1920

1920 had a very poor summer: the temperature only reached 27.8C on one day. The weather improved in the autumn. The wonderful location of Raunds (Northants.) was both the hottest and coldest place of the year - the only time on record this happened. By the Davis index for central southern locations (you add 10 x the daily mean temperature F for June, July, and August) to 20 x the average sunshine duration in hours - 7 x the rainfall total in inches), this was the worst summer of the century.

January. A cold start, then mild, wet and windy.

February. Mostly very mild. Wet in the north, but quite dry in the south. There was flooding in northern and central Britain mid-month. 17C recorded in East Anglie on the 18th, and in Edinburgh on the 28th.

March. Changeable. It was often cold in the first half of the month, with some snow. 25 cms of snow fell in the Midlands on the 16th. It then became much milder, with over 20C (69F) recorded at Woking on the 20th and 20C (68F) at Cambridge on the 23rd./P>

April. The wettest April this century, with 114 mm (4.5") of rain.

May. A heavy rainfall event on the 29th over the Lincolnshire Wolds. The "Louth storm" was probably one of the most severe this century. A depression moved north across the country on the 29th, giving 82 mm of rain at Leyland, near Preston. A storm developed on the low's cold front. At Louth, near Lincoln, 36 mm of rain fell, and at Elkington Hall, three miles to the west, 117 mm fell in three hours. Probably even more rain fell to the west. As water fell on the Lincolnshire Wolds, the River Lud rose by 6' in 10 minutes, with flooding, destruction of bridges, small houses being swept away, and 22 people were drowned as a torrent 200 yards wide swept through the village of Louth, which formed a bottleneck at the river and its tributaries. The river rose to 15' above normal.

June. The highest temperature of the year occurred on 17 June (27.8C at Raunds); this is the equal lowest highest yearly temperature (along with 1962) of the twentieth century.

July. A very poor summer: July was cold, very wet, and dull. Much of Britain had twice the average amount of rainfall, and Bethesda (north Wales) managed 343mm. A strong cold front gave some very low maxima on the 5th. Notable depression on the 17th led to serious flooding in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

August. Cool and dull, although not as wet as July 1920. Heavy rain over southern Scotland midmonth, as a depression moved east on the 17th. An area from Islay to Aberdeen and the Cheviots received 25mm, with 75mm in the southeast, and 100m over the Pentland Hills. Serious flooding around Glasgow and Edinburgh. However on average it was a dry month everywhere apart from Scotland. Worksop had only 16 mm of rain all month.

September.

October. Sunny - it was cloudless across the country 24-30th. Felixstowe recorded 207 hours of sunshine in the month. A very easterly month.

November. Fine, dry, and anticyclonic, with fog.

December. The highest and lowest (before 1981) December temperatures for Raunds (Northants) were both set this month, less than two weeks apart: -18.3C on the 13th and 14th, and 15.6C on the 26th. The reading of -18.3C was the coldest of the year for the whole country, and it is also noteworthy that the same location (Raunds) gave the highest maximum of the year. The month began windy and very mild, with 15C at Eye (Northants.) on the 3rd, with a SW gale with with wind speeds of 90 mph, with many lives lost at sea. This was followed by a week of high pressure to the north with fog. Easterlies set in on the 10th, with cold air and snow showers. A heavy and widespread snowstorm affected the south and east of the country on the 11th, with subzero temperatures giving "dry", powdery snow, and no winds: up to 20 cm widespread, and 35 cm at Clacton. Snow lay for ten days at Plymouth. Mild weather returned on the 18th. Christmas was exceptionally mild, with temperatures of 15-16C widespread from 24-27th and 29-31st - perhaps the mildest on record.