1929

1929 was a  wonderful year for weather, with the driest March on record, the wettest November of the century, a dry spring, and an exceptional cold spell in February ("the coldest for 34 years"). There was a very dry start to the year in the south. Shoeburyness (Essex) did not have more than 1 mm of rain in a day from February 10 to April 3. There was however a very wet end to the year, with four very wet months October 1929 into January 1930. Possibly the summer of "Swallows and Amazons" (although there is some ambiguity whether this is 1929 or 1930).

January. Mostly cold, with easterly and northerly winds. Very wet over Scotland. There were a few milder spells with SW winds at the end of the month. In one such spell, Aber (North Wales) recorded 17C on the 30th.

February. A cold month (0.4C CET), and very dry. The month started mild and changeable, but very cold air arrived from the east around the blocking Scandinavian high in the second week. There were a wonderful seven days of frost from the 11th. There were some very low daytime maxima (e.g. -5.6C at Hampstead on the 12th and 13th, and Lympne (Kent) on the 14th; -6.1C at Cranwell (Lincoln) on the 15th; -6.7C at Buxton on the 13th and Roden (Shrops.) on the 14th), with some places not exceeding -5C for several days. -15C on the 13th and -17C on the 14th at Ross-on-Wye. The Thames froze in many places, and there was much skating in the Lake District. Many places had continuous frost from the 11-16th, and at Manston in Kent the temperature stayed beneath freezing from the 11-19th. There was very heavy snow in the SW on the 16th as a front tried to enter the very cold air; 6' of snow on Dartmoor over 15 hours. At Huntingdon Warren (Holne) there was 173 cm of snow following a 15 hour fall - perhaps a record level depth for lowland Britain (<500m altitude). It was less cold from the 20th, although the east winds returned at the end of the month. Unusually for so later in the month, there were frost days on the 26-27th in the south.

March. Very sunny. A variable month, with two outstanding icy spells. This year also registered the earliest date on which 21.1C (70F) was recorded: the 9th, at Colwyn Bay, and 22.2C, at Keswick the following day. It has been claimed that the maximum March temperature was equalled this month, with a non-standard reading of 25.0C at Wakefield on the 29th. However, Philip Eden argues that the actual temperature was actually considerably lower than this, with nearby stations recording a still respectable 22.2C. The month was also extremely dry; the driest of the century, with no rain at all in NE London, and only 0.6 mm at Kew. It was also the sunniest March on record in Scotland (before 2003): Leuchars had nearly 191 hours.

April. Dry.

May. Mainly unsettled, but warmer in the second half of the month. 28C was recorded at Kew on the 23rd.

June. Very sunny in the SW.

July.

August.There was a drought in London of 27 consecutive days from 23 August until 28 September.

September. The second warmest of the century (15.3C CET) before 1999. In some places it was the warmest month of the year. The magic 32C (90F) was reached at Farnborough on the 4th and 5th, and even 31C was recorded there on the 8th an 9th.

October. Severe gales on 5 - 8th as two depressions tracked across Ireland. Gusts of 92 mph were recorded at Falmouth on four consecutive days. A gust of 110 mph at Scilly was a record at the time for lowland Britain in October.

November. The wettest of the century for England and Wales; a reported 227mm at Ross-on-Wye, and the record corroborated daily rainfall for the month of 211.1mm was set at Lluest West Reservoir, Rhondda, on the 11th - that's 211 mm in one day! This led to severe flooding in Glamorgan. It was particularly wet in the SW: most of Devon and Cornwall had over 250 mm, while Princetown on Dartmoor and 747 mm.

December. Wet and stormy. There was a severe gale on the 5th and 6th, with much loss of life on sea and on land.