1941

The first half of 1941 was cold. Another cold winter. Snow cover for more than 50 days in northern Britain. The second coldest spring of the century (6.97). Indeed, May was the end of the longest string of consecutive colder-than-average months this century (although beaten by November 1878 to January 1880): 11 in all.


January. Another very cold (0.5C CET), easterly War January - the fifth coldest January of the century (after 1945, 1979, 1940, and 1963). There were some severe frosts, especially in the north. On the 2rd, during an air raid on Bristol, water from the hose pipes froze into huge icicles. The maximum at Eskdalemuir on the 4th was only -9C, then the minimum at Houghall (Durham) on the 5th was -20C. There was much snow midmonth: 40 cm lay at Birmingham on the 20th. Thaw and fog further south, as the snow moved into Scotland: 50 cm at Balmoral on the 22nd. There were two consecutive nights of -17C at Eskdalemuir. It was also a very dull month, with only about 1 hour sunshine a day on average in the southeast.

February. Cool and snowy, with major snowfalls on the 2nd (in the SW), 5th (across wide area), 18-20th (northeast England and Scotland). The blizzard of the 18-20th was exceptionally heavy, particularly from the night of the 19th, and primarily affected NE England and SE Scotland. A depression moved east across the south and then north into the North Sea, bringing in cold, moist air to the NE. In Durham there was 67 hours of continuous snowfall. Fog accompanied the snowstorm. Snow lay 75 cms deep at Newcastle, and 105 cms deep at Durham, which made it the wettest February in a century (148.5mm; 451% of normal). 122 cms of snow at Consett. The lowest temperature of the month came after this snowfall: -14 at Castleton (North Yorks.), and -15C at Houghall College near Durham. Sunderland and Durham were cut off. The final week was mild and unsettled with sunny spells.

March. A cold month; wetter than average in England and Wales, sunny in the north and west but dull elsewhere. It was unsttled until then 10th, but then a strong anticyclone held sway midmonth, with the current dry and sunny with night fogs 11-16th. The notable winter persisted late in to the month, with a severe snowstorm in northern Scotland on the 27th (90 cm laying at Tain, Highland).

April. Dry, dull, and cool (6.4). E and NE winds were plentiful. The first week was unsettled with heavy rain, and snow and sleet on the 1st. The rest of the month was dry.

May. Very cold overall. The first ten days were dry and cold. The May record low of -9.4C was set at Lynford (Norfolk) on the 4th and incredibly, one week later, the 11th, at the same place. It was equalled on the 15th at Fort Augustus. These days fell in a sequence of 8 consecutive frosty nights, with destructive effects on plants. The last of 11 consecutive cold months. The end of the month saw milder weather reaching the north and west, but the south and east stayed cold. A dry month in the north and west.

June. A very dry month. The first half was cool and unsettled. There was a maximum of only 11C in eastern England on the 11th. It was very hot around the 22nd, with 33C recorded in the SE. On the same day, however, 113 mm of rain fell in a thunderstorm at Newcastle.

July. The hottest month of the war years. There was a warm and mostly dry start; the weather then became hot, before a thundery breakdown and cooler temperatures. 80 mm of rain fell in a 100 minutes at Penn (Bucks.) on the 13th. Sunnier than average in Scotland, duller than average in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

August. Quite cool and very wet.

September. Very dry and warm - the third driest of the century.

October. The month had a very warm, fine start, with some hot days, sunshine, and fog at night. 24C was recorded in the SE on the 1st and 2nd, and 6th and 7th. However, it became colder with showers as the winds changed to northerlies in the closing days of the month. The maximum was only 5C in the SE on the 29th.

November. Dull and mild.

December. Generally dry and anticyclonic, and milder than average.