1908 had an extraordinary cold spell in April and warm spell in October: there's a pleasing symmetry.


February. Gale in the north on the 22nd.

March. Dull and wet, about average temperatures.

April. Very cold: CET 6.0C. Easter Day was late, on the 19th, and had an outbreak of northerlies; there were many brief hail and snow showers on the east coast. Snow settled overnight; 7.5 cm at Bury St Edmunds. There were more heavy snow showers on Easter Monday, but that didn't stop WG Grace scoring runs for the Gentlemen of England. There was then a thaw during a mild period that lasted a few days, followed by one of the most interesting weather events of the century. Low pressure led to a great blizzard in the south of England, as far north as Coventry, during the four days from 23rd to the 26th; parts of north Hampshire and Berkshire reported 69 cm of snow. Southampton had 35 cm, the deepest cover since 1881. Snow fell as far north as Staffordshire. Snow first fell on the 23rd; the 24th dawned cloudless with bright sun leading to a rapid thaw, but more snow returned in the evening. A blizzard with strong NE winds raged all day on the 25th. This was one of the heaviest snowfalls on record in the Channel Islands (over a foot of snow on Alderney). The depth of snow (40 cm) in Oxford was the heaviest there in any month since February 1888 and has not been exceeded in any month since. Southampton had 37 cm, and Bournemouth and the Isle of Wight had a foot of snow. There were some low temperatures as well: -12.8C at Garforth (Yorks) as well as Perth (hurrah), and -12C at Balmoral, on the night of the 23rd (morning of the 24th), and -12.2 near Edinburgh on the night of the 24th-25th. The maximum in Birmingham and Southampton on the 25th was only 1C. These are the latest ever British dates for temperatures less than -10C. The rapid thaw that followed this cold snap led to some severe flooding.

May. Dull first half, fine and sunny second half.

June. A dry month in England. The Tunguska meteorite event on the 30th led to some spectacular sunsets and bright nights.

July. The month was most notable for containing Scotland's equal hottest day: 32.8 at Dumfries on the 2nd (a record broken in 2003). The month was very warm at the start, before becoming cool and unsettled from the 4th. It was very wet midmonth. It then became warmer and more settled again, particularly in the south, from the 20th onwards.

August. A cool month.

September. Dry in England but wet in Scotland. 37 mm of rain though fell in 20 minutes in a thunderstorm at Canterbury on the 11th.

October. Very warm and dry: one of the warmest of the century (at 11.8C CET, it was beaten only by 1921, 1945, 1959, 1968, 1969, 1978, and 1995). The month started with a heatwave, and a remarkable one at that, as the high temperatures tended to occur in the north and west. It was almost 28C in parts of England on the 1st and 2nd. 25.6C was reported near Elgin on the 2nd, and 27.2C at Tillypronie (Aberdeenshire - the record Scottish maximum for October) and 26.7C at Betws-y-Coed, both on the 3rd (Welsh record). The 28.9C recorded on the 1st at Whitby was a record high for October until 1985. There were some major thunderstorms towards the end of the month; 100 mm of rain fell in 5 hours at Weymouth on the 21st. It was one of the warmest Octobers of the century in Scotland.

November. Mild and dry.

December. A very cold snowy end to the month. The maximum in the Midlands was only -5C on the 29th; the temperature then fell to -18C the following night, with -18.3C at Liphook (Hants.) - the coldest night of the year.