a White Christmas, because no one knows. I maintain this site in my spare time, and time is always limited.

If I say something like "the warmest month of the year", unless otherwise stated this will be according to the CET (Central England Temperature) series. Similarly "driest" applies to the England and Wales average. Things might have been very different in the north of Scotland!

These pages represent a huge amount of work on my part. Please do not copy othem without my permission.

See here for January

See here for February

See here for March

See here for April

See here for May

See here for June

See here for July

See here for August

See here for September

See here for October

See here for November

See here for December


Return to my British weather homepage