1919

There was a weather disaster in January 1919. At 8.48C, it was the second coldest year of the century. It was also the coldest autumn of the century (7.80). November was truly remarkably cold. 1919 was the coldest year of the century unil 1963


January. A naval ship sank by a gale off the Scottish coast on the 1st claimed 20 lives. Wet in the south. Cold early and late in the month, with substantial snow cover in the Home Counties on the 28th. Dull and stormy.

February.

March. Dull, cold and wet, particular in the Midlands and Scotland. There was a heavy late snowfall in southern England.

April. Cold, unsettled, and stormy. A month of marked contrasts: 969 mbars at Southport on the 14th but 1042 mbars at Edinburgh on the 20th; 21C at Cambridge on the 18th but only 7C on the 27th. Most notable for the snowstorm in the south on the 27th-28th. as a depression moved south. Up to 40cm locally on high ground in the Chilterns around London on the 28th. It was worst in the southeast, covering much of the south. In London, rain turned to snow at 1pm. As it was wet snow, it brought down many wires, and caused much disruption. A rapid thaw on the 28th led to widespread flooding.

May. Very warm (13.5) and dry. There was only 6 mm of rain all month at Cambridge. 28C was exceeded at Kensington on the 23rd.

June.

July.

August. Hot at some times, but only 10C at Liverpool on the 28th.

September. A month with great variation in weather, from a memorable hot spell to a memorable cold one, all within just over a week. It was another month with a maximum of 32.2C CET (at lucky Raunds in Northants. again, on the 11th - what is it with Raunds in September?). The 11th is one of the latest dates in the twentieth century when 90F+ (32.2C) was attained (see 1926 below for the latest). This was also the hottest day of the year. Nottingham reached 29.4C on the 11th but only 13.9 on the 12th following a shift in wind direction. There was even snow cover on low ground from northern England north and on higher ground in Wales and the southwest as well as high ground in the Midlands on the night of the 19-20th. The snow was 2" deep at Princetown in Dartmoor. Snow cover lasted on Snowdon for a week. This is probably the earliest snowfall date. The last week was cold and frosty. That is why 1919 gets my vote as the most interesting September for weather of the century.

October. Notable prolonged frosty spell. Very cold (7.4C CET - the second coldest of the century), but dry and very sunny (the third sunniest on record), although it was cloudier at the end.

November. A very cold month (3.3C CET), with frequent north-easterlies. There was a severe gale off Kent right at the beginning of the month (1st and 2nd.). Parts of the southeast had no sun at all in the first ten days, which were generally cold with some night frosts, with easterly winds. It was however the cold spell midmonth, with heavy snowfalls and sharp frosts, that was particularly noticeable. This was an extraordinary cold snap that would rank as one of the major winter events of the century; that it had happened in mid-November makes it even more extraordinary. The cold spell really set in on the 11th as the winds turned to the north. There were snow showers in eastern Scotland from 8th to 10th, but late on the 11th it snowed heavily across Scotland, leading to many villages being cut off. There was a foot of snow on Dartmoor, 17" at Balmoral, and 8" at Edinburgh. A record low minimum of -23.3C was set at Braemar on the 14th, and it fell to -21.7C at Perth. This was the lowest reading of the year, and is the earliest date on which such a low temperature has occurred. It was also down to -21.1C at West Linton and Balmoral on the 14th; the maximum on the 14th at Balmoral was only -10C, and -12C on the 15th. The next night, the temperature fell to -2 -22.8 on the morning of the 15th. Snow lay at Braemar to a depth of 42 cm; it lay from the 11th until the end of the month. The lowest maximum on the 14th in England was -2.7C near Carlisle, and the lowest minimum in England in this cold spell was -12.8C at Scaleby (also Cumberland) on the 16th. A snowstorm on the night of the 11/12th gave heavy falls across the country - e.g. 12 inches on Dartmoor. There was a record low November temperature for Northern Ireland (up to then) of -12.2 (10F) on the morning of the 15th. This cold spell would have been exceptional in the depth of winter, yet alone in autumn. For this reason I rate this as the most interesting November of the century. The month generally turned milder at the end, although snow cover persisted at Braemar and Balmoral through the month into early December. The rest of the 1919-20 winter though was dull and mild.

December. Mild, wet and dull, particularly in the east, with frequent gales. Manchester only recorded 7 hours of sunshine all month. It was the wettest month of the year.