July 1923 contained one of the most wonderful thunderstorms of the century.
January. A mild month.
February. A very mild month, but wet and stormy across the country. There were some very high minima at the start of the month, with a minimum of 10.3C on the 2nd (possibly the record highest minimum for England in February) and 9.8C on the 1st.
March. Generally mild and unsettled, although not particularly wet. 21C was reached in parts of the SE on the 27th.
April. Cold and rather wet.
May. A curious month; after a very warm start (28C at Norwich and London on the 4th and at Canterbury on the 5th) it turned out to be a very cold month, with snow midmonth. In the end it was the coldest May of the century in Scotland, and the second coldest in England and Wales.
June. Cold and dry.
July. A warm month with a heatwave and violent thunderstorms in the second week. The month had a warm if somewhat unsettled start, but it then became very hot: 32C was reached most days somewhere in the country from the 6-13th. The temperature rose to 35C in several places on the 12th and 13th, with the highest reading being 35.6C at London (Camden Square, of course) on the 13th. Before 1990, the record high for Wales was 33.9C at Newport (Gwent) on 12 July. There were scattered thunderstorms on the 7th, and then some violent thunderstorms: part of Eton chapel destroyed by lightning on the 10th. A cloudburst in the Carrbridge region swept away the rail bridge for the second time in ten years. The month is also notable for the thunderstorm that hit London from the SW on the night of the 9-10th; this was one of the most severe and longest storms of the century. The storm contained some of the most vivid and prolonged lightning observed in this country: nearly 7000 (6294 to be precise) lightning flashes were recorded at Chelsea in six hours starting at 11pm - that's nearly 18 flashes a minute! Many houses were struck by lightning, and some caught fire; a house at Walton-on-the-Hill was destroyed. There was some torrential rain - about 50 mm widespread across London and the eastern Home Counties, with nearly 82 mm recorded at Seaford (on the Sussex coast). There were more violent storms on the night of the 10-11th.
August. Mostly cool and unsettled, although there were some fine, hot spells in the first half of the month in the south. It was hot from the 4th to the 13th (at the same time there was some record-breaking heat in France): it peaked with 32C (90F) on the 9th. There were gales in the north on the 2nd, and there was a notable gale across England on the 29th-30th. There were injuries when a circus marquee was blown down at Towyn, Merionethshire, in the evening of the 29th. An agricultural show was destroyed in Chester, a with many animals escaping, and Norwich was almost cut off from the telephone and telegraph network.
September. Cool; sunny in the south-east, and wet in north.
October. Wet, windy, unsettled.
November. Very cold (3.3C CET), and often windy and unsettled. There were some snow showers and sharp frosts early in the month. -8C was recorded in the west on the 8th.
December. After a mixed month it was a widespread White Christmas, with some snow in the north.